Skyranch in Santee

User Forum Topic
Submitted by sunny88 on March 1, 2009 - 12:43am

The homes at Skyranch in Santee are very "reasonably" priced compared to other new homes in San Diego and there is no Mello Roos. I would like to see if anybody in this forum has bought a home in this development or if anybody has an opinion if they are a good value. Also, will home prices in Santee go up faster than other parts of SD?

Submitted by santeeman on June 14, 2010 - 1:01am.

I think your comments about schools in Santee are a little off. You are comparing apples to oranges. You can't say that areas like CV and Poway and whoever have much better public schools across the board.

IMO Maybe they have higher test scores or better facilities but, last time I checked they weren't giving out bachelors degrees upon 8th grade graduation.

The large majority of population of children these schools have come from affluent families. These parents have money to send their kids to good preschools and tend to be educated and educate and stimulate their childrens learning.

IMO The schools can't take all the credit for high scores when there pool of students come on the whole much better prepared . Those kids are much easier to teach.

Santee families as you well point out tend to be more middle to upper-middle income. With areas of low income housing units. With less education and opportunities for their kids. So when a Santee school comes up with over an 800 api for their low income or poverty level population, it reflects how well our school is working. Not just for the privileged, but for all their students. That shows true hard work and effort that our teachers put in to make a difference. That's what make our schools so good, hard working teachers who care.

800 plus API averages Santee schools and improving every year. With schools possibly breaking the 900's next year. All with less money than Poway and CV.

I am not wealthy but I certainly wouldn't spend 200k more on a home in CV or Poway just to get my kid in a school with test scores that are not much higher than in Santee. IMO It's about value. It's simply not worth it.

Submitted by flu on June 14, 2010 - 5:58am.

santeeman wrote:
I think your comments about schools in Santee are a little off. You are comparing apples to oranges. You can't say that areas like CV and Poway and whoever have much better public schools across the board.

IMO Maybe they have higher test scores or better facilities but, last time I checked they weren't giving out bachelors degrees upon 8th grade graduation.

The large majority of population of children these schools have come from affluent families. These parents have money to send their kids to good preschools and tend to be educated and educate and stimulate their childrens learning.

IMO The schools can't take all the credit for high scores when there pool of students come on the whole much better prepared . Those kids are much easier to teach.

Santee families as you well point out tend to be more middle to upper-middle income. With areas of low income housing units. With less education and opportunities for their kids. So when a Santee school comes up with over an 800 api for their low income or poverty level population, it reflects how well our school is working. Not just for the privileged, but for all their students. That shows true hard work and effort that our teachers put in to make a difference. That's what make our schools so good, hard working teachers who care.

800 plus API averages Santee schools and improving every year. With schools possibly breaking the 900's next year. All with less money than Poway and CV.

I am not wealthy but I certainly wouldn't spend 200k more on a home in CV or Poway just to get my kid in a school with test scores that are not much higher than in Santee. IMO It's about value. It's simply not worth it.

Yeah, but as I'm finding out with a $342/HOA, and not-so usable 1 acre, and still a run of a mill tract home around $800k and even $900k in Santee, those aren't necessarily saving folks $200k either. Now if you're talking about those homes around $600k, I can see your point.

Submitted by jameswenn on June 14, 2010 - 8:20am.

With the inflation of home prices, private school tuition isn't that expensive as it once was.

I wouldn't let public schools drive a home purchase since private schools are options.

Submitted by santeeman on June 14, 2010 - 10:13am.

Yeah, I was just making a point about these schools in general.

I am in the boat with the others who believes this person in the market to sell these homes.

Submitted by PKMAN on June 14, 2010 - 10:13am.

This thread has developed into 2 distinct topics; Santee as a city and Sky Ranch as a community.

I've lived in the North La Mesa (Lake Murray Blvd by Navajo) area for nearly 10 years, about 15 years ago, and traveled to Santee frequently for shopping. Now I'm also a Santee resident since last year, residing in the Riverwalk community. I can tell you from a personal experience that Santee has come a long way.

It's true that Santee is still not as modern-looking as cities along the I-15 (MM, Poway, RB, RP, SR or CM). There are still many old strip malls and commercial properties, but Santee is modernizing rapidly. In addition, Santee is also committed to the recreational needs of its citizens, developing/improving several parks and facilities, such as the YMCA sports complex, which is just across the street from my community.

