LA COSTA - A Great Neighborhood in Carlsbad, CA

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CalBRE Lic #01490977

 The La Costa Resort in Carlsbad

The La Costa area of Carlsbad (link is to a virtual tour of Carlsbad with music - turn up your sound), primarily zip code 92009, is one of the better known residential areas along the San Diego North Country coast.

The area began growing in 1965 when several thousand acres of land were purchased and turned into a golf course (now part of the La Costa Resort and Spa), homes constructed, and the Rancho La Costa Inn built for visitors.

The original resort has had several owners and was later renamed La Costa, thus giving the surrounding area its name. Formerly a separate "town" the area was annexed and later became part of Carlsbad, but many still refer to it by its original name.

In the early days La Costa had a reputation as a playground for the rich and famous, many from Hollywood, the Rat Pack being the most well-known. A number of celebrities had homes here along the golf course (Robert Young, for example) or rented properties in the area.

Despite several changes in ownership, the resort remains a popular golf, tennis and spa destination and hosts several golf and tennis tournaments annually, as well as weddings and corporate functions. Recently the owners have developed a series of whole ownership condos on the grounds which have proven to be wildly popular, and expensive (averaging $600/SF and more and usable 120 days out of the year - owners can rent them the remainder of the year for income).

La Costa Resort and Spa is also the site of the Chopra Center, developed and owned by Dr. Deepak Chopra, internationally known for his spiritual teachings and alternative medicine.

 Carlsbad beachesThe La Costa real estate market covers a broad range of housing options in many styles, including apartment rentals, condominiums, and detached homes, many with reasonably large parcels of land.

High-end properties tend to be gated, and there are a small gated communities along the golf course.

A number of people own second homes here as well as investment properties. Because of the hilly terrain, many homes offer panoramic and beautiful views of the Batiquitos Lagoon, the ocean, the La Costa Resort, and the back country hills. The proximity to the resort and to the beaches make this area a prime vacation and rental market.

 

 View of La Costa, Batiquitos Lagoon and ocean from the La Costa hills

LA COSTA REAL ESTATE:

As of this writing there were 183 detached Carlsbad homes on the market, ranging in price from $475,000 to $2,750,000; occasionally homes priced in the $3M - $5M range appear on the market as well. For 2006 the median price was $826,00 (essentially unchanged from 2005), with an average price of $877,371 (Note, however, that prices have appreciated 84% since 2001).

A total of 443 detached La Costa homes sold (through the MLS) in 2006 vs. 754 in 2005. Marketing time averaged 63 days, and homes sold at 96% of the asking price, on average, in 2006.

Affordability is an issue in the Carlsbad real estate market, and the California Association of REALTORS reports that less than 10% of the population can afford to purchase the median priced home in the La Costa area of Carlsbad. The good news is that prices, on average, are less than neighboring Encinitas) to the south, and the Aviara area of Carlsbad, to the west, and homes tend to be larger for a comparable price. With the current inventory, buying a home here now may be a good decision, depending on your circumstances and budget.

(8/08 NOTE: Affordability has improved in this area since this article was orignally written).

Depending on where you live, and the current geographic boundaries, your children may go to different school districts. Part of the area is served by San Dieguito Union High School District (Encinitas) and the Carlsbad Schools; others attend schools in the San Marcos School District. A view of the south end of Calrsbad along the coast highway

La Costa offers an idyllic Southern California lifestyle, given the area is primarily residential, has beautiful views, and experiences a very pleasant coastal climate all year round.

There are two small shopping centers as well as upscale shops at the resort. Nearby shopping of every description, however, can be found along El Camino Real, a major thoroughfare running north and south from Oceanside to Cardiff.

The Forum (below left), in South Carlsbad is probably the best known upscale shopping area, but residents have easy access to the Carlsbad Premium Outlets Mall to the north. The area is close to the 5, without the noise, so travel to downtown San Diego (about 30 miles) and to LA (about 100 miles) is easy (except during rush hour traffic).

