Living in San Marcos

San Marcos

Ideally located along the 78 freeway between the coast and the mountains, San Marcos is one the most desirable communities in North County San Diego, boasting excellent public schools, beautiful homes, and outstanding community amenities. Notable local landmarks include Lake San Marcos, Discovery Lake, Double Peak Mountain, the picturesque San Elijo Hills Town Center, and the sprawling campus of California State University-San Marcos.

1,000,000 Median
725,000 Median
San Marcos Unified
23 Min to Beach
40 Min to Downtown
40 Min to Airport

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Living in San Marcos

Ideally located along the 78 freeway between the coast and the mountains, San Marcos is one the most desirable communities in North County San Diego, boasting excellent public schools, beautiful homes, and outstanding community amenities. Notable local landmarks include Lake San Marcos, Discovery Lake, Double Peak Mountain, the picturesque San Elijo Hills Town Center, and the sprawling campus of California State University-San Marcos. First established in the late 1800s, the original town of San Marcos sat near the intersection of present-day Grand Avenue and Rancho Santa Fe Road. When the Santa Fe Railroad extended its line through the area around 1890, the residents were dismayed to learn the tracks would be laid one mile north of their town. Determined to keep San Marcos thriving and surviving, the inhabitants relocated all of the businesses and establishments closer to the tracks, near Mission Road and Pico Avenue. By the early 1900s, the survival of the town seemed assured. Today, some remnants of early San Marcos still remain including the Richland School building, the second school opened in San Marcos in 1889. The old schoolhouse has most recently been used as a wedding venue.

San Marcos Schools

The local public schools are one of the reasons so many people choose to buy a home in San Marcos, CA. A-Rated on Niche.com and named one of the Top 5 School Districts in San Diego, schools in the San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) have earned numerous awards and distinctions that rival those of San Diego’s other top-rated school districts, where homes tend to be less affordable. Home prices in San Marcos have risen steadily over the past two decades due to demand, though there are still some good deals to be found. See the below section on San Marcos real estate for more information. Notable schools in San Marcos include Discovery Elementary School, Double Peak School, San Elijo Elementary School, San Marcos Middle School, San Elijo Middle School, Twin Oaks Elementary School, Woodland Park Middle School, and San Marcos High School. SMUSD manages a total of nineteen schools which serve over 19,000 San Diego students!

San Marcos Real Estate

San Marcos is a unique San Diego community. It offers a mixture of older single family homes, newer construction luxury homes, serene 55+ communities, condos, townhomes, mobile home parks, and small farm and horse properties. That means many San Diegans can afford to buy a home in San Marcos, CA, regardless of budget. However, home values in San Marcos have risen steeply over the last two decades, driven by both high buyer demand and economic growth that is attracting more workers to the area off the 78. Homes in the older communities in San Marcos may be available without attached Mello-Roos fees. In the newer communities, both HOA dues and Mello-Roos fees can be quite steep so it’s important to work with an experienced agent who can help you determine the full picture of a home purchase in a particular community. Looking to build a home? Select vacant land parcels are still available in San Marcos. For a single family home in San Marcos, the median home price is $1,008,750. For a condo or townhome it is $641,000. The community of San Marcos, CA, encompasses a number of zip codes – to learn more about prices in a particular zip code or neighborhood, please reach out.

San Marcos Weather

San Marcos is just far enough inland that you’ll experience less of the coastal marine effect and more bright, sunny days year-round. However, some homes in San Marcos offer sufficient elevation to catch a nice coastal breeze on a hot summer day. Many homes in San Marcos have A/C and solar panels to offset the cost of the additional electricity usage.

San Marcos Shopping & Local Businesses

As San Marcos had grown in stages over the century and a half since its founding, there are a number of places to shop and dine throughout the community. From local strip malls to town squares, no matter where you buy a home in San Marcos, you can enjoy every convenience and amenity. Notable shopping areas include Restaurant Row, which is near the original San Marcos town site. Formerly the home of many locally-famous restaurants and small businesses, the new owner of the Restaurant Row site has redevelopment plans in the works so watch for that news to emerge in the months to come! Additional shopping centers flank both sides of the 78 freeway, filled with a mixture of big box stores, chain restaurants, and local establishments. CSUSM has expanded its offering in recent years, adding more residences and commercial business space which is enjoyed by both students and locals alike. Popular dining spots at CSUSM include Buona Forchetta, Umami Japanese, and Wynston’s Ice Cream. In the upscale community of San Elijo Hills, you’ll find the San Elijo Hills Town Center which has recently entered its second and final phase of building. In addition to strolling around and enjoying the classic small-town charm with its striking central fountain and lush park, you can dine at a number of local restaurants and shop at small boutiques and businesses in the San Elijo Hills Town Center. Ready to find your next home in San Marcos? Click here to get started or give us a call!

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