This review of the housing market in Carlsbad and nearby North San Diego communities for the first half of 2012 as compared to the same time is 2011 is quite telling, with some significant changes. But it’s also quite clear each community is different, and the axiom that all real estate is local is obvious. [...]Read More
Cardiff is a quaint and charming seaside village with a long surfing history, located about 20 miles north of San Diego, sandwiched between Solana Beach and Encinitas, with terrific views of the Pacific and the San Elijo Lagoon.
Cardiff, also know as Cardiff-by-the-Sea, is a community of approximately 4550 housing units, both owner occupied and rentals, in an area of about 1.9 square miles, around 25 miles north of downtown San Diego. While Cardiff has its own zip code (92007) it is officially part of the Encinitas Town Government.
The town of Cardiff was founded by J. Frank Cullen, a Boston painter who became a developer, purchasing land that was originally developed as farmland and sold off building lots. The town was allegedly named Cardiff after his wife’s native Wales.
You will notice that most of the streets have English names (Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Glasgow, and so on). Victor Kremer developed the area north of Birmingham now called the Composer District (again, the names are a give-away – Mozart, Verdi, Chopin, Rubinstein). It is believed he may have added the By-The-Sea to the name, although most people simply refer to it as Cardiff. The area east and south of the downtown area is called the Walking District.
A bit more history…the Mercantile Building in downtown Cardiff (corner of Chesterfield and San Elijo) was originally a hotel built by Cullen, but has served many functions over the years, including a grocery store and library. Patagonia, an upscale retail store, currently occupies the ground floor. The pier built by Cullen, just north of today’s Restaurant Row on the Coast Highway, was destroyed in a storm in 1916 and never rebuilt.
Cardiff has a long history as a popular surfing destination, and there are a number of vendors and plenty of surfing-related entertainment – one recent event attracted 20,000 visitors. If you spend any time in town, you will see lots of surfboards heading down the hill under arms, on bikes, in the backs of trucks and running across the coast highway to the beach.
Cardiff real estate, like other coastal communities, offers a range of housing, but at a hefty price tag, at least near the coast, especially those homes with ocean views.
Limited inventory, beautiful views, and overall desirability combine to keep home prices in Cardiff high, although in recent years average prices have shifted. You will find a variety of housing styles, including bungalows and cottages, twin-homes, contemporary and Spanish, as well as apartments and condominiums; there are several gated communities of attached and detached homes. Upside-down homes (reverse floor plan) are common on the hill (living space is upstairs, bedrooms down) to take advantages of the glorious views, and many are 3 stories on narrow lots.
Cardiff has enacted building height restrictions to prevent owners from adding on too much space above existing levels to take advantage of the views, and thereby blocking views of neighbors.
While Cardiff is not known as a fine dining community, there are some very respectable and pleasant places to feed yourself, especially if you want to eat while looking at the ocean. Restaurant Row, on the Coast Highway heading south toward Solana Beach, offers a number of different restaurants (Chart House, The Beach House, Las Olas ), several of them directly on the ocean where you can enjoy watching the surfers, the surf, and take in spectacular sunsets. Mexican, California, and seafood are the primary offerings.
Pipes is one of the best known breakfast places around, and Trattoria Positano on San Elijo just before the main intersection in town is quite good and popular with locals. Yogi’s, a sports bar and pub, is another popular eatery that attracts residents and visitors, although I have heard mixed reviews.
The beaches, of course, are spectacular, and offer great surfing, sunbathing, kite flying or just enjoying the views. You will often find stone sculptures created by seasoned sculptors and beginners, which disappear over time, only to re-emerge.
Parking along the 101 is free and fairly easy to find in the off-season, but summers find parking, as expected, more difficult.
Children attend 1 of 2 elementary schools depending on their grade – they both have great reputations from what residents have told me, and from reviews on the Internet. Older students attend San Dieguito Union High School District.
There are several private schools in Cardiff as well, including Montessori and the Sanderling Waldorf School.
There is some nice outdoor space in Cardiff as well. In addition to the beaches, you can enjoy the community park in downtown, running along the train tracks, and George Berkich Park in the Composer District. San Elijo Park and campground (San Elijo State Beach, between Cardiff and Encinitas) also offers nice space, a great beach, and a popular camping destination.
Glen Park, on Orinda Drive, offers a nice play area for young kids, and horseshoes, basketball, tennis and beach volleyball.
Neighboring Encinitas offers many other things to do, including lots of shopping, more than 20 restaurants, the San Diego Botanical Garden, and The Self-Realization Temple.
Cardiff-by-the-Sea offers the classic seaside town lifestyle with a strong surfing history that continues even today. Perfect weather, a laid-back atmosphere and small-town feel, and a diversity of residents, old and new, provide eclectic Southern California outdoor living along the ocean, but at a price.
