Chula Vista better schools and newer construction

User Forum Topic
Submitted by Scarlett on March 8, 2010 - 12:27pm

Disappointed with the lack of inventory on 56 corridor under 600K, we are thinking of taking a look at the newer parts of Chula Vista,like Otay Ranch/ East Lake, San Miguel Ranch. We also saw there is some new construction e.g. Trellis (street) at WindingWalk. Do you know anything about this development by Brookfields? 500K can buy there a pretty large (for us), nice house.

We are just starting to look in the area and we would like to know where and which are the better schools, and how are those schools rated? Can you recommend neighborhoods? Anything we should keep in mind or avoid? We are in our 40s, white, work in La Jolla area, kids in kindergarden/preschool. Or shall we look elsewhere? We want good schools, and to keep the commute under 45'.

Thanks!

Submitted by UCGal on March 8, 2010 - 12:36pm.

I work in Sorrento Valley and have a few coworkers who live in Chula Vista. Their commute is almost an hour - and that's with coming in very early (before 7) and leaving early.

Just wanted to point that out.

Submitted by Scarlett on March 8, 2010 - 1:44pm.

UCGal wrote:
I work in Sorrento Valley and have a few coworkers who live in Chula Vista. Their commute is almost an hour - and that's with coming in very early (before 7) and leaving early.

Just wanted to point that out.

Thanks for pointing that out. I guess the traffic must be bad at rush hour. The google maps estimated the commute time at right under 40'.

Edit: I just talked with somebody who works in the same building as I and he lives in Otay Ranch 1. He says it takes him 50' at rush hour (uses 805), 40' without traffic.

I guess under 1 hour commute is acceptable.... Sigh....

Submitted by jameswenn on March 8, 2010 - 1:58pm.

I know a few people that live in East Lake and Otay Ranch. The ones that grew up in Chula Vista just love it, but the ones that moved in from other areas don't like the schools, so they use the parochial schools.

I've been in the area, and it looks real dry down there, might have big cooling bills.

Have you considered Mira Mesa or even Santee?

Submitted by meadandale on March 8, 2010 - 2:10pm.

UCGal wrote:
I work in Sorrento Valley and have a few coworkers who live in Chula Vista. Their commute is almost an hour - and that's with coming in very early (before 7) and leaving early.

Just wanted to point that out.

Yep, 805 is a mess from sorrento valley all the way down to chula juana starting at about 3pm and lasting until past 7pm every week day.

I'd never buy a house down there if I had to commute even as far as the 8.

Submitted by briansd1 on March 8, 2010 - 2:48pm.

meadandale wrote:
all the way down to chula juana

"chula juana" should give an insight into why certain folks would never buy down there.

Submitted by Scarlett on March 8, 2010 - 6:22pm.

briansd1 wrote:
meadandale wrote:
all the way down to chula juana

"chula juana" should give an insight into why certain folks would never buy down there.

I don't know, but two of my acquaintances bought in the last year in Chula Vista. And the in-laws of one of my friend live there and they really like it. Asian, and European people if that matters. From what they described, it certainly wasn't the image I had of Chula Vista - I thought it was mostly poor immigrants and such, and that the schools were bad. They live in newer housing (less than 10 yrs old) there, that's why it got me interested. I'd like to have a place like theirs for 400K, even with a 50' commute.

Submitted by Eugene on March 8, 2010 - 6:34pm.

Scarlett wrote:

Edit: I just talked with somebody who works in the same building as I and he lives in Otay Ranch 1. He says it takes him 50' at rush hour (uses 805), 40' without traffic.

You should be able to cut that by about 10 min. if you use the toll road.

Submitted by SkyRanchOwner on March 8, 2010 - 7:49pm.

We looked at the newer Chula Vista homes, but because of the commute time to Sorrento Valley, approx. $5 toll road for the 125, we chose to buy in Sky Ranch in Santee.

They are opening the 52 to connect right below the mountain, so the commute to Sorrento Valley will be about 30 minutes. With no traffic or traffic that is moving, I've made it in about 25-30 minutes from Sky Ranch.

Here is a link.
http://www.skyranchliving.com/

For schooling, the private schools around the area would be best, but there are some decent public schools.

Here is a thread discussing the area:
http://piggington.com/skyranch_in_santee

Submitted by Scarlett on March 8, 2010 - 8:25pm.

