Living in Carlsbad, CA | What to Expect | The 2019 Complete Guide

Carlsbad is an oceanside town nestled in beautiful San Diego County. The town is abundantly beautiful for several reasons, including its location right along the Pacific Ocean. Like all things in San Diego County, there are numerous amenities and things to do. You can enjoy nature and all sorts of modern conveniences in the area.

Living in Carlsbad is a goal for many people in Southern California. Residents of Carlsbad are wonderfully welcoming and the cost of living is comparable to other coastal California cities. Incorporated in the early 1950s to avoid annexation with its neighboring city of Oceanside, Carlsbad has an interesting history. It is home to the world’s first skate park, as well as the world’s largest desalination plant.

If you plan on moving to Carlsbad soon, we’ve put together this list to help you know what to expect when you get there.

1. People of Carlsbad

According to recent counts, the Carlsbad population has roughly 115,000 people. Though it’s not as diverse as some areas in California, with over 73% of the demographics being Caucasian, the city is still welcoming and comfortable for people of all ethnic backgrounds.

Carlsbad has experienced explosive growth since it was first incorporated in 1952, with a population of only 9,200 people. A large number of its current residents are young families with children under the age of 18. The local area promotes a family-friendly lifestyle with its close-knit communities.

2. Housing Market in Carlsbad

Carlsbad housing has been steadily increasing in value over the past few years. Buying a home in Carlsbad can be a great investment, but is fairly pricey, even compared to some other California cities. Currently, the average price of a home in Carlsbad is $859,600. Breaking it down by bedroom size, a two bedroom will be about $540k, a three bedroom around $800k, while a four bedroom or larger will average well above a million dollars.

Homes in Carlsbad

You’ll find plenty of rental options in Carlsbad as well, with the average rent in Carlsbad hovering around $3,300. Keep in mind, there is a large inventory of rental homes in the city, so finding the right rental may not necessarily mean such a high price, compared to other cities in the immediate area.

3. Cost of Living in Carlsbad

The cost of living index in Carlsbad is about 115% higher than the national average, which can mainly be attributed to the high housing costs. While this is expected in most cities around California, even Los Angeles is about 20% more affordable.

Beyond housing, the cost of living in Carlsbad with things like groceries, healthcare, and utilities are close to and even below the US average. You can get a gallon of milk for less than $3, a dozen eggs for the same cost, and a loaf of bread for about $2. Transportation is more expensive due to things like long commutes, the strict emission laws, and gasoline requirements..

4. Carlsbad Neighborhoods

Living in Carlsbad means living in one of the area’s four designated quadrants. The good news is Carlsbad is considered much safer than most parts of California. There is 59% less crime in Carlsbad than there is per capita in the state itself, putting it below national crime rate averages.

The four quadrants in Carlsbad are known as the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest. Many consider the Northwest quadrant to have the best neighborhoods in Carlsbad. Even though it has the oldest buildings and homes, neighborhoods like Old Carlsbad and The Village are still some of the safest. The other quadrants, especially the two eastern, have larger houses, which are more modern. While the Southwest quadrant is a common place for resorts and mansion-sized homes.

5. Schools in Carlsbad

Carlsbad has four different school districts: Carlsbad, Encinitas, San Dieguito, and San Marcos. The Carlsbad Unified School District covers most of the northern areas, while the other three districts serve the southern part of the city. The area is home to great elementary schools, as well as the highly ranked Canyon Crest Academy high school. Canyon Crest is ranked 14th in California and it’s also one of the top 140 high schools in the country.

The test scores across all the local schools are higher than the California state average, with 67% of students demonstrating upper-level proficiency on state exams. With an increasing population, there have been several new schools constructed over the last few years. Each one has been designed with integrated technological classrooms, making it easier for students to learn from the districts’ strong curriculum.

6. Jobs in Carlsbad

Living in Carlsbad means having a job that is pushing the boundaries of its field. Last year, Google named Carlsbad the digital capital of California thanks to its robust online business community. Renewable energy jobs are plentiful in the city, with many solar companies offering opportunities every year. Arguably the top employer in Carlsbad is Viasat, a communications company working in the high-speed broadband satellite sector, which serves both military and commercial clients.

Carlsbad jobs

Some truly interesting Carlsbad jobs are those in the golf industry. Nicknamed “Titanium Valley”, several golf companies including TaylorMade, Callaway, Cobra, Titleist, and Odyssey Golf are all located within Carlsbad.

7. Things to Do in Carlsbad

There is no shortage of activities for people living in Carlsbad. There are multiple skate parks, which is expected when two famous people from the area are Tony Hawk and Shaun White. But if skating isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other things to do in Carlsbad.

Carlsbad’s two state beaches, Carlsbad State Beach and South Carlsbad State Beach, are among the nicest in the San Diego area. If you’re looking for things to do within Carlsbad with kids, both Legoland and the local Sea Life Aquarium are great places for family fun. For people who love golf, Carlsbad has several impressive golf courses including the Omni La Costa Resort.

8. Places to Eat in Carlsbad

There’s no shortage of food in Carlsbad, which is a good thing after a day full of activities in this fun city. Head over to Paon Restaurant & Wine Bar for fine dining and their high-end selection of French wine. You can also visit West Steak & Seafood for some surf and turf or Casa de Bandini for some true Mexican cuisine.

Carlsbad also has some sneaky good Italian food and Vigilucci’s Cucina is where to go if you want to experience it with a Californian flair. While some might judge us for putting a fast food restaurant on this list, people all over the country long for a genuinely good burger. And most Californians consider In-N-Out burgers to be some of the best you’ll find in the world.

9. Weather in Carlsbad

This area is classified as having a semi-arid Mediterranean climate, which is just a fancy way of saying that living in Carlsbad means lots of sun and some occasional rain. Average high temperatures range from 64°F to 74°F all year round, keeping things comfortable in this city at all times. Carlsbad weather allows residents to feel free to enjoy most outdoor activities with the same enthusiasm in January as they do in July and August.

Carlsbad weather

The one exception typically comes during early fall when the hot and dry Santa Ana winds make the local climate a bit less humid. This means when the sun is out during autumn months, it tends to feel hotter than usual.

Living in Carlsbad is Great!

There are many reasons why people love living in Carlsbad. The city offers a multitude of activities mixed in with the great schools and places to eat. It’s a family-friendly city and though housing prices are a little high, other cost of living factors are manageable.

You won’t have to spend much time in Carlsbad before you know it’s the place for you. If you’re moving to Carlsbad in the near future, we’d love to help you. Be sure to check out our moving services to learn about how we can make your upcoming move quick and painless.

Give us a call at (858) 230-8281 for a free quote and to ask any questions you may have.