Shopping is great and much less congested than MM or CM. Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buys, Kohl's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Costco are all within 1/2 mile of each other. There are very few high-end or boutique shops in Santee, as most businesses target mid-income families.

As for dining, it's pretty much the same picture with mostly franchise/chain restaurants, such as Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Applebees, etc. But there are many local eateries that are quite good as well.

Santee is not LJ and will probably never be, but I've no doubt that in another 10-15 years it will be as modern and sophisticated as the above-mentioned cities along the I-15. Older properties along Mission Gorge, Cuyamaca, Carlton Hills and Magnolia are being torn down and replaced with new buildings. The 52 extension (scheduled to complete by the end of this year) will greatly relieve the traffic on Mission Gorge, to avoid the same fate as MM Blvd and CM Rd (congestion all day long).

Now as for Sky Ranch, it's really about what's important to you. I looked at it and liked some of the properties but to me convenience to shopping, accessibility and low monthly HOA are more important than the exclusiveness of being on a mountain top or a great view. There aren't too many similar new communities in SD nowadays so for some it's worth the price.

Submitted by flu on June 14, 2010 - 10:30am.

jameswenn wrote:
With the inflation of home prices, private school tuition isn't that expensive as it once was.

I wouldn't let public schools drive a home purchase since private schools are options.

With good private schools, it's definitely a lot if you plan on doing this from k-12..We're talking close to six figures.

And it does become an issue when you have a $340-50/month HOA. There isn't any "savings" going on if you purchase an $800k SkyRanch home and on top of that pay another $340-50/month HOA on top of that. It's not adding up from the argument of "it's cheaper to live in SkyRanch/Santee, and the savings you'll get you can send your kids to private schools"... we haven't even talked about the extra costs in utilities/maintenance from such a gnormous home with that 1 acre, usable or not... I wish we had the data is to how many folks in these SkyRanch communities are actually sending/planning to send their kids to private school k-12, or if these even looked at how much that's going to cost.

I don't doubt the views are great, but you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Submitted by flu on June 14, 2010 - 10:30am.

Hobie wrote:
kcal09 wrote:
$342 HOA covers landscaping and maintenance of common areas. Unfortunately, there are no facilities such as tennis court or swimming pool so the monthly fee seems to be quite high. Granted, there is no MR but over $4k annually is close to a hidden MR.

HOA Landscaping costs are likely to rise as plants mature and require more time to maintain.

It's also going to rise if there aren't enough people buying in the community to support the projected per home cost that was estimated assuming X percent occupancy...It's also going to rise in a newer community if the HOA is underfunded.

Submitted by sunny88 on June 14, 2010 - 11:07am.

Santee is clearly not as bad as many people think it is. Many years ago it was regarded as the source of racial discrimination in the East County. Now, Santee is more diverse and the majority of people have become more tolerant. The city has grown to a more modern place with excellent shopping and dining. Cost of living is affordable compared to other places in SD. As for "Skyranch", it is the first step of a builder to introduce higher end homes in antee and they have been quite successful in doing this. Many of the owners at "Skyranch" are very happy with their new homes.

Submitted by natty on June 14, 2010 - 11:34am.

took a trip to skyranch with the missus:

- View in the afternoon facing due north, better than south west or western views.
- Overall view, good, but not great.
- At our age, waiting 10-15 years for Santee to 'maybe' come along is not worth it for us.
- Info provided from a daily commuter of the area: The traffic flow on 52 heading west and east during rush hour is not reliable or ideal. Connection to 67 should not alleviate this.
- 'Feel' of neighborhood(and we drove/walked entire area)not one of price range places were sold for or are trying to be sold for.
-Costco, best buy, large chain commercial businesses & restaurants, do not enrich a community.
-Santee is Ramona adjacent, not La Jolla. Over looking old run down houses or apartment buildings, properties with multiple cars rotting away in back yard, etc...

appreciate the opinions, and Sky ranch Realtor providing info, but this area is not for us-and being familiar with the area and 'growth' of last 15 years, we knew this going in, but felt it necessary to at least give a look.

Submitted by santeeman on June 14, 2010 - 12:19pm.

It's actually a very nice community.

"The La Jolla of East County" comes from the city of Santee's government. Santee will NEVER be La Jolla. La Jolla is La Jolla, because it's at the beach. The phrase was coined to compare their vision of Santee to being the "Jewel of East County".