SkyRanchOwner wrote:
We looked at the newer Chula Vista homes, but because of the commute time to Sorrento Valley, approx. $5 toll road for the 125, we chose to buy in Sky Ranch in Santee.

They are opening the 52 to connect right below the mountain, so the commute to Sorrento Valley will be about 30 minutes. With no traffic or traffic that is moving, I've made it in about 25-30 minutes from Sky Ranch.

Here is a link.
http://www.skyranchliving.com/

For schooling, the private schools around the area would be best, but there are some decent public schools.

Here is a thread discussing the area:
http://piggington.com/skyranch_in_santee

Thanks for the links. Yes, Santee is certainly an interesting area. Any idea how reasonable would a private school in your area be? The houses in Skyranch are not cheap like in Chula Vista, plus high HOAs, so I wouldn't save much money, if at all - certainly not enough to send my kids to private school on that, I think. In general I think Skyranch is still a bit overpriced for the public school quality. Do you think it has reached bottom?

Submitted by AN on March 8, 2010 - 11:46pm.

It sounds like you want new, big, and under $600k. If that the combination you're looking for, there's not much w/in 30-45 minute (normal w/ traffic) drive. You can go w/ either Santee or Chula. Both have new, big, and under $600k. But the school is definitely not to the same level as PUSD or SDUHSD. I personally would pick Chula over Santee, due to the proximity to the ocean and down town. But I would never want to commute more than 20 minutes (w/ traffic) to work.

Submitted by Jim Jones on March 8, 2010 - 11:48pm.

Jameswenn,

Can you comment on what your friends believed the difference in quality of schools was? From what area did they come from initially?

Submitted by Scarlett on March 9, 2010 - 9:03am.

AN wrote:
It sounds like you want new, big, and under $600k. If that the combination you're looking for, there's not much w/in 30-45 minute (normal w/ traffic) drive. You can go w/ either Santee or Chula. Both have new, big, and under $600k. But the school is definitely not to the same level as PUSD or SDUHSD. I personally would pick Chula over Santee, due to the proximity to the ocean and down town. But I would never want to commute more than 20 minutes (w/ traffic) to work.

Not exactly new and big. I want something relatively new (less than 15 years), 2000-2300 sf (not any bigger than that) and around 500K, preferably under, definitely not 600K and definitely not high MR (less than 300/mo) or high HOAs, and good school district ( not necessarily PUSD or del Mar). So a relatively average SFR. And I compromised on commute, to 45' instead of 20' what we both have now (work in La Jolla, rent in UTC).

I don't think I am asking for too much, am I? I just don't know much about the rest of San Diego except UTC, Carmel Valley, Penasquitos, RB. There must be areas that satisfy those things, esp. school district. It can't be all that bad.

Submitted by nla on March 9, 2010 - 9:21am.

I lived in Eastlake since 1999 and work in Sorrento Valley/UTC area. We lived in Mira Mesa prior to coming to Eastlake. I can't say we "really love" this area but we can't say we hate it either. There are things that I don't like, but there are things that me and family love as well.

I didn't grow up here in the States. I came here after college. When I was single I lived all over the country and it's only when I got married that I settled here in San Diego. We lived in Mira Mesa for less than a year and then we moved to Eastlake. So I really can't compare Eastlake to any other sub-urban neighborhood here in San Diego.

Commute:
I worked 2-3 days a week from home but if I have to go to the office, I try to avoid the "rush hour" period. But most of the times if I leave at 8 AM, I will be at the office at around 8:40. I've lived here in the South Bay long enough that I studied the traffic pattern really well and know what lane to take during traffic. Example of this is on 805 near Plaza, I take the slower lane since it seems faster. Another example is near Balboa and Clairemont. Just before Balboa, I navigate toward the slower lanes and if I see break light ahead, I take the Balboa/Clairemont exit lane, and then merge back again to the freeway. It probably saves me about 10 minutes doing this.

I always take 805 going north and 5 (then 94 then 805) going south. I used to take the Toll Expressway but it's very expensive and can't justify the $2.25 that I have to spend for saving about 5 minutes of my commute time.

Submitted by AN on March 9, 2010 - 9:27am.

