San Diego’s 7 Wealthiest Neighborhoods in 2023 | 2024

Years ago, there used to be a top-rated television show called “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” With champagne wishes and caviar dreams, viewers were given a taste of the types of lives the very wealthy enjoy. Some were a bit outrageous, but it was all a lot of fun. So, we decided to indulge a little bit of that in this article.

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You may or may not be ready to take that next step up into the stratosphere of San Diego. However, it is entertaining and informative to look at some of the wealthiest neighborhoods. It gives you an idea of what these communities offer. It is not simply expensive homes, either. There are specific characteristics of the most affluent suburbs that cause people to spend millions of dollars to live there. It could be great schools, stunning beaches, or the ability to network with like-minded people that motivates a person to go house hunting in these neighborhoods.

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So, with all of that in mind, we want to introduce you to what we think are the wealthiest neighborhoods in San Diego. We do not like playing favorites, so these are all listed in alphabetical order. All data mentioned is as of this writing.

Here’s a quick rundown of our list:

1) Carmel Valley 

Residents expect a lot for their money, which they get in this neighborhood. Niche.com ranks Carmel Valley as #4 in Best Neighborhoods to Raise a Family in San Diego. Moreover, Carmel Valley is ranked #5 in the Best Neighborhoods to Live in San Diego.

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Citizens are impressed with the educational opportunities for the children, and safety in the neighborhoods of Carmel Valley is recognized. Niche.com gives this corner of San Diego County an A+ overall.

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This is winetasting country. There are several wineries, and they have tasting rooms where you can enjoy some of the vintages. Parsonage winery, Joullian Vineyards, and Cowgirl Winery are some of the places where you can enjoy various varieties of wine.

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Taking a hike in Carmel Valley is an invitation to enjoy some beautiful trails. Garland Ranch Regional Park combines history and nature to give a person a wonderful experience. Earthbound Farms has some demo gardens for you to wander through. There is a special kind of history in the Moto Talbott Motorcycle Museum waiting just for you.

Quick Facts:

  • Population: 56,741
  • Average Household Income: $208,919
  • White-Collar Employment: 95.4%
  • College Education (Associate, Baccalaureate, Graduate): 78%
  • Owner Occupied Housing: 65.6%
  • Median Sale Price: $1,800,000
  • Median Days on Market: 8
  • Redfin.com rates the Carmel Valley Housing Market as Very Competitive

Carmel Valley Links:

2) Del Mar Heights 

This is an upscale neighborhood that happens to be a neighbor of Carmel Valley. The town is part of San Diego’s North city edge city that concentrates on entertainment, business, and shopping.

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Del Mar itself has a reputation for stunning beaches, and Del Mar City Beach is considered one of the best in the area. Many people will include the Del Mar area in their vacation plans. People take advantage of the Del Mar Surf Club to learn how to catch a wave. The San Diego County Fair takes place in this neck of the woods. This is also a great hiking area, and for those who like to put their best foot forward, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, Crest Canyon, and Scripps Bluff Preserve have some of the finest walking trails in southern California.

Quick Facts:

  • Population: 13.133
  • Average Household Income: $237,815
  • White-Collar Employment: 94.3%
  • College Education (Associate, Baccalaureate, Graduate): 80.8%
  • Owner Occupied Housing: 68.7%
  • Median Sale Price: $2,325,000
  • Median Days on Market: 10
  • Redfin.com rates the Del Mar Heights Housing Market as Very Competitive

Del Mar Heights Links:

3) La Jolla 

People will think of the sand and surf when La Jolla comes up in the conversation, and not many people know that this community is also a center for the arts. It all started with the Green Dragon colony in the 19th century and expanded into the La Jolla Playhouse, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and the La Jolla Music Society.

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The neighborhood gets high marks from Niche.com for the public schools, its family atmosphere, and the general safety of the community.

Of course, it has excellent beaches! La Jolla Shores Park happened to be one of the largest. You can have a fun time doing a little snorkeling at the La Jolla Cove, and Windansea Beach is a beautiful place to chill. Other water-based areas include the Sea Caves and the La Jolla Tide Pools, and you expand your knowledge about aquatic life at the Birch Aquarium.

Quick Facts:

  • Population: 38,261
  • Average Household Income: $185,009
  • White-Collar Employment: 95.2%
  • College Education (Associate, Baccalaureate, Graduate): 74.6%
  • Owner Occupied Housing: 62.0%
  • Median Sale Price: $2,520,000
  • Median Days on Market: 14
  • Redfin.com rates the La Jolla Housing Market as Somewhat Competitive

La Jolla Links:

4) North City 

It is not easy to think of this affluent neighborhood as a large strawberry patch, but the area we know as North City used to have a lot of those little red berries under cultivation. Parts of this community are within the corporate boundaries of Rancho Santa Fe and Carmel Valley.

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It is a part of North County, and the activities you can enjoy are all part of the North County culture of San Diego. 

Naturally, there is the ocean, and the Oceanside pier is a beautiful place to visit. Legoland is not far away, and it is a wonderful place for the kids. There is a branch of the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and it has a lot of space for the animals to roam around. The California Surf Museum is well worth a visit. Some of the better restaurants include Fidel’s Little Mexico, Swami’s Café, and Brigantine Del Mar.

Quick Facts:

  • Population: 56,741
  • Average Household Income: $208,919
  • White-Collar Employment: 95.4%
  • College Education (Associate, Baccalaureate, Graduate): 78.2%
  • Owner Occupied Housing: 65.4%
  • Median Sale Price: $2,877,500
  • Median Days on Market: 7
  • Redfin.com rates the North City Housing Market as Very Competitive

North City Links:

5) Point Loma 

Point Loma holds a place in history for being the landing point for the first expedition of Europeans to California. It is often referred to as where California began. It is now a San Diego seaside neighborhood. While it is not as expensive a place to live as some other neighborhoods, Point Loma does have pricey properties, to say the least.

