Pros and Cons of Living in Del Mar

The charming village of Del Mar, situated along the coast of California, has earned a reputation for its idyllic way of life.

With its breathtaking shorelines, quality amenities, and high-end retail options, Del Mar is a magnet for wealthy people and growing families.

But what is it like living in Del Mar? Are there any hidden drawbacks, or is everything idealistic without difficulties? In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of living in Del Mar.

Call us today if you want to enjoy Del Mar's attractions while avoiding its high costs. Our local real estate experts will assist you in locating the ideal Del Mar property—one that displays the benefits of coastal living while shielding you from its drawbacks.

Pros and Cons of Living in Del Mar




High Cost of Living

Public Schools

Lacks Diversity

Employment Opportunities

Limited Nightlife Spots

Things to Do


Crime and Safety


Luxury Real Estate Market


Pros of Living in Del Mar


While taking a walk on the beach on warm, sunny days, you'll see kids playing in the waves under blue skies filled with clouds. And as the older kids bodysurf the mellow waves, Del Mar's iconic stretch of sandy shore provides a ton of fun for the younger ones.

Every summer, the Del Mar Fairgrounds come to life with live music, carnival games, and fried treats that would satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Numerous excellent schools, libraries, and playgrounds provide what children need to grow up healthy. Wide sidewalks and parks also give children lots of space to run around and play.

Public Schools in Del Mar

Whether you have children of school age or are looking for options for pre-kindergarten, excellent schools are available for the kids growing up in Del Mar.

Del Mar Union School District

The Del Mar Union School District (DMUSD) serves the city of Del Mar and the surrounding area. The district is home to six elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. With an overall Niche Grade of A, DMUSD is routinely rated as one of California's top school districts.

San Diegouito Union High School District

The San Diegouito Union High School District (SDUHSD) serves Del Mar as well as Rancho Santa Fe and Solana Beach.

The district is home to three high schools:

  • Canyon Crest Academy
  • San Dieguito High Academy
  • La Costa Canyon High School SDUHSD often ranks among the best school districts in California—it was ranked the best in California.

In summary, the public schools in Del Mar are outstanding. Resources, academics, and skilled teachers rival those of private schools. Del Mar's school systems often rank among the best in California, which is great news for parents moving here.

Jobs in Del Mar

To live here, reliable employment and a solid income are important to afford the costs of living in Del Mar. Although there aren't many companies in Del Mar itself that can employ the majority of people, residing here allows for shorter commutes to key employment hubs.

A 15-30-minute commute will get you to a lot of well-paying professional positions in areas such as the University Town Center, Sorrento Valley, La Jolla, and Torrey Pines.

Residents regularly work in jobs like:

  • Biotech
  • Finance
  • Technology
  • Education
  • Healthcare

More people can work remotely nowadays, meaning locals can reside in Del Mar without having to commute. Nevertheless, earnings in Del Mar are generally higher than the national average.

Del Mar's average household income, according to recent research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $121,000. Entrepreneurs are drawn to start businesses in Del Mar thanks to the town's low overhead costs and welcoming locals.

Things to Do in Del Mar

Families and active retirees will love Del Mar's walkability, community atmosphere, numerous outdoor recreation opportunities, and cultural attractions.

Life on the Beach

The two-mile-long Del Mar Beach is the main attraction. There is something for everyone, whether you prefer swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, or beach volleyball. After you've had your fill of the sun, take a stroll around Seagrove Park to take in the breathtaking ocean vistas.

Along Coast Boulevard, dozens of outdoor cafés and eateries entice you to stay for lunch or dinner. The ideal destination to spend a day exploring is Del Mar Village. You can also restock your pantry with freshly baked products and organic veggies every Sunday at the Del Mar Farmers Market.

Outdoor Fun

The hiking trails that go through San Dieguito River Park and the adjoining Torrey Pines State Reserve will appeal to outdoor enthusiasts. Explore the bike paths that connect miles of riding routes.

Community and Culture

Summertime events at the Del Mar Fairgrounds include horse and car shows, concerts, food festivals, and the famous county fair. What's more, neighbors get together for parties, food drives, and community fundraising events.

A Safe Place to Call Home

Del Mar is a safe place to live thanks to wealthy residents, a high homeownership rate, and active citizens. Only 121 crimes were reported in Del Mar in 2022, at a rate of 1,650 per 100,000 residents, according to recent FBI data. Compared to the national average of 2,510 per 100,000 people, this is much lower.

For comparison, here are the crime rates for other major Californian cities:

  • Los Angeles: 3,457 per 100,000 residents
  • San Diego: 5,355 per 100,000 residents
  • Oakland: 4,322 per 100,000 residents

The crime rate in Del Mar was 1,837 crimes for every 100,000 people in 2019.

Over the last three years, the crime rate in Del Mar has decreased by 12%.

The following factors contribute to Del Mar's safe neighborhoods:

  • A $120,000 average income suggests less poverty and a lesser need for crime.
  • Unlike rentals, owners occupy 86% of housing units.
  • Active community groups such as Neighborhood Watch and Citizens Patrol support law enforcement.
  • A city with little under 5,000 residents fosters cooperation and responsibility.

Del Mar Homes for Sale: A Wise Investment for the Wealthy

Del Mar's housing market is both expensive and exclusive. Residences in this coastal community have price tags to match the million-dollar waterfront views. Property values have increased, though, for those who can afford it.

Here is an overview of the Del Mar real estate market:

  • Median home value: $2,028,732
  • California median: $822,500
  • U.S. median: $229,800
  • Entry price: $1-2 million
  • Average price per square foot: $971

Del Mar homes for sale have proven to be a wise investment despite their eye-popping price tags. Zillow reports that property values have increased on average 4.14% per year over the past decade.

That said, few people can afford to buy in Del Mar. But those who can earn coveted access to one of Southern California's most affluent neighborhoods of luxury living.

Cons of Living in Del Mar

Expensive Place to Live

Living in Del Mar comes at a high price. Only those with significant means can truly enjoy what this coastal town has to offer. Homes on the beach cost a million dollars plus, not to mention hefty taxes, and daily costs to match.

As we've already mentioned, Del Mar real estate is pricey:

  • Over $10,000 in property taxes are due each year.
  • The average utility cost is more than $200 per month.
  • For a household of four, the average monthly grocery expense is over $1,000.
  • Gas price averages $4.00 per gallon.

You can see that Del Mar has expensive housing costs. That said, reliable employment and a solid financial plan are important if you're considering moving to Del Mar.

An Elite White Neighborhood

Despite California's reputation as a melting pot of cultures, Del Mar is a mostly white community. According to the recent census, Del Mar has a non-Hispanic white population of 83.2%. This is higher than the 37% state average.

The Asian population is 8.4%, Hispanic or Latino is 2.6%, Black or African American is 1.8%, and 4.0% is of other racial groups. Furthermore, there is an economic component to the lack of diversity.

In comparison to California, where the average household income is $84,097, for Del Mar it is $121,000. The bulk of residents are among the top 20% of earners in the country. Compared to 14.2% in the state, only 6.3% of the population is considered impoverished.

Del Mar demographics summary:

Income and Poverty Amount
Average Household Income in Del Mar                                                       $121,000
Average Household Income in California                                                                      $84,097
Percentage of Population Considered Impoverished in Del Mar 6.3%
Percentage of Population Considered Impoverished in California                              14.2%

Note: The table provides a general comparison using the latest available data.

Del Mar's early 20th-century origins as an exclusive coastal community for affluent Caucasians led to its mono-culture makeup. Despite the prohibition of discrimination, Del Mar has a history of resisting change.

No Nightlife in Town

While Del Mar is a great spot to start a family or retire in luxury, the city falls short when it comes to offering options for young singles and couples looking for a night out.

The dearth of nightlife options in the city is because of its demography, geographic location, and zoning regulations. Del Mar can be a good option if you want a peaceful relaxed community.

However, you might want to think about other options if you're searching for a city with vibrant nightlife.

The Sunny Side of Paradise: The Verdict

Deal Mar's beach town atmosphere, expensive homes, high taxes, and lack of nightlife cater mainly to wealthy residents.

If you can afford the premium admission price, Del Mar truly offers a unique experience for families, retirees, and those seeking a traditional southern California coastal lifestyle. It's time to gain insight for yourself.

Contact us and let's explore available listings in Del Mar. You can count on our local real estate experts to assist you find a home that maximizes coastal charm while minimizing drawbacks.

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