Scarlett wrote:

Not exactly new and big. I want something relatively new (less than 15 years), 2000-2300 sf (not any bigger than that) and around 500K, preferably under, definitely not 600K and definitely not high MR (less than 300/mo) or high HOAs, and good school district ( not necessarily PUSD or del Mar). So a relatively average SFR. And I compromised on commute, to 45' instead of 20' what we both have now (work in La Jolla, rent in UTC).

I don't think I am asking for too much, am I? I just don't know much about the rest of San Diego except UTC, Carmel Valley, Penasquitos, RB. There must be areas that satisfy those things, esp. school district. It can't be all that bad.


Maybe you should check out Mira Mesa. School should be about the same to slightly better than Chula Vista and Santee. Commute should be 10 minutes to La Jolla. There are 2000-23000 sq-ft houses built in the last 10-30 years for around $500k. MM don't have MR and tax rate is 1.08%.

Submitted by SkyRanchOwner on March 9, 2010 - 9:33am.

Scarlett,

That's a tough decision.

The HOA up here is high at $342, but there is no Mello Roos. HOA is not tax deductible, yet Mello Roos is only deductible in certain instances.
http://www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/faq/ne...

The private schools can be around $200-$400/month depending on which school and Christian vs. Catholic. You would have to look around.

Sky Ranch Crestview would be in your price range. They currently have 3 homes left in the current phase, ranging from $526k - $561k.
http://lennar.com/New-Homes/California/S...

They range in square footage from 2884 to 3270. All have 3 car garages.

I've heard of kids going to Carlton Oaks Elementary public school and really liking it.
http://www.greatschools.org/california/s...

Also, here is the popular Santee public high school, West Hills:
http://wolfpack.guhsd.net/
Which has a strong athletic and academic program.

Here's a list of Christian schools to call and get pricing:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1...

Here's a list of Catholic schools to call and get pricing:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1...

Here is a list at GreatSchools.com of Santee schools and reviews/ratings:
http://www.greatschools.org/california/s...

Hope this helps...

Submitted by blahblahblah on March 9, 2010 - 9:34am.

How much is your time worth? How much is time spent with your family worth? Any time you're looking at 1.5 or more hours in a car, 5 days a week, that's a significant amount of time away from your family, it's a significant amount of time you can't be shopping, exercising, cleaning the house, etc... That time has to be made up somehow. Also, 40000 a year die in traffic accidents and many times that are seriously injured. Every minute you spend in a car increases your chances.

No amount of money would make me live with a commute like that. I would live in an apartment or small condo next to my work if I had to to be able to spend more time with my family. You can get a very nice townhouse around Sorrento Valley for under $600K. To each his own, though.

Now if you could work in Chula Vista or Eastlake, living down there could be great. There are some beautiful houses, great views, and nice new shopping areas down there now. I just wouldn't want to commute from there to anywhere very far outside.

Submitted by creechrr on March 9, 2010 - 9:47am.

Scarlett wrote:

I don't think I am asking for too much, am I? I just don't know much about the rest of San Diego except UTC, Carmel Valley, Penasquitos, RB. There must be areas that satisfy those things, esp. school district. It can't be all that bad.

No, it's not all that bad. You really should get out and investigate for yourself. You may find that the area is or isn't acceptable once you've laid eyes on it.

Chula Vista is more diverse than it gets credit for. Sunbow and Rancho Del Rey/Terra Nova (91910/91911) are pretty nice "middle class" areas. I currently see three 2,200 + sq ft houses listed in the $400s in Sunbow on Redfin.

Moving farther east (91914) there is Rolling Hills Ranch and San Miguel Ranch. Here you find fairly new or new construction. The area is pretty quiet but, farther away from freeway (non-toll road)access.

The schools ratings vary but, there are some pretty good ones in there. I think the key for those with children is to be east of the 805.

You may even want to consider the Bonita/Sunnyside area, just north of Rancho Del Rey. There are some pretty nice areas there too and a little closer to work.

Please go see for yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised or at the very least, you'll confirm the area isn't for you.

Submitted by meadandale on March 9, 2010 - 9:49am.

Scarlett wrote:
And I compromised on commute, to 45' instead of 20' what we both have now (work in La Jolla, rent in UTC).

I'd suggest that you get a motel room (or stay with a friend) in Eastlake or similar parts of Chula Vista and try driving to your job one morning during the week--then ask yourself "could I do this everyday?"

I seriously considered moving to Escondido or Temecula at one point when I work(ed) in Sorrento Valley. Getting stuck in WEEKEND traffic in both places during my house hunting trips convinced me that I'd never be able to handle the commute 5 days a week without going all "Falling Down" on my fellow motorists.

