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Old 01-04-2020, 10:43 PM
 
82 posts, read 68,999 times
Reputation: 24

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So I'm hoping to move to LA/OC (or Bay Area) in a couple years (2022).

My wife is from DC (Bethesda/Potomac area), and I need to convince her that LA >> East Coast. Anyways, she is open to move to west coast.

Combined income is around 500-600k.
Both of us are professionals.
We are hoping to have 2-3 kids (no kids yet) in the next few years.

Any suggestions for a couple in mid-30s, wanting to start a family?

Here is what we are looking for:

1. Multicultural/Cosmopolitan Area
2. Relatively good access to freeways
3. Close to International Airport (<30 min drive)
4. Good Schools
5. Warm Weather (main reason we are moving to Cali, I assume this is not an issue in LA/OC compared to Bay Area)
6. "Cool restaurants"
7. Being relatively close to downtown LA (<60 min ideally)
8. 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home. I guess around 2500 sq?

We lived in NYC x 5 years, and we like areas like Park Slope, Bay Ridge (Brooklyn) for comparison.

What do you suggest is a good budget for what we want? We are first time home owner buyers.
I was initially thinking around 1.2 million, but my wife thinks I'm crazy to spend that much first time. So maybe around 800k? I'm not sure. Should we rent initially instead? I just hate dumping money into rent, been doing it all my life. How's the housing market forecast in LA/OC next 5 years?


Based on above, which areas would you recommend for us? Doesn't have to be just in OC, also open to LA. I just didn't want to spam all over the LA board with same message as well.

I have no idea where/which neighborhoods to even start looking in LA/OC!

Thanks!
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:19 AM
 
325 posts, read 178,704 times
Reputation: 809
#1 and #2 are going to be easy, the entire region is multicultural and close to freeways. Some areas will be more cosmopolitan than others - think urban vs suburban.

As to #3, If you want to be within 30 min of an international airport, you are limited to something closer to LAX or San Diego. In San Diego look at La Jolla maybe. In L.A., you will want to probably start looking in the South Bay Area of Manhattan Beach and the Palos Verdes Penninsula (cities of Palos Verdes Estates, Roling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates).

OC is an hour from LAX, and about an hour from San Diego. It has a very good airport also, but much smaller and I do not think it is considered "International" even though some international (Cancun) flights come and go from there. It is called John Wayne airport but its official name is Santa Ana (SNA), but no one calls it that.

#4 is not in my bailiwick, I don't have kids.

#5 Ummm, the whole Southern California area is going to have warm weather. Hotter in the inland desert areas, a bit cooler if you are couple miles from the coast.

#6 I think that is kinda the same as #1.

#7, within 60 min of downtown LA again limits you to the PV Peninsula and maybe Manhattan Beach. That is if you are staying within 30 min of LAX. The Pasadena, La-Canada / Flintridge, Sierra Madre, Arcadia areas are very nice and within 60 min of downtown, but they are NOT 30 min from LAX.

#8 you will find all over, but they are not usually built that big out here.

You want a suggestion that will do you well? Rent for a year before deciding where to purchase. There are WAYYYY too many areas with different degrees of your variables to make a solid decision at this point. I suspect that is also why so few have responded to your original post.

Last edited by ElDiabloJoe; 01-05-2020 at 09:20 AM.. Reason: Added info about OC and its "international" airport
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:28 AM
 
Location: SoCal, but itching to relocate
523 posts, read 279,369 times
Reputation: 761
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElDiabloJoe View Post
#7, within 60 min of downtown LA again limits you to the PV Peninsula and maybe Manhattan Beach. That is if you are staying within 30 min of LAX. The Pasadena, La-Canada / Flintridge, Sierra Madre, Arcadia areas are very nice and within 60 min of downtown, but they are NOT 30 min from LAX.
I concur with the above response. Those areas will also get you the "good schools" you asked about. Check out some of the real estate websites to see what your $1.2 million budget gets you (probably less than you'd expect, sadly).
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:48 PM
 
82 posts, read 68,999 times
Reputation: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElDiabloJoe View Post
#1 and #2 are going to be easy, the entire region is multicultural and close to freeways. Some areas will be more cosmopolitan than others - think urban vs suburban.

