Fairbanks Ranch Homes: A Family-Friendly Community
Welcome to Fairbanks Ranch
Fairbanks Ranch is a 24-hour security patrolled and gated residential community located in Rancho Santa Fe, California in San Diego County, south of the San Dieguito River Valley. Elite, private estates, wide private boulevards and landscaping characterize the ranch. A family-friendly community, the ranch’s prominent features include acres of park-like grounds, a park with five tennis courts, a splendid clubhouse, a 17-acre equestrian center, 9-hole putting green and an immaculate lake with a bird sanctuary island, catch-and-release fishing, paddleboats and rowboats. And its residents include eminent professional athletes, executives and philanthropists.
A Hollywood legend and a renowned developer, however, once owned this little-known gated community — and before that, it was part of a historic Spanish land grant. So where did it all begin, and how did we get to a gated community for the rich and famous and those seeking a family-friendly environment to raise their children?
The Early Days of Fairbanks Ranch
What we now know today as Fairbanks Ranch was once part of a historic Spanish land grant. In 1845, Pío de Jesús Pico, the last governor of Alta California under Mexican rule, gave Juan María Osuna, an early settler of San Diego, California, an 8,824-acre Mexican land grant called Rancho San Dieguito in what is now San Diego County, California. In 1922, Rancho San Dieguito became Rancho Santa Fe. In the meantime, in 1920, Theodore Reed, a movie director for actor Douglas Fairbanks Sr., encouraged Fairbanks to buy property within the greater Rancho Santa Fe area. Fairbanks purchased significant acreage in 1924. He and his wife, actress Mary Pickford, thus became co-owners of this acreage. They named the land Rancho Zorro” in honor of Fairbanks’ role in the movie “The Mark of Zorro.”
In 1977, renowned developer Ray Watt bought lots from eight different landowners to develop what is now known as Fairbanks Ranch.
Watt has also developed the nearby Fairbanks Ranch Country Club. Although they share the same name, the golf club is not affiliated with the gated residential community.
Modern-Day Fairbanks Ranch
Today, Fairbanks Ranch is a 24-hour gated community with 1,240 acres. According to the 2010 Census, out of 1,099 households, 958, or 87.2 percent, were family households. Its family-friendly amenities include a park with five tennis courts, a barbecue and picnic area, volleyball and basketball courts and a jungle gym as well as a community library in the historical pump house. Adults and children who are interested in playing tennis can receive private lessons from tennis professionals as well as participate in community tennis tournaments offered throughout the year. For those who appreciate nature, there is an abundance of nature-related activities, from a bird sanctuary island to walking and hiking trails. The ranch is also known for being home to many famous and wealthy residents.
Fairbanks Ranch also offers activities that bring all the residents together as well as activities targeting specific groups of people. At the clubhouse, people can have baked breakfast pastries and coffee and participate in Ashtanga Yoga. There is also a formal “Meet Up at the Park” in which neighbors, friends and new families unite to play games, converse and enjoy complimentary snacks at the park once a month. Children can participate in a children’s riding camp that is offered during the summer and holiday breaks as well as karate instruction and a tennis and surf camp. Women interested in improving their muscle strength can participate in a ladies gentle stretching and strengthening class at the clubhouse.
Fairbanks Ranch is known as a well-protected, safe, family-friendly community, but it does come at a cost. Indeed, the cost of living is higher than in most places in the United States. The average cost of living index in the United States is 100, but as of March 2012, the cost of living index in Fairbanks Ranch is 167. And as of 2013, the average price for sold homes (47 homes were sold) at Fairbanks Ranch was $2,687,435 and the average price per square foot was $419 per square foot. Its 92067 ZIP code is the second most expensive area for houses in the United States.
Fairbanks Ranch Timeline
- 1845: Pío de Jesús Pico, the last governor of Alta California (now the State of California) under Mexican rule, gives Juan María Osuna, an early settler of San Diego, California, an 8,824-acre Mexican land grant called Rancho San Dieguito in present-day San Diego County, California.
- 1920: Theodore Reed, a movie director for legendary actor Douglas Fairbanks Sr. suggests that Fairbanks purchase property.
- 1922: The Santa Fe Land Company changes Rancho San Dieguito to Rancho Santa Fe.
- 1924: Fairbanks purchases the ranch. Fairbanks and his wife, actress Mary Pickford, named the area Rancho Zorro, after Fairbanks’ role in “The Mark of Zorro.”
- 1977: Renowned developer Ray Watt buys parcels from eight different landowners to develop what is known as Fairbanks Ranch today.
- Fall 1979: Sales begin on Fairbanks Ranch homesites.
Fairbanks Ranch Statistics
Estimated median household income in 2012: over $135,718
Estimated per capita income in 2012: $55,592
Estimated median house or condo value in 2012: over $921,317
Mean prices in 2011: All housing units: $2,871,664; Detached houses: $2,871,664
Mar. 2012 cost of living index in Fairbanks Ranch: 167.0 (very high, U.S. average is 100)
Median real estate property taxes paid for housing units with mortgages in 2012: $10,001 (1.0%)
Median real estate property taxes paid for housing units with no mortgage in 2012: $10,001 (1.0%)
Unemployment in July 2013: 7.8%
Fairbanks Ranch Homes Sales Report 2013.
The average price for sold homes at Fairbanks Ranch in 2013: $2,687,435.
- There were 47 homes sold at Fairbanks Ranch in 2013.
- The average price per square foot in 2013 was $419 per sq ft.
- 75 acres of park-like grounds
- 27-hole golf course with three walkable courses
- 17-acre equestrian center
- 9-hole putting green
Fairbanks Ranch Infographic
Fairbanks Ranch Association
Click items to download Fairbanks Ranch documents & forms
♥ Gate 6
♥ Gate 3
♥ Gate 1