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Old 05-01-2008, 12:51 AM
 
1 posts, read 11,367 times
Reputation: 12
Default Irvine vs. Aliso Viejo or Mission Viejo

Hello,

My fiancee and I are currently living in Irvine, and are considering buying. We're trying to decide whether to buy in Irvine or in a surrounding area (some seem to be a bit cheaper). We have thought of looking in Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, and Foothill Ranch. We're new to the area in general, so we don't really know what the differences are between the cities, other than the the further out you go, the longer the commute. We're wondering more about the character of the different areas. We really like Irvine - we like the planned feel and how clean it is in comparison to other areas. We also like that the school district is great, so we won't need to pay for private school. However, we haven't lived here long, and we would love to get some input from anyone who has more knowledge of the area. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanx
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:39 AM
 
Location: LB/OC for now...
5,112 posts, read 11,788,409 times
Reputation: 1787
they're all good areas, the only real difference is that most of irvine, MV, and Lake Forest are older homes. Aliso Viejo will be newer
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:23 AM
 
Location: Irvine CA
45 posts, read 94,882 times
Reputation: 34
Howdy neighbor!

I had to go through the same thought process almost 10 years ago. My wife & I were in an apartment in Irvine and looking in the same areas. We stayed in the city by the biege. Heres a couple random thoughts on why.

MV,AV & LF are all below the El Toro "Y". Back in the day before the expansion & the 73 toll road, it was a notoriuos bottleneck. The widening has made it 1000% better, but with Ladera Ranch, Talega, Etc. being built out I can see the growing trafic volume making the 5 south of the Y and the Y itself a nightmare again. Actually all of the major arteries in south county are getting pretty thick already. (On the other hand, if they build one more high rise apartment or condo on Jamboree all of west Irvine is going to turn into a parking lot during rush hour in another 5 years)

My wife & I are beach people. Can't afford to live in a beach town, but need to be close - i.e. < 30min. AV passes this test along w/ Irvine. RSM, FR, LF, MV all flunk. (Plus we personally prefer the beaches in Huntington & Newport v. Doheny/Laguna/Capo and they are easier to get to from Irvine)

We were looking to have a family and the schools in Irvine were were the best. Saddleback & Capo are very good school districts, but Irvine schools are great.

Parks & Pools - Irvine has the most parks for kids and they are everywhere. As Dinks we enjoyed all the HOA facilities - tennis courts, pools & hot tubs, etc. While I was hot on Aliso Viejo due to the lower cost we had friends from there who often commented on missing the pools & parks in Irvine, so that made me realize we would to.

In Irvine if I desire to, I can walk to shopping, dining and movies.

Places we go for fun outings- theaters, OC Performing Arts Center, Laguna Beach, South Coast, Fasion Island, Dsineyland, LA - all closer from Irvine.

More job opportunties - Just my perception, but I felt If we lived south of the Y the commute would be restrict me to companies and careers in OC. From west/ north irvine I feel like I can stretch as far as LA for work.

At the time, Irvine had the best turn key housing. LF was (and is) a bit more downscale from Irvine. Lots of older homes & not as well planned. The affordable starter homes in Mission Viejo were all 20+ years old. AV, RSM and FR had good houses at a better prices. But RSM & FR are not freeway close. It takes 15-20 minutes just to get to the 5 from them. AV was a little better, Maybe 10 minutes to the freeway. Of course the toll roads solve that for $8+/ day. But none of these had the amentities Irvine offers.

Finally, my perception of life in South County - particularly FR, RSM and especailly MV - was very family oriented. Seems like everyone had kids and life centered around schools, AYSO, club sports, etc. Kind of like a soccer mom lifestyle on steroids. Now that we have kids that is more attractive, but at the time as DINK's we thought Irvine offered the best balance of family friendly, good schools, lots of career options and central location. So here we are.

