Moving to CA
We spent the month of April house-hunting in the San Diego area, with the intention to move as soon as we found a new home. After the election last year, we had a serious talk with our financial advisor about moving out of AZ. We had several reasons for contemplating the move – the summer heat has been getting to us, there are way too many guns brandished about in public places, & AZ politics are far more conservative than we are. With the prospect of the federal government leaving more rights up to the states, we felt CA was a better place for us.
We engaged a realtor in AZ (Henry Wang) & he found us a realtor in CA (Todd Armstrong) who was perfect. For about 6 weeks prior to our visit he sent us listings to review, so by the time we arrived in CA we had already reviewed over a hundred listings. Todd took us to condos & homes throughout San Diego – focusing on Hillcrest, North Park, Downtown & Mission Hills. During the process we decided to move from a house to a condo so we can eliminate all the outdoor maintenance. Our timing was just right & we found new condo construction by the same builder we used in AZ (Shea Homes). We have lots of faith in the quality of their work.
The condo is in a new master-planned community (Civitas) in the Mission Valley section of San Diego. The community has apartments, condos, houses, a recreation center (with a lap pool, swimming pool, gym), a dog park & a large community park with some community gardening space (we were able to attend the park’s grand opening just before we left). There is dedicated space for stores & restaurants to be built, & a shuttle to take us to major metro stops. We will be able to walk or bike to all those amenities, as well as to the nearby food store.
Our condo is a top (4th) floor 2-bedroom 2-bathroom unit with lots of natural light and 2 balconies. All the main living space is on one level, with a loft & second balcony on the upper level. We have a private 2-car garage, & yes, there are elevators! It should be ready around November, so we have plenty of time to get our AZ place on the market (probably in August).
There will be 4 buildings with 12 units in each building & 3 buildings with just 6 units in them-- our building is the 3rd one of the 4 larger ones to be built. It is framed & has electric & plumbing done, but no walls yet.
We spent much of our time in CA at the design studio selecting our flooring, countertops, window treatments, etc. & at various stores & businesses to get as many modifications/additions as possible rolled into the mortgage. We were also able to schedule our initial walkthrough of the construction phase while we were there.
We’re now back in AZ sorting through what will be on the moving truck & what will not; we're downsizing again – the CA condo (at 1650 sq ft) has about 2/3 of the space our AZ house has. We posted some photos so you can see what we’re up to. Any finished interior shots are of model units that were further along in construction than our’s was. We'll post updates as the unit is built & we visit every so often.
The timing of our stay coincided with the annual Easter vacation of our niece Amy, her husband Don & their triplet boys, Patrick, Colin & Alexander (from NJ). We were able to visit Coronado Island with them, show them our new place & take them to an Exotic Bird Sanctuary (Free Flight) in Del Mar. We all hope to return for another family excursion. It was great spending time with them!