OK, lets get the bad stuff out of the way first. La Presa doesn’t have oodles of amenities making it an undiscovered hidden gem. It also has relatively little public transportation, and the air quality could be better. Graduation rates are middling and the commute is relatively long. But! There are some serious advantages to living here, not the least of which is land. Yeah, there’s space out here. Houses have real backyards and some boast as much as an acre. Even apartments have bulky balconies and generous garden patios. And it’s inexpensive. Though the cost of living is higher than the nation’s average (by about 20 percent), its well below what you should expect for Southern California real estate. Before you get your pants in a twist about the other stuff, you should know that La Presa is perched close to up-and-coming communities like La Mesa, Lemon Grove, and Spring Valley, and you’ll never have to worry about parking.
The vacancy rate isn’t inspiring, so plan to start your search at least a month or two in advance. There are some quality spots around here, but it helps to get in on the ground and dig around. One apartment building may be a portal to hell while the same block may hold a surprising treat with (maybe, possibly, not likely though, so don’t hold your breath) a few utilities included. Outdoorsy types should get a bit pumped: the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge is on La Presa’s doorstep. And individuals looking for a break on rent who don’t mind driving 15 minutes to the beach can have all the best of San Diego for a more reasonable price.
Just kidding, there aren’t any real neighborhoods around here. It’s not a large town, covering roughly six square miles in its entirety. It’s also important to note: there are lots of single-family homes that may make more sense for individuals looking for an opportunity to have some land. Otherwise, it’s mainly complexes with anywhere from five to 200 units. Keep to the edges of La Presa to find better-quality rentals with pools and other goodies.
East Jamacha: This is a main street in La Presa that goes from the 125 all the way to Rancho San Diego. RSD is lovely and is recommended. But, it’s close to the freeway, chain stores, restaurants, and Mexican food of the most delicious variety. It is inexpensive, with lots of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, it at least offers a good selection.
Spring Valley Overlap: To the north, La Presa and Spring Valley are hard to distinguish from one another. There are more home rentals here, as well as something akin to luxury apartments, at least according to East County. But it’s a pretty mixed bag.
Lemon Grove:Far north of La Presa, Lemon Grove has a serious case of the cutes. Close to two freeways and blooming with local restaurants, businesses, and upscale-adjacent grocery stores, you should head this way if you need more amenities than central La Presa can offer. Expect a jump in rent to follow.
La Presa Central: Slim pickings here. Mostly single-family homes without the luxury of enormous back yards. There may be options for renting them, and there is one giant complex on the edge of town, but this is mainly the domain of settled-in family types struggling with mortgages.
La Presa, as youve probably noticed, is still figuring itself out. There are some great options for living inexpensively here, but it takes some digging. Month to month leases, however, are pretty easy to secure, though most places aren’t welcoming to pets.
Living in La Presa certainly has its upsides. Students and families who want a quiet existence while maintaining a proximity to San Diego’s myriad entertainments love it here. Plus, the Mexican food is out of this world, and it cannot get any less expensive. The nearby gentrifying neighborhoods are guaranteed to help pull La Presa up in the future, so getting your foot in the door now may save stacks of cash in a few years. Ultimately, La Presa is where homeowners go when Spring Valley’s properties seem a bit pricey for their quality. Skip the apartments and find a rare home rental for the best possible experience here.