At the end of the day any one of these is a good place to live. It's just like choosing chocolate or vanilla ice cream, a matter of preference. Good Luck!
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:38 PM
 
365 posts, read 948,614 times
Reputation: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by inirvine View Post
Hello,

My fiancee and I are currently living in Irvine, and are considering buying. We're trying to decide whether to buy in Irvine or in a surrounding area (some seem to be a bit cheaper). We have thought of looking in Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, and Foothill Ranch. We're new to the area in general, so we don't really know what the differences are between the cities, other than the the further out you go, the longer the commute. We're wondering more about the character of the different areas. We really like Irvine - we like the planned feel and how clean it is in comparison to other areas. We also like that the school district is great, so we won't need to pay for private school. However, we haven't lived here long, and we would love to get some input from anyone who has more knowledge of the area. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanx
Hi there,

Just to complete the picture, do you also work in Irvine? What needs and wants do you have in a neighborhood (i.e. parks, shopping, churches, recreation/sports)? Also, what would you like in a home? You have many options and some great deals on both new and existing homes.

Another thought, you mentioned Mission Viejo. Just know that it was ranked #1 safest city last year in the 75,000- 99,999 people category.

Lastly, living in South Orange County brings the blessing of many high ranked schools. One website you could use is greatschools.net. It will show you that you have options when it comes to higher ranked schools.

Feel free to contact directly or reply to this post for more information and help. There are a lot of helpful people who are willing to shed some light into what will be an amazing adventure for you and your fiance. Oh, and if I may ask a personal question, when are you getting married? My wife and I are coming up on one year, so we love talking about it with newly weds and those to-be
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:26 AM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
67 posts, read 141,959 times
Reputation: 39
Me and my wife currently live in Lake Forest. It is a nice city, but I would say that Irvine is probably the best city out of LF, MV, FR and AV to live in, mainly because its closer to LA and north OC. FR, MV and AV are just as nice in terms of houses and neighborhood, and probably close in terms of schools, but Irvine is centrally located. Also, its sandwhiched between the 5 and 405 freeways, so you have good access to quickly get to where you're going. My only concern with Irvine is that the high school kids there seem somewhat materialistic, particularly the girls. This would be the only thing deterring me and my wife from moving there if we have kids, although the educational system is terrific. Me and my wife will move from Lake Forest to Irvine or Fountain Valley if we end up having kids. If we don't, we might stay in Lake Forest, or move to Huntington Beach.
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Ladera Ranch, Orange County, CA
81 posts, read 211,547 times
Reputation: 31
I would Say Foothill Ranch would Probley be the best city. I would Look in the Canyon Area's
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:21 AM
 
88 posts, read 205,066 times
Reputation: 39
Foothill Ranch is great but there's never any houses for sale there. I check ziprealty quite often and the listings for Foothill Ranch are always 0 (for the last month). I guess you know it's a good place to live when nobody wants to leave.

That being said I work in the area and just driving around for 30 minutes I did see 1-2 for sale signs but they are few and far between.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 7,430,993 times
Reputation: 1524
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Bliss View Post
Foothill Ranch is great but there's never any houses for sale there. I check ziprealty quite often and the listings for Foothill Ranch are always 0 (for the last month). I guess you know it's a good place to live when nobody wants to leave.

That being said I work in the area and just driving around for 30 minutes I did see 1-2 for sale signs but they are few and far between.
For many real estate searches you have to check Lake Forest. Foothill Ranch is just a neighborhood now in the city of Lake Forest since the annexation. Check ziprealty, but do a search of Lake Forest and then see if you get results in the Foothilll Ranch neighborhood.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Laguna Niguel, California
19 posts, read 49,893 times
Reputation: 11
As of today, there are 69 properties for sale in Foothill Ranch.

If you'd like, you can use my website to focus on only those homes for sale in Foothill Ranch. You would search under real estate for Lake Forest and then on the search page select Foothill Ranch as the area you would like to search in.

My website is ocrealestateadvisors dot com.

If you are looking for something specific in Foothill Ranch, just let me know. I'd be happy to send you property descriptions and photos for all of the homes that meet your criteria.

~Amanda Wheeland
O.C. Real Estate Advisor
O.C. Real Estate Advisors – Orange County Real Estate
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:44 AM
 
4,988 posts, read 5,441,686 times
Reputation: 3200
One thing to note is that you can still find many places in Mission Viejo with no Homeowner's Association Dues and no Mello Roos. That can save you quite a few dollars every month!
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