Move to the Rural Community of Fallbrook, California

10 Critical Issues to Consider Before Embarking on a Lifestyle Kickstart, Anywhere!

By Jerry Kalman

Realtor, HomeSmart Legends  (BRE# 01328697)

For more information on Fallbrook and real estate here, contact me via phone or text: 760-468-4689)

Moving to the country represents an increasingly important next or final step to many, whether to make a major step toward retirement, a desire to get closer to the land in the golden years, a preference for a healthy lifestyle away from urban ills, or perhaps to pick a great place to raise a family.

Here in Fallbrook, California, at the southern end of the Golden State we see these as the primary reasons among those who bail out of nearby inner cities or even the closer-in suburbs to look toward this kind of exurban environment for their next or final home.

Some come here with the idea of testing the idea by buying a second home.

Then there are the “tire-kickers” who spend week-ends here, staying at resorts, including the easily accessible casino operations run by local Native American tribes.

The more committed take the plunge and pull up stakes, completely.

However they get here and regardless of their motivations, their questions and concerns revolve around ten issues that every person who flees to the country considers:

  • Acceptance by neighbors – Small towns are notoriously inner-directed. License plate frames, however, proclaim this corner of San Diego County as “The Friendly Village”, and to most that is an understatement.  Small town values pervade community organizations here and summer get-togethers along the town’s Main Avenue.  There is even a Christmas parade down this same street.
Hot Summer Nights scene on Fallbrook's Main Ave.
Hot Summer Nights scene on Fallbrook’s Main Ave.
  • Access to urban amenities – Many homegrown businesses, ranging from those providing farm-to-table produce to large grocery and drugstore chains operate within the unincorporated boundaries of this 50,000-person community. Just ten miles north is Temecula, a thriving bedroom community in southwestern Riverside Community, and 20 miles south is Escondido, a major population center in San Diego County, and a mall with a Nordstrom’s!
An abundance of local produce abounds in the Fallbrook area's ag community
An abundance of local produce abounds in the Fallbrook area’s ag community
  • On/off the grid – With an abundance of sunshine for solar energy, a satellite dish for TV and internet service, a smartphone and a deep-water well, consider life off the grid, even living so close to two major metropolitan areas (San Diego and Riverside, each less than an hour away), without being a survivalist. There’s even a humongous strawberry patch on the “outskirts” of town when you can pick all you want.
Fallbrook's beautiful Santa Margarita Valley where a river flows year-round
Fallbrook’s beautiful Santa Margarita Valley where a river flows year-round
  • Cost of living – For many on fixed incomes, even semi-remote living can seem expensive, yet with major grocery chains competing with local farm stands selling fresh produce, Big Box stores approximately ten miles away, many cost-saving incentives for seniors that include property tax savings, the cost of living can be managed. One local grocery operation offers ten percent discounts to seniors once a month and to military (active and retired) once a week.  With a temperate climate, gas and electric bills can be moderate, too.  And property values in this rural section of San Diego County are lower than many surrounding communities.
  • Environment – The smog-free air gets refreshed daily with ocean breezes more than half the days of the year, keeping the local temperature halfway between the damp coolness of the coast and the hot arid conditions of the nearby desert. During some hot spells in the late summer and fall, that same dry desert air comes in from the north and east.  A local conservation group, the Fallbrook Land Conservancy, manages more than 2000 acres of land for protection of plant and animal species and provides hiking trials for the public.
Fallbrook Land Conservancy maintains a network of trails for the public at Los Jilgueros Preserve
Fallbrook Land Conservancy maintains a network of trails for the public at Los Jilgueros Preserve
  • Geographic diversity – Two river valleys, one on the north side and another to the south, run parallel toward the ocean, flanked by hills and mountains that create scores of micro-climates. This diverse geography supporting in-village homes, resort-based condos and small farms and ranches provides a wide range of residential living styles.  In some areas, one can even find expansive views toward the ocean or of placid flower fields.  And don’t forget there are always beautiful sunrises and sunsets visible from almost anywhere in the community.
Fallbrook's iconic Sleeping Indian at the southwest corner of the community
Fallbrook’s iconic Sleeping Indian at the southwest corner of the community
Palomar Observatory is but half an hour from the east side of Fallbrook
Palomar Observatory is but half an hour from the east side of Fallbrook
Anza Borrego State Desert is but an hour from Fallbrook
Anza Borrego State Desert is but an hour from Fallbrook

Of course, being remote yet accessible also says that Fallbrook is less than an hour away from a mountaintop, such as the Palomar Mountain Observatory; an hour from desert resorts at the Anza Borrego Desert State Park and the Salton Sea; as well as, less than half an hour from several coastal communities with wide sandy beaches along the Pacific Ocean.