In East County, that is already sort of the idea in most peoples minds.

There are many places in East County that the home prices are in the 800k plus price range. In Lakeside there is Eucalytus Hills. El Cajon has Mount Helix. Alpine has its secluded gated home communities, and of course there are more I haven't listed.

Santee has none of those kinds of communities. Many of these areas don't even have high performing schools, yet people pay those prices. It really dosen't make sense, because Santee IS nicer than all of them, with the exception of Alpine. Alpine is a part of El Cajon though, not a city itself.

Lakeside, El Cajon, and La Mesa are just not as "NICE". Even though they have the pocket areas that are much higher in price.

So to me it makes sense to have communities in the 800k price range coming in. It's actually over due in my mind.

I don't think it is faster to get to Ramona than to La Jolla. By the way Ramona has more 800k plus areas than Santee and IMO it's not as nice either.
What is with all the hate on Santee?

Submitted by nocommonsense on June 14, 2010 - 12:06pm.

Well, this is sadly a common misconception that better financial resources lead to better education. It's one of the things that appear to make sense initially but fall apart upon closer inspection.

It's not the parents' wealth or even their participation that matter the most (do they matter? Of course). It's the kid's own initiative and drive, both factors heavily influenced by his/her ethnic culture. I grew up in a totalitarian foreign country on my parents' $20/month combined salaries. We had no computers/laptops at home or at school, only bare life necessities. In the schools, There were only blackboards,chalks, and old fashioned books. The culture was that only after you suffer/sweat way beyond others can you get ahead of others. And that's exactly how I got where I am now. Numerous examples can be found here in the US in impoverished first generation asian immigrants families where their children rise to upper class through hard work.

Here in the States, people are fooled into thinking more money or funding means better education, while at the same time largely ignoring the two ethnic cultures (you know which two) that encourage their youth to be lazy and worship a low-life life style and rely on the government. Truly a shame.

santeeman wrote:
I think your comments about schools in Santee are a little off. You are comparing apples to oranges. You can't say that areas like CV and Poway and whoever have much better public schools across the board.

IMO Maybe they have higher test scores or better facilities but, last time I checked they weren't giving out bachelors degrees upon 8th grade graduation.

The large majority of population of children these schools have come from affluent families. These parents have money to send their kids to good preschools and tend to be educated and educate and stimulate their childrens learning.

IMO The schools can't take all the credit for high scores when there pool of students come on the whole much better prepared . Those kids are much easier to teach.

Santee families as you well point out tend to be more middle to upper-middle income. With areas of low income housing units. With less education and opportunities for their kids. So when a Santee school comes up with over an 800 api for their low income or poverty level population, it reflects how well our school is working. Not just for the privileged, but for all their students. That shows true hard work and effort that our teachers put in to make a difference. That's what make our schools so good, hard working teachers who care.

800 plus API averages Santee schools and improving every year. With schools possibly breaking the 900's next year. All with less money than Poway and CV.

I am not wealthy but I certainly wouldn't spend 200k more on a home in CV or Poway just to get my kid in a school with test scores that are not much higher than in Santee. IMO It's about value. It's simply not worth it.

Submitted by PKMAN on June 14, 2010 - 12:24pm.

sunny88 wrote:
Santee is clearly not as bad as many people think it is...

sunny88 - you started this thread and also asked about Riverwalk. Did you end up buying in Santee? If not, where and why?

Submitted by natty on June 14, 2010 - 12:25pm.

I could provide a list of fifty points why the community is not for us. No need. If you feel Santee is 'nicer' than surrounding areas, than by all means feel such way.

800k will buy much more in Ramona though. Santee is experiencing an identity crisis. People live in Ramona to be secluded and have privacy/freedom. Santee is a country town trying to phase out old, without the sheer space Ramona has. This process will take decades. Just as others who have voiced opinions in 'negative' light regarding the area and development, even should the modernization be personally ideal(and it wont), decades down the road we would have lived in a presently undesirable area for what we are looking for. Life is not long enough to sacrifice so much.

For us, 800K to live there is laughable. Just as, paying 800K to live in Ramona would be. I have experience in both areas, and feel comfortable in knowing what we are looking for in a home, area, and community.

Submitted by sunny88 on June 14, 2010 - 12:45pm.

