Monday, November 30, 2015 • 02:33

Viva Valley Center!

November 13, 2013
OK, I admit it. You can call me a cheerleader for Valley Center real estate and lifestyles, and here's why: The superb value Valley Center living offers often makes me want to run an ad in the Escondido edition of the Union-Tribune that would say something like this:

Mark Larson

Why would you buy a tiny-lot house in the crowded city for $375k when that same money would buy you a beautiful 2-acre estate in the wide open spaces of Valley Center?"

For example, in Escondido, $375k buys a typical 3-bed, 2-bath house with 1500 to 2000 square feet of living space, on a fraction of an acre lot. This is in the City, mind you, with all its crowding, crime, busy streets, urban and city views. But back in the old country of Valley Center, that same $375k brings buyers a typical minimum 2-acre lot, with a 1300 to 2000 square foot home, and plenty of room to roam.

Of course, the vast majority of Valley Center lots are also zoned to allow horses, chickens, cows, or a small family farm. That same $375k in Valley Center buys a 3-bed, 2-bath home with quiet nights, clear star-filled skies, and frequent coyote concerts with backing vocals by barn owls. In the city, night time sounds often heard are emergency vehicle sirens, honking horns and shrieking car alarms.

The Valley Center home typically comes with access via free flowing rarely congested country roads rolling through groves and native lands. Indeed, Valley Center offers similar lot sizes and an open country living look and feel much like Rancho Santa Fe, but at a fraction of the price.

Yet as a guy who grew up in Escondido from 1967 thru the 1980s, we "Didoites" used to wonder how people could ever live in Valley Center. We used to call Valley Center "The Old Country" and "The Great White North" because it seemed so remote from Escondido.

"Where do you get food? And how can you live so far away from everything," were common questions we denizens of 'Dido would ask VC residents back in the 1980s. Now, living here in VC, we locals understand and accept that once you get over the mental block of the 15-minute drive to Escondido for a major supermarket, Valley Center becomes a great place to live and a superb real estate value.

Even the mobile home parks in Valley Center offer more value for your housing dollar than Escondido and surrounding cities. Consider the monthly fees of $550 at Valley Center's Hideaway Lakes with free unlimited catch and release fishing, and Skyline Ranch mobile home park offers free unlimited golf for $755 space rent per month, with wide-open beautiful surrounding countryside, versus the cluster, crime and city noise of urban Escondido mobile home parks.

Yes, I am a die-hard fan of Valley Center living, with driving distances of just 40 to 60 minutes to the Pacific Ocean, and within a two hour drive of every major climate and attraction Southern California offers.

Mark Larson is a San Diego County native and Valley Center resident for the past 17 years. Larson has completed numerous short sale transactions, and multiple home remodel projects in Valley Center. As a land owner and flower grower, Mark is experienced in various land use opportunities. Mark has two children attending elementary and middle school in Valley Center, and has been farming flowers and managing rental properties in Valley Center since 1993. Larson specializes in helping buyers and sellers find and create value in Valley Center properties. Mark is available to work with clients six days a week, and always available by cell phone to answer client questions. 760-638-0368,

  1. print email
    November 14, 2013 | 09:24 AM

    I agree and that is why we moved to Valley Center from the City. I hope this gem never changes. Please let us keep our community rural.


    Steve Taylor
  2. print email
    Livingin V.C.
    November 20, 2013 | 02:08 PM

    I moved here 4 years ago to on of to one of the hideaways. I will never go back to city living and will do what I can to help keep our (GEM) unincorporated.

    Julie T.
  3. print email
    Well said...
    November 20, 2013 | 03:47 PM

    I had dreamed of being moving to Valley Center for over 4 decades but for various reasons could not, but in 2006 that dream came true. My wife and I now have 1.67 acres of paradise with a view that is incredible, with coyotes, rabbits, squirrels, road runners and quail who share our land, and the peace and quiet that we have never experienced before.

    This is heaven on Earth. This is where I belong.

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