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Thread summary:

Moving to CA: orange county rental, homes, house, traffic analysis, taxes.

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Old 04-07-2008, 01:15 PM
 
246 posts, read 789,719 times
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Hi guys and girls.

My girlfriend and I are considering a move to Orange County from Connecticut because I have a job offer in Anaheim. If we decide to move, we would prefer to be settled in by August 1. We are coming from New Canaan, CT about 40 minutes north of Manhattan. I have been to San Diego once and my girlfriend frequently travels to San Francisco, but neither of us has spent time in OC.

My girlfriend will likely not have a job when we move out there. Are people friendly enough to invite her out so she won't be stuck home all day? (She is very outgoing and friendly, and big into fitness).

What is housing in OC like compared to New Canaan or Fairfield County? We looked at realtor.com but it's hard to compare without actually seeing the places in person. We don't want to spend more than $2,500 for a 2br, prefer 3br for when family/friends visit, we'd prefer to be close to the beach (a quick drive or walk would be nice) in a town that offers more than chain restaurants. We like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, etc. My future wife suggests that we purchase a home, but I don't feel the market is currently stable enough (I'm afraid the bursting bubble hasn't quite burst yet and I'll lose money). Any suggestions regarding the market (rent vs buy)?

Towns we are currently looking at are Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine and Rancho Santa Margarita.

How does OC view cohabitation? Will we be looked down upon because we are not married yet? We've lived in CT together and never had a problem. Is CA the same way - live and let live? What about politics?

Lastly, how is the drive from the coast to Anaheim? Traffic?

If anyone has been to Fairfield County CT and can compare the two, that would be great. We are coming in blindfolded at this point and really could use your help!

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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Where is the job in Anaheim? Its a pretty big city. Anaheim to HB could be anywhere from 20-60 minutes depending on exact locations. Laguna Beach is very expensive and too far from Anaheim anyway. Rancho Santa Margarita is a nice area but its pretty far from Anaheim too. Irvine is nice but expensive. Its reasonably close to parts of Anaheim.

No one cares if you live in sin. Well some might, but most won't care. I lived with my wife before we were married and no one batted any eye.

Don't buy a house in this market. No one knows when and where the bottom will be. Getting in now could mean being upside down and stuck in it for years. 2 bedroom apartments in HB and surrounding areas go for under $2,000. 3 bedrooms are harder to find but you should be able to rent a privately owned townhouse within your budget.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EscapeCalifornia View Post
Where is the job in Anaheim? Its a pretty big city. Anaheim to HB could be anywhere from 20-60 minutes depending on exact locations. Laguna Beach is very expensive and too far from Anaheim anyway. Rancho Santa Margarita is a nice area but its pretty far from Anaheim too. Irvine is nice but expensive. Its reasonably close to parts of Anaheim.

No one cares if you live in sin. Well some might, but most won't care. I lived with my wife before we were married and no one batted any eye.

Don't buy a house in this market. No one knows when and where the bottom will be. Getting in now could mean being upside down and stuck in it for years. 2 bedroom apartments in HB and surrounding areas go for under $2,000. 3 bedrooms are harder to find but you should be able to rent a privately owned townhouse within your budget.
I will be working near exit 110A off of I-5. I don't mind an hour commute - I commute from my home now to Hartford which is about 2 hours with traffic so anything will be better than that!

We really like Huntington Beach. The more I look at pictures of it the more I like it. Is it a conservative or liberal city? Clean? What about the crime?

Also, is $120k enough for 2 people to live a comfortable lifestyle in OC? (enough to have a decent car, vacation, dine out occasionally)

Last edited by kidyankee784; 04-07-2008 at 02:36 PM..
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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Also does CA have car tax? Sorry for all the questions!
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,291,138 times
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Another good tool for checking out a place from far away is Google's new Street View. Basically go to google maps, and on the choices of map types select "street view." You drag the little man onto a street and it shows you a 360 degree virtual tour of what that street looks like. It is one of the best tools in my opinion for seeing what a place looks like from thousands of miles away. A good amount of Orange County has been covered by this tool so it is great. It is nice because say you are looking at a condo and it looks great. You want to know what the nieghborhood looks like though right? Well, google street view brings that to you.

I live in the southern portion of the county in Mission Viejo next to Rancho Santa Margarita. For a couple without kids, I would think Huntington Beach would be better. RSM is families and there isn't really any night life other than restauraunts and stuff to do as a family. It depends on what you want though. If you want a quiet suburb, RSM might be for you. The commute could be a little much, probably an hour at rush hour.

All of Orange County is pretty conservative, it is one of the most Republican supporting counties around, expecially in California.
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 83,018,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missionhome View Post
Another good tool for checking out a place from far away is Google's new Street View.
Check out the Bird's Eye View on maps.live.com, it's the highest res I've seen on the internet. Plus, you can often view a location from four different angles.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,291,138 times
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^^^^^
I forgot about that one. That is good too. Together with the combination of all these angles, you practically can visit the area! It should be a good indicator of a clean area to live.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:16 PM
 
11,715 posts, read 35,970,383 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidyankee784 View Post
I will be working near exit 110A off of I-5. I don't mind an hour commute - I commute from my home now to Hartford which is about 2 hours with traffic so anything will be better than that!

We really like Huntington Beach. The more I look at pictures of it the more I like it. Is it a conservative or liberal city? Clean? What about the crime?

Also, is $120k enough for 2 people to live a comfortable lifestyle in OC? (enough to have a decent car, vacation, dine out occasionally)
OK that's right by Disneyland. HB is 30-45 minutes away. You might also look next door at Fountain Valley. $120k is OK as long as you don't try to buy the median single family house. Your best bet is to take a few days to drive around the area and see what locations appeal to you.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:30 PM
 
Location: South Bay
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Seeing that your single and that your not looking for a complete suburban environment(which is much of Orange County), I would recommend Newport Beach, Huntington Beach or Costa Mesa. Lots of things to do with very good beach access and a reasonable distance from Anaheim. A few more cities that you may consider that are not as close to the beach but much closer to Anaheim are Fullerton, Brea, and Orange. You should be able to find good sized apartments and maybe even some detached homes in your price range in most of these places. I would also rent if I were you when you first move out here, the market is extrememly volatile right now and since you konw nothing of the area, it's better to be safe than sorry. As for cohabitation, as long as your not telling everyone at the local church service on Sunday mornings, no one is going to care.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:41 PM
 
246 posts, read 789,719 times
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Thanks everyone. We're going to zero in on Huntington Beach but also check out Costa Mesa. It was also recommended to us by some ex-Californians out here. We're coming to visit in a week - can't wait!
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