MY FAVORITE RESTAURANT – Trattoria Positano, in the heart of town on San Elijo.
The Beach House is a close second, on the beach at Restaurant Row on the Coast Highway
MY FAVORITE BEACH – Cardiff State Beach
| Cardiff, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, For Buyers, For Sellers, La Jolla, Market Reports, Oceanside, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Solana Beach | Jeff Dowler | No Comments
| 365 Things, Cardiff, Fairs and Festivals | Jeff Dowler | No Comments
Is your pooch looking for something fun to do? Why not take him/her to the 7th ANNUAL DOG DAYS OF SUMMER Canine Festival and Contest in Cardiff by the Sea. This popular dog-focused festival attracts thousands of 2- and 4-legged festival goers and had become one of the more popular canine events around. The DOG [...]Read More
| Aviara, Cardiff, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Financial, For Sellers, La Jolla, Oceanside, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Solana Beach, Taxes | Jeff Dowler | No Comments
April 30th, 2012 is coming up fast!! This is the deadline to request an INFORMAL ASSESSMENT REVIEW of your home’s current assessment, which of course determines your property taxes. Given some homes in CARLSBAD, and elsewhere in San Diego County, may now have a market value that is less than their assessed value, having an [...]Read More
| 365 Things, Cardiff, Sports | Jeff Dowler | No Comments
The CARDIFF KOOK RUN (the 1st annual) is being held in Encinitas and Cardiff on Superbowl Sunday. Don’t worry, it’s in the morning and it won’t interfere with your preparations. The famous surfing statue nicknamed the CARDIFF KOOK is the namesake and you can bet there will be runners dressed up in costume, as the [...]Read More
| 365 Things, Cardiff, Carlsbad, Things To Do | Jeff Dowler | 1 Comment
It doesn’t really matter what you do, or where. You could attend a memorial, or just spend some quiet time at the pondering the events of 10 years ago. Check Google to see what special events might be held in the area (the Surf-a-Thon at Dog Beach was having a memorial but they moved the [...]Read More
| 365 Things, Art, Beaches, Cardiff | Jeff Dowler | 2 Comments
Lots of folks do it. And you can too! Why not BUILD YOUR OWN STONE SCULPTURE on the beach in Cardiff. Turns out the Cardiff beach is a great place for stone sculptures, because, well, there are lots of great stones to build sculptures with. And lots of people build them. They don’t always last [...]Read More
| 365 Things, Cardiff, Shopping | Jeff Dowler | No Comments
GOOD MORNING TREASURES in Cardiff-by-the-Sea is an amazing store. While the shop is relatively small by many standards, you will be overwhelmed by the collection of “treasures” found within these 4 walls, filled to the brim from floor to ceiling. Owner Darreld Kitaen has assembled an incredible collection of souvenirs, jewelry, shirts, postcards, arts, crafts, [...]Read More
| Art, Cardiff, Photos | Jeff Dowler | No Comments
The famous Cardiff Kook surfing statue got a new look for the Royal Wedding. It may not last long so stop by if you can.Take the Coast Road/Route 101 South to Cardiff. The statue is on the RIGHT at the LIGHT (the cross street is CHESTERFIELD) But you can at least enjoy the photo of [...]Read More
San Diego Real Estate Market Reports for North San Diego County Coastal/Inland Communities – March 2011April 29th, 2011 | Cardiff, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, La Jolla, Market Reports, Oceanside, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Solana Beach, Uncategorized | Jeff Dowler | No Comments
Here are the real estate market reports for major communities along the coast and inland in North San Diego County for MARCH 2011. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or need further information on any of these or other nearby communities. CARLSBAD CARDIFF DEL MAR ENCINITAS ESCONDIDO LA JOLLA [...]Read More
San Diego Real Estate Market Reports for North San Diego County Coastal/Inland Communities – January 2011February 26th, 2011 | Aviara, Cardiff, Carlsbad, Carlsbad Village, Del Mar, Encinitas, La Costa, La Jolla, Market Reports, Oceanside, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Solana Beach | Jeff Dowler | No Comments
Here are the real estate market reports for major communities along the coast and inland in North San Diego County for JANUARY 2011. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or need further information on any of these or other nearby communities. CARLSBAD CARDIFF DEL MAR ENCINITAS ESCONDIDO LA JOLLA [...]Read More
San Diego Real Estate Market Reports for North San Diego County Coastal/Inland Communities – December 2010January 16th, 2011 | Cardiff, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, La Jolla, Market Reports, Oceanside, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Solana Beach | Jeff Dowler | No Comments
Here are the real estate market reports for major communities along the coast and inland in North San Diego County for DECEMBER 2010. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or need further information on any of these or other nearby communities. CARLSBAD CARDIFF DEL MAR ENCINITAS ESCONDIDO LA JOLLA [...]Read More