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Old 07-15-2011, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Brea, CA
24 posts, read 38,933 times
Reputation: 10

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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!

Last edited by jason_k_ca; 07-15-2011 at 04:34 PM..
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:52 PM
 
369 posts, read 540,923 times
Reputation: 235
If that was my budget ... Lake Forest, Alisa Viejo or Mission Viejo

Not crazy about the part of Tustin that that money will buy you
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:29 PM
 
Location: LA
6,240 posts, read 12,019,931 times
Reputation: 2579
i would also add brea and fullerton to your list.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
2,685 posts, read 2,469,580 times
Reputation: 1829
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickc007 View Post
If that was my budget ... Lake Forest, Alisa Viejo or Mission Viejo

Not crazy about the part of Tustin that that money will buy you
I agree, and I would throw Rancho Santa Margarita and Laguna Niguel into the mix.

It might be hard to find 2,000 sq. ft. at that price, so RSM might be your best bet (A few 2,000+sq.ft. listings for RSM are below).

Check Search Homes for Sale & Find Real Estate Agents Who Put You First | Redfin

A Sampler:

Aliso Viejo


3bd/2.5bth/1634 sq.ft./$549,000
57 EGRET Ln, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656 | MLS# S663681

4bd/2.5bth/1800 sq.ft/$499,000
35 CAYMAN BRAC, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656 | MLS# S665585

3bd/2.5 bth/1500 sq.ft./$479,000
28 SANTA CLARA St, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656 | MLS# P774408

4bd/3bth/1528 sq.ft./$519,000
8 WOODSWALLOW Ln, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656 | MLS# L35983

Rancho Santa Margarita:
4bd/3bth/2,200 sq.ft./$539,900
20802 SHADOW ROCK Ln, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92679 | MLS# S635857

3bd/2.5bth/2,237 sq ft/ $479,900
15 HEMINGWAY Ct, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679 | MLS# S650668

Laguna Niguel:

2bd/2bth/1,200 sqft/$485,000
24922 LAGUNA Vis, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 | MLS# L36445

2bd/2bth/1640 sq.ft./$539,000
31076 FLYING CLOUD Dr, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 | MLS# S656975

Last edited by pacific2; 07-15-2011 at 05:57 PM..
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
5,358 posts, read 6,273,076 times
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Aliso Viejo would be my call for a young family. Also look at Dana Point, Laguna Niguel.

If you want something closer to the Oceann and with a bit of an edge, try Huntington Beach or Seal Beach
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Brea, CA
24 posts, read 38,933 times
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Thanks for all the feedback! So far RSM and Mission Viejo seem to have the most properties within our criteria. Lots of short sales, but our time frame for buying is flexible so we might be able to take advantage of that.

Any comments re short-term rentals in a relatively central location?

We've also found a few properties in Anaheim Hills, yea or nay?
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
2,685 posts, read 2,469,580 times
Reputation: 1829
RSM and Mission Viejo are both good communities.

Quote:
We've also found a few properties in Anaheim Hills, yea or nay?
Anaheim Hills is fine, it all depends upon how important it is to you to be relatively beach-close, because you would have to deal with freeway traffic to get there from Anaheim. It’s much easier to travel to the Laguna Beach from either RSM or Mission Viejo. For some people it's important to be able to get to Laguna Beach’s shops, restaurants, etc. without making a big production of it; for others, it really doesn’t matter.

Also, does it matter if you live in a large or small city? Anaheim is much larger than either RSM or Mission Viejo; both of which are, incidentally, master-planned communities.

Quote:
Any comments re short-term rentals in a relatively central location?
I can make recommendations based upon what I know best, Aliso Viejo, so maybe others will chime in with their knowledge of different local short-term rentals. Aliso is very close to Mission Viejo, and just a short drive away from RSM, so you would have no trouble investigating houses in those areas at a leisurely pace.


Check-out Alicante Apartments:

‪Alicante Apartment Homes Aliso Viejo CA Sequoia Equities‬‏ - YouTube

Also, look at City Lights (Located at Town Center):

‪City Lights Apartments For Rent - Aliso Viejo, CA‬‏ - YouTube

It would probably cost you less to rent at Alicante than at City Lights.

Last edited by pacific2; 07-15-2011 at 10:23 PM..
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:08 AM
 
Location: LB/OC for now...
5,112 posts, read 12,131,436 times
Reputation: 1791
Just watch out for the property taxes in many of these places mentioned. They'll be double or more when you factor in charges like mello roos and even HOA fees compared to older communities
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
2,685 posts, read 2,469,580 times
Reputation: 1829
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhcompy View Post
Just watch out for the property taxes in many of these places mentioned. They'll be double or more when you factor in charges like mello roos and even HOA fees compared to older communities
Good point. Mello-Roos and HOA fees can significantly increase the actual cost of the home. So, the home that seems like a bargain based upon a low asking price, can in reality cost much more. One other thing, Mello-Roos is set and limited for a specific time like 30-40 years, but HOA fees always increase.

For example, in the case of the house at 20802 Shadow Rock Lane, RSM, the following applies:

A1 Property AV Tax =3545.30
Plus other assessments (such as Vector Control) totaling less than $100.

(Mello-Roos = 1593.3 and HOA @141/Month= 1692.0 )TOTAL= 3285.3

On the other hand, it’s important to look at houses on a case-by-case basis, because it’s not uncommon for sellers to increase the asking price to outrageous levels based upon the marketing gimmick of “No HOA/No Mello-Roos!”

Some older homes look very attractive on the outside, but once you walk in, or have the place inspected, you seem to have entered a time warp. You can buy an older home and then conceivably find that the roof must be replaced, it’s not wired for the internet, it needs new plumbing/electrical, there are pests, there are foundation problems, the carpets are creepy, windows are drafty, the kitchen and bath need to be brought into modern times, there are too few baths…

All of this is on top of the “premium” paid in possibly higher mortgage costs and concomitant accrued interest charges over the years, just to avoid HOA and Mello-Roos fees. Plus, property taxes are greater if the purchase price is higher for the older Mello-Roos/HOA-free home (Mello-Roos and HOA fees are not property taxes).

Always check a perspective home’s property taxes and Mello-Roos fees at the Tax Assessor’s website by entering either the address or the parcel number:
County Of Orange - Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office

HOA fees are often shown at the listing.

Last edited by pacific2; 07-16-2011 at 09:16 AM..
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Brea, CA
24 posts, read 38,933 times
Reputation: 10
I'm not too worried about mello roos...our current expenses are $3700/month (including mortgage, HOA, and prop taxes for a 1500sf townhouse) and at the top end of our price range the mortgage would be $2000-2500/month depending on interest rates, so a few hundred bucks a month extra is not a big deal. It's pretty amazing how much more you can get for your money in OC vs. the SF bay area.

After looking some more the Mission Viejo/RSM area looks like our top choice, but we've been finding some nice properties in Fullerton and Brea too so we would consider living there if the right house comes our way.
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