Professionals spend a lot of time on the go, chasing careers, looking for the next opportunity and closing big deals. So it's no surprise that when it comes to finding a home, they want a location that fits their lifestyle, doesn't have a whole lot of challenges, and works well for their needs to network and get from place to place. Fortunately, some of the best neighborhoods in San Diego fit very well for the young professional, whether he or she is on top of their game or just getting started on the big climb after graduation and arriving in the real world. San Diego itself is already a gem of a city to live in. With beaches to be jealous of, an easy drive to mountains nearby, a variety of neighborhoods and cultures, and a great year-round climate, there’s very little that people don’t like about the town. However, even in San Diego, some neighborhoods work a lot better for young people than others. It’s a combination of transportation, night life, entertainment, basics, low-responsibility living, and network that makes the difference. And it shows in the demographics; in 2010, the average age of San Diego residents was 32 and two thirds of the city was under the age of 35. As a result, San Diego regularly sits on the top 20 cities list for young professionals, including those just getting started looking for their first big job. Here are the most notable locations in town to take a look at and possibly call “home":


Night Life In Hillcrest
On the edge of the downtown core, Hillcrest has always been known for being a bit edgy and a little wild. It was first established in 1910, but Hillcrest became home to the City’s LGBT community and residents around the 1970s forward. Packed to the rim with unique businesses, stores, cafes, nightlife locations and restaurants or bars, there’s plenty to go around for a decade or two before a person even begins to get somewhat bored. And, economy-wise, the location is a great starting point for those on a budget as well as developing a career. 62 percent of the residents are at fulltime working age in executive, management and professional jobs. Another 20 percent are in sales or service or food, typically younger workers as well. The listing prices in the area are extremely competitive for a downtown location with home prices range between $250,000 to $900,000. The younger population creates a lot of energy that the neighborhood is known for, and it comes out in the local festivals.

Mission Bay

The quintessential beach location, Mission Bay has an assortment of beach shops and diners right on the water, but a half block inward, and its condominiums and beach houses. It also incorporates the area from the coastal beach line inland around the Bay itself. The water front units tend to be rented for the weekend to parties flying in, but there are a number of cozier units and homes for regular living just 50 to 100 feet further eastward. Sales prices list from a low of $750,000 to $1.9 million. The best part about this location is that aside from being a hot spot for young people it’s also extremely close to downtown and most of the office world. Further, when it’s time to get rid of the work stress, Mission Beach has more than a handful of great nightlife bars and clubs to shake off the tension and enjoy the ocean nighttime. The big outdoor feature is, of course, Mission Bay Park which is great for swimming, running, jogging and walking.

La Jolla

If one is lucky enough to afford the location or has the fortune to be an oceanography student at one of the resident schools, La Jolla is a dream come true for Western coastal living. Nicknamed the “Jewel by the Sea," and first planned in 1946, La Jolla is a big destination for tourists, but its unique geography limits the flow, and residents enjoy their lifestyle relatively unbothered except maybe in La Jolla Village itself, the main street. The neighborhood is very much a who’s who of celebrities, movers and shakers, students, and retirees. With a typical Mediterranean/SoCal climate tempered by the ocean winds, there’s few places on the coast that compete aside from Santa Barbara a bit further north or Avila Beach. Home listing prices range from $1 million to $3 million on average.

North Park

North Park
While experts might not be sure if a place is really “hip" when Forbes labels it as such, North Park is definitely not staid and old-fashioned. Located on the northern part of San Diego in throwing distance from Hillcrest, North Park is definitely admired for being a young person’s area with lots of small houses, cafes and coffee shops, diners, and a big brew crafting tradition in the area. A fine beer selection alone usually draws the young crowds as a big magnet, and North Park has plenty more to offer as well. Median home pricing in the area is approximately $485,000.

Little Italy

Little Italy in San Diego
With a median listing of just under $411,000, Little Italy is quickly become a regular connection point for professionals on the go and looking to vent some energy afterhours. Unlike some of San Diego’s other neighborhoods which have developed over the years, Little Italy was a product of city planning and marketing, so it is fairly new in age. The finished product has created a piazza that has become a people magnet. And, with more effort and resources, a promenade is planned for the neighborhood soon. The above said, Little Italy is just as known for its hamburgers and craft beers as it is for the street design and looks.

La Mesa

 Rolling Hills In california
Rustic and closer to the spread out eastern part of the county, La Mesa is influenced a lot more by the Southern California feel as well as the rolling hills in the area. The neighborhood itself has been modified and improved significantly, but the natural side of the hills creeps in just on the edges of town where the sidewalks disappear entirely. The downtown area is full of antique shops, Cali-Mex restaurants, diners, a few bars, and corner stores. But the big feature of the area is its relaxed, quiet feel of a back-country suburb of San Diego. The La Mesa median home price is approximately $470,000. For professionals who don’t want to be caught up in the buzz, urban zone and heavy traffic, La Mesa is a relaxing break and difference from the rest of San Diego. 85 percent of the working residents are in white-collar careers, typically a 30 to 60 years age bracket. Mind you, the above is not an exclusive list. There are some other neighborhoods and suburbs that are definitely worth looking at too like Otay Mesa, Imperial Beach, Bankers Hill, Encinitas, Mission Hills and Bird Rock. Some neighborhoods definitely have an apparent appeal, especially for young individuals looking for a vibrant place to set down first roots, but at the end of the day home is what one makes of it anywhere. That said, San Diego has more than a few gems to consider.