PKMAN wrote:
sunny88 wrote:
Santee is clearly not as bad as many people think it is...

sunny88 - you started this thread and also asked about Riverwalk. Did you end up buying in Santee? If not, where and why?

We ended up staying in our old condo in Mira Mesa after realizing that it was a bad time to sell our condo there. We really liked the Canopy Park townhomes though and were considering them seriously for a while. How has that neighborhood been lately? Any sales activity?

Submitted by santeeman on June 14, 2010 - 12:48pm.

No common sense"Well, this is sadly a common misconception that better financial resources lead to better education. It's one of the things that appear to make sense initially but fall apart upon closer inspection"

You have got to be kidding me. Have you never heard of socio economics?

Submitted by nocommonsense on June 14, 2010 - 1:11pm.

Yes, but so what. Am I supposed to ignore facts if they don't conform to somebody's theory?

santeeman wrote:
No common sense"Well, this is sadly a common misconception that better financial resources lead to better education. It's one of the things that appear to make sense initially but fall apart upon closer inspection"

You have got to be kidding me. Have you never heard of socio economics?

Submitted by Aecetia on June 14, 2010 - 1:11pm.

Face it, just about everyone thinks El Cajon is a dump, and yet I bought a house there and continue to live happily ever after. I could never afford my house in La Jolla or Coronado, so I have a nice house in El Cajon and I would have had a condo. in La Jolla. In fact, one of the neighbors sold their condo to buy one of these houses. You cannot convince those who do not like Santee to like it so you should just enjoy living there. It works for me.

Submitted by santeeman on June 14, 2010 - 2:02pm.

"In fact, one of the neighbors sold their condo to buy one of these houses. You cannot convince those who do not like Santee to like it so you should just enjoy living there. It works for me."

That's right. I know, and I really don't care or want more people here anyway. Really it's kind of my point. It is nice, the schools are good, and I won't argue that point with someone whom so obviously has no idea.

But it leaves me still wondering whhat's with all the hate?

Submitted by flu on June 14, 2010 - 2:12pm.

santeeman wrote:
"In fact, one of the neighbors sold their condo to buy one of these houses. You cannot convince those who do not like Santee to like it so you should just enjoy living there. It works for me."

That's right. I know, and I really don't care or want more people here anyway. Really it's kind of my point. It is nice, the schools are good, and I won't argue that point with someone whom so obviously has no idea.

But it leaves me still wondering whhat's with all the hate?

I don't think it's a hate. I think several of us are trying to sort through real versus memorex claims made on this thread. To some extent this sort of questioning/digging is being done sort of to followup on some of those claims.

Submitted by PKMAN on June 14, 2010 - 2:35pm.

sunny88 wrote:
We ended up staying in our old condo in Mira Mesa after realizing that it was a bad time to sell our condo there. We really liked the Canopy Park townhomes though and were considering them seriously for a while. How has that neighborhood been lately? Any sales activity?

Canopy Park is still selling, but prices have gone up. Back in late '09, it was at low as $350K with 6% credit on options & closing costs. Now it starts at about $390K and no credit. Lots of young families with or without children. I meet new neighbors all the time when walking the dog.

Due to the influx of new townhouses, the HOA has gone from $120 to $108 per month. My wife and I both work in the Serra Mesa area and many of our colleagues live in RB. While they often gripe about the rush hour traffic and taking up to 1 hour to get to work / go home, we almost never taken longer than 30 minutes; 20 minutes is the average one-way commute.

The only negative thing I can think about Santee living is weather. It's very hot here in summer time, much more so than where I used to live (San Marcos). New home's dual-pane low-e glass and Energy Star certified A/C keep the electricity cost to reasonably low but once you step outside, it's HOT. It's also hard to keep the lawn green without violating city's regulation on watering usage.

Submitted by Aecetia on June 14, 2010 - 2:40pm.

I am not sure it is hate, but it might be about status, perceived status or wanting high performing schools. Those old money new money arguments always strike me as funny, since money is money. As for schools, if you have a lot of money, you might send your child to a private school regardless of where you live. A lot of people like walking neighborhoods. I find Coronado charming because it reminds me of La Mesa in the 50's. It has a many diverse store fronts and kind of an old down town feel to it; local Christmas parades, etc. I would not like dealing with all the traffic issues coming from North Island either. I will have to be content with visiting Coronado for the time being. I do not have a walkable down town, but I do have a golf course. It is a good compromise.