 The Forum in South Carlsbad

 

 

There are few restaurants in the community itself, the best being at the La Costa Resort (Bluefire Grill), however residents can enjoy upscale dining close by in other areas of Carlsbad including the Village, at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort nearer the coast, and in Encinitas. Vigilucci's (photo below right)offer waterview dining and extraordinary sunsets.

Nearby attractions for residents include miles of Pacific Ocean beaches (South Carlsbad State Beach - photo above right, off coastal Highway 101 to the west), camping facilities, the Flower Fields (off Palomar Road, top right photo), the Museum of Making Music, Legoland, and the historic Rancho Carrillo.

 

 

 

BlueFire Grill at La Costa ResortIf you are searching for that Southern California home near the ocean, with golf, tennis, shopping and restaurants in and around the area, in a primarily residential community, but with easy access to the city and other coastal amusements, then the La Costa area of Carlsbad may be the ideal choice for you.

The diversity of La Costa homes offers many options for first time, move-up, downsizing, and vacation-home buyers.

And for those of you in other parts of the country, relocation to La Costa may give you the year-round lifestyle you are seeking, away from the cold and snow.

By the way, I have lived in La Costa and know the area very well, so I can provide you with much more information and photos of the area if it appeals to you. I'd love to hear from you if I can assist in any way.

 

 

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
851,624
Jeff Turner
RealSatisfied - Santa Clarita, CA
This is well done, Jeff. Love the links to weather. My personal favorite is Legoland!
January 23, 2007 02:59 PM #3
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Robert & Lisa Hammerstein
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Hey Jeff,

 

Great job on this one!  You're sure to earn the respect of those reading your Local Content.  Love your layout.

 

January 23, 2007 03:36 PM #4
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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages Connecticut - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
Jeff, this was very well done, both the write up and pictures are excellent.
January 23, 2007 08:42 PM #5
Rainer
65,693
Lauren Corna
Archway Realty, LLC - Southlake, TX
Broker
Jeff-  Looks like an awesome place to live !!
January 23, 2007 04:20 PM #6
Rainmaker
299,082
Brian Brady
San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751 - San Diego, CA
VA Home Loans/San Diego
Best value on the North County Coast in my opinion
January 23, 2007 08:25 PM #7
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Thank you all for your comments. I have added a few pic and a little information since I first posted it.

I expect I will revise this over time - hard to know how MUCH info to include vs. overwhelming the reader. I tried to cover a range of things that typically are of interest to buyers.

I love living hear, Lorna, and I agree with you Brian - I think the value really is here, which is why we bought originally (and others I have talked to who live here think so too!).

Jeff

January 31, 2007 05:39 PM #8
Rainer
122,017
Christy Powers
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners - Pooler, GA
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent
Wow...those pictures are beautiful. I want to live there....
January 23, 2007 11:01 PM #9
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi Jeff,

I really enjoyed this blog.  Years ago, I almost bought a home in Carlsbad and remember when it was a sleepy small town.  I probably wouldn't recognize it today.

January 24, 2007 07:16 AM #10
Rainmaker
204,699
Chris Tesch
RE/MAX Bryan-College Station - College Station, TX
College Station, Texas Real Estate
Excellent post!  Makes me want to move there!
January 24, 2007 11:47 AM #11
Rainmaker
536,368
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Jeff,

 

Wow, what a great job...  You must be pinching yourself, living in such a spectacular place!  At times, when my friend, Marlene B. and I bike at the beach we say to each other, "Do you have any idea how fortunate we are,...while some people come here to vacation, we can enjoy this most every day."  And Jeff,...I'm not even close to the beach like you. Normally, after loading my bike on the back of the car, I drive about 35-45 minutes (as always depending on traffic of course) and head to the coast.

