Nestled on the hill facing the grand Pacific Ocean, just north of Birmingham Avenue, lies an area of Cardiff (Cardiff-by-the-Sea - links to the city website) known as the Composer District.
This neighborhood of detached and attached homes and condos was developed in the early 1900s by Victor Kremer, a music publisher and land developer.
Because of his fondness for music, the streets in this area are all named after composers (Rubenstein, Gershwin, Bach, Mozart, Liszt, Verdi, Chopin, Vivaldi, Haydn, Schubert, Rossini, and Brahms).
There are several other streets in the Composer District area that migrate from adjacent areas (Summit, Westminster, Stratford, San Elijo, Montgomery). The Composer District is one of the more appealing areas of Cardiff, if not the most desirable. It is believed that Kremer added the words By-the-Sea to Cardiff, although most people simply refer to it as Cardiff.
Unlike its neighbor, the Walking District, which is laid out in grid-like fashion, the roads in the Composer District tend to wind around quite a bit, and there are some terrific ocean and sunset views from many Cardiff homes in this community due to the hilliness, which contributes to the desirability, and the price.
Housing in this area, and Cardiff in general, is expensive. Currently there are 9 detached homes for sale in this area on the market, ranging in price from $1.25 million to $2.995 million; there are 2 attached homes for sale at the moment, priced at $1.059 million and $1.795 million. You will see a variety of homes here, including modern twin homes, large contemporaries, Spanish, Mediterranean, Craftsman and traditional.
Because of the hilly topography, many homes offer dramatic views of the ocean, sunsets, and the coastline. There are very few new construction homes for sale as vacant land is very scarce, and lot sizes tend to be small. This is true throughout Cardiff. But if you really are interested in brand new homes, there are a handful each year - some with terrific views, although you may also find some freeway or other noise as well. The views make up for it, however.
The Composer District is conveniently located near the downtown Cardiff area, so residents have easy access to shopping and restaurants.
The downtown area is small and walkable, and people like it that way, but you will still find a number of fun, and good, restaurants (e.g., Trattoria Positano) , and places to shop, and the beaches are close by
There is a good-sized park, George Berkich Park, that offers a place to relax or play ball. There are no shops or restaurants in the Composer District, as it is almost exclusively residential, save for a few small businesses (e.g., attorney offices).
While the beach is close by, you cannot simply walk across the railroad tracks and coastal highway due to the bluffs - take the main road through town to go west.
You can walk to Swami's Beach (formally in adjacent Encinitas), perhaps the best known surfing beach in the area, if you are so inclined (see photo above left, as seen from the steps descending to the beach, about halfway down).
Younger children, grades K to 3, attend the Cardiff Elementary School on Montgomery; older students grades 3 - 6 attend the Ada Harris Elementary School on Windsor. Beyond grade 6 students go to the Encinitas schools.
If you are interested in living in a quaint, residential area, the Composer District in Cardiff may be just what you are looking for. If I can answer any questions about the housing market in Cardiff, or provide details on the Cardiff homes for sale, please let me know.
Do you need relocation information? Check on my blog Relocation A to Z.
And there is lots to learn about if you are a first time home buyer.
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