Carlsbad, CA - whos got info

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Izzy
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Carlsbad, CA - whos got info

Postby Izzy » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:30 am

MDH got offered a job there. it would be a big move for us, we are 50/50 on it because of family here. We are used to high house prices up in Seattle but are we out of our minds to think we could find a home for 400 or so down there that isnt in a total ghetto?
We know nothing about the real estate down there and before we make any decisions we are trying to get a feel for what we can expect to pay for an MCM or anything for that matter!

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Expensive

Postby modfan » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:46 am

Even with a market meltdown, but you could find some real deals. I dunno about any MCM's, but you might find some hidden gems. Might be a good time to buy, but take a deep breath.

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Postby Joe » Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:35 am

hmmm... seattle vs socal... for me, who lived in washington for 20 years, that's an easy choice... I always told myself, if I have to sit in traffic for hours, I might as well do it where the weather is nice 8-)

Vista, not far from Carlsbad, has some Cliff May homes. I know there are some MCMs in Oceanside too. won't be cheap. The fog will make you feel at home :wink:

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Postby sky » Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:29 am

We don’t have fog down here, Joe; what we have are "late night and early morning low clouds."

As you suspected, Izzy, you won’t be able to find much, if anything, in Carlsbad, nor anything coastal south of Carlsbad, in that price range.

If you look in the Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos and Escondido corridor, keep in mind that you can avoid freeway traffic with a straight shot on Palomar-Airport road. Also worth considering is that there is new train service from Escondido to Oceanside called "the Sprinter" that could fit into your plans.

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Postby Joe » Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:11 pm

sky wrote:... what we have are "late night and early morning low clouds."



wikipedia: Fog is a cloud in contact with the ground. :gulp:

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Postby scowsa » Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:20 pm

As one who travels quite a bit in this area on business, here's my tuppence worth.

If you look at an area map, you'll see a range of coastal towns starting with Oceanside. The latter is very focused on supporting the local military bases, in that big space above it, and is the more blue collar town. As Sky mentions, there is a light rail service -- The Sprinter -- which also runs down the coast into SD, so that and the freeways make this all commuter country for SD and it's surrounding industry -- with Qualcomm being the center of its high tech segment.

Before the bust, because of its desirability and job growth, this area was one of the fastest growing in home prices, in the US. Because of this growth and that impact on coastal house prices, the 78 highway out to Escondido has seen a lot of development, with towns and their malls now "touching" each other and traffic getting busier. My personal feel of these towns, on the 78, is that many are defined my their malls and newer developments, rather than a town center.

This whole area is referred to as "North County" and many Realtors position themselves to cover it, such as with this one, found via Google
http://www.sellingnorthcounty.com/

So I would start with some searches and then phone conversations with these kind of folks.

Good luck.
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Postby Izzy » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:04 pm

are there any areas to just plain avoid? ie: i have two toddlers and i really don't want to worry about walking around with them. i prefer to be in a more "townlike" area rather than suburbs, somewhere that has lots of walkability...

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Postby egads » Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:24 pm

I personally feel like you would be the most comfortable in a crappy house right in one of the beach towns. Maybe with immigrant neighbors. Safe and walkable are mutually exclusive in Southern California unless you have a lot of money. But I doubt any of the poorer neighborhoods in an actual beach town in Northern San Diego county would be ghetto like. Keep in mind that the whole coast there is as close to paradise as it gets with employment near by. It is in the mid 70s almost all year. You can grow anything. You can truly experience quintessential California indoor/outdoor living.

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Postby sky » Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:26 pm

Izzy: So, what you want is a modestly priced modern home, close to work, in a town-like area with walk-ability? That sounds more like Seattle than San Diego. Anyway, you really need to visit and work with a local realtor before accepting such an offer. I wouldn’t say to avoid Oceanside, but I think the neighborhoods there are more varied.

The coastal communities west of Interstate 5 that I’ve seen have nice town centers and walk-ability, but of course that’s one of the reasons they are so expensive. You might want to consider downtown San Diego or Mission Valley along the trolley lines - it would generally be going against traffic to Carlsbad.

If you have toddlers now, then I think you really need to be looking at the schools systems. Except for the fact that transportation cost is now a major concern, I would have directed you to look more inland to the towns in the Poway Unified School District, which is not limited to Poway, but also includes several communities that might have a wider range of homes. But that’s definitely suburbs-ville. We sometimes walk to our cars.

Some small corrections: The train that runs along the coast is called the Coaster. And be careful about what people mean when referring to North County because North County coastal is much different than North County Inland. And Joe might be thinking of the fog in his head when it makes contact with the ground after a night of serious drinking.

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Postby Tony » Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:25 pm

I've been hanging around in Carlsbad for a few weeks. Nice sleepy town, as are all the north coastal towns. Fantastic climate, compared at least to the desert!

