Do you like to walk? Would you like to live in a neighborhood where you can walk to many of the amenities you want AND to the beach?
The area of Cardiff known as the Walking District is a popular neighborhood, offering terrific ocean and white water views, within an easy walk to the beach and downtown amenities...shopping, restaurants and more (enjoy the visual tour of Cardiff as well - turn up the sound for the music).
Cardiff itself is located on the coast about 20 miles north of San Diego. It is bordered on the south by Solana Beach and the San Elijo Lagoon, and the north by Encinitas (Cardiff is officially a community within the town of Encinitas but has its own zip code - 92007).
The Walking District is south of Birmingham and is bordered by the coast highway and the ocean, to the west, and Glasgow, Edinburg and Mackinnon on the east, at the peak of the hill.
This area of Cardiff (more formally Cardiff-by-the-Sea) is pretty much laid out in a grid, with a number of streets running horizontal along the hill, and several main streets running up the hill (Chesterfield for example).
Because of the topography, many homes, even a few single story properties, can offer some fabulous views of the ocean, whitewater, San Eljio Lagoon, neighborhood, and panoramic coast depending on location.
Homes tend to be fairly crowded together, with small yards, and there is a diverse mix of newly built or remodeled homes on 2-4 levels, and small cottages that have been there for years without renovation.
Cardiff has restrictions that prevent homes above a certain height, which helps to preserve some of the views. These views, and the overall lifestyle, are what contribute to the charm, and the price, of oceanside living in Cardiff.
Housing in the Walking District of Cardiff is expensive, and the inventory tends to be limited. There are both attached and detached homes, and some are condos.
It is fairly common for homes to be built upside-down, with the living area (kitchen, dining, living room) on the top floor to take advantage of the best views.
As of this writing, there are 9 detached Cardiff homes for sale, priced between $995K and $2.1 million; there is a small enclave of 6 new construction homes for sale at the very top of the hill (some have partial views I believe) priced in the $1.5 million range.
There are 5 attached Cardiff homes for sale as of this writing; these range in price from $900K to $1.35 million. If building a home is of interest, there is a small house on a lot (775 SF 2 bedroom) priced at $995K which could be torn down for building, and adjacent to that is another slightly larger cottage priced at $1.2 million where you could also build (subject to town approval) a townhome.
New housing is limited due to a lack of vacant land. A number of homeowners have completed dramatic remodels on their homes to better enjoy the views. Parking can be a challenge, given the small streets, although many homes offer some off street parking or a garage. There are also a number of renters in the area.
Part of the appeal of the Walking District, apart from the views, is the ability to readily walk to the beach and to the shopping and restaurants in town.
While Cardiff is not known as a restaurant mecca, there are some nice eateries within walking distance (Pipes is a well known breakfast place, Trattoria Positano offers dining al fresco with ocean views, and Yogi's is a popular sports bar).
Restaurant Row (The Beach House, The Chart House, Las Olas, to name a few), right along the beach, is a short drive and visible from the Walking District and downtown Cardiff by the Sea.
There is excellent surfing nearby at Cardiff State Beach or Swami's (in Encinitas just to the north), and many more shopping and dining opportunities in Encinitas and Solana Beach.
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 schools in Encinitas.
Whether you are planning to relocate to the area, or simply want to buy a new, or second, home, Cardiff offers a wonderful oceanside Southern California lifestyle. Check it out!
Due to its prices, this part of Cardiff may not be in your budget if you are a first time buyer, but for some it will work.
There are other more affordable areas of Cardiff with 2 and 3 bedroom condos in the $400s east pof the 5 freeway.
Don't hesitate to ask if I can provide further information or answer any questions.