In the early 1980's Pardee Development broke ground on the first complex in what is now called Carmel Valley, the complex was named the Del Mar Highlands. The complex is now referred to as "the Highlands." Back then the area was called Del Mar East, or East Del Mar. Today, Carmel Valley has grown from that complex in the west, at the I-5 intersection, to I-15 in the east. An east/west freeway, called 56, is the route that takes people in either direction.
The area has grown dramatically and with it the population. The homes in Carmel Valley range from condominiums to large single family luxury homes, almost all are built in developments. Pardee has built most of the homes. There are a few areas where individual lots were sold and then designed and built by individual custom home builders. Those areas are close to I-5, and are gated communities. All are on hills and some of the homes have lovely views. One of the areas has a golf course and the 5-star luxury hotel called the Grande Del Mar. The number of elementary schools has, also, grown. The quality of the schools is very good. There are three high schools, Torrey Pines High School is the oldest. Take a look at the link that I have included and you will be introduced to a great place for first time home buyers or families who are moving from another state, or another location in San Diego or California.