Deciding where you'll live in San Diego isn't just a matter of choosing a community that's close to work, schools and family. There are several different factors that go into making a neighborhood livable, such as affordable housing prices, amenities in the community, crime rates and cost of living. The overall ranking of a neighborhood takes into account these and a number of other factors. Experts at AreaVibes have looked at the dozens of San Diego neighborhoods and communities and have determined that there are five areas in San Diego that offer tremendous affordable housing options.
These five San Diego neighborhoods offer homes for sale with a much lower than average home price, but still close to the San Diego city center.
- 1. Palm City
Median Home Price: $168,420
Palm City, located close to the main I-5 north-south route through San Diego, has a livability score of 74, which means that this neighborhood is very livable. The median home price of $168,420 is 63 percent lower than the typical San Diego median home price, making Palm City one of the best sources of affordable housing in San Diego. In fact, Palm City homes generally cost just seven percent more than homes nationally, a ranking that is hard to find in most of San Diego. The number of amenities close to Palm City, such as shopping, restaurants and entertainment, schools, parks and public transportation are the highest among San Diego neighborhoods as well. An average summer temperature of 69 degrees contributes to San Diego's reputation as having some of the best weather in the country. Cost of living in Palm City is about 23 percent lower than in other San Diego communities. The high school graduation rate in the community stands at about 75 percent. Learn more about Palm City housing.
- 2. Tijuana River Valley
Median Home Price: $181,000
The community of Tijuana River Valley is more rural than many of the other affordable neighborhoods in San Diego. This southern community is a beachfront neighborhood on the border with Mexico. Its median housing price of $181,000 if far lower than the San Diego median price of $451,800. Housing prices and amenities are its primary attractions. Housing prices are equal to prices paid for homes nationally. The amenities in Tijuana River Valley are numerous, providing plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment options. Coronado Bridge, the Torrey Pines State Preserve and the USS Midway Museum are local attractions that draw tourists as well as residents. Tijuana River Valley boasts 20 schools in the community, although just 64 percent of the adults who live in Tijuana River Valley have completed high school. However, test scores in the community's schools are the same as the national average. Learn more about Tijuana River Valley housing.
- 3. Kearney Mesa
Median Home Price: $197,700
Kearney Mesa, a community located in the eastern area of San Diego, boasts an extremely livable score of 80. There are several factors that contribute to this score, including education, employment, housing, amenities and weather. The median home price in the community is $197,700, which is less than half of the San Diego median home price. Employment gets the highest ranking of any of the most affordable communities in which to live in San Diego, thanks to a much higher income per capita and median household income. Unemployment is 14 percent lower in Kearney Mesa than it is nationally. Schools, shopping opportunities, parks, libraries and fitness options as well as other amenities give Kearney Mesa the highest rating a community can receive. The graduation rate in the community stands at almost 92 percent, the highest of the affordable communities, and over 41 percent of the residents of this community have a college degree. Crime in the community is lower than that in half of the cities and communities of California. Thanks to its higher median income, the cost of living in Kearney Mesa is almost 25 percent higher than in the rest of the country, although it is lower by 11 percent than the cost of living in San Diego. Learn more about Kearney Mesa housing.
- 4. Nestor
Median Home Price: $211,962
Nestor ranks as a very livable community in the southern section of San Diego area, thanks to its overall score of 72. At $211,962 the median home price is less than half of the San Diego median home price. Amenities and weather are two of the greatest benefits Nestor offers to residents. Plenty of shopping, entertainment and recreational opportunities give Nestor a high grade in the amenities it offers. The area also boasts a number of schools and lots of public transportation options. The median household income is about 10 percent lower than the national average, with income per capita standing at 60 percent of national income per capita. Education, unfortunately, isn't as beneficial as some of the other factors that go into Nestor's livability score. Just under 70 percent of Nestor residents have completed high school. Test scores in the community run about 27 percent lower than test scores nationally. The crime rate comes in 16 percent higher than the national average in Nestor which helps contribute to its lower livability score. The cost of living in Nestor, which is about 13 percent lower than San Diego, is still nearly 20 percent higher than the cost of living nationally. Learn more about Nestor housing.
- 5. Chollas View
Median Home Price: $213,180
Chollas View, a neighborhood just to the east of downtown San Diego, is very livable with a score of 71. This neighborhood offers some of the most affordable housing in San Diego with a median home cost of $213,180, less than half of the San Diego average. As is the case with the other affordable neighborhoods in the San Diego area, Chollas View ranks high in the number of amenities available to its residents. Accessibility to public transportation, shopping and entertainment options are just some of the extras Chollas View residents can enjoy. Education, however, gets the lowest ranking possible in Chollas View. Only half of its residents have a high school diploma. With a rate that's almost 20 percent higher than the national average, crime also is a factor to consider when looking at the Chollas View neighborhood. Cost of living ranks higher than the national average, but is 16 percent lower than the average of all San Diego communities. Learn more about Chollas View housing.
See even more information about the best San Diego, CA neighborhoods as well as a neighborhood map.