October 3, 2006 at 9:23 AM #7673
I’d like to solicit comments about Vista, CA. Prices seem lower there–is it a good move to buy there? How bad is the commute to I-5? Other comments?
FSDGOctober 3, 2006 at 9:41 AM #37126sdcellarParticipant
Vista is a far away land… Well, at least to those of us in central San Diego. I believe the I-5 south commute is the worst in the county. Well, other than the I-5 north commute when you go home. As an added bonus you have to take the 78 to get to/from the 5.
In areas further south, but still north of the 5/805 split, the commute still comes in to play, but at least each area (Carlsbad, Cardiff, Encinitas) has less of it to deal with and is coastal.
Vista’s a little sprawling, so there are some nice properties with some land, but all the rest doesn’t make it worth it for me personally.
As I recall, you’re moving down here, so the first thing I’d do is find out where you’re going to work. If you’re going to be downtown, it would be even worse.October 3, 2006 at 9:52 AM #37130CarlsbadlivingParticipant
It really depends on the area of Vista. There are nice parts with large lots and custom homes. Other parts of Vista could be mistaken for Tijuana. But if you’re working somewhere down in San Diego, the commute would be horrendous.October 3, 2006 at 10:02 AM #37131speakerParticipant
Vista is at the intersection of commuter hell. 78, 76, I-15, and I-5. If you need to commute anywhere south then you are looking at very long, tough commute.
If had to choose between renting for the rest of my life or owning in Vista, I would leave CA.
There may be nice parts of Vista but there is almost no getting around the bad parts. And the bad parts are really bad.
“End of line.”October 3, 2006 at 10:37 AM #37136
Thanks very much. I suspected that it wouldn’t be an ideal place from which to commute. But it does look like an escape from cookie-cutter hell. I’m still focusing on Carlbad/Oceanside area, but trying to stay away from cookie cutters. I’ve been eyeing MLS 061076019 , for example.October 3, 2006 at 10:39 AM #37135
I partially disagree with the previous posters, and since I used to live in Vista (as well as San Marcos, Temecula, Carlsbad and Encinitas), here is my advice:
-Look at San Marcos. San Marcos is a million times nicer than Vista and there are areas where the prices are comparable. The city of San Marcos has budget surpluses; Vista is dirt poor. Walk into the city building in San Marcos, look around at all the new and planned development and you will be impressed. Not only is there already alot of nice shopping and new communities, but they are planning, get this, a $1 Billion development of the creek area in San Marcos in the next 15-20 years! Discovery Hills homes begin in the low 500s and it is right near this new development area, and the university that has 12,000 students but will grow to 20,000+. Current developments going on within 5 miles of Discovery Hills: An amphitheater at San Elijo (Twin Oaks will open up and you can drive through to Encinitas in 1 year too), an outdoor theater/LA Fitness near the city building, a Nordstroms Rack and others.
-If you must look at Vista, stay south of the 78 and look at Shadowridge. Melrose Dr. is now open at Palomar Airport Rd and you can take that right into Shadowride and avoid the 78. The Vista neighborhoods there are just as conveinant to the 5 as Carlsbad’s Rancho Carillo and Bressi Ranch and 1500 single family homes sell for the low 500s. I lived in that area and it is the best area of Vista. I would never move back though – Vista is not a well run city, they have no money, schools are sub-par and most of the city (Shadowridge and a few other areas excluded)looks like Tijuana.October 3, 2006 at 3:29 PM #37155CardiffBaseballParticipant
Vista has been a flashpoint for illegals and locals clashing.
I sometimes have to take my kid to Vista at 5:00 for baseball practice, and I just hate the drive. I work near UTC and my drive back to Cardiff, is often better than the drive from Cardiff to Vista. There is no good direct route to get there, if you go up 5 and across 78, you waste a lot of miles, and risk 78 being at a standstill.
If you use surface streets, you can find a more direct route but you’ll be sitting at a lot of red lights.
I’ll rent forever before I move too much farther northeast, including San Marcos. I am sure it’s a fine place but for my driving conditions, the hell with it, I’ll rent.October 3, 2006 at 9:16 PM #37184jimklingeParticipant
Funny, I would only live north of the 78, outside of the cookie-cutter tracts of Shadowridge. Their HOA is run by a Nazi regime, where you literally need them to sign off a physical inspection of your house before you can sell it.
