SAN DIEGO — The American dream is still alive in the suburbs of San Diego, according to a new study by Today’s Homeowner.

As the cost to live in the region climbs with increased gas prices and soon-to-be water rate hikes, being a first-time home buyer can be tough in the local market.

To help those looking to purchase their first house, the research team at Today’s Homeowner, which gives expert advice on home improvements, conducted a study to find the best suburbs in America.

In doing so, the researchers compared 583 suburbs of the largest U.S. cities by population across 11 metrics spanning these four categories: affordability, inventory, job opportunities and livability.

Some things that were taken into consideration include the down payment-to-income ratio, homes for sale per 100,000 residents, median household income, and percentage of households with children, among other factors.

Here’s the top eight San Diego area suburbs to buy your first home, according to this study:

— No. 8: Encinitas

— No. 7: Carlsbad

— No. 6: El Cajon

— No. 5: Oceanside

— No. 4: Vista

— No. 3: Escondido

— No. 2: Chula Vista

— No. 1: San Marcos

Residential neighborhood
Residential neighborhood with large houses in San Marcos, Calif. (Adobe Stock Photo)

Nestled in the hills between San Diego and Escondido, the research team at Today’s Homeowner explained that San Marcos has “beautiful trails, parks, and scenic vistas that take advantage of the Southern California climate.”

While describing their findings further, they pointed to San Marcos’ “vibrant, growing downtown area with boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment venues.” They also noted the area’s quality schools, community events, and easy access to San Diego attractions.

Overall, San Marcos is ranked No. 468 “best” suburb in the country for first-time homeowners, based on this analysis.

More information on the methodology and the full results of the study can be found here.

According to Today’s Homeowner, the top U.S. suburb of 2023 is Bel Air, Maryland.