Great work, La Costa is a place to dream about.  It may be a little out of my league at this point. Congratulations to you on living and delivering the dream to others.

Lynda Eisenmann, Broker

January 24, 2007 03:01 PM #12
Rainer
2,820
Dan Bales
Dan Bales, Broker - San Jose, CA
Broker/Owner GRI RECS e-PRO

Very enjoyable post,

I lived in nearby Encinitas for several years in the early 1970's when La Costa was first being fully developed. I well remember Nixon visiting there (before Watergate) with a bunch of Teamster big shots.  As I recall, their pension fund was one of the main investors in the beginning.

I well remember the poppy fields that covered the rolling hills of Encinitas.  It always made me think of Dorothy and her friends on their way to Oz.

Thanks for a good walk down memory lane.

Dan 

January 25, 2007 07:39 PM #13
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Christy - well come on out. I'll help you find the perfect home!! And provide a referral fee too!

Thanks, Lynda- so when do we see some photos of your area?

Dan- thanks for your comments. Neat story. The history in this area is fascinating...and so recent, as compared to what I was familiar with in Boston.

Chris- there's lots of housing on the market. Your dream home may be here!! Give me a call...LOL

Diane - you're right, it is growing pretty rapidly. We have been here 18 months and there are at least 500 NEW homes that have been built within a mile of my house, and a much larger subdivision a few miles away. Population is now about 95,000. But it still retains much of the feel of a coastal beach town since so much is residential. I love being so close to the beach (can't see the ocean from my house due to a small hill but we can smell the air!

January 28, 2007 01:45 PM #14
Anonymous
Anonymous
Rick
You shouldn't forget about The Chopra Center at La Costa resort. It has helped me get control of my health back. I wish I could move out there. I'd buy from you of course...
February 08, 2007 01:29 PM #15
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Hey Rick. Thanks for your comment. You may have missed it but I did have a link to the Chopra Center in the 3rd paragraph. I have heard great things about the Center but have not yet visited. Someday, perhaps.

So come on out - the weather is great, there's lots of inventory, and this is paradise!

Thanks again for stopping by!

Jeff

February 08, 2007 06:02 PM #16
Anonymous
Anonymous
Bill Turner
 Just recently  I have narrowed my search down to two neighborhoods; La Costa Oaks and Bay Collection.  After reading this blog, I am getting concerned about buying in Carlsbad.  Is La Costa Oaks ok?  What about buying on Circulo Sequoia? Bad idea?  After reading this, I am thinking that I can get a deal on a house. I am not from the area so any sound advice will be helpful.  Thanks.
March 11, 2007 08:16 PM #17
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Bill:

Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. I am curious why you are "concerned" about buying in Carlsbad. Is it pricing? The style of housing? Affordability? Growth?

La Costa Oaks is one of the newer developments in La Costa- a bit further inland, on the east side of La Costa and east of Rancho Santa Fe Road. There are a number of homes there for sale right now. As you probably know, they are fairly new, many having been built in 2005.  The Bay Collection is newer, with some homes still being built. This development is much closer to the beach and some properties have ocean views.

I am not clear on what, if any, concerns you have. Prices seem to be pretty stable and while we do not know what will happen in the future, Carlsbad has been a pretty desirable area for some time. If you are considering a purchase for the long term, I believe Carlsbad is a good investment. On the short term, however, one can never be sure about market appreciation, in many areas of Southern California, or elsewhere for that matter.  It really depends on your personal financial situation and your goals (lifestyle, size of home, proximity to amenities, etc.).

If you would like more details on the properties in your price range that are for sale in Carlsbad, especially in The Bay Collection or La Costa Oaks, please let me know. Both La Costa Ridge (currently being built and sold) and La Costa Greens (mostly built but with some resales too) are part of the larger La Costa Villages development that began with La Costa Oaks. If you need more information about the area, I am happy to provide that as well.

Jeff

March 12, 2007 12:19 AM #18
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