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It is a peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, and you would expect that a lot of the leisure activities center around the water. Liberty Station was once the home of San Diego’s Naval Training Center and has a maritime history with several fascinating museums. We cannot forget the military presence, and the Point Loma Bunkers were once part of San Diego’s military defenses. Shelter Island is not an island at all, and it is a tourist attraction that the folks in Point Loma enjoy for fishing.

Quick Facts:

  • Population: 14,850
  • Average Household Income: $115,433
  • White-Collar Employment: 88.11%
  • College Education (Associate, Baccalaureate, Graduate): 58%
  • Owner Occupied Housing: 38.8%
  • Median Sale Price: $1,690,000
  • Median Days on Market: 14
  • Redfin.com rates the Point Loma Housing Market as Somewhat Competitive

Point Loma Links:

6) Rancho Penasquitos 

The community gets an A+ grade from Niche.com and has excellent schools in addition to welcoming diversity and a community that is just right for families. In addition, residents look at Rancho Penasquitos as a safe community with beautiful parks and great natural outdoors.

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The community is the host of the Mount Caramel Tournament of Bands, where over 30 high school marching bands from San Diego County will compete. Another fascinating parade is the Fiesta de Los Penasquitos parade, which is held during the first week and in May.

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Hikers love this town. The Black Mountain Open Space Park is over 2300 acres of wilderness area with several trails to walk on. Biking is permitted on a few of them. The Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve is a bit of nature in an urban area. A visitor can enjoy 4000 acres of wilderness that is all part of one of the biggest urban parks in America. If you are very thirsty after all that walking, we recommend a beer at the Port brewing Company or perhaps the Knotty Barrel Rancho Penasquitos.

Quick Facts:

  • Population: 56,608
  • Average Household Income: $153,614
  • White-Collar Employment: 92.6%
  • College Education (Associate, Baccalaureate, Graduate): 65.7%
  • Owner Occupied Housing: 69.5%
  • Median Sale Price: $1,360,000
  • Median Days on Market: 7
  • Redfin.com rating of the Rancho Penasquitos Housing Market is currently Not Available.

Rancho Penasquitos Links:

7) Rancho Santa Fe 

It is a relatively small community, but Rancho Santa Fe is ranked by Niche.com as #1 in places with the Best Public Schools in California. So, it is reason enough to want to live there, and Niche.com goes further by giving Rancho Santa Fe a grade of A+ as an area that is good for families.

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Rancho Santa Fe parks are spectacular. Double Peak Park permits a visitor to see as far as downtown San Diego and Catalina Island. If you want to take pictures of the sunset, here is the place. San Dieguito County Park is close by, and it has 5 miles of hiking trails for you to explore.

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The restaurants are a must-visit. Mille Fleurs can give you French cuisine all on the same menu. This restaurant has Michelin stars, so you know it is one of the best. Pony Room American is a popular dining place, and Thyme in the Ranch is a place for vegetarians and vegans.

Quick Facts:

  • Population: 2,657
  • Average Household Income: $279,333
  • White-Collar Employment: 89.8%
  • College Education (Associate, Baccalaureate, Graduate): 72.7%
  • Owner Occupied Housing: 77.9%
  • Median Sale Price: $1,776,000
  • Median Days on Market: 20
  • Redfin.com rates the Rancho Santa Fe Housing Market as Somewhat Competitive.

Rancho Santa Fe Links:

If you move to one of these neighborhoods, you will be living in an upscale environment. The residents are primarily white-collar workers who have baccalaureate and advanced degrees. The schools offer a remarkable opportunity for your children to be prepared for college and great careers. That education is enough to look seriously at these communities.

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However, there is a catch to all of this. The sales price of a house is almost double that of an ordinary home in San Diego County. This is a huge investment you will be making. If you have the money and it appears that you will continue to have a good cash flow, it might not seem like a problem. Nevertheless, you must be careful.

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If you invest in the wrong house, then you are stuck. You will be paying a pretty penny every month. Now, you might think you would be able to resell the house at a profit but do not be sure. There are instances where the owner of a home on the market too long has to reduce the asking price. That is a definite possibility for some of these properties. It will not just be embarrassing if you have to sell that home for less than what you paid for it; you will be selling at a sizable loss. Therefore, it makes sense to be careful every step of the way in buying one of these treasures.

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A Friend in Real Estate Helps

Anyone with common sense knows that buying a house in these expensive neighborhoods is not a DIY project. It would help if you had some assistance from a professional who knows the area and how to negotiate a reasonable price. Unfortunately, not every real estate agent can do that. Intelligent people know that an expensive home, something selling for over $1.5 million, is a daunting challenge for the average agent.

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It happens that nothing about us is average. We are one of the best real estate agencies in San Diego County.

We have no problem negotiating with anybody over purchasing a mega home. We have done that for years for many clients, and we have been able to get excellent prices. You will find out quickly that we are expert negotiators and can save thousands of dollars for our clients.

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We stress that the client is our main concern and not the commission. If the house is not the right place, we will not hesitate to advise a client to walk away from the deal. It is all about seeing that a person gets the best possible deal. We see to it that happens.

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If you are looking for an upscale house, we have the kind of services you can use to make that dream come true. So why not give us a call and find out more about us? We think you will be impressed with how we can be your best friend in real estate.

I would love to help assist you with your home purchase, home sale, or home loan - please feel free to give me a call, text, or use the form below. 

Your Rich Insider, 

Scott

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