Note that a 20 minute commute on city streets (e.g. UTC->La Jolla) is not even remotely similar to a 45 minute commute on a gridlocked freeway. On city streets you are actually moving. Sitting in stop and go traffic crawling along at 5-10 MPH for tens of miles is a lesson in frustration and stress.

My stress level has dropped by a factor of 10 since I started working from home and don't have to deal with the cluster&$#$ of getting to Sorrento Valley from Mission Valley anymore (and back home).

Submitted by Scarlett on March 9, 2010 - 10:01am.

meadandale wrote:
Note that a 20 minute commute on city streets (e.g. UTC->La Jolla) is not even remotely similar to a 45 minute commute on a gridlocked freeway. On city streets you are actually moving. Sitting in stop and go traffic crawling along at 5-10 MPH for tens of miles is a lesson in frustration and stress.

I know... I owned in North RB (right next to Lake Hodges) and I know how bad 56 was backed up at rush hours. It WAS 45'. And we were tied to rush hours because we had kids in daycare. Now they are a bit older and they won't have to endure the whole commute together with us. It's true I hated it and vowed to never do that again, but then, I'd have to rent forever here in SD, or buy a townhome (I got sick & tired too of a having a townhome that's too small and a pesky Home Association). And I feel I am throwing away every month over $2000 to rent a townhome in UTC... when I could gain equity. I was hoping the houses will drop further, and it will be enough inventory in PUSD.....

Submitted by Scarlett on March 9, 2010 - 10:25am.

Thank you all for great, detailed replies and very useful suggestions! Meadandale, CONCHO, You made me think more about the value of my time and the time spent with family. I will go on my own driving through different boroughs, and then to open houses. I am actually going to a friend's house-warming party in Otay Ranch in 2 weeks and I'll take the time to check out the neighborhood. And Mira Mesa, I have looked at it a few years ago, but it seems since then the ratings of Mira Mesa High have improved...Worth a 2nd look, plus I know the area somewhat (from shopping there). I did look there at house way back when, to Westview area and around Capricorn way, and near the Ice Arena...(if I recall corectly).

Submitted by Scarlett on March 9, 2010 - 10:59am.

Thanks a lot for all the links, SRO! You are very well documented!

SkyRanchOwner wrote:
Scarlett,

That's a tough decision.

The HOA up here is high at $342, The private schools can be around $200-$400/month depending on which school and Christian vs. Catholic. You would have to look around.

Sky Ranch Crestview would be in your price range. They currently have 3 homes left in the current phase, ranging from $526k - $561k.
http://lennar.com/New-Homes/California/S...

They range in square footage from 2884 to 3270. All have 3 car garages.(...)
Hope this helps...

Crestview is almost too big but really nice. I saw some plans and pics.

Wow, private school only a few hundred a month? Really? I guess I am used to hear about the super expensive La JOlla private schools, which are more in the range of couple thousand a month (or close).

thanks, I'll check the area out first, test the commute... I work in downtown LJ, so from the 5 exit 805 I have another 15' on city streets....

Submitted by AN on March 9, 2010 - 11:01am.

Based on API score, MMHS is ranked 8, Challenger Middle School is ranked 9, while Wangenheim Middle School is ranked 8. Elementary schools north of MM Blvd. are either 9 or 10.

So, school wise, the 3 area is quite comparable. You're basically trading commute time for larger & newer houses. One thing to remember when comparing these areas is that, most of MM don't have HOA (those that do are very low ~$40/month) and all of MM don't have MR. One example would be, lets say an a house have $350/month in HOA + MR and the house sell for $360k. That's equivalent to another house that does not have HOA/MR selling for $450k.

Submitted by Scarlett on March 9, 2010 - 2:35pm.

CONCHO wrote:
How much is your time worth? How much is time spent with your family worth? Any time you're looking at 1.5 or more hours in a car, 5 days a week, that's a significant amount of time away from your family, it's a significant amount of time you can't be shopping, exercising, cleaning the house, etc... That time has to be made up somehow. Also, 40000 a year die in traffic accidents and many times that are seriously injured. Every minute you spend in a car increases your chances.

