As we continue the journey to your new home, here are some more Relocation Tips.
In Part 2 of this 6-part series we focus on Finding Your Community.
You can read Part 1 Carlsbad Relocation Tips - Finding Your REALTOR here.
If you already know, or have a good idea of, the community you hope to live in these relocation tips may be less useful, However, learning as much as possible about an area, and exploring different possibilities from a distance can be a challenge, but a necessary part of the process so you don't waste time on your house hunting trip(s) looking in areas that aren't going to work for you.
For many folks, finding the right community is the most important aspect of their relocation to a new area, even more so than the home itself. But when moving to a new area this may be difficult, particularly when you know nothing about the area (as in my move from Boston to Carlsbad 4+ years ago) other than some names of areas.
If you read part 1 in the Relocation Tips series you already know how to go about finding your REALTOR to help find a new home. And if that part of the process is now complete, you can spend time on the phone or via email learning more from your REALTOR about communities that may interest you, based on what you are seeking, your budget, the schools, and whatever else is important to you.
But a big part of the research is your responsibility, for only you can decide what community "feels" right to you and for what reasons. So here are some Carlsbad relocation tips to help you find your community in the Carlsbad California area,
DECIDE ON A BUDGET
You should, of course, do this whenever you are home searching, and being pre-approved, or otherwise arranging for financing, is essential. It may not be true in some areas, but in my area of Southern California budget can play a very big role is determining what community you can live in, even within a particular town, unless your budget is unlimited. But even if you can't afford the area you would REALLY like, you can probably buy nearby and still enjoy the amenities of the other part of town. In an area like ours, being near the beach versus not is a major budget differential.
Schools are so often a critical part of determining what community to live in, and not only for those with school-aged children. If you MUST live in a particular school district or where a certain school is located this will, as you would expect, limit your community and neighborhood choices. To investigate schools for a given community, check out these sites:
I also recommend visiting the websites for the local schools districts (you can do a Google search for, say, "Carlsbad CA schools"). You will likely find out what schools are where as well as the boundary maps that determine which schools pulls from what streets - do not assume that all the kids in one town go to the same school. Kids in Carlsbad, for example, go to 1 or 3 schools districts depending on location.
Here are a few of the other local school districts in North San Diego County:
- San Dieguito Union High School District
- Rancho Santa Fe School District
- Oceanside Unified School District
- Del Mar Union School District
- Solana Beach School District
- San Marcos Unified School District
Certainly an easy way to garnet lots of information about communities (such as Carlsbad or even within the larger town) is to do Google search, then pull up the sites that talk about the communities themselves. You may find local newspapers with on-line sites as well as magazines.
If you are working with a REALTOR who blogs about local communities (OK my moment for a plug here) you can read their blogs to learn more about the area in general as well as specific neighborhoods they are writing about. And while you are at it, since you are here on ActiveRain, check out the community posts on Localism. And ask your REALTOR to send you information on communities, too.
I also suggest checking out the Chamber of Commerce sites or the websites for the cities and towns of interest. A Google search for City of Carlsbad takes you to the Carlsbad web site.
Try these other sources:
- Zip Skinny (just enter the zip codes for the communities that interest you, like Carlsbad's 92009 - La Costa, for all sorts of details on that community)
- American Towns
A common question asked by buyers is "is this a safe area?" Or "what is the crime like in this area?" The best way to find out is to consult the local police department for up to date information on the specific areas you like.
Some other options include:
- conducting a search on the Megan's Law database to search for registered sex offenders in the Carlsbad California area. Agents have no expertise in this area so if it concerns you, do the research. You can search the Megan's Law Database in other states, too.
- City Rating provides statistics for many communities in the US.
Stay tuned as we head into Part 3 of 6 on Carlsbad Relocation Tips for Finding Your New Home in Carlsbad California (and of course all these tips can apply anywhere you might be looking).
If I can provide more information about Carlsbad real estate and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.
All content copyright © 2009 Jeff Dowler Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits