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What’s so good about Living in Encinitas California [PROS and CONS 2022]

What's so good about Living in Encinitas California [PROS and CONS 2022]
Chris Erickson:
Today we are in Encinitas, and we’re going to hit you up with the pros and the cons of living here in Encinitas.
Cassidy Lewis:
Hello, hello. I’m Cassidy Lewis.
Chris Erickson:
And I’m Chris Erickson.
Cassidy Lewis:
And we are both real estate agents here in North County, San Diego. And this is where you come for all things North County. And if you are thinking about moving to San Diego, you got to reach out. Call, text, email. We love helping people get to North County, so definitely hit us up.

Today we’re getting into Encinitas. Encinitas is just north of Solana Beach and Cardiff, and just south of Carlsbad, right on the coast in San Diego. A great little surfer town. And today we’re going to get into the pros right now.

Chris Erickson:
Living in Encinitas, one thing I really dig is the smaller footprint compared to a lot of other cities here in North County, San Diego. When you get into Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Marcos, they have a pretty big footprint. So getting around, if you’re like, “I need to head to the store,” or whatever, it might take a little bit longer than expected.

Encinitas, as long as you’re not out in Olivenhain, which goes out there pretty far, it’s going to add an extra five, ten, 15 minutes onto your commute going anywhere, but you can think of somewhere you want to go and be there within 15 minutes. If I want to hit up the beach, go surf down at Beacons, or something like that, I’ll just shoot down Leucadia Boulevard. Be there super quick.

Local taproom right here, BTR. Any of our little local stores, convenience-wise, cruising down El Camino Real you can hit anything and everything you need. You got your Home Depots, your Targets, all that kind of stuff. So I just like the compactness and anything you think of, you want to go to, it’s 15 minutes away tops so it’s a killer.

And Encinitas is separated into five distinct little neighborhoods or districts if you will. Starting on the coast, you have Leucadia, which is like its own little vibe, its own little thing. It’s really cool down there. 101 Coast Highway, you have a ton of little restaurants and shops. Old Encinitas, you got Encinitas Highlands and then downtown, the heart of Encinitas. Cardiff, which is technically part of Encinitas, it’s own little zipcode though. Cool little beach town, I think some of the best beaches here in North County as well. It’s nine, two, zero, zero seven.

Where we’re sitting right now is New Encinitas. It’s that entry-level Encinitas where you got a good mix of town, homes, and condos, as well as single-family homes. And then these killer greenbelts cruising through a lot of these communities up here. And then, as I mentioned, Olivenhain’s that rural living here in Encinitas. So a lot of different styles of living, whatever you’re looking for. Price points across the board. Cassidy Lewis:
One of the big pros of living in Encinitas and a big draw for why a lot of people will move here is because of the school districts. You’ve got Encinitas School District, which is always one of the tops in San Diego County. And then also San Dieguito School District for middle school and high school, which again is one of the top districts in the County here. And within these schools, there are a lot of great programs. They have really strong PTOs for most of them. Encinitas in is known for having a Spanish immersion program at some of the schools as well. So there are some really cool things to check out.

And if you are looking for a neighborhood where you can walk your kids to school on a daily basis, definitely this spot where we’re at here in New Encinitas. This is a Village Park. You’ve got Park Dale Lane, you’ve got Flora Vista, and you’ve got the middle school, Diegueno, just down the road.

Chris Erickson:
And a lot of the schools as well have these really good afterschool programs. So if you need a little extra time while you’re working and whatnot and your kids need to stay after a little bit, it does cost a little bit of cash, but it’s not too bad. And there’s also a really cool one that my little guy has gone to and it’s called Farm Lab. It’s an off-campus school. They actually pick you up from school, bus you over there. And it’s just a little bit different. You get out of that school vibe. You actually meet up with some of the other schools around here, so meet some new friends and whatnot. It’s a really cool program.

And one thing about Encinitas, a lot of it is older. This little neighborhood that we’re sitting in right now was built in the seven and eighties. And that’s how a lot of Encinitas is. Cruise around here, there’s not a ton of new development. They have a few newer construction developments in the works, but who knows where there’s are actually going to end up in the next few years here, but nothing huge. It’s all these smaller …

Master-planned communities are basically all built out here in Encinitas. But with that, since everywhere has been around for 20 plus years, a lot of these neighborhoods have this mature landscaping. And so if you’re going to new construction, like in San Marcos or in Carlsbad, a lot of those, they’re grazed and then takes 20 years or so to grow up.