True, when you put it that way, 1.5 hrs a day sounds like a LOT....but realistically wherever I'd buy (a decent size SFR in 500K range) I'd have to commute at least 30' to work (e.g. PQ, CMR, 4S, Sabre Springs). SO the difference doesn't become THAT big. It would be 1.5 hrs vs 1 hr. daily. Just half an hour extra daily.

It's not like I have a choice to live somewhere next to work in a decent place that I can afford. If I had, I could certainly say 1.5 hrs a day it's not worth it.

Edit: Our first priority is the schools, which is why we looked first in PUSD. Just too little inventory and still, IMHO, overpriced. At least there you can say that you get excellent schools, for commuting longer.

Many people really don't think that commuting 45' one way is a big deal, in fact they didn't even bother mentioning it to us when we were looking for our 1st house, and they shrugged when we were complaining about the commute. I changed workplaces, but still, I couldn't find ONE to say that (s)he'd rather commute less even if that makes for a much smaller/pricier house. EVERYBODY wants the big house and good schools, commute be damned. I have working moms co-workers that live in Temecula and Vista and it takes them about 1 hr one way. They don't complain (like I was).

Submitted by blahblahblah on March 9, 2010 - 3:02pm.

It's not like I have a choice to live somewhere next to work in a decent place that I can afford. If I had, I could certainly say 1.5 hrs a day it's not worth it.

Depends on what you mean by a "decent place". To me a modest condo 5 minutes from work would be more decent than a house with a big yard 30 minutes away. That's 50 more minutes a day I'd have to myself, 50 more minutes a day I wouldn't be subjecting myself to the risk of a car accident, 50 minutes a day I wouldn't be sitting on my ass instead of walking around, etc...

50 minutes a day
250 minutes a week
1000 minutes a month
12000 minutes a year (200 hours)

How much are you paid an hour? Let's say you make $50 an hour, cutting out 50 minutes of commute per day is equivalent to a $10K/year raise.

Just something to think about. I do think that in the future more people will think as I do. I grew up in a "good school district" in the suburbs with parents that drove long commutes to work. They divorced when I was 8. Both developed substance abuse issues. One died at 67 and the other is very unhealthy at 73. They spent a lot of their 30s and 40s in cars, driving. A lot of my fellow students from that good school district turned out to be total losers, including many of the top students.

Submitted by sdduuuude on March 9, 2010 - 3:15pm.

All this talk of 1.5 hours on the road every day just makes my head spin. I can't imagine. Just because others are doing it doesn't mean it is a good lifestyle choice. What are you really buying with that ? Sheesh.

All commutes from Clairemont are quite easy, except maybe coming home from Sorrento Valley. Just getting to a south-bound freeway from SV takes 5-15 min.

The prominent parts of Clairemont usually put people off to the area, but get off the big streets (Balboa, Clmt-Mesa Blve, Clmt Drive, etc.) and you'll find some well-build houses in great neighborhoods. Some parts of Clairemont are a disaster, but there are some nice parts, for sure. If you start shopping here, I'll even help. I'm not a realtor, but I'm happy to give my two-cents on specific houses in the area.

Consider a canyon lot in Clairemont and send the kids to private school. You'll have a 5 or 10 min commute into La Jolla. Or, give the Clairemont schools a try first, then move them to a private school if you are unhappy. Or, try to choice them into a UC or La Jolla public school.

We live in Clairemont but our kids don't go to school in Clairemont so I can't comment on the schools here, but our neighbors seem quite content with their schools, and a couple have choiced into UC. Everyone knows they aren't North-County schools, but the lifestyle trade-off makes it all better. To the kids, it is just school, anyway. The kids will never know what they are missing. The biggest difference is you won't be intertwined with more "upscale" parents, which is both good and bad.

For a more upscale lifestyle than Clairemont, check out University City. Could probably find a nice place that is NOT on a canyon there. The public schools there are, by most accounts, quite good. There is more traffic in and out of UC that Clairemont, but it still has that nice, central location.

Lots of Clairemont folks try to choice into the UC schools, or into the La Jolla schools, too. If you do, it's a total score. You get "North-county" quality schools with the house payment and incredible central location of Clairemont.

Submitted by Scarlett on March 9, 2010 - 3:28pm.

CONCHO wrote:

Depends on what you mean by a "decent place". To me a modest condo 5 minutes from work would be more decent than a house with a big yard 30 minutes away.

