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5 Best Neighborhoods in San Diego for Families

If you’re a young family looking to buy a house in the San Diego suburbs, which neighborhood would be best for you? We have five of the top neighborhoods, based on schools, crime rate, and more, that you should put on your list.
If you’re a young family looking to buy a house in the San Diego suburbs, which neighborhood would be best for you? We have five of the top neighborhoods, based on schools, crime rate, and more, that you should put on your list.

Your family is growing, and it’s time to move into a larger place. Once you have children, your perspective on home buying shifts. Good schools and low crime rates become more of a priority.

Beautiful San Diego, with its miles of beaches and good weather, is an expensive but great place to raise a family. Here are the five best neighborhoods for families in and around San Diego. Before deciding on a neighborhood, talk with a real estate agent experienced in that area, as they can dive deeper into its characteristics.

Del Mar

This suburb is home to nature preserves that are perfect for hiking and great beaches. Median home values are $2.5 million, but have been falling slightly recently. Community homeownership is high, and the majority of crime is property-related.

Public schools get an A+ rating. Elementary schools have a student to teacher ratio of 22-25 students per teacher.

Del Mar features many walking routes through historical areas, perfect to meander down with a stroller on an afternoon walk.

Rancho Santa Fe

Rancho Santa Fe is inland from Solana Beach and Encinitas. It has a more quiet and removed feel, and is known for its tight-knit community. It doesn’t offer much in the way of nightlife but has excellent public schools. It has a better student to teacher ratio than Del Mar of 14 to 1.

Homes in Rancho Santa Fe are also worth $2.5 million, though they’ve also seen small home value decreases. It’s retains some of its ranch community origins, with plenty of horses, stables, and orchards. It’s not a walkable area, as only the downtown has sidewalks.


One of the larger suburbs of San Diego, Encinitas has a suburban feel. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, and more nightlife than Del Mar, for example, because the area has more young professionals mixed with families. Again, most of the crime is property-related.

Homes in Encinitas have lower median home values than other suburbs on this list, but at $1.1 million are still expensive. How close the home is to the beach greatly impacts its price. While schools are top-notch, the ratio of students to teachers is 25 to 1 at the elementary level.

Solana Beach

While it still has highly-rated schools, there are more retirees in Solana Beach. Over 37% of the population is older than 55. Crime is 35% less than the U.S. average and the unemployment rate hovers around 2%. Take your kids to watch a polo game or build sand castles on the beach, there’s plenty of outdoor fun in Solana Beach.

Solana Beach property values are $1.4 million, and rose 3.8% last year. The elementary school ratio is 19 students to one teacher.


North of Encinitas, Carlsbad is the only neighborhood of San Diego that has home values for less than a million. Median home values are $862,100 and aren’t expected to rise this year. Your children will enjoy going on nature walks by the Batiquitos Lagoon or through Hosp Grove’s eucalyptus trees.

It’s a good community for families, with plenty of parks and beaches, and has top-rated schools. The student to teach ratio at the elementary schools is high, with 23-28 students per teacher.

California home prices have been driven up by the strong economy, nice weather, and beauty that draw people from out of state to live there. While home prices aren’t showing much growth recently, this is largely because it’s difficult to find a decent home for under a million dollars.

To maximize your chances of finding a good home in a great neighborhood but save some money, consider working with a Clever Partner Agent. They offer home buyer’s rebates on top of already low commission. Contact Clever to be put in touch with a San Diego Partner Agent today.


Jamie Ayers

Jamie is the Director of Content at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents and helps you save thousands on commission. In the past, Jamie has managed columns for clients in a variety of leading business publications, including Forbes, Inc., CEO World, Entrepreneur, and more. At Clever, Jamie's primary goal is to provide home sellers, buyers, and investors with the information they need to successfully navigate the ins and outs of the real estate industry.

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