Can anyone tell me about San Marcos, Ca? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-20-2011, 03:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

 

It looks like my family might be moving to San Marcos in the near future, for my husbands work. I have never lived in the US before, only visited. I know nothing about California, let alone this area! To be honest, I am a little scared!

 

So, does anyone know if San Marcos is a family friendly area? I will  be having a baby later in the year and will need a hospital!

 

I would really appreciate any information!

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Old 01-20-2011, 10:12 PM
 
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My husband, daughter (almost 10 months) and I live in Carlsbad, which is a neighboring city to San Marcos (the cities are mostly all right on top of each other here).  San Marcos is in North San Diego County, which is a very family friendly area; there is also a lot of support for natural parenting here!  San Marcos is a smaller city surrounded by other small cities (which makes it feel much larger).  It is relatively suburban and is about 40 minutes from downtown San Diego.  In general, San Diego has a lot to offer, especially great beaches, parks and museums for kids and families.

 

Our daughter was born at home with two amazing midwives, so I'm sorry to say I don't know too much about maternity services in the hospitals.  There are a few options though, TriCity being the closest to San Marcos.  Scripps Encinitas is about 20 minutes away, while Scripps La Jolla is about 40 minutes away.

 

TriCity:

http://www.tricitymed.org/services/womens/childbirth/index.aspx

 

Scripps Encinitas (this was our backup hospital):

http://www.scripps.org/locations/hospitals__scripps-memorial-hospital-encinitas/services/maternity-services__maternity-services

 

Scripps La Jolla:

http://www.scripps.org/locations/hospitals__scripps-memorial-hospital-la-jolla/services/maternity-services__maternity-services

 

This site is helpful for comparing California hospitals, it includes statistics on maternity care, including c-section rates:

http://www.calhospitalcompare.org/?v=2

 

I'm a California native... I grew up about 40 minutes north of here and I've lived in San Diego for almost four years and Carlsbad for a year.  I would love to provide other information about the area... let me know what you would like to know!  :)

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Old 01-20-2011, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Elluin! Thank you!

 

I want this move so much, but I am really nervous about it at the same time.

 

So, there are medical facilities that are not so far away from San Marcos, which is good. I wish I could have a homebirth, but I am trying for a v2bac, so I dont think I will get a midwife to be willing to take me on. I figure if Im lucky enough to get my vbac, it will probably be in a hospital. I really really want the vbac so badly!

 

I am going to continue to homeschool my daughter, but my 4 year old son is desperate to go to school. I have no problem with him trying school in America, so he will need a kindergarten.

 

I am looking for a house to rent at the moment. Dh`s company is going to be paying the rent, so I am lucky. I just need 3 to 4 bedrooms. I am a bit scared as dh will be away working a lot, and back and forwards to Japan. So I will be alone rather a lot to start with, but it sounds as if it is quite a safe area. Have you any idea which parts of San Marcos are nicest? It is so hard to judge from photos! I was quite drawn to one of the gated communities, it did look really lovely, and wonder if you think this would be the easiest option in terms of settling in?

 

Is San Marcos quite rural? It looked lovely with all the parks and open spaces. I suppose not driving will not be an option?

 

I really appreciate all the information, this is a huge move for me. We are so lucky to have this opportunity, and I know it will be much nicer for the children. They are going to have a much better future in the US, and dh will finally feel like he is back home.

 

California/san Diego looks like a beautiful part of the world, I just have no idea what it is like to live there, or even visit!

 

I am hoping that my mixed Japanese/European/hispanic children will fit in, and their race will not be an issue as it has been in Japan and Europe. I have the impression that California is a very welcoming and liberal place. We are a well educated and successful family, so I am hoping that will be enough to `fit in`!

 

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Old 01-21-2011, 04:56 PM
 
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I will ask my cousin which neighborhoods have the best schools.  She recently purchased a home in this area and has worked as an occupational therapist in most the area's schools.  I know schools were a big factor in their decision of where to live.  We're still renting and our daughter is not yet school-age, so we haven't considered this yet.  California's schools have been hit hard in the current economy (I've heard that budget cuts were as high as one-third of the budget!) and even without the budget cuts there is a lot of disparity between schools or districts.  Generally speaking, schools here are a really good reflection of the neighborhoods.  So the best rated public schools are usually the best neighborhoods.

 

This site has ratings for San Marcos Unified School District:

http://www.greatschools.org/california/san-marcos/San-Marcos-Unified-School-District/

 

Even though the site says that a child can attend any school in the district, this is difficult in practice.  There has to be space at the school, and if there is space there are priority levels for which students get in, with priority going to students with siblings at the school, for example.  It's best if you can pick a neighborhood that has a good school.

 

I don't think you will find race is an issue for the majority of people in San Diego (the county, which includes San Marcos) or most of California.  Although I don't know this from personal experience, I think you will find people are very accepting here.

