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Old 03-09-2008, 12:15 PM
Location: Beautiful Raleigh, NC
531 posts, read 2,586,339 times
Reputation: 406


We arrived in Orange County (Irvine), California from Minnesota 3 yrs ago when my husband convinced me to "retire" and move to a warmer, drier, bug-free climate. We've been waiting out the housing market in an apartment and educating ourselves on the OC area but are still undecided as to where to settle down. We'd like to pull the trigger in 2008 (either buy a home or get outta Dodge).

We'd appreciate your input...
  • She's 45 and he's 60.
  • No kids and jobs are not a concern.
  • Love the climate (warm/dry/no bugs).
  • Want to stay in Central or SoCal. Not too far inland (Irvine gets HOT in summer!)
  • She's a foodie (love to eat and cook good food) and would like to garden.
  • He's a car nut and audiophile.
  • Have dog, like to stay fit, walk, bike, go for drives, and check things out in our area.
  • We are grounded, down-to-earth, but also upscale (former Yuppies/DINKS).
  • Looking for city/neighborhood that has a good vibe, culture, good eats. A place where we can be locals/regulars and hang out...A place where there's a sense of community or a real neighborhood feel...Looking for a place where $700k gets you more than 1200 s.f. condo next to The 5.
Where should we be looking? Thanks.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:07 AM
42 posts, read 128,234 times
Reputation: 26
I'm in the San Diego area now, but lived in OC for years, and from what you said, I'd look in Huntington Beach. In my experience, it has a bit of a small town feel especially around 'downtown HB'. We'd always run into people we knew when we went downtown and as an added benefit, you should check out the dog beach and the dog park they have there. Dog beach is great fun and you can walk at the same time, and the dog park is in Central Park and is also a fun place for dog people! HB also has plenty of good resturants and plenty of yuppies... that part I didn't much like, but whatever...
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:45 PM
1,174 posts, read 6,299,917 times
Reputation: 1083
You mentioned Central Cal too. Have you considered SLOB . . . San Luis Obispo? It's a nice community.
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:30 PM
414 posts, read 1,469,475 times
Reputation: 170
Ventura County is great and is on the ocean. It's close to Santa Barbara and that whole stretch of coastline is lovely.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:13 PM
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,372 posts, read 7,761,282 times
Reputation: 3556
I read the OP statement of a place not too far inland because "Irvine gets hot in summer". Yes, Irvine and the surrounding area can get into the low 90s quite often on a summer afternoon, but it's still more comfortable that most places in summer. However, many days in summer it can be cool and cloudy with a good ocean breeze so the heat is not persistent. Even better, as soon as the sun goes down, most evenings are cool and perfect, temps drop down into the 60s and you can open the doors and windows wide. I live several miles further inland in an adjacent town, and I very rarely use air conditioning in summer. If summer in Irvine is too warm, wow, that limits your options to staying right along the coast which is the most expensive part of CA by far. Costa Mesa is adjacent to Huntington Beach, a bit less expensive and you can find some nice neighborhoods. Endless things to do nearby.
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