Help Needed In Comparing Housing/schools/crime/smog (San Diego, Anaheim: to rent, condo)
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Help Needed In Comparing Housing/schools/crime/smog
Hi to all
Can anyone give me a realistic opinion of what cypress & cerritos areas are like if you are to rent there. I need to know how much easier it would be to commute from these places to Buena Park, where job is. Also are their good schools here and what district do the schools come under. I am trying to find as good an area as Irvine but nearer to Buena Park. Irvine just seems to far out to commute by car.
Also what do most of you Cali folks think of these gated communities? Are they safe, do they create this, (Iam better than you because you don't live where I do?)Does everyone try to keep up with the Joneses who live there?
Out of curriosity does Irvine suffer with smog?
Would love to hear from any-one, good or bad thoughts.
Born and raised by the beach in south OC. Bailed out in 1996....
Spent a decade in law enforcement in LA County, and still have old partners and friends patrolling that area. Cerritos is good, Cypress is so-so. Cerritos is very asian, has high property values and good schools (Leal Elementary was outstanding...my wife student taught there years back)
Cypress has a mix. Nicer areas and some crummy areas. Moderator cut: linking to competitors sites is not allowed]
If you're commuting to Buena Park, personally I would live over in the Fullerton/Brea area and commute west on Chapman. Or east Anaheim (around the 57/Lincoln) and commute down Lincoln. Or look at La Mirada which is where a LOT of cops I know still reside and it's a short hop up Beach Blvd. Or I'd commute on Beach Blvd from Huntington Beach. Cerritos, while nice, is way too close to the crappy parts of LA county IMHO so you'll have unpleasant folks for whom driving into your area to burg your house/cars is convenient.
Irvine gets really smoggy. But the biggest issue for me was the traffic. I had a condo in Laguna Hills (off Moulton) and commuted up to Lake Forest/I-5 and up through Irvine. What a mess. Too few restaurants and services, too many cookie cutter neighborhoods with CC&R's to drive you nuts. If you like the Irvine area, look at Tustin Ranch (just 2 exits up I-5).
You will run into less keeping up with the Joneses if you're in central/north OC. Where I grew up in South OC, my first car was a Porsche, and at my high school, there were a lot more pricey cars than that. Too many people I know in South OC (I still visit frequently) are still so badly hung up on appearances they just can't even see why it's not OK for their kids to be in day care until 7PM so they can both work 2 jobs to afford their Hummer or M3 payments.
IMHO gated communities are a GOOD idea in north OC or eastern LA County, less for security and more for status in South OC. I grew up in one and there were far fewer cars broken into and stuff stolen from front yards than places where anyone can just drive around. Home burgs weren't that much different. Professionals get in if they want to get in. When policing LA County areas, I can tell you that with the exception of domestic violence which transcends all lines and breaking up huge parties (a common thing for folks with huge houses), we had way far fewer calls from gated communities so that says something.
If you have more real specific questions, email me at cybernicus(at)earthlink(dot)net
Hi Mrs. W. - I responded to the other thread you posted in. However, wanted to add a little based on your post here- I love gated communities! I live in one - in South O.C. I'm not kidding myself that it makes me safer, well maybe a little, but I know its not fool-proof. As far as "keeping up with the Jones's," yes there is some of that. It takes a while to catch it, but you will eventually. It can be a little fun, if you don't take it too seriously. In our neighborhood, I just have to recognize that there are people so rich, I will never be able to keep up. (i.e., prof. athletes with $10M dollar homes, ferarris, etc.). We who live in the track homes have to be content with our mere $1M homes, and bottom-of-the-line Mercedes Benzes. (ha ha, a bit of sarcasm here). Gated communities will keep out the loiterers, tourists, roaming bands of teenagers, etc. They also insulate you from unannounced visitors, which is great if you have family nearby. They are mostly for prestige, but it is kind of nice to know that random people are not just driving through to check out the big houses. CC&R's can be a bit of a hassle, but their goal of keeping the neighborhood nice and pleasant is laudable. (CC&R's are basically rules of the neighborhood that you must abide by or you can be sent nasty letters and fined small amounts like $50-100. Typical examples of CC&R's are you must bring your garbage bins in by the end of the day on trash day, you must get approval to paint your house a different color, or you can't park an RV or boat on your lawn. You may get letters or fined if your front yard is not kept up or your dog barks too much, etc.). I must disclose that I'm a bit biased toward newer areas. I like it when things match architecturally and the stores are new, big, and well-stocked. I love the new schools, new roads, big parks, and younger families you will find in newer areas. I even like the man-made lakes surrounded by paths filled with moms pushing strollers (prams) at 10:00 a.m. Some people hate it, and think its too conformist. But I don't see a problem with being in a pretty place, even if it is a bit artificial. (I like Disney too!) I have lived in big cities and older areas too, and they have their charms. Its fun when you're in your 20's and single. However, when you are settled down and trying to raise a family, its nice to be a little insulated. I don't think its bad that my kids have never been to a bad area. They don't see grafitti everywhere or hear gunshots at night. They are a little bit sheltered, and that's o.k. with me. There is plenty of time for them to find out how priviledged they are later. Right now, I'm glad that they think the privilege they have is just normal. Now, south O.C. is a pretty bad commute from Buena Park, but there are new areas in northern O.C. like Yorba Linda, Anaheim Hills, Fullerton, and Brea that are comparable, I'm just more familiar with the south.
As for smog, I don't think its any worse in Irvine than the rest of the area. You can't really tell its smoggy until you get away from it and look down. For instance, when you take the toll road over the hill and look down into South O.C., you can see the layer of smog. But once you get in it, you really can't tell. Isn't that reassuring? But seriously, its not that bad. Back in the 70's it was much worse - I remember not being allowed to play outside at school due to "smog alerts" in L.A. However, since auto emissions have been curbed, I can't remember the last time there was a "smog alert" that advised kids to not play outdoors.
Don't let all this scare you off. Some people will go on and on about traffic, crime, earthquakes, smog, fires, snobs, expensive homes, etc. And yes, there are neighborhoods you should never ever venture into - just like London, but that doesn't keep you from shopping at Harrods Knightsbridge or in Kensington does it? People in Southern California are still people, just trying to have a nice life and provide nice things for their kids. You'll find nice people, mean people, liberals, conservatives, rich, poor, essentially all types. Ignore all stereotypes, because they are just that. When you come, you'll find a pleasant neighborhood and a pleasant street. You'll make friends on your street or at your kids' schools, sports teams, etc. You'll find the good restaurants and shops, learn your way around the freeways, and after about a year, you'll feel at home here, only much much warmer and tanner. Having lived between Santa Barbara and San Diego my entire life, I confess I'm a little jealous of you just starting out on this great adventure and seeing this wonderful area for the first time. Prepare to be overwhelmed, shocked (my husband says gobsmacked), surprised, and pleasantly amazed. All you won't be is bored!
A big thanks to Sagle of Sagle & Naners22.Also to those I havn't thanked for their input too.
What a whole lot of useful info which I appreciate greatly.My husband is in Cali right now and has been loaded up with what areas to visit etc, from your responses. Lots to take in but definately without all this input we would be more than lost in this big world of California.
If he will work in Buena PArk, why not live there? Will save you A LOT of traffic commuting nightmares. Make sure you pick North Buena Park, or La Mirada, Fullerton area.
I live in N. Buena Park, in a gated community and I love it!
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