Get out past Barsby or off Buena Creek and you’re in a rural countryside that is away from it all. Many quality estates, some a million-dollars-plus.
But yes, you have to drive through downtown to get there. Vastly improved the last couple of years, but still plenty of barrio immediately adjacent.
It’s a great town if you don’t have to travel too far, and appreciate a diverse community. Lots of upside potential, and the best climate on earth, bar none. Ocean breezes without the fog, that’s nice!
Jim the RealtorOctober 4, 2006 at 8:35 AM #37190barnaby33Participant
I just wanted to make sure it got said one more time, the commute from anywhere along the 78 to anywhere in central San Diego is hellish. I used to do it, so I know. It was bad enough that I would work late on fridays!
JoshOctober 4, 2006 at 10:35 AM #37212
The climate in Vista has to be the best in the world as it is past the fog layer and cooler weather of the coast, but just shy of the hotter temps in Escondido and parts of San Marcos. I moved from Carlsbad to Vista to San Marcos, and the weather in Vista was the best.
There is a neighborhood called California Summit that is located directly across from the new Home Depot off of Melrose and is the first neighborhood you hit when you enter Vista from the new Melrose extension. No HOA, no mello-roos, and it ‘officially’ is not Shadowridge. A commute from there to the 5 is 1 minute slower than a commute from Bressi Ranch. You take Melrose 1 mile to Palomar Airport Rd and head west. No 78 involved. An 1800 sqft. home with a big yard built in 1994 is listed there for 529 right now. I bet they’d take high 400s in this market.October 4, 2006 at 2:53 PM #37247
The more I look at Vista, the more I like it. Many thanks for the I-78 warning. Google earth shows the various other streets mentioned in this thread. The Palomar airport road looks like a promising route for an early morning commute to whereever I might work.
I see several things about Vista that I am perceiving as good points:
1. big box shopping stores nearby (cuts down on commutes)
2. small-town feel, open land, particularly past downtown as Jim stated
3. Close enough to the ocean
4. More house/land for the money
5. At a hub to the central areas (despite traffic jams)
6. zoning restrictions that counter the mega-tracts (?)
7. the city website does say good things about schools, but this needs further investigation
I’m not afraid of a hispanic community, so long as there is no gang presence.
Despite the negative comparisons to, say San Marcos, if I’m looking to move somewhere I’ll be happy with for a while, sometimes going when a town at its low is the best tiime.
The pictures of Vista reminds me of Issaquah, WA in some respects.
FSDGOctober 4, 2006 at 4:03 PM #37257
If you live in Shadowridge near Palomar you will never see the open spaces north of the 78, nor the city of Vista downtown area. You simply wont want to go there. Shadowridge is indeed a tract home community, one of the first in North County, so yards are a bit bigger, but homes are older. The city is broke and uninvolved, wheras the city of San Marcos has a very vibrant dynamic going for it, is active and has a budget surplus. This translates into better city services like fire and police, more parks, more community activities and on and on. I lived in each city two years and there is no comparison.
I have said some good things about Vista, but I have to tell you that I would rate it the worst city in North County, even behind Oceanside. There’s not much room for new development, so it is unlikely to get better. Before you buy in Vista, look at areas in San Marcos like Discovery Hills (Close to the 78, but you can also catch Palomar Airport via San Marcos Blvd). Go to the city building in San Marcos and ask about all the development and plans for the city and you will be amazed.October 4, 2006 at 4:49 PM #37265CarlsbadlivingParticipant
I used to live in Seattle and there’s absolutley no comparision between Issaquah and Vista. Nothing in common at all between the two.October 4, 2006 at 9:28 PM #37293October 4, 2006 at 10:13 PM #37298Steve BeeboParticipant
Future SD Guy: “The Palomar airport road looks like a promising route for an early morning commute to wherever I might work.” It might look OK on Google Earth, but it isn’t that great at 8 AM or 5 PM.
Vista isn’t that bad, though, there are plenty of nice areas, but I wouldn’t want to have a regular commute from Vista any farther than to Oceanside, Carlsbad, or Escondido.
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