Thinking about living in Carlsbad, CA? It’s a great place! People move to Carlsbad from all over the country because of the wonderful weather, and, increasingly, the business opportunities. However, here are some things to consider if moving to the area.

Three School Systems

In many areas of the country, the school systems follow the municipal boundaries; this is not the case in Carlsbad, and there are three different school systems within its boundaries. The Carlsbad Unified School District (“CUSD”) covers most of the city, including Olde Carlsbad, north Carlsbad, and Aviara. The area east of the La Costa golf course is part of the San Marcos Unified School District, and the area south of La Costa Ave is part of the Encinitas Union Elementary and San Dieguito Union High School Districts. School scores vary across districts, so if one has school age children, one will want to know exactly which school districts apply to a particular home.

Four Sets of Power Lines

The Carlsbad power station near Agua Hedionda Lagoon supplies much of the power for the area. Four sets of high tension wires leave the power station and crisscross Carlsbad as they move north, east and south. The large wires have a lot (i.e., 750,000 volts) of electricity going through them. Because the wires cross so much territory, many homes were built within sight of the lines. Some home buyers have concerns about possible health issues. The power companies maintain there are no health risks, and will even come out and measure the electrical fields around a home. The reports are quite informative, and show how the fields compare to other risks, like standing just a few feet in front of your microwave oven; according the report, the microwave oven subjects one to more electromagnetic fields (EMF) than the high voltage lines. Regardless of the health issue, one should consider the aesthetic and resale issues. Even if one does not mind looking at an “Eiffel Tower,” other buyers will, and experience shows that when it is time to sell a home adjacent to power lines, the home sells more slowly and for less money.

Flight Path

Palomar Airport is a GREAT airport with free long-term parking and a single gate. One can easily get through security in 5 minutes and then hop a prop plane to LAX where one can go anywhere in the world. If travel is important, this is a tremendous convenience. However, for home buying, the flight path should be considered. For example, Bressi Ranch was built parallel to the westerly descent path. Planes heading north will typically take off due west over primarily commercial areas and then fly over the water to LAX. Palomar has become one of the busiest private jet airports, and it also serves as a helicopter landing center. If plane and helicopter noise bothers is a real concern, then buying near the airport is probably not a good choice.

Beaches

Living by the beach is a luxury. Along Carlsbad State Beach, people walk and ride their bikes on the long sidewalks. Breathing the fresh ocean breeze and smelling the salty air is relaxing and healthy. For newer construction with easy access to the water, one should check out Hanover Beach Colony and Poinsettia Cove. For those willing to buy an older home that may or may not be remodeled, then moving to the area of old Carlsbad with the tree-named street (e.g., Chestnut) is a good choice.

For people who have never lived near the water, there are a couple of things that should be explained. First, at different times of the year, the coast can have a thick marine layer of moisture, called the Grey May at that time of year, that may not burn off until noon. Also, the salty air can take a huge toll on a home, especially exposed metal, including windows and lawn furniture. Simply put, there is more upkeep. When buying near the beach, it is important to have a strong home inspection to thoroughly identify all the wear and tear on a home that is normal and that which is deferred maintenance.

Sun Belt

The sun belt is the area a couple of miles inland from the water. According to the climate experts, the technical term is “coastal zone” is different from the area adjacent to the ocean which is called the “marine zone.” Because the moist air heats as it moves over the land, the fog dissipates and the eastern areas still enjoy the cool breezes and a greater amount of sunshine. Because the homes are not on the water, the home cost is more modest and yet are still within a 10 minute drive to the water. For more information about Carlsbad’s climate. (See http://www.EncinitasCarlsbad.com/page.cfm?page=InfoMicroClimates for a discussion of the area’s microclimates.)

55+ Living

Unfortunately, Carlsbad lacks in a variety of senior living options. Though Carlsbad has La Costa Glen, a retirement community with assisted living, the only 55+ restricted communities are mobile home parks. Consequently, many seniors elect to live in one of the many gated communities in Aviara. Senior alternatives are available in Oceanside and Encinitas, so just ask us for more information.

Carlsbad remains one of the best values for coastal living in all of Southern California. However, by addressing the above issues, a person buying a home there will have less risk and greater satisfaction a year or two later. To see comprehensive information about Carlsbad real estate and the topics that go along with it, visit http://www.EncinitasCarlsbad.com.