I am not exactly disagreeing with you, but I do work in La Jolla just by the ocean - think La Jolla Cove,Coast Blvd, Windnsea, BirdRock. Any idea how much a 3-4 bdr place IS there? either to rent or to buy. We can't afford it. THAT would be in 5' from work. If it's not in LJ I already have to commute 15-20'. We chose to rent in UTC,that was the closest we could find.

Submitted by sdduuuude on March 9, 2010 - 3:30pm.

And dont EVEN get me started on lot sizes.

Here's a couple. Asking aren't quite under 600K on all of them, but closing price may be.

http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Diego/4215-...
Note - 8300 sq. ft. lot.

A little small, but a nice lot:
http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Diego/4617-...

Big place. Canyon, but freeway noise.
http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Diego/4850-...

Like everywhere else - inventory problems. Watch this market, though, and you may find a 4 BR, 2 Bath, 2-car garage house at 1700 sq. ft on a nice, quiet, 8,000 sq. ft canyon lot for $500 - $550.

Submitted by Scarlett on March 9, 2010 - 3:31pm.

sdduuuude wrote:
Consider a canyon lot in Clairemont and send the kids to private school. You'll have a 5 or 10 min commute into La Jolla. Or, give the Clairemont schools a try first, then move them to a private school if you are unhappy. Or, try to choice them into a UC or La Jolla public school.

We live in Clairemont but our kids don't go to school in Clairemont so I can't comment on the schools here, but our neighbors seem quite content with their schools, and a couple have choiced into UC. Everyone knows they aren't North-County schools, but the lifestyle trade-off makes it all better. To the kids, it is just school, anyway. The kids will never know what they are missing. The biggest difference is you won't be intertwined with more "upscale" parents, which is both good and bad.

A little off the topic, I would REALLY LOVE to know about how much we are talking in terms of a good private school? Is it like, less than $500 per month for example, or it's over $1000? Any idea?

Submitted by sdduuuude on March 9, 2010 - 3:45pm.

My kids are not in a private school, but I did check once. Google is your friend.

If I recall, the Catholic high school in Carmel Valley was about 10K per year for the first kid. I think there are multi-kid discounts. Private middle schools ranged from well over 10K up to 20K per year per child. Bishop was on the high end.

Personally, I think UC schools would be just as good, if not better then private. Check old threads for discuissions about this.

Private school for anything earlier than Jr. High seems a total waste to me.

I think the most important thing you want in a school is "no violence." Other than that, is it really going to change your kids life that much ?

Sometimes private schools can attract kids and families that don't "fit in" very well. Some parents have kids with behavior problems, but are in denial, and pull their kids into private school, as if it is the school's fault for suggesting the kid may have some well-documented condition.

Some speculate that private school parents feel they can buy special treatment for their kids.

Sometimes class sizes at private schools can creep up a little higher than you might want, too.

I just think paying to get into a school with higher test scores by spending an extra 60 to 90 minutes in the car every is too much to pay.

Send them to a marginal school in Clairemont and spend half of your extra hour reading to them and they'll be better off than in any Poway school.

Submitted by UCGal on March 9, 2010 - 3:57pm.

I'm with sdduuuude here. I live in UC and a lot of the kids who attend Curie, with my kids, are from Clairemont - they choiced in. Based on anectdotal evidence it must be VERY doable. Probably 20% of my kids classmates live in Clairemont.

If the choice thing doesn't work for you, but you pick Clairemont - consider public/charter schools like Muir - it's a K-12 school over in the Mt. streets... I have friends who send their kids there - and LOVE it.

For location/price/etc Clairemont is a good value.

Clairemont doesn't have "new" houses... but many have been fixed up very nicely. Since you're not looking for the 3500 sf mcMansion - you'll find a lot of 1500-2200 sf houses in Clairemont on bigger lots. And commute to La Jolla is easy.

I also agree with AN - I used to think of Mira Mesa schools as being crappy... But based on things he posted, I went and re-looked at it... They're pretty darn good, these days. Not perfect - but a lot better than they used to be.

When I first got out of college I lived downtown (before it was trendy) and commuted to Oceanside. It was a reverse commute - 40 miles, 40 minutes... But I swore I'd NEVER commute more than 30 minutes each way again. If I wanted to go to dinner with friends I had to factor in the time to commute home, time to primp, time to get back out again... and would end up having to leave early just to make it work. Soooo not worth it.

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