A Walk Through the Willows


In our first installment of Better Know a Neighborhood, we gave a general overview of the San Diego community of Scripps Ranch. This time out, we will zero in on one development in Scripps Ranch – The Willows.

Willows Monument

The Willows is located “on the hill” as locals will tell you. This area, which also includes the Tiempo, San Angelo, Crown Collection, Terraza, Traviata and McMillin Presidio developments, is commonly referred to as Scripps Highlands, although the name Scripps Highlands was more correctly the marketing name for the first two of these projects (by Shea Homes). The builder, local McMillin Homes, promoted three distinctive exteriors offering a “variety of architectural stylings”. Being in San Diego, though, all include the requisite stucco and red tile roofs.

Willows Map

The Willows offers four floor plans with three to five bedrooms and ranging in size from approximately 2517 to 2877 square feet. None of the plans are single-level, yet the Plan 2 (The Spruce) features a downstairs master bedroom. The Plan 2 is also the only model which does not have a three-car garage (the Plan 1 has the third space in tandem). Lot sizes are not considered generous, even by Southern California standards, with most having lot sizes in the 5,000 to 6,000 square foot range. There are some exceptions, of course. Many homes back to others, but some do have yards backing to an open space ribbon, affording both privacy and peaceful, parklike views.

One of the appeals to original homeowners was the ability to customize floor plans. The builder offered many options, the most notable being the conversion of the downstairs “den” and half bath found in all models to a bedroom with closet and full bath. Plans with the three-car garage could also be modified during construction to provide an additional bedroom or office in the third-car space. The Plan 3 features a popular “dorm room” upstairs which many owners opted to configure as two, separate bedrooms. On cautionary note: If the original owner did not opt for the downstairs full bath that you desire, don’t plan on messing with the slab as you replumb, as Willows homes were constructed with post-tension slabs.

One home in the Willows was the subject of one of our previous posts on price trends in the area. These homes were originally constructed beginning in 1999 and were priced in the mid to high $300,000’s. In the past year, sale prices for Willows homes have ranged from $799,000 to $895,000, with the highest recorded price during this time being the oldest. As of this writing, no homes are currently offered for sale and just one is in escrow, though several have “failed to sell” (expired or withdrawn from the market) over the past several months, likely as the result of a softening market.


The huge popularity of the subdivision can be attributed in part to location, as Willows is generally considered to be the most affordable project on “the hill”. Also, passive and active pocket parks are a short walking or biking distance, while the beautiful Overlook Community Park offering playground and picnic facilities plus beautiful views of Miramar Lake is less than one mile away.

We will be visiting some of our other neighbors soon. In the meantime, if there are specific San Diego neighborhoods you are interested in learning more about, let us know!

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