There are a number of things you could do with $2.5 million dollars. You could buy 2.5 million lottery tickets or even a Bugatti Veron. However, if you’re moving to San Diego and looking to invest in real estate by buying a house, there are a number of luxurious properties to consider. Let’s say you’ve narrowed your search to La Jolla and Del Mar. How do you choose which market to buy in to? What information should inform your decision as to where to buy your home?

One key difference between the two communities is size. While Del Mar is a very small and tight-knit community of homeowners (population 4,660), La Jolla is substantially larger and has less of a small town feel (population 42, 808). This population difference is in large part bolstered by the large number of students who attend UCSD. As such, homeownership rates are significantly lower than they are in Del Mar.

Another factor to consider when deciding where to buy your new luxury home in San Diego is price. While you are doing well for yourself if you’re looking to be a homeowner in a place like La Jolla and Del Mar, home prices in this area are among the highest nation and need to be looked into while making your decision. The good news is that your $2.5 million dollars get you quite a bit. However, do not let the median home prices fool you. Indeed they are both high ($1,555,000 for La Jolla and $1,199, 000 for Del Mar), but don’t think those are representative of the beach-front property you are dreaming of.  Del Mar is located exclusively along the coast so its median property value is pretty close to the kind of house you are looking for. La Jolla’s price on the other hand is a bit depressed due to its inland locations and large numbers of college students.

Size and price are important in making this tough decision, but at the end of the day you just have to visit them. Owing to its size, Del Mar is significantly more quaint and pedestrian friendly while La Jolla can feel a bit busy and—in parts—lacking that beach community feel. Both places are wonderful towns and make for a tough decision. However, certain factors can push you in the right direction when buying your luxury dream home by the sea

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