As to #3, If you want to be within 30 min of an international airport, you are limited to something closer to LAX or San Diego. In San Diego look at La Jolla maybe. In L.A., you will want to probably start looking in the South Bay Area of Manhattan Beach and the Palos Verdes Penninsula (cities of Palos Verdes Estates, Roling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates).

OC is an hour from LAX, and about an hour from San Diego. It has a very good airport also, but much smaller and I do not think it is considered "International" even though some international (Cancun) flights come and go from there. It is called John Wayne airport but its official name is Santa Ana (SNA), but no one calls it that.

#4 is not in my bailiwick, I don't have kids.

#5 Ummm, the whole Southern California area is going to have warm weather. Hotter in the inland desert areas, a bit cooler if you are couple miles from the coast.

#6 I think that is kinda the same as #1.

#7, within 60 min of downtown LA again limits you to the PV Peninsula and maybe Manhattan Beach. That is if you are staying within 30 min of LAX. The Pasadena, La-Canada / Flintridge, Sierra Madre, Arcadia areas are very nice and within 60 min of downtown, but they are NOT 30 min from LAX.

#8 you will find all over, but they are not usually built that big out here.

You want a suggestion that will do you well? Rent for a year before deciding where to purchase. There are WAYYYY too many areas with different degrees of your variables to make a solid decision at this point. I suspect that is also why so few have responded to your original post.
Thanks for the helpful, informative response.

Just trying to get the ball rolling, to see which areas I should "narrow" in on. Will look into your suggestions.

Apart from Zillow, and suggestions for real estate websites, specifically for LA area?

Cheers,
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
5,075 posts, read 6,618,171 times
Reputation: 4176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz2014 View Post
So I'm hoping to move to LA/OC (or Bay Area) in a couple years (2022).

My wife is from DC (Bethesda/Potomac area), and I need to convince her that LA >> East Coast. Anyways, she is open to move to west coast.

Combined income is around 500-600k.
Both of us are professionals.
We are hoping to have 2-3 kids (no kids yet) in the next few years.

Any suggestions for a couple in mid-30s, wanting to start a family?

Here is what we are looking for:

1. Multicultural/Cosmopolitan Area
2. Relatively good access to freeways
3. Close to International Airport (<30 min drive)
4. Good Schools
5. Warm Weather (main reason we are moving to Cali, I assume this is not an issue in LA/OC compared to Bay Area)
6. "Cool restaurants"
7. Being relatively close to downtown LA (<60 min ideally)
8. 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home. I guess around 2500 sq?

We lived in NYC x 5 years, and we like areas like Park Slope, Bay Ridge (Brooklyn) for comparison.

What do you suggest is a good budget for what we want? We are first time home owner buyers.
I was initially thinking around 1.2 million, but my wife thinks I'm crazy to spend that much first time. So maybe around 800k? I'm not sure. Should we rent initially instead? I just hate dumping money into rent, been doing it all my life. How's the housing market forecast in LA/OC next 5 years?


Based on above, which areas would you recommend for us? Doesn't have to be just in OC, also open to LA. I just didn't want to spam all over the LA board with same message as well.

I have no idea where/which neighborhoods to even start looking in LA/OC!

Thanks!
I would suggest that you first pare down your wish list and rank your priorities. For example, how important is it for you to be within 30 minutes of an international airport, based upon predicted future use? How often would you need an international airport?

You also say that you want to be close to Downtown LA, but you also hope to one day have 2-3 kids. Would being close to Downtown LA be that important for you in the future with 2-3 kids to raise? Are you prepared for dealing with LA's traffic?

