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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Carlsbad, CA

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A coastal resort city home to million-dollar beach houses, luxury hotels, and green golf courses, Carlsbad is one of the most beautiful places in the San Diego area to call home. Year-round warm weather and sunshine-filled days make residing in this city the epitome of the good life.

If you are planning or considering a move to Carlsbad, read on for more information about the neighborhoods, schools, recreation, and what you can expect to pay for housing and other living costs to ensure that it is the right place for your relocation.

Carlsbad Climate

The city has a sub-tropical Mediterranean climate, characterized by warm summers, mild winters, and little variation of temperature between seasons. Precipitation is scarce, with only 11- inches of rain annually. The sun is in the sky often in Carlsbad--it shines on the city 263 days a year.

Temperatures in the summer range from 74 to 60 degrees, and can reach 65 in the winter. Winter nights very rarely see freezing temperatures--the average low in January is 45 degrees.

Carlsbad Neighborhoods

The city is divided into four quadrants--northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast.

The historic northwest quadrant contains neighborhoods such as the Downtown Village, the Latino culture--influenced region The Barrio, and Old Carlsbad. Residences range from 1950s cottages, bungalows, and glamorous hilltop mansions that overlook the waves.

The northeast quadrant is mostly residential, with single-family homes, condos and townhouses. Larger properties can be found in the older section of Chestnut Hills, and newer homes are located in Calavera Hills. Since the homes in this area are further from the shoreline (but still a short trip from the beach) prices are more affordable.

The southeast quadrant features newly-constructed communities, golf courses, and the award-winning Carlsbad Unified School District. This upscale neighborhood also features the well-known luxury facility La Costa Resort and Spa. Additionally, the southwest quadrant is also known for its million-dollar beach houses and the resort towns of Avaria and Ponto Beach.

Registering Your Car

Upon moving to the state of California, you have 20 days to register your vehicle. You will need an Application for Title or Registration signed by all registered owners as they appear on the out of state registration and/or title, your previous registration certificate, and smog and weight certifications if applicable. You will also need to pay the appropriate fees and have your vehicle inspected by the state DMV.

You have will have just 10 days to obtain your California driver's license, so make sure you get this out of the way as soon as possible after your move. You will need to complete the DL 44 application form, provide your Social Security number, show proof of identity and legal presence, pass vision and traffic law tests, give a thumbprint, and pay the appropriate fees. This process can be completed at any California DMV location.

Carlsbad Schools

If you are relocating to the city with children, they will be enrolled in one of several districts serving the city. Encinitas Union School District operates elementary education in South Carlsbad; San Dieguito Union High School District oversees 10 middle and high schools in South Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar; San Marcos Unified School District serves students in the city of San Marcos as well as parts of Escondido, Vista and South Carlsbad; and the award-winning Carlsbad Unified School District operates 14 facilities in the city.

The area of the city you choose to live will determine which district your child will be attending school.

Carlsbad Employment

Fortunately, unemployment rates in the city are low--5.1 percent compared to the national average of 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013. This upscale resort city has a huge market for the hospitality and leisure sectors, as well as action sports manufacturing due to the popularity of outdoor activities like golf and surfing in the region. Other major industries in the city include life sciences, clean technology, and communications. There are a number of corporate headquarters located in the city, such as weight-loss giant Jenny Craig, Inc., biotechnology company Alphatec Spine, and golf equipment and apparel manufacturers Callaway Golf and Cobra Golf.

The top employers in Carlsbad are Life Technologies Corporation, TaylorMade Adidas Golf Company, ViaSat, Callaway Golf, Legoland California, Genoptix, Carlsbad Unified School District, La Costa Resort and Spa, Park Hyatt Resort Aviara, and the City of Carlsbad.

Living Costs in the City

If you are considering a move to a new city, it is always important to make sure you will be able to live within your means. Costs of living in this San Diego suburb are considerably high--about 32 percent greater than the national average. Grocery costs are about 11 percent greater than the typical American city, transportation costs are 10 percent greater, and health care expenses will be around 11 percent above average.

Housing is the highest expense in this seaside resort town--rates are about 100 percent higher than the rest of the country. Of course, some areas will be higher than others--the southeast and southwest quadrants are known for their luxury mansions along the shore, while the further inland northeast quadrant is considered more affordable.

The average one-bedroom apartment in the area goes for about $ 1,249 a month, and two-bedrooms typically rent for around $1,475 a month. The median home price is listed at $669,500.

Carlsbad Moving Resources

There are many moving and storage companies located in Carlsbad that are waiting to help you relocate to your new home. Be sure to do your research and obtain estimates from several different services before choosing one for hire. You can compare online quotes from many different moving companies and other services to aid you in your move, whether you are coming from the next city or overseas. Visit the following pages here at Movers.com to get fast quotes for the following services:

Carlsbad Transportation

Train, bus and shuttle services in the city are supplied by North County Transit. The system serves more than 12 million passengers in the San Diego area a year with The BREEZE bus, the COASTER commuter rail, the LIFT paratransit for the elderly and disabled, and the SPRINTER light rail. You can also utilize the iCommute program, which assists commuters in finding free carpool and ride-matching services.

Culture and Contemporary Life

A scenic coastal resort city, Carlsbad is home to gorgeous sandy beaches, manicured golf courses like the famous Aviara Golf Club, and plenty of vast open space--nearly 40 percent of the city is undeveloped. Three lagoons, 38 miles of hiking trails and nearly seven miles of coastline make it the perfect place to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

The historic Downtown Carlsbad Village is home to charming antique shops, art galleries, authentic Mexican cuisine, and a delightfully quaint atmosphere. There are also a variety of regional attractions in the city, such as the theme park Legoland, the luxurious La Costa Resort and Spa, and 50 acres of vibrantly-colored blossoms known as the Carlsbad Flower Fields.

Carlsbad Relocation Tips

  • Change your address! Be sure to notify the post office of your forwarding address four to six weeks before your move to ensure that you don't miss any important mail.
  • Make a moving checklist of everything you will need to accomplish before you make the trek to Carlsbad to stay better organized and be prepared! Things to include are: researching movers and comparing quotes, packing, making airline arrangements, and hooking up utilities.
  • Downsize your belongings! The less you bring with you to Carlsbad, the more affordable your move will be. If you are relocating from a colder climate, you can feel free to donate any heavy winter coats, parkas, and snow boots before moving--you won't need them in a city with temperatures that rarely fall below 45 degrees!

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on June 14, 2013

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