Traffic on the 5 freeway is pretty bad during rush hours.

There's lot of forclosures and bank-owned properties for sale in North County. But $400K may not be possible. I do know a really great Realtor in Carlsbad. If you are interested, send me a private message and I'll get you his contact information.

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Postby Perks » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:50 pm

A realtor.com search gave me three sales listings for detached homes with 3+ bedrooms, asking price 400K and under in Carlsbad: two were mobile homes in a 55+ community going for 320K & 365K, and the other was a 1400-square foot place two doors down from Interstate 5. Plenty of attached units in the sub-400K range, though.
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Postby Izzy » Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:21 am

thanks for all the info. we would defenitly visit and look extensively before making such a decision, but its been on my mind and i just wanted to get a feel for what you good folks in socal thought.
i think egads is right, i would want to live as close to the beach community as possible. we're not against being in a neighborhood that is quirky or not totally fixed up, so long as the people are friendly. if i'm going to move to cali. then i'm going to do it up right and live near the beach.
we may be able to push 500,000 if need be. but this decision is a few months away so i have time.

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One thing that

Postby modfan » Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:31 am

might be a concern that you have to think about is the 'coastal strip' may be desirable but from about Del Mar N. to Camp Pendleton, the railroad (earlier posts alluded to it-the Coaster and Amtrak, not to mention probably frieght) route is along that, so you may get the 'sounds of the sea' as well as the 'rumble/roar of a passing train' regularly, and in some places it's close to the I-5 so you'll have freeway noise too. And in Oceanside you occasionally get the noise of weapons fire from Camp Pendleton. I guess that's why Del Mar and south the properties are quite pricey. And ya don't wanna get close to too many traffic generators-Del Mar Racetrack/Fairgrounds and I dunno how much traffic Legoland generates. Check google maps, you can see all these locales mentioned, then you won't have any surprises.

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Postby nichols » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:37 am

two cents from Riot on Sunset Strip author Domenic Priore, who spent a few years in Carlsbad:
Image
My usual comments are pretty negative, concerning not liking to live around so many Republicans.  I like some of the beaches to surf on and Leucadia is pretty nice overall, heads and heels over anywhere else there.  Health food, healthy life.  Getting around ain't so easy if you want to go to San Diego for the evening it winds up being a bummer when you drive home, because that highway 5 down there puts one to hypnotized sleep.  San Diego ain't that great anyway.  So it really depends on the person; a lot of people aren't phased by the kind of reasons I have for not liking it...

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Postby egads » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:18 pm

Paradise has it's price :wink:
I thought some that best not to mention. But hey, I lived in downtown Huntington Beach and survived. Inland northern San Diego county can also
be something of a big megachurch if you know what I mean. Leucadia is where the hippies were back in the day. For a beach breeze, you can ignore a lot.... :D

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Postby Izzy » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:23 am

i can deal with Republicans and Hippies, but have you ever met a "Republican Hippy?" :-k

Hippublican?

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Postby egads » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:32 am

Well, as a handyman who works for the rich (who tend to be Republican) I can tell you that, unless they are of a certain age, they all have a stash. Often both pot and porn.:oops: So the railing against seems a little hypocritical. :roll:

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Postby modernvintage » Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:48 pm

really good surf.

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Postby Perks » Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:28 pm

egads wrote:Often both pot and porn.:oops:

HEY! I resent that remark! Those of us who AREN'T rich often have both too! :pimp:
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Postby Carlos Araujo » Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:56 pm

Izzy:
Even at $500K I think you'll be disappointed with what it buys near the coast. My wife is a realtor and even with the sales gone flat she was not excited about hunting down a property for a buyer with particular tastes in this price range for a single family residence in a coastal community.

Nichols, etal:
Being a lefty and having moved from LA to deep behind the orange curtain, I was concerned about beng politically incompatible but I'm finding more common ground than expected. People of all ages live to surf here in this "spanish village by sea" and are fanatical about preserving open space and clean beaches, much more than I've seen in LA. I could go on about common ground on national issues but I'll refrain from turning this into a political forum
"Todos vuelven a la tierra en que nacieron" Ruben Blades

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Postby Chimay » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:48 am

Hi Izzy. Sorry I didn't see this earlier. I'm in San Diego, and am very familiar with the area you are considering, so here's my two cents:

Carlsbad is a wonderful little beach town with a very walkable, village-like atmosphere. In fact, most of the towns up and down the coast feel like that (between Long Beach and San Diego) - lots of cafes, markets, little boutiques selling over-priced baby clothes and stuff like that. But you will be hard pressed to find much near Alte Carlsbad in that price range - except perhaps a condo. With $500K, you may be getting closer, but it will be smaller and further east - not walking distance to the village. Certainly nothing west of the 5 freeway. There are some "affordable" MCM neighborhoods in the area, but they are further away from the coast and the village centers. Some suggestions:

MCM neighborhoods:

Vista - As Joe mentioned, there are some Cliff May homes here, and the neighborhood is considered a bedroom community for the coastal cities like Carlsbad and Oceanside.