What's more, you state, "We lived in NYC x 5 years, and we like areas like Park Slope, Bay Ridge (Brooklyn) for comparison." As a former Manhattanite (UWS), I'd suggest that you accept the LA/OC area for what it is; and forget about finding areas comparable to NYC because they don't exist.

I would also recommend that you take at least a week to travel around both LA and OC to get a sense of of what this general area is actually like, to see what appeals to you the most.

Regarding your housing budget of $880K-$1.2M with 3bd/3bth and 2500 sq ft, it's doable. I am partial to South Orange County for a variety of reasons, and if you decide to compromise on some wishes, you might want to check-out family-friendly South OC cities, all with good schools.

Here are some examples of what's available:

Ladera Ranch:$1,103,000/4bd/3bth/3,139 sq.ft.
https://www.redfin.com/CA/Mission-Vi...4/home/5935495

Rancho Santa Margarita:$899,000/5 bd/3bth/ 2,890 sq ft.
https://www.redfin.com/CA/Rancho-San...8/home/5782744

Mission Viejo:$1,170,000/5bd/3.5 bth/3,972 sq ft
https://www.redfin.com/CA/Mission-Vi...2/home/5049747

Aliso Viejo: $1,238,900/5bd/3bth/2,990 sq ft.
https://www.redfin.com/CA/Aliso-Viej...6/home/4869474

Laguna Niguel: $1,039,000/3bd/3bth/2,647 sq. ft.
https://www.redfin.com/CA/Laguna-Nig...7/home/4959219
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Old 01-05-2020, 06:26 PM
 
325 posts, read 178,704 times
Reputation: 809
Concur with Pacific2, So OC is prime, unless you are commuting to DTLA. As for real estate websites, I prefer Redfin.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:08 PM
 
82 posts, read 68,999 times
Reputation: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pacific2 View Post
I would suggest that you first pare down your wish list and rank your priorities. For example, how important is it for you to be within 30 minutes of an international airport, based upon predicted future use? How often would you need an international airport?

You also say that you want to be close to Downtown LA, but you also hope to one day have 2-3 kids. Would being close to Downtown LA be that important for you in the future with 2-3 kids to raise? Are you prepared for dealing with LA's traffic?

What's more, you state, "We lived in NYC x 5 years, and we like areas like Park Slope, Bay Ridge (Brooklyn) for comparison." As a former Manhattanite (UWS), I'd suggest that you accept the LA/OC area for what it is; and forget about finding areas comparable to NYC because they don't exist.

I would also recommend that you take at least a week to travel around both LA and OC to get a sense of of what this general area is actually like, to see what appeals to you the most.

Regarding your housing budget of $880K-$1.2M with 3bd/3bth and 2500 sq ft, it's doable. I am partial to South Orange County for a variety of reasons, and if you decide to compromise on some wishes, you might want to check-out family-friendly South OC cities, all with good schools.

Here are some examples of what's available:

Ladera Ranch:$1,103,000/4bd/3bth/3,139 sq.ft.
https://www.redfin.com/CA/Mission-Vi...4/home/5935495

Rancho Santa Margarita:$899,000/5 bd/3bth/ 2,890 sq ft.
https://www.redfin.com/CA/Rancho-San...8/home/5782744

Mission Viejo:$1,170,000/5bd/3.5 bth/3,972 sq ft
https://www.redfin.com/CA/Mission-Vi...2/home/5049747

Aliso Viejo: $1,238,900/5bd/3bth/2,990 sq ft.
https://www.redfin.com/CA/Aliso-Viej...6/home/4869474

Laguna Niguel: $1,039,000/3bd/3bth/2,647 sq. ft.
https://www.redfin.com/CA/Laguna-Nig...7/home/4959219
Thanks for the informative post.

Ok, you're right. I probably don't need to be close to Downtown LA, so I can scrap that.

I think being close to airport (30-40 min drive) is a priority, since we do a lot of travelling (like once a month, for business and vacation).

So honestly, to narrow down my "wishlist", basically only 3 major needs:

1. Good Schools
2. 30-40 min drive to airport
3. Multicultural (my wife is big on diversity, etc.)

So any neighborhoods that fit these 3, let me know.

