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Old 12-03-2011, 08:34 PM
 
75 posts, read 398,305 times
Reputation: 31

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My family and I are going to be moving to the area within a year and we've been looking at houses in Los Angeles County (Santa Clarita and Calabasas) and Orange County (Coto de Caza and Ladera Ranch).

We're currently stuck between the two areas and their differing environments. I know that commute is a very popular concern, but we have the luxury of working from home. But we do have some concerns. I know that I could jus as easily Google it and find a quick and easy answer, but it's always nice to hear the experiences from the people that live in that area. So, our primary concerns are:
-Schools: I know that the public schools in there's areas are superb (right?), but is the districts good enough that I wouldn't even need to consider private school?
-Safety: Again, these areas are known to be safe and gated, but how is crime in the surrounding areas?
-Location: How far away are things from these neighborhoods/cities? Places like the major highways,mall, grocery store, movies, cultural destinations?
-Politics: I know that Los Angeles County, for the most part, is a very liberal county while Orange County is very conservative. We're a very liberal family, so if we lived in Orange County and put up an "Obama 2012" sign, are we just asking for our house to be egged or be blacklisted from the neighbors?
-Weather: I know tha the Southland is hot during the summer, but is it unbearable? Dry heat or humid? Also, how is the air quality?

That's all of the questions that come to mind at this moment. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:34 AM
 
23 posts, read 91,339 times
Reputation: 12
I Personally Think Fro What I've Experienced IS The O.C. Is More Boring... I Could Be Mistaken. I hear Lots Of Famous People Live In Calabasas. I Would Choose That If I Were You.
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,343 posts, read 88,073,681 times
Reputation: 17662
Quote:
Originally Posted by newyorker19 View Post
My family and I are going to be moving to the area within a year and we've been looking at houses in Los Angeles County (Santa Clarita and Calabasas) and Orange County (Coto de Caza and Ladera Ranch).

We're currently stuck between the two areas and their differing environments. I know that commute is a very popular concern, but we have the luxury of working from home. But we do have some concerns. I know that I could jus as easily Google it and find a quick and easy answer, but it's always nice to hear the experiences from the people that live in that area. So, our primary concerns are:
-Schools: I know that the public schools in there's areas are superb (right?), but is the districts good enough that I wouldn't even need to consider private school?
-Safety: Again, these areas are known to be safe and gated, but how is crime in the surrounding areas?
-Location: How far away are things from these neighborhoods/cities? Places like the major highways,mall, grocery store, movies, cultural destinations?
-Politics: I know that Los Angeles County, for the most part, is a very liberal county while Orange County is very conservative. We're a very liberal family, so if we lived in Orange County and put up an "Obama 2012" sign, are we just asking for our house to be egged or be blacklisted from the neighbors?
-Weather: I know tha the Southland is hot during the summer, but is it unbearable? Dry heat or humid? Also, how is the air quality?

That's all of the questions that come to mind at this moment. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
Having lived in or very close to all places except Santa Clarita, here's how I'd address your questions.

Safety - Zero problems.
Hot in Calabasas, less hot in Coto, even less hot in Ladera. Hot mostly from late June to September. Ladera you probably don't even need AC most of the summer. Santa Clarita is also very hot in those summer months.
Schools, very good to excellent at all three.
Boonie factor: Coto wins as to get to the 5 it is at least 20 long minutes but you can get to the 241 toll road in about 5 minutes if you are on the extreme north end or extreme south end (Oso). If you are in the middle of Coto or on the South end, plan on 15 minutes to get to groceries for example.
Politics, no problems at any place. (Do more than 3% of the US population really even care about politics?)
Coto and Ladera have $200+ per month HOA. Not sure about Calabasas. My parents live in Calabasas and they have not HOA fees but that's just their neighborhood.
Coto and Ladera are the farthest from any regular crime risks. Calabasas is also miles from any riskier neighborhoods.
Ladera is 15 minutes from the beach, Coto 30 minutes, Calabasas 15-25 minutes.
Ladera schools are all "right there" as the kids can walk to any elementary or middle.
Calabasas goes to AE right (not sure if there is another one). Likely to use a bus.
Coto is again a schlep for school kids as both Wagon Wheel and Tijeras Creek are both outside the Coto gaes on the south side and north sides of Coto. Schlep.
All the Coto kids go to Las Flores Middle School (schlep) and Tesoro.
Ladera kids go either to Tesoro or San Juan Hills. (sort of divides up the community in a sense).

Capistrano Unified School District School Boundary Maps

Ladera and Coto are 20-30 easy minutes from John Wayne Airport. Santa Clarita is about 30 from Burbank Airport. Calabasas is a usually bad freeway traffic drive to BUR or LAX.

Ladera is "the" family neighborhood. The best of all for kids. Total kids amenities and culture. Safe, quiet, leafy. If just two adults and no kids you might find this boring (no clubs, bars, etc).
Calabasas is older, more of a luxury neighborhood with many very expensive homes. Some adult restaurants, bars pretty close by.
Coto is also older and luxurious, spread out. No bars or restaurants except in Rancho Santa Margarita but RSM is also very family oriented, safe and quiet but a lot bigger amenity wise than Ladera.

Calabasas might be slightly more ethnically diverse with Middle Eastern people, Hispanics, Europeans.
Ladera is mostly white with some Hispanics.
Coto is mostly white.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
1,045 posts, read 1,793,176 times
Reputation: 690
For your LA County choices I'd stick to Calabasas. Santa Clarita is nice but it is really in the boonies.

Distance to the Pacific Ocean:
Calabasas: 15 miles to Malibu (and some of the most beautiful beaches in LA County)
Santa Clarita: 35 miles (to Santa Monica pier).

Also, Calabasas has better access to the cultural amenities of Los Angeles (museums, theaters, etc).

Santa Clarita is also somewhat conservative by LA County standards.

Finally, given Calabasas is relatively close to the coast, the geography is more coastal scrub. So the vegetation in and around Calabasas will stay green for longer periods. Santa Clarita gets very brown in the summers. The landscapes just aren't as pretty to me. Calabasas is close to the Santa Monica Mountains.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:32 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,187 posts, read 20,511,476 times
Reputation: 3497
calabasas is definitely the most exclusive cities of all that you mentioned, but it's also the hottest in the summer. calabasas (except for some the canyon areas) is located in the western most part of the san fernando valley, which is the usually the hottest part in all of LA, regularly reaching highs in excess of 100 during the summer. however, the scenery back off mulholland is amazing and the beach is really not that far. the inland south OC cities are nice as well and get warm in the summer, but not as hot. that area is more typical suburbia and development was fairly recent (nothing is older than 15 or 20 years). because of that, amenities are not as abundant. people who i know that live down there swear by it though.
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