Oceanside - There is also a development of homes in east Oceanside by A. Quincy Jones (one of Eichler's most prolific architects and also the creater of the mutual housing authority homes in Brentwood that were made famous by the Shulman photos). It's just off the 76, in what are called the "Casino Streets" (because they're named Flamingo, Sands, Tropicana, etc.). Very cool houses and definitely in your price range, but it's not a great neighborhood. Lots of cars parked on the front lawns and chain link fences, etc.

Carlsbad - great neighborhoods of MCM homes in the hidden wooded hills on the eastern edge of Carlsbad. Quiet, neighborhoods, but only a couple of minutes by car to the beach and village. But they are all fairly upscale and probably won't find anything for less than $650 to $700K and up to a couple of million on the high end.

La Costa - Technically part of Carlsbad, on the southern edge of the city. It's east of the freeway and the lagoon. This neighborhood was built in the 60s around a luxury resort and golf course of the same name (the course is on the PGA tournament circuit). Many stars of the 50s, 60s, and 70s had homes here, and there are still many intact MCM jewels (although for some reason, the interiors are all more "Hollywood Regency than MCM). Despite its pedigree as a playground for the rich and famous from the rat pack years, the homes are generally "affordable". But again, "affordable" here means less than $800K, so well above your budget unless you're looking for a condo (of which there are some nice ones).

Walking neighborhoods:

Oceanside - downtown Oceanside used to be a scary place. But the city did a lot during the 90s and 00s to clean it up, and lots of new in-fill developments, sidewalk cafes, movie theaters, and the like have now come into the area. Architecture is generally very mid-century, as they tended to restore old buildings rather than tear them down. And since the city is right on the beach, you get an added bonus there. But the townhomes or rowhomes are probably in the $700K range, so you're probably looking at a condo if you live down here.

San Elijo Hills - This is a new planned community just east of Carlsbad, wedged into a little valley. Feels almost Disney-esque, and the homes are decidedly NOT modern or MCM - more Tuscan and Spanish. But it was designed to be a walking community and it's built around a village with a town square, a bakery and cafe, school, park, and grocery store. Lots of community events like outdoor movie nights in the town square and stuff like that. My brother and his wife live here and they love it. Homes are probably in the $500 to $600K, and condos in the $300K range.

Hope this helps! Look me up or send me a note if you decide to come down. We'd love to meet you!

Good luck!
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Izzy
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Postby Izzy » Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:15 am

Thanks so much Chimay, for the good information. I will use it as a reference point when/if we begin this process.
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Postby Tony » Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:10 pm

Hey Chimay,

I happen to be in Carlsbad right now and so thought I'd drive up to Oceanside to look at that AQJ subdivision. Rather grim I'm afraid. I could compare it to the North Palm Springs area around the Racquet Club ten years ago. Run down, lots of bars on windows, etc. Fortunately Palm Springs got rediscovered and so that area looks pretty good now. Don't think that Oceanside will ever get rediscovered though. But not anywhere near as bad as that area near the Wexler-designed Steel Houses in PS was back then.

There are some nice house designs on those "casino" streets. Very much in that P&K mode, although no butterfly roofs. Some nice flat roofs with thin clerestory windows. Some atriums. Unfortunately there are a lot of not-terribly modern houses throughout the neighborhood. I would guess that the modern ones are in the minority.

Here's a link for this area on Googlemaps:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=las+vegas+street,+carlsbad,+ca&sll=33.181238,-117.314758&sspn=1.078083,1.757812&ie=UTF8&ll=33.21591,-117.339199&spn=0.008419,0.013733&t=h&z=16

I still like Carlsbad though. The downtown is a nice walking place full of local shops and restaurants. There are some mid-century houses here and there - but I haven't found many. A lot of 1970's stuff.

Tony
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Chimay
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Postby Chimay » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:12 pm

Hi Tony,

What brings you to Carlsbad? I haven't been to see AQJ's houses in the casino neighborhood in about 8 or 9 years, so I'm sad to hear it's not gotten any better. But given the location, I'm afraid you're probably right that it's not likely to do so. Agree with the comparison to PS back in the 80s and early 90s, though.

For MCM homes, have you tried La Costa? There are still some pockets around here:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&g ... 2&t=h&z=18


Also, here's the neighborhood in east Carlsbad where I found an enclave of homes from the 50s through the 70s (not a fan of those, for the most part, but better than what's built today), but quite a few of them were on the endangered list with mcmansionization.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&g ... iwloc=addr

Take care!

Darren
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