Rancho Santa Fe Real Estate - Luxury Homebuyer's Paradise in San Diego

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. CA DRE #01490977

 Rancho Santa Fe CARancho Santa Fe (downtown, shown left), in San Diego's North County, is a bucolic and affluent residential community on rolling hills filled with Eucalyptus trees and orchards.


Years ago thousands of Eucalyptus trees were planted to be used for the railroad, but the wood turned out to not be appropriate, but the thousands of trees remain and add to the beauty of Rancho Santa Fe and the countryside.


Located about 5 miles inland from the ocean (adjacent to and east of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Encinitas) and perhaps 20 miles from San Diego, the Rancho Santa Fe community offers the best of suburban living but at a hefty price.


The town is unincorporated and covers an area of approximately 6.9 square miles. If you are seeking a luxury home, gated estate, or horse property in the San Diego area that is over-the-top, you will likely find it here, and have multiple choices. Prices tend to be in the millions



Views in Rancho Santa Fe California


Rancho Santa Fe real estate offers many large luxury homes and private estates, a host of exclusive gated communities, and a style of sophisticated living found in other expensive communities such as Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Palm Beach, the Hamptons....but a more rural, less pretentious, and more private one.


It's not unusual for Forbes polls to name the Rancho Santa Fe real estate market as one of the most expensive zip codes in the US, and a drive through the area will readily show you why this is so.


Rancho Santa Fe homes, on average, are large (many are more than 5,000 SF and even exceed 10,000 SF), lots are often measured in acres, and the privacy (which is highly coveted here) and exclusivity due to the many gated communities and properties contribute to the desirability and priciness of this Southern California gem.


Many residents live here less than full-time, having one or more homes elsewhere in the country or the world; it is estimated that 30 - 40% of the homeowners only live here on a part-time basis.


 The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe in Rancho Santa Fe CaliforniaRancho Santa Fe homes are among the most expensive in Southern California.


Housing styles tend to be Tuscan, Spanish or Mediterranean, but you will find a host of contemporary and traditional properties as well as some architectural styles that are difficult to classify.


There is some new construction, all of it custom or semi-custom, as well as more established properties. The town has strict guidelines regarding building, landscaping and exterior alterations which helps preserve the look and feel of this affluent community.


Many private homes are gated, and gated communities (many with guards) are common - Del Rayo Estates, Fairbanks Ranch, The Bridges, The Rivers Estates, Del Mar Country Club, Cielo, The Farms, and The Crosby Estates are among these exclusive neighborhoods. (photo above is of the popular Rancho Santa Fe Inn)


New luxury home construction in Rancho Santa Fe CaliforniaAverage housing prices in Ranch Santa Fe are well into the millions, and you will be hard pressed to find a detached home for less than $1.5 million, even a tear down. 


Attached Rancho Santa Fe  homes (condos, town homes, duplexes) are far more affordable, in general, but are rare, with limited inventory much of the time. 


Many Rancho Santa Fe homes offer idyllic views of the surrounding countryside and hills, and in some cases properties on the hills have distant ocean views, several miles away.


If you are seeking a truly special luxury home or estate and money is no object, you will find it here. Got $10 million, $20 million or more to spend? Not a problem. At any given time you will likely find a dozen or more homes on the market in excess of $10 million. If you are interested in a large equestrian property you will likely find several of these to choose from.




You can SEARCH FOR RANCHO SANTA FE HOMES FOR SALE to gain a better understanding of the housing market inventory and pricing.


Don't expect to drive around and look at actual Rancho Santa Fe properties for sale. Real estate for sale signs are not permitted, open houses are rare, many neighborhoods are gated, and most sellers require that buyers and their agents be accompanied by the listing agent. For many higher end homes you will need to prove you are financially qualified to buy before you can even preview the property and the listing agent will likely accompany the showing. 


Orchards in Rancho Santa Fe CaliforniaThe Covenant is the original planned community in Rancho Santa Fe and includes the downtown commercial area.


Much of the area was planned by Lillian Rice, a well known architect who has influenced the look and style of many of the Rancho Santa Fe homes and buildings in the area.


All residents have P.O. boxes rather than home mail delivery, and there are no street lights or sidewalks outside of the down town area. Lots, in general,  are at least 1 acre and prices tend to be higher in the Covenant than in other areas of Rancho Santa Fe. Most of the roads have Spanish names.


The other large area of Rancho Santa Fe is Fairbanks Ranch, an unincorporated area (census-designated place or CDP) consisting of 2 gated communities.


Views in Rancho Santa Fe California


Rancho Santa Fe is primarily a residential community but there are a couple of areas, including the town center, that offer a host of upscale shopping, fine dining, galleries and town offices. Mille Fleurs is an upscale dining establishment, located in the heart of RSF's downtown, and generally considered by many to offer some of the best dining around.


The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe also provides a great dining experience (e.g., Morada Restaurant), indoors and out, in a quaint hotel (designed by well-known architect Lillian Rice) that also offers a range of lodging options (companies often host corporate events here) right at the edge of town so there's plenty to see and do without getting in your car.


Rancho Santa Fe CaliforniaA top rated resort in California, The Rancho Valencia Resort, also offers fine dining with a number of options depending on your preferences.


For those interested in art, the Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild is worth checking out, with artists  from around the region (photo above left was one of the outdoor Art Fairs held in the past). You'll find a broad selection of art works and artists to enjoy, to add to or start your art collection.


If golfing is high on your list, there are a number of private golf clubs in RSF, including the Rancho Santa Fe Golf ClubMorgan Run, The Bridges, Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, and The Crosby.


The Del Mar Race Track is located just a few miles away, offering horse racing, concerts, the annual San Diego County fair, and a host of trade shows and other events (home expo, antiques fair, etc.).


Children may attend the elementary and middle public schools, up to grade 8 or a number of private schools  - The Horizon School, Nativity School, and the Diegueno Country School, among others.  Students in the higher grades attend the Encinitas School District located just a few miles away.


Search for Rancho Santa Fe homesIf you are interested in acquiring a luxury home or estate, or equestrian property that is a cut above the rest, why not contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360.


We can discuss your particular needs and budget, and plan a strategy to help you make the right choice of a beautiful home to call your own in Rancho Santa Fe.


Rancho Santa Fe is, indeed, a very special and unique residential community in Southern California, and perhaps the world. 

Posted by

Jeff Dowler, CRS
Certified Residential Specialist / Realtor®

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Comments (7)

Derek and Mariana Wagner
The Artisan Group- Keller Williams Premier Realty - Colorado Springs, CO
The Artisan Group - Colorado Springs REALTORS®

Woah - Real Estate is a crazy business! Our average sales price is at about $220k. Every once in awhile a home pops up for over 2.2m but that is rare - and it sits on the market for quite some time, too.

Beautiful, though - and you did a great job putting it together as well!

Apr 24, 2007 02:41 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks, Marianna. Yep, it is amazing to see some of the prices. It really is a beautiful area. But I prefer living by the coast myself even though it is more crowded and lots sizes are much smaller. I appreciate your comments and compliment.


Apr 24, 2007 02:45 PM