Choosing to buy a home in San Diego is a big commitment, so you’ll want to find a neighborhood that fits your lifestyle.
That’s why we’re taking this opportunity to take a closer look at different areas throughout the city to help you narrow your search.
Mission Hills began as one man’s dream location and hasn’t lost its charm since.
Here are six reasons Mission Hills could be the perfect place for you.
Here's a quick rundown of our list:
- Reason 1 - Location, Location, Location
- Reason 2 - The Perfect Place for Architecture Lovers
- Reason 3 - Withstands The Ups and Downs of The Market
- Reason 4 - Everything You Need Within Walking Distance
- Reason 5 - Ideal for The “Urban Sophisticate”
- Reason 6 - Safe, Family-Friendly Place
Reason 1 - Location, Location, Location
With views of Old Town, downtown, and San Diego Bay, what’s not to love about the location of Mission Hills?
A pamphlet written by the Inspiration Heights real estate company back in 1907, designed to sell single-home lots in the area summed it up well:
“At your feet lies the Harbor, its mirror of amethyst held safe from the surges of the outer sapphire sea by the gigantic elbow of Point Loma, and the long low reaches of Coronado, whose gleaming line is fretted by the picturesque towers of the world-famed hotel… looking to the west, you see first, the little ‘Old Town’ of San Diego and the hamlet of Pacific Beach, then Mission Bay separated by the ocean by a silvery strand against which the breakers are constantly pounding and foaming.”
A few features have been added to this idealistic description in the century or so since it was written, but you get an idea of the ideal nature of the location.
Most residents drive to work from this neighborhood north of downtown, but the average commute is a mere fifteen to thirty minutes, according to Neighborhood Scout. Public transportation options are also available.
Reason 2 - The Perfect Place for Architecture Lovers
Love a house with a touch of history? Mission Hills is the place for you.
The Mission Hills neighborhood prides itself on a collection of well-maintained and painstakingly restored homes, which provide a walk through history of the area’s biggest names in architecture. More than 320 of these residences have been honored as designated historic homes.
Hearkening back to its earliest phase of development, architectural masterpieces by early 20th century architects including William Hebbard, William Templeton Johnson, Emmor Brooke Weaver, Nathan Rigdon, Richard Requa, and Joel E. Brown are still standing.
If mid-century design is more your cup of tea, homes designed by famous architects such as Lloyd Ruocco, Homer Delawie, John Lloyd Wright and Sim Bruce Richards remain from the 1950s and 1960s.
The neighborhood includes two historic districts, the Fort Stockton Line Historic District and the the Mission Hills Historic District. Mission Hills Heritage is a local organization, which seeks to preserve this unique collection of bungalow, Craftsman, prairie school, Spanish revival, Mission revival, and Colonial revival homes.
Of course, the making of a beautiful neighborhood includes its landscaping, and Mission Hills boasts its own legend, Kate Sessions, who many credit with being responsible for the area’s founding, thanks to her sprawling nursery. Founded in 1910, a smaller version still exits today, supplying the area with gorgeous flora and a cup of coffee when you need a break from beautifying.
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Reason 3 - Withstands The Ups and Downs of The Market
After the 2008 recession, a topic on the mind of many buyers is how well the value of their investment will withstand volatile markets.
Boasting homes with a median list price of $1.17 million and a median sales price of 1.48 million, according to Redfin, it’s an understandable concern.
Using history as a guide is encouraging for potential Mission Hills buyers. The area fared well during the 2008 downturn, and experts are confident this gem of an area will hold its value for a long time to come.
Reason 4 - Everything You Need Within Walking Distance
We’ve already mentioned the short commute, but when you’re not at the office, everything you need is a walk away. Redfin gives the area a 70% walkability score.
Business districts featuring restaurants, watering holes, and various services line West Washington Street from Hillcrest and along Goldfinch Street. You’ll find a number of boutique shops and salons, as well. Nearby Hillcrest boast grocery stores and a number of eateries, as well, and the museums, restaurants, and shops of Old Town are also within walking distance.
If it’s music you’re looking for, Mission Hills is home to one of San Diego’s last independent music shops. Audiophiles can search through the vinyl, CD, and tape collections of M Theory Music, listen to a few samples, and even catch free live shows.
For natural beauty, take a stroll through Pioneer Park, a hub of the community with a haunted history.
Pioneer Park was once home to Calvary Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in San Diego, the final residence of more than 4,000 early San Diego residents. While some of the old headstones can be seen nearby, the bodies themselves weren’t disturbed when it was transformed into the park in 1970.
Reason 5 - Ideal for The “Urban Sophisticate”
Mission Hills boasts one of the best educated populations in the U.S., with 34.9% possessing a Master’s degree or higher.
Most of its residents make their living as executives, managers, or other professional fields, who, in their leisure time, enjoy a thriving cultural scene.
Neighborhood Scout notes those who aspire to the “urban sophisticate” lifestyle are sure to feel right at home in Mission Hills.
Reason 6 - Safe, Family-Friendly Place
Just because Mission Hills has a sophisticated vibe doesn’t mean it isn’t a family-friendly place.
The neighborhood boasts K-8 public schools with 8/10 GreatSchools rating, with students traveling to either Point Loma High School or San Diego High School.
There are also several highly regarded private institutions, including the Francis Parker School. This institution was founded in 1912 and was recognized in 2008 by The Wall Street Journal for sending its graduates to the most prestigious colleges in the country.
Outside of the classroom, family-friendly opportunities abound.
Pioneer Park hosts an annual 4th of July celebration, including a parade inviting kids and their favorite furry friends to dress up and compete for prizes, as well as a free concert.
There are also plenty of holiday celebrations featuring live music, food trucks, and family activities.
During the summer, Pioneer Park host Cinema Under the Stars every Friday night, where residents can sit back and enjoy old movies in the beautiful San Diego evenings.
If you’re interested in exploring the possibilities of buying a home in Mission Hills, please contact me, and I’ll be able to help.
Leave me a comment below – or, call/text me at (760) 297-4539
Your Mission Hills Insider,
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