 

My daughter just woke up from her nap, so I'll post more information later!  :)

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Old 01-21-2011, 09:01 PM
 
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Daughter is sleeping again.  :)

 

This is a huge move - I imagine it's both scary and exciting!  San Marcos is really less rural and more suburban - planned housing, community green space, shopping & businesses.  When I think rural I picture farms and open land, there is a bit of that in the area, but mostly on the outskirts.  As far as gated communities - most gated communities here have a gate but not a guard.  We live in one and it doesn't really keep anyone out, most people will tail behind someone else to go through the gate.  It does keep out through traffic in our community, which is nice for kids that are playing. 

 

I think most of north San Diego (including San Marcos) is relatively safe.  Crime stats are posted online and you can map them... I'd never used this tool before and it's kind of neat!

http://sdsheriff.net/crimeanalysis.html#mapping

 

Unfortunately, you almost certainly need a car to get around here.  Public transportation is available but will not get you somewhere quickly; there are buses for local travel, trains to go between cities and the trolley downtown.  Most amenities are very spread out though, so you pretty much need a car for the basics like groceries, parks, school, etc.  California is way behind the times on public transportation!

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Old 01-21-2011, 09:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the information!

 

Rather embarressingly my husband is looking into driving schools so I can learn to drive as soon as we get there, and Ill do the theory part before we leave. I will  be pretty stuck until I can drive, it seems. I hope I am not as bad at driving as I suspect i might be!

 

It is a scary move, but a lot less scary now you have given me such positive information on the area. I am looking forwards to the move much more now.

 

Thank you again for your kindness and your time!

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Old 01-24-2011, 09:25 PM
 
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You're very welcome.  :) 

 

My cousin recommended the same greatschools.org website above.  After working at the schools, she says she agrees with these ratings.  She also said that the areas around the better schools are usually better neighborhoods, especially around the better elementary schools.

 

I wish I had some positive words of wisdom for driving... to be honest, Southern California traffic can be awful but we all learn to deal with it.  My husband says at least you don't have to learn somewhere like the Philippines or Mexico.  I guess that's the positive aspect; drivers (and the enforcement of traffic laws) are much more consistent here than some other parts of the world!

 

One other thought, I've met a lot of great people at a local natural baby store, Babies in Bloom.  The owner is a lactation consultant and offers a breastfeeding support group and other useful classes and events.  I highly recommend checking it out when you're here: http://babies-in-bloom.com/

 

Feel free to send me a message when you arrive if you'd like to meet a friendly face... my daughter definitely has one and I try.  ;)

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Old 01-24-2011, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I will have to drive, and be as brave as I can. I will only go as far as the shops, school and home again.

 

My daughter I think will continue to be homeschooled for a while, but my son will definately be going to school. I will check out that website and see if that helps us choose a house. I have to say how lucky we are to be going to such a lovely place with such huge beautiful houses! Compared with Japan, we will have so much space!  We have a large apartment for Tokyo, but the smallest house in San Marcos is 5 times the size of our place! Two bathrooms! Heaven.

 

Things are moving quickly, so it looks like we will be moving by April. My husband is fine, he was educated in the States and lived there. He is going home. Im nervous, but positive.

 

I would really like to meet up once we get there. Thank you for the offer! How old is your dd?

 

My husband is trying to bribe me to drive with promises of a nice car and tales of empty straight roads. I appreciate the sympathy. Having lived all my life in big cities, I just never had to learn. I know it is silly! Your husband is right, at least Im learning in safe environment.

 

I cant wait to get there. We are just sorting out the visa situation. My dd is very excited too. Ds is a bit scared, but I am sure he will be alright once he realises it is safe and nice.

 

We decided to just buy `everything` we need once we get to California, so Im going to somehow have to buy literally everything for the house, from beds to towels and tvs, which is going to be my job. I really have no idea where to go to buy `stuff`.  It looks like we are flying into LAX and then being driven to San Marcos.

 

I cant believe how quickly it is all going. We are so lucky to be moving to this area, I think our lives are going to be much much nicer.

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Old 01-25-2011, 11:56 PM
 
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My daughter is ten months. We're trying to join this playgroup right now; I thought you might be interested because they have some homeschool kids also:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SDNorthCountyAPPlaygroup/

There are lots of places to buy furniture and household items around here! Will your husbands' company put you in a hotel for a few nights so you don't have to buy beds, sheets and everything the day you arrive?

Sometimes I miss living in the midst of a big city, but this area is great for raising a family!
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are just trying to secure a holiday type rental apartment near San Elijo, for a week. We are going to need literally everything, beds, the lot. I wont be bringing anything with me. His company pay for shipping, but it takes too long. Ill be shipping books and things we really love, but nothing else! I think we will put everything into storage for a year or so. If we cant secure the rental for the week, then I Sears is happy to deliver everything, and I can buy online if I have to, but I think this is probably the more expensive option. I am waiting on visas now, his work are sponsering him, but it is still very time consuming!

 

I am glad to hear Ill be able to find furniture etc close by! Dh is leaving it all in my hands, so I somehow have to furnish a house. And learn to drive. Lol! Good job Im a coping type of person!

