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What to Know Before Buying a House in South Park San Diego

One of San Diego's original suburbs, South Park remains one of its most sought-after and livable neighborhoods.

One of San Diego's original suburbs, South Park remains one of its most sought-after and livable neighborhoods.

Distinguished as one of San Diego's original subdivisions dating back to the 1870s, the area later became the city's first "streetcar suburb" around the turn of the 20th century.

Situated north of Stockton and Golden Hill and immediately south of Burlingame, South Park is centrally located to take advantage of the best of greater San Diego. The Gaslamp District is less than a ten-minute drive away. Balboa Park covers the community's western border. Direct access to I-15 and Martin Luther King, Jr. Freeway will get you anywhere in the city in minutes.

But beyond its storied history and proximity to all things San Diego, South Park is a great place to live. Here's what to know before buying a house in South Park, San Diego.

It's an Eclectic Residential History

Being only a ten-minute drive from downtown San Diego, residents appreciate the proximity of a predominantly single-family neighborhood so close to the urban core. Of course, South Park's single-family residences are a unique lot.

As one might expect for a community that's well over a hundred years old, South Park offers an eclectic collection of homes. The area's long, storied history from distant subdivisions to nearby urban alternatives is reflected in its homes.

Craftsman and Spanish Colonial Revival are the dominant styles, which date between the early 1900s and the 1930s. Victorian homes also dot the landscape. Many of the homes have been well cared for or painstakingly restored to their original grandeur. Prices reflect the community's past and high desirability.

Homes priced up to $1 million often include small, quaint Craftsman bungalows. Many are vintage and feature plenty of charm within their modest footprint. Over $1 million will net you some of South Park's grander charms. Investment property is also incredibly popular in South Park, with a front main house/rear multi-family apartment setup prevalent throughout the community. The majority of those properties command $2 million or more but offer excellent ROI.

You'll want to partner with a knowledgeable real estate professional long before landing in South Park. Even with its small geographical area, different areas carry different vibes, and to appreciate just how diverse the housing is, you'll want to experience it firsthand.

Bring Your Walking Shoes

Tree-lined streets. A grid street layout and small city blocks. A central business district is reachable from anywhere in the neighborhood in less than five minutes on foot.

South Park's most distinguishing feature is its incredible walkability. The community's historical aesthetic lends itself to wanting to walk practically everywhere you go. This also includes the 32nd Street Open Space, which cuts a path through the heart of the neighborhood's southern sector.

Complete with hiking trails, it's an excellent spot to get purposefully lost beyond the cityscape that surrounds the space. It's an easy one-mile trek out and back that welcomes leashed dogs.

Speaking of which, when conducting your walking tours of South Park, it's best to have a dog in tow. The community is one of the most pet-friendly in the region, and nearly every local establishment has a policy for welcoming pets, specifically those from the canine family.

For the best outdoor opportunities in South Park, head west. The massive 1,200-acre Balboa Park looms large next door and includes 16 museums, several performing arts venues, trails and gardens, a multi-sport athletic complex, and an 18-hole and a 9-hole golf course. The celebrated San Diego Zoo occupies the park's northwestern corner.

You'll Want to Shop and Eat Local

Many residents who relocate are often surprised that, although it's primarily residential, South Park features a vibrant local business scene. Traversing Fern Street, South Park's main thoroughfare will take you to the front doors of more than 100 shops, boutiques, restaurants, and bars.

It's a vivacious business community and one that ensures you need not venture too far from home to get what you need or want. Perhaps best of all is that the whole scene is anchored by a Target. Adding some big box clout to the proceedings, the major retailer does not detract from the small-town vibes and local-first mentality.

However, don't expect much more than that as South Park works to keep a lid on too much development. It's one of the area's primary draws and a welcome change of pace from the hustle of nearby San Diego.

Ready to explore the best of San Diego real estate? Contact Sally Schoeffel and Elizabeth Callaway today to start your home buying journey. From South Park real estate to Mission Hills homes for sale, allow Sally and Elizabeth's years of experience and expertise to be your guide to San Diego's luxury real estate market.

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We take great pride in our “clients first” philosophy, our attention to detail, and our strong work ethic, and have been honored with San Diego Magazine’s FIVE STAR real estate award for many years running. We offer our clients extensive knowledge of San Diego neighborhoods, property values, and its ever-changing climate of home buying and selling. Please reach out and let us know how we may be of service to you.

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