And so even in that downtown Encinitas area, they have these beautiful tree canopies going over the street. It just looks cool. I just, I think it’s a really good look for this area. But yeah, that mature landscaping I think adds a lot of aesthetics to this, well, all the neighborhoods throughout Encinitas, Cassidy Lewis:
Another big pro and draw, why people move out to Encinitas, is the beaches of course, and specifically oceanfront homes. And Encinitas definitely has more opportunity for oceanfront properties than the neighbor to the north, in Carlsbad and Oceanside as well.

There’s a huge stretch called Neptune Avenue in Leucadia that has a ton of homes right on the bluff, overlooking the ocean. Some have their own stairs. They’re all really close to other beach accesses, you got a few up that street. And those houses that do have stairs already are really the only ones that you can have. You can’t build new stairs on property. So if you are looking for direct access, you need to find a spot that already has stairs. That restriction about not being able to put in stairs is because a lot of the coastal zone in Encinitas is subject to the Coastal Commission guidelines, which is a separate entity that you have to get approval for new construction, major remodels, and things like that.

The city of Encinitas as a whole is just a little bit tougher than say, Carlsbad, development. There are just a little bit more hoops you got to jump through. It’s just a little bit more difficult and a little more time-consuming to try to get development projects done. And we have clients that bought a vacant lot about 18 months ago, and they’re still working on the processing and haven’t broke around yet building their house. It is something to think about if you’re looking for a lot here, that it’s probably going to take at least two years to get it developed. Chris Erickson:
The one thing about these oceanfront homes, they are perched atop this bluff. I mean, the views are unbelievable. A lot of the houses we’ve seen on the bluffs are killer. One thing about the bluffs, it does block some of the beach so during high tides and stuff … Let’s say Grandview. So I went down to Grandview to surf, I don’t know, a few … It was winter so a few winters back. And Grandview has these weird stairs cruising down. It’s basically just, it’s pretty steep stairs cruising down to the beach.

Anyways, once you got down, you’re hopping off the stairs onto the waves. I mean, onto the ocean, because the high tide was so high, which happens more often than you think, but it takes away the entire beach. A lot of those areas where it’s bluff, beach, ocean, sometimes during those high tides, the ocean, or the beach rather, just disappears. You don’t have the beach, it’s kind of you can’t hang out there.

There are a few other areas, Moonlight beach is a big open area. Honestly, I live here, I don’t really go there. It’s just more people cruising in. It’s a little busier down there. We have our own little secret beaches that we go to or know that we want to go to. Like Cardiff has some killer beaches, it’s packed down there as well, but it’s a little more open a little more space and you’re parking right on the sand basically.

Another thing about the bluffs. If you do own one of those oceanfront homes, people are worried about slides and that kind of stuff. Insurance is way difficult to get if you can get it at all. Most of the time, some of the time, you’re not going to be able to even get those places insured just for that kind of danger. But also, sitting on the beach, there is a danger of those bluffs falling. There have been bluff collapses in the past so just be aware of that. Cassidy Lewis:
And those bluff failures don’t happen often, but they do happen. So you’ll see signs to be at least 10 or 15 feet away from the bluff when you’re setting up your beach chairs and stuff.
Chris Erickson:
And beach access in Encinitas, like we were saying during the high tides, there’s not much beach on there. But there’s also not much beach access in Northern Encinitas, or actually most of Encinitas, from when you’re north of Cardiff. There are all stairs going down. You got Swami’s, D Street, Stone steps, Grandview, Beacon’s. And the only main access point, like we mentioned, where it’s a bigger beach, is Moonlight. Other than that, it’s just little stairs going down.

Beacon is actually killer. It’s got this switchback cruising down, a little tiny bit more beach area down there. But yeah, beach access is not ideal. If you do want super easy, Cardiff State Beaches are super simple. You get your parking pass for the year, park right there.

One of Encinitas’s initiatives long-term is going green, which is great. Trying to figure out plans and ways to cut down on carbon emissions and all that kind of stuff. And they’ve been working hard at a lot of different things. Some of them are kind of, I don’t know, I think they are silly and some of them, long-term, are going to potentially hurt new builds, new developments, and stuff.

One of them that they are going through is new developments, commercial or residential, are not allowed to install natural gas. So everything’s going to be electric. And I know a lot of people want to have that natural gas for cooking and stuff in their house and for heaters and stuff, it’s just a cheaper option. They also, you’re not allowed to have gas leaf blowers. Blowing the lawn off, they have to be all-electric. So we see our landscapers cruising around with these big battery packs, but you can still have lawnmowers so it’s kind of funny. Cassidy Lewis:
For the most part, Encinitas is a very just suburb, burbs town. There’s not a ton of walkability in the New Encinitas, definitely no walkability in Olivenhain. You have to pretty much drive to anything, like restaurants, bars, shops, all that stuff is going to be a drive.