I guess for LAX, based on this thread, Manhattan Beach and Palos Verdes are what I should consider.

The areas you suggested, Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo/Aliso Viejo, seems pretty close to John Wayne (but not LAX). I presume John Wayne is only domestic? Does it have decent volume of flights to east coast (we will be flying 3-4x/year to visit fam).
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Lone Mountain Las Vegas NV
14,245 posts, read 5,548,518 times
Reputation: 6386
Let me see if I can shed some light. I went through this some decades ago. In fact my children all grew up in OC.

We immediately came up with three options. We were not driven by LAX but our office was only a couple of miles from it. So we dealt with the airport every day effectively. The options were the beach cities, Palo Verdes or northern OC. Twice we did it and elected northern OC each time. We did Los Alamitos which is just in land of Seal Beach just over the county line from Long Beach. Los Al is actually an old suburb of Long Beach. But it located very conveniently at the junction of the 405 and 605. So good to go north or west.

Following that are the various beach and near beach communities. Stay north and do not get too far from the freeways. Important for a calm life.

Schools are reasonably good. Seal Beach and Los Alamitos share one. We found it fully workable and we were reasonably fussy. Virtually all the places along that coastal stretch are fine.

Forget about the half hour from LAX. It can be done but safely only at 3AM. The office two miles could not get you their reliably in 30 minutes. The last couple of miles into LAX is often well over half an hour. The daily pattern was shoot up the freeway to the harbor quick...then a half hour to get the next 5 miles.

I traveled at least three times a week for many years. Trans continental or more at least once every two weeks.

Do not get too carried away with the warm climate. Major reason we left there was that it was too cool and damp. In the spring and early summer you get the June gloom. Sun barely comes out until the late afternoon. We very seldom used our very nice patio in the afternoon...too cool and moist. We did however love our spa. Spent many happy hours there in the late afternoon.

And there are some really neat things. My wife and I would ride our tandem down to the beach in Seal Beach on the bike trail along the 605 freeway. Goes all the way to the beach.

A wonderful place to be a kid.
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
5,075 posts, read 6,618,171 times
Reputation: 4176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz2014 View Post
Thanks for the informative post.

Ok, you're right. I probably don't need to be close to Downtown LA, so I can scrap that.

I think being close to airport (30-40 min drive) is a priority, since we do a lot of travelling (like once a month, for business and vacation).

So honestly, to narrow down my "wishlist", basically only 3 major needs:

1. Good Schools
2. 30-40 min drive to airport
3. Multicultural (my wife is big on diversity, etc.)

So any neighborhoods that fit these 3, let me know.

I guess for LAX, based on this thread, Manhattan Beach and Palos Verdes are what I should consider.

The areas you suggested, Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo/Aliso Viejo, seems pretty close to John Wayne (but not LAX). I presume John Wayne is only domestic? Does it have decent volume of flights to east coast (we will be flying 3-4x/year to visit fam).
John Wayne handles primarily domestic flights, and it's hard to get a direct connection to the East Coast, with the exception of Newark and Detroit (Midwest region, of course). So, Manhattan Beach and Palos Verdes would be a much better choice than South OC if being near LAX is important.

Schools are good.

Regarding diversity, coastal cities are far less diverse than inland areas. None of OC is comparable to NYC in terms of diversity.

For an exact racial breakdown, check census quick facts. The figures for Aliso Viejo can be found here:
https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fa...rnia/RHI125218

You can, of course, also plug in Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Manhattan Beach and Palos Verdes.
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
5,075 posts, read 6,618,171 times
Reputation: 4176
I wonder if Long Beach has more of what you are seeking in terms of diversity, night life, and proximity to LAX? I don't know how many of the public schools are good, so you might want to go private if you select it.

Long Beach: $1,400,000/6bd/4bth/2,944 sq ft.
https://www.redfin.com/CA/Long-Beach...7/home/7522182
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