 

The Pacific Ocean at Oceanside is but 20 minutes from Fallbrook
The Pacific Ocean at Oceanside is but 20 minutes from Fallbrook
  • Commuting/telecommuting – High-speed broadband internet services through cable, DSL and satellite offer most home-based businesses and telecommuters the opportunity to work within the privacy of their residences. Located away from any major population centers, freeway access to Interstate 15 is usually quick, no more than fifteen minutes from anywhere in Fallbrook.  Interstate 5, running along the coast, can be as close as 20 minutes, depending on time of day.  And two major airports in San Diego and Ontario, California, are often only an hour away, again, depending on time of day.
  • Emergency services – Police and fire protection are provided by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, which maintains a fully-staffed office in Fallbrook, and North County Fire, which has fire stations located strategically throughout the community for rapid response. Both are accessible directly through a call to 911.  Several urgent care facilities operate along with scores of doctors, dentists and other health care providers for health care delivery.  Hospitals in Temecula and Escondido provide more extensive medical facilities.
  • Community – Fallbrook is more than 100 years old, and in that century-plus many organizations, both elected and volunteer have emerged to support residents and visitors, alike with brick and mortar places to visit as well as conduct civic business. There are: a vibrant chamber of commerce that promotes local businesses (http://www.fallbrookchamberofcommerce.org/), a local planning group (http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/pds/docs/CP/Fallbrook_CP.pdf), several cultural organizations ranging from art to local history, churches supporting many major faiths and scores of other organizations.
The Fallbrook Land Conservancy is but one of scores of local non-profit organizations that serves the communityThe Fallbrook Land Conservancy is but one of scores of local non-profit organizations that serves the community
The Fallbrook Land Conservancy is but one of scores of local non-profit organizations that serves the community
  • Recreation – In addition to the many miles of local hiking and horse friendly trails in the community along with world-class golf courses there is a unique blend of sports fields, parks and public facilities in Fallbrook available to children and adults.
Santa Margarita River flows from Temecula through Fallbrookk and on out to the ocean at Oceanside
Santa Margarita River flows from Temecula through Fallbrookk and on out to the ocean at Oceanside

With an abundance of land and agriculture, it is no surprise that there are many nurseries, both public and wholesale, support those with a green thumb.

Wholesale and retail nurseries are everywhere in Fallbrook
Wholesale and retail nurseries are everywhere in Fallbrook

And for the oenophile, the area is rapidly becoming the next Napa Valley as Fallbrook blends grape growing with its signature focus on avocado production.

Fallbrook is destined to become the Next Napa Valley with excellent grape growing microclimiates
Fallbrook is destined to become the Next Napa Valley with excellent grape growing microclimiates

And that, of course, includes the other end of the wine grape process, an emerging winery community, as well.

Casa Tiene Vista is but one of the world class wineries emerging in Fallbrook
Casa Tiene Vista is but one of the world class wineries emerging in Fallbrook

A short distance away are several well-known casinos operated by local tribes of Native Americans.

Getting and Staying Here

Driving to Fallbrook is easy: Interstate 5 along the coast connects you to California Highway 76, a four-lane road from Oceanside to the southern boundary of Fallbrook.  There is also Interstate 15, a major north-south artery on the eastside of the community with two off-ramps, Mission Rd. and California 76 that feed into Fallbrook.  The heart of the Village is ten minutes west along Mission Road.

In addition to the well-known Pala Mesa Resort (http://www.palamesa.com/) along Interstate 15, there are several motels in the community as well as many private residences that are rented out on AirBnB (https://www.airbnb.com/) and VRBO (https://www.vrbo.com/).

For more information on Fallbrook and real estate here, contact me via phone or text: 760-468-4689)

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Jerry Kalman is a photographer and writer who moved to the country in 1999 and has stayed in the Fallbrook area ever since.  He is also a realtor (CA BRE # 01328697) and active in local community organizations, among them the Fallbrook Land Conservancy and the Fallbrook Community Planning Group, an independent and elected body of citizens advising San Diego County Supervisors on local land use and design issues.