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Old 12-30-2007, 09:32 AM
 
2 posts, read 5,529 times
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I have taken a job in Irvine and will be relocating there from FL this summer. I have done some reading here and elsewhere and it is clear that real estate prices are the biggest shock to those moving into Orange county (or CA period). My wife and I would prefer to purchase rather than rent. Although I will be making upwards of 130K gross salary, it is not clear that we could afford a detached home. I am not sure of the CA tax system either, so don't know what 130 gross represents in take home dollars.

I have seen better prices on homes in Lake forest, Santa Ana, Mission Viejo and a few others. I was hoping for some links to information regarding school districts and the like. I have one daughter who would be entering elementary school in a few years, but (at least in FL) we purchased our home based on the quality of the high school.

Also, could someone provide me some links to info regarding CA taxes. If I understand correctly, property taxes are calculated based on purchase price of the home rather than straight assessed value.

What about expenses...homeowners insurances, utilities etc? Likely on avg the same as the rest of the country?

Thanks
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,289,503 times
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I would love to give you info on Mission Viejo, but recently about ten people have asked questions on it and it gets a little tiresome typing it all out. If you don't mind, can you first run a search on the city on this forum and also view the thread titled "Pictures of Orange County" where there are several pictures of Mission Viejo and other cities in the area. As far as schools, well I recommend all the schools in Irvine, they are the best in Orange County. Asian students make up the majority/ a signifigant portion of most of the schools and there is a heavy emphasis on sucess and getting perfect grades.
Run a search on the following good school districts and their schools:
Irvine Unified School District (serving city of: Irvine)
Capistrano Unified (cities of: Mission Viejo, Las Flores, Ladera Ranch, Coto de Caza, Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Dana Point, Aliso Viejo, and Rancho Santa Margarita)
Saddleback Valley Unified (cities of: Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, Rancho Santa Margarita, Foothill Ranch, Trabuco Canyon)
Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified (cities of: Placentia, Yorba Linda, parts of Brea, Anaheim, Fullerton)

In reference to Santa Ana, most on this board will agree with me that it is a big NO NO. Good schools do not exist in Santa Ana other than private ones like Mater Dei.
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Old 12-30-2007, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 83,000,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikewave View Post
If I understand correctly, property taxes are calculated based on purchase price of the home rather than straight assessed value.
Sort of. The initial tax is based on the purchase price and can increase a small amount every year. If the property goes down in value (like it well may do in the next couple of years) there is a way to petition (or something like that) to have the property reassessed and lower the tax. I went through this around the mid 1990s.
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:01 PM
 
575 posts, read 1,598,522 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikewave View Post
What about expenses...homeowners insurances, utilities etc? Likely on avg the same as the rest of the country?

Thanks

I agree that housing is the one area that really pushes cost of living in much of CA through the roof, but you may find other things a bit more expensive as well.

I don't know where you are in Florida, but a comparison between the Orlando area and OC (just general numbers since this particular calculator is not very specific) looks something like this:

United States Average Cost of Living Index = 100

Catagory.........FL / CA
Food............... 101 / 112
Utilities............ 102 / 114
Transportation... 98 / 110
Health............. 107 / 119
Misc................ 99 / 107

Housing.......... 94 / 223

Overall.............. 98 / 151

I think buying in a great school district is always a smart move, even for folks who don't have kids in school, just for the resale value.
That said, although you're likely to get differing opinions on this one.... I would be very careful about buying in OC right now. Just be sure you know what your goals are, research values, and don't fall into the whole everyone in CA overextends to buy RE or no one would ever own property trap.


Good Luck
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:19 PM
 
11,715 posts, read 35,962,694 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikewave View Post
I have seen better prices on homes in Lake forest, Santa Ana, Mission Viejo and a few others.
Don't live in Santa Ana. Lake Forest and Mission Viejo are nice. You can also check out Costa Mesa and Fountain Valley.
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Old 01-03-2008, 06:06 PM
 
376 posts, read 1,361,618 times
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Check out the Calif. API scores for a listing of school acedemic performance report. Generally the school districts Irvine, Capo and Saddleback are all pretty good. You can google them to find out more information. Saddleback Valley high schools, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, Trabuco have all been recently received awards.

In terms of what you can afford, it is difficult to calculate as we don't know your life style etc. Generally speaking plently of people buy on less then $130k but it depends on many other details, how much down, what type of loan, etc. I would recommend working with a lender/realtor locally who understand the market, tax scenerios, hoa and have them pre-qaulify you so you have a better understanding.

Happy New Year!
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:52 AM
 
2 posts, read 5,529 times
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Thanks everyone for the info... Seems that the solid conclusion is that Santa Ana is out. We are currently investigating schools. We are also trying to make final decisions about how much $ we could put down on a house. We do have to sell a place here in FL (Gainesville)...anyone interested?
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