Submitted by natty on June 14, 2010 - 2:51pm.

flu wrote:

I don't think it's a hate. I think several of us are trying to sort through real versus memorex claims made on this thread. To some extent this sort of questioning/digging is being done sort of to followup on some of those claims.

Yes.

And PKMAN, yes, summer weather is most certainly uncomfortable. Another point with skyranch, AC will be run for a couple/few months 24 hours a day. No shade, property hit by direct sunlight from dawn to dusk. Road will also increase temp.

Submitted by bearishgurl on June 14, 2010 - 3:31pm.

Aecetia wrote:
Face it, just about everyone thinks El Cajon is a dump, and yet I bought a house there and continue to live happily ever after. I could never afford my house in La Jolla or Coronado, so I have a nice house in El Cajon and I would have had a condo. in La Jolla. . . . It works for me.

Acetia, I love the properties in 92019, esp. Hidden Mesa and Vista Grande areas. Vista Grande Elem. is top notch and feeds into Valhalla HS, a VERY GOOD school. I looked into buying out there back in '90 when a spec home builder who built a property for his family decided he didn't want to occupy and had just finished a beautiful and very well-built 2350 sf ranch on 1/2 AC on Vista Grande w/central A/C and pool. He was willing to sell the property for $232K because he was behind in his take-out loan payments and just wanted to unload. It was BRAND NEW construction with stamped concrete portico d/w, clay tile roof, etc.

I even drove out there at 6:30 a.m. and tried to line up on the "Willow St." ramp (2 cars per green lt) to commute to dtn. SD on Hwy 94 and it took 47 mins. to get dtn. with all the traffic and then I still had to park. I was used to getting downtown in 11-17 mins. and also would have had to p/u kids in daycare so vetoed buying it for that reason.

I would have withstood the heat for THAT PARTICULAR PROPERTY AT THAT PRICE and for THOSE SCHOOLS, but I simply couldn't hang with the commute hassles. It was just too much for me.

I love the knotty pine ski-lodge look of A-frames and other unusual homey "lodge-style" homes on Mt. Helix (reminds me of Hwy 89 on the west side of Lake Tahoe). I just can't go up and down those narrow roads with hairpin turns as a passenger because my vertigo would make me sick and I wouldn't want to drive them in the dark. And I love the big boulders in the middle of the portico driveways (often partially covered) in Hidden Mesa :) It's like the homeowner just went out to Ocotillo, plucked them off, brought them back and sat them there!

Certainly, utilities all year round would be higher there, but parts of East County have a lot to offer.

Submitted by santeeman on June 14, 2010 - 8:17pm.

"Many of the owners at "Skyranch" are very happy with their new homes."

How do you know this?

Submitted by flu on June 14, 2010 - 8:36pm.

Well, for their sake if they did buy @ SkyRanch, I hope they didn't buy before the -10%+ price adjustments that the builder has been giving out. Is that why some folks might be getting defensive?

Submitted by santeeman on June 14, 2010 - 8:47pm.

SNAP!

Submitted by sunny88 on June 14, 2010 - 10:04pm.

"Many of the owners at "Skyranch" are very happy with their new homes."

How do you know this?

I was invited to a home warming party at Skyranch and met a few families who live there. They all seem to be happy with their neighborhood and enjoy the nice view from the mountain.

Submitted by Aecetia on June 14, 2010 - 10:32pm.

Bearish,

I like the old Mt. Helix 1960's style houses too. You really sound like you know San Diego County real estate. Maybe you should have tried the 8 right before it feeds into the 94 near Lemon Ave. That commute might have cut some time off your commute with the Vista Grande property. Valhalla is a nice school. East County is pretty hot in the summer, but if you don't like the June gloom it is not usually a factor. Beating up Santee is like all the bashing Temecula used to get. I went there a couple of months ago and it has some really nice developments and just about any thing else you might want in a neighborhood or a city.

Submitted by santeeman on June 14, 2010 - 11:27pm.

I think you all just like to argue.:)

Submitted by sdcellar on June 15, 2010 - 9:38am.

I think some people think SkyRanchOwner might just be a salesperson posing as a homeowner. Otherwise, I doubt you'd have quite as much Santee bashing going on. If SRO isn't a salesperson, then they are curiously enthusiastic and surprisingly motivated to keep regaling everyone with facts, links and new listing information. Heck, if SRO isn't one, he/she does a much better job than most.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.