 

I am ready to give up my city girl ways. To be honest Im rather looking forwards to it now. I am not happy in Japan, and I do think we will be very happy in San Marcos.

 

My dd is 8 and my ds is 4, Ive another one due late september....so a playgroup will be a good plan. Perhaps we can meet there.

 

Thank you very very much for being so welcoming and helpful!

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Old 02-05-2011, 11:20 AM
 
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Hi ! I am from Canada and I moved to California a little over 4 years ago. I love it here. We live in Encinitas which is very close to San Marcos. I think San Marcos is a great place to raise a family. I think you should look at San Elijo Hills for a house. It is really nice there with hiking/biking trails, and parks. It'a a new community so the houses are in good condition. The community won many awards

Go to this link to find out more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Elijo_Hills,_California

 

Feel free to e-mail me if you have questions: [email protected]

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Old 02-20-2011, 12:34 PM
 
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Hi, I live in San Marcos!  I think you will like it, it has a nice 'small town' feel but because it is located in San Diego, you'll have all the advantages of living in a city, as well.  It is fairly diverse, mostly Hispanics from Mexico like most of Southern California, but there is also a small Asian population, too.  There are Asian supermarkets in nearby Escondido and Oceanside, and further south in San Diego you can find a Japanese supermarkets like Mitsuwa, Marukai and Nijiya, if your family gets homesick for Japanese cooking.  =)

 

As far as neighborhoods, I would recommend staying south of the 78 freeway.  San Elijo is nice, but keep in mind it was built on top of the old landfill, and sometimes those developments have toxic problems later.  Discovery Hills is a nice family-oriented neighborhood with newer homes, hiking trails and plenty of parks.  There is also a good elementary school in that neighborhood, in case you want to try public schools.

 

I am pregnant and due in April, and although I'm having a home birth, my back-up hospital is Palomar Pomerado in Escondido.  They have a modern birthing center and allow midwives.  I'd stay far away from Tri-Cities Hospital, it has a terrible reputation for deliveries and bad reputation for being unclean and giving patients infections.  Recently, Tri-City won a contract to treat and house prisoners, so there's that risk too.

 

Please let me know if you have any other questions.  Welcome to San Marcos!

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Old 04-26-2012, 08:20 PM
 
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Hello everyone,

 

Nice to see a fellow Canuck here! I was looking at reviews for San Marcos California for schools and such and found this mothering site. How are the schools in San Marcos?

I have a 6 and 10 years old. How about jobs? We might be moving there for a job opportunity for my husband. So I have to look for a job for myself.  This will be a big move bec. we are coming from Toronto, Ontario Canada.

I have seen houses price ranging 199K and up for 3 bed and up which is very confusing for me because I thought California is more expensive than Toronto, prices here are 450K for a 3bedroom house.. Any recommendations or advice for this as well?  Any help will be greatly appreciated.

 

 

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Old 04-26-2012, 08:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annafella View Post

Hello everyone,

 

Nice to see a fellow Canuck here! I was looking at reviews for San Marcos California for schools and such and found this mothering site. How are the schools in San Marcos?

I have a 6 and 10 years old. How about jobs? We might be moving there for a job opportunity for my husband. So I have to look for a job for myself.  This will be a big move bec. we are coming from Toronto, Ontario Canada.

I have seen houses price ranging 199K and up for 3 bed and up which is very confusing for me because I thought California is more expensive than Toronto, prices here are 450K for a 3bedroom house.. Any recommendations or advice for this as well?  Any help will be greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

The San Marcos school district is ok from what I understand.  It's not as good as the neighboring Carlsbad Unified, but the test scores are better than much of San Diego Unified School District.

 

I would be very wary of a 3 bedroom home listed at under 300k anywhere in San Diego County, to be honest.  You might get a nice house in San Marcos for under that, but it likely won't be in a great neighborhood or school.  San Marcos was one of the areas hit hard by the housing boom, so there are some areas that have not been well-kept.  Many listings with lower asking prices are short sales or foreclosures, and the asking price often is much lower than the accepted purchase price, so be wary of that.  I know that in some areas, short sales and foreclosures can be a great way to get a home at a low price, but in San Diego, they generally sell for close to their market value, sometimes higher!

 

Because it is between the two main north-south freeways (the 5 and 15) and fairly far from downtown, the prices are lower than some other suburbs with better school districts (like the Poway school district) and/or closer to the coast (Carlsbad, Encinitas).  

 

I would highly recommend getting in touch with a realtor familiar with the area to give you input on neighborhoods - not just broad ranges, but specific subdivisions, as they vary greatly.

 

Best of luck with your decision and possible move!


A, jammin.gif mama to a boy (2005) and a girl (2009)
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:16 PM
 
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Hi! My family moved to the area 5 months ago and next week we're closing on a house in Escondido, very close to San Marcos. It's beautiful here, you will be enthralled every day!

I recommend joining this yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sandiegonaturalfamilies/

But don't apply until you've actually moved here--you won't get in! It is a great resource for all kinds of info about the area and a great way to meet other crunchy parents.
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