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Old 07-20-2011, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Duarte, CA
5,120 posts, read 5,292,527 times
Reputation: 3317

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You're looking at Tustin or Fountain Valley for a happy medium between price and proximity to the beach. Tustin's more walkable but Fountain Valley is slightly nicer.. Plus you'll find good theatre and fine dining in nearby Orange and Huntington Beach respectively.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:12 AM
 
369 posts, read 535,128 times
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Wasn't that crazy about Tustin's "proximity" to the beach

When I moved there about 8 years ago, shooting down Jamboree was doable.
Not with all the mini malls and traffic lights now

It's about 15 miles to the nearest beach, Newport
any traffic and it's at least 1/2 hour to 40 minutes
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:39 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,186 times
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Default Laguna Audubon I

One of the best kept secrets is Laguna Audubon I. I bought in 1993 and it's a great place to live. A 4 bedroom is around 529,000 down from 750,000 back in 07. It is next to nice parks, hiking trails and Laguna Beach is just a couple minutes away. We have no mello-roos and the association is around 70 a month. It has tons of little kids and they go to the Laguna Beach Unified instead of the crowded Aliso Viejo schools. I lived in Laguna Beach for about 6 months but I prefer it here because there are no crowds and homeless. It is very safe for children and I dont even lock my cars at night. I think it's the only place in south county that doesnt have melo-ross.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
2,876 posts, read 4,453,894 times
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Aliso is very nice...I like it. I have a few friends that live there and I also used to hike the trails there in Canyon view park which is really cool. But I don't think you can go wrong in most of South Orange County
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:22 PM
 
Location: laguna beach
200 posts, read 267,679 times
Reputation: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_k_ca View Post
We are looking to relocate from the SF Bay Area (Milpitas) to Orange County. My wife and I are in our early 30s and we have a 4 month old daughter, and we're looking to purchase a SFR in the $400-550K range, at least 2000sf with a nice backyard in a more temperate climate and good schools. We don't drink or party but we do enjoy live theater, fine dining, and hiking. Beach proximity is a nice-to-have but not a must. A walkable neighborhood is also important.

Any ideas on where to look (or where to avoid)? The specific location within OC is not that important since I work from home and my wife is a SAHM. We have family in Van Nuys and will have more family in the San Diego area in the new future. So far a lot of the properties we're interested in are in Lake Forest, Placentia, and Tustin, not sure how those neighborhoods compare.

Also, since we're selling our house in Milpitas first, we'll need to find a short-term rental in the area, so any suggestions there would be helpful as well.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!
There are only a few "walkable" neighborhoods in Orange County, and most of these neighborhoods are a little bit more expensive than the upper end of your budget. You should look at Old Town Orange (should be able to get a <1500 sq foot house here for a bit more than 550k).


There are several communities that forum posters here like to claim are walkable since there are homes in that community that are walking distance to strip malls (i.e. Aliso Viejo). If this is a "walkable" neighborhood there are plenty of cities which meet this criteria.

Another cheaper option vs Old town Orange is Brea which has an honest to goodness downtown, you could easily find something in this area that fits your criteria. Fullerton is also a decent option, the better neighborhoods are in the hills north of chapman. There are several good neighborhoods in Fullerton (some are walking distance to downtown), Fullerton also has pretty good schools.

If your looking at "master planned" south county communities there are no walkable neighborhoods just houses and strip malls.






Quote:
Originally Posted by videosmithlaguna View Post
One of the best kept secrets is Laguna Audubon I. I bought in 1993 and it's a great place to live. A 4 bedroom is around 529,000 down from 750,000 back in 07. It is next to nice parks, hiking trails and Laguna Beach is just a couple minutes away. We have no mello-roos and the association is around 70 a month. It has tons of little kids and they go to the Laguna Beach Unified instead of the crowded Aliso Viejo schools. I lived in Laguna Beach for about 6 months but I prefer it here because there are no crowds and homeless. It is very safe for children and I dont even lock my cars at night. I think it's the only place in south county that doesnt have melo-ross.
maybe a few minutes to the canyon, definitely not a few minutes to the downtown where all the action is.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Irvine, CA
22 posts, read 38,131 times
Reputation: 10
Just wanted to update this thread, we managed to find a 4BR ~2000sf REO property in the mid-400s in Brea on a half-acre lot. It needs a little work but the backyard is well worth it.

Thanks to everyone for all the advice, one of the best decisions we made was to stop looking in south county and focus on the Brea/Fullerton/Placentia area (with an excellent realtor who knows the area very well).
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,579 posts, read 2,504,967 times
Reputation: 2727
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_k_ca View Post
Just wanted to update this thread, we managed to find a 4BR ~2000sf REO property in the mid-400s in Brea on a half-acre lot. It needs a little work but the backyard is well worth it.

Thanks to everyone for all the advice, one of the best decisions we made was to stop looking in south county and focus on the Brea/Fullerton/Placentia area (with an excellent realtor who knows the area very well).
Good for you. I was going to say that you weren't going to find a nice backyard in South County for that price. It's one reason we'll never buy a house down in this area.
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