The areas where you’ll get a little bit more of that walkability, a little bit more of that nightlife, that urban feel, is going to be right in the heart of Leucadia and then right in the heart of Old Encinitas so you get a little bit of that feeling where you lose a little bit of that suburb style. Chris Erickson:
One option that people have been turning to is the electric bike, the e-bike. We’ve seen a lot of the teenagers and stuff cruising around on those, but it’s starting to spread to the adult population as well. An easier way to get around, I think long-term you’ll probably of see more and more of those coming up around town. I mean, in the last year or something, we’ve just seen an explosion of them.

But if you want to cruise around, especially in New Encinitas, there’s a few … Our Brewers Tap Room, there’s a few little … A sushi spot down the road. A few little spots where you can’t actually hop on and it’d be a five-minute little e-bike ride.

Cassidy Lewis:
One of the cons of Encinitas, if you’re looking for homes here, you will see that is more expensive than a lot of the neighborhoods to the North and to the East. And a lot of that has to do with the school district as we talked about, obviously, the beaches, which are a huge draw, and just that community feel. This community, for a long time, has been a very desirable place to live, so those prices are just a little bit higher than the communities around it.

You’ll notice in housing prices if you’re comparing … Because a lot of people are looking in Encinitas and Carlsbad, you’ll see as soon as you jump over that Encinitas-Carlsbad border, that the prices are about $100,000 difference. And a lot of that is just that name, that zip code, and the prices are just higher.

Chris Erickson:
And housing’s not the only thing that’s expensive in Encinitas. I mean, it’s not just Encinitas, it’s everywhere right now in North County for sure. But I don’t go out to eat that much. We do a lot of cooking at home, I love cooking. So we’re doing a lot of that, just do our Trader Joe’s, run Sprouts, whatever, get everything that we need, cook throughout the week.

But every now and again I will go out. Last Friday went out for a late lunch to one of our local spots, City Tacos. Killer tacos, by the way. If you go down there in downtown Encinitas, a lot of times we say it’s all about the salsa, which it is for all of our taco shops, but these guys have a really unique tortilla.

So if you’re in town, go check them out, but it’s not cheap. I got two tacos, surf and turf and a Pescado taco, a little fish taco, a side of beans, and obviously a craft beer, one of our local craft beers. I think it might have been a Mike Hess, they have a good little selection there. But after all those things added up, plus a little tip, it was 25 bucks.

So you’re not getting off cheap, and that was just a quick little lunch. You’re going to see that for most of the places around here in Encinitas if you’re going to go out and about. And at City Tacos, as with any restaurant basically here in North County, they have a good beer selection. But once again, the beers, craft beers, are going to be pretty pricey, seven, eight, nine bucks for a pint. You got to look around, a lot of people have specials and stuff.

Cassidy Lewis:
Speaking of beers, one of them, maybe the biggest con of Encinitas, is that there are no breweries in town here. All of our surrounding areas, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, Carlsbad, they’ve all got breweries where they actually brew the beer there. Encinitas unfortunately does not. And there are a few spots that have tasting rooms from local breweries. You got Culture, you’ve got Modern Times. And like Chris has mentioned, Brews Tap Room is a local just brewpub here in Encinitas. But the big negative, there are no breweries that are based in Encinitas.

Probably one of the biggest pros, and just like the beach is a huge draw, the views herein Encinitas are a huge draw. There are a ton of homes that have awesome ocean views. But not only that, there’s a ton of homes that have some pretty awesome mountain views, looking East towards Olivenhain. You’ve got Paint Mountain out there, you’ve got some other mountains that are pretty awesome to look at. And so there are a ton of view houses in Encinitas.

Chris Erickson:
Honestly, it’s probably one of my favorite cities here in North County. Just for, you got that local beach vibe, all the restaurants. I think Leucadia, that little strip in Leucadia, they’re actually doing a Streetscape project right now to make it a little easier to park and get around there. But probably some of the best little section of restaurants and shops and bars here in North County, San Diego.

And then it’s just killer. I mean, it’s a really easygoing town so that’s why I love it. I don’t know, some of these are pros. Some of these are cons. If you’re going to develop, obviously it’s going to be much more difficult. Maybe Encinitas is right for you. Maybe it’s not, maybe it’s Carlsbad. Maybe it’s San Marcos. Maybe it’s one of our little surrounding cities. Anyways, we have a ton of other videos for you to explore.

And if you are thinking about moving out here, be sure to hit us up. Call, text, email. Whatever’s easiest for you. We got your back when moving here to North County, San Diego. We’ll catch you next time.
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