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Old 07-11-2013, 07:20 PM
 
9 posts, read 9,694 times
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I know everyone here gets these same questions all the time, but can we afford to have a decent life in Orange County? Here are the details.

We currently live in DC... actually IN DC... not the suburbs. I work for the fed government (so very good job security) and have the opportunity to either work in Irvine, or move to Tampa. We are currently leaning toward Irvine.
I will be making about 95K a year, and have a 2 year old son (and dog). I am currently married, but my husband and I are having major issues, and he may or may not move with us (if we split up, he would move back to our home state of Michigan, or what I would hope is that he follows us wherever we go, but regardless he will not be staying in DC). So I am looking at this from the aspect of what I can afford as a single mom of a 2 year old... just in case the worst case scenario happens.
My husband and I both are over DC, although he probably dislikes it more than I do. We are used to things being very expensive, so I won't be getting sticker shock.
So one of the main reasons we would want to move to SoCal, is that my brother currently lives out there, and being near family would be amazing. We don't have any family in DC, and it has been hard on two full time working parents, with no help, and no huge salaries to "pay" for the help.
Plus, if we split up, having my brother near, would be a huge help. Tampa would be awesome and cheap, but no family or friends there. And I really think I will need a good support system in a post divorce scenario.
So what I would need to afford at the very least is a 2 bedroom apt that allows an under 50 lbs dog, in a decent area, with decent schools. Please keep in mind, I am moving from a DC hood... so I am assuming, correct me if I am wrong, but almost any area in Orange County would probably give me a better standard of living and schools than we currently have, for I am assuming again an equal cost.
I would be looking to spend no more than maybe 2K a month on rent... but prefer something closer to 1800 for a 2BR.
We will be selling our house in DC, and will be able to walk away with somewhere around a 30-50K profit, and will use that money to pay off debts and have some money put away for emergencies.
Would this work? Would a single mom, who doesn't necessarily need a single family home, be able to make it on 95K with no debt?
Am I just kidding myself?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:40 PM
 
5,381 posts, read 8,003,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jujubee455 View Post
Would this work? Would a single mom, who doesn't necessarily need a single family home, be able to make it on 95K with no debt?
Absolutely, $95K is above than the median OC household income level. Select a city and then go to Find Real Estate, Homes for Sale & Houses for Rent - realtor.com® to see a selection of available units. paddmapper.com is another option.

Here's an example of something that's available in Lake Forest (very close to Irvine):
21037 Marin Unit: 98, Lake Forest, CA 92630 - Home for Rent - realtor.com®

Regarding your dog, most apartment complexes have breed and size restrictions, but they often list them on their website.

Go to GreatSchools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community to check school ratings.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:46 PM
 
Location: LA/OC
1,083 posts, read 2,045,608 times
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Yes, you can definitely do it. You can find nice 2-bedroom rentals for $1800 in and around Irvine. The standard of living in the general vicinity would definitely be a major step up from a "DC hood".
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:50 AM
 
9 posts, read 9,694 times
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Awesome! Thank you for helping me have some peace of mind!!
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Lemon Heights, Orange County, CA
805 posts, read 1,477,918 times
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Check out Anahiem Hills, North Tustin, Irvine, Aliso Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita. With a fed job you will be getting raises (unlike a lot of the private industry jobs) so you will be fine.

Welcome to Orange County.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:58 PM
 
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Thanks Luckodeirish! I will definitely check out those areas. My biggest fear is living paycheck to paycheck. As long as I don't touch the savings I will get after selling the house except for a major emergency, I will feel fine.
I was thinking how nice it would be to live near the beach... probably Huntington Beach, since it is so close to the airport.
Would that be a good area for a single mom? I just figure the amenities near the beach will be indispensible, especially since my son is super active, so I just want something that would be walkable, to parks, etc.
I also like what I have seen of Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita, because they have so much in the way of amenities... but I don't know if these will be out of my price range.
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Lemon Heights, Orange County, CA
805 posts, read 1,477,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jujubee455 View Post
Thanks Luckodeirish! I will definitely check out those areas. My biggest fear is living paycheck to paycheck. As long as I don't touch the savings I will get after selling the house except for a major emergency, I will feel fine.
I was thinking how nice it would be to live near the beach... probably Huntington Beach, since it is so close to the airport.
Would that be a good area for a single mom? I just figure the amenities near the beach will be indispensible, especially since my son is super active, so I just want something that would be walkable, to parks, etc.
I also like what I have seen of Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita, because they have so much in the way of amenities... but I don't know if these will be out of my price range.
HB is about 25 miles from LAX, but SNA, Orange County airport has a lot of good flights too and is heaven on earth compared to many other airports. Their valet parking is 30 per 24 hour period.
There are good areas of HB as well as not so great ones. Do a search on this forum and you will find a lot of useful info including boundaries that indicate the areas you might like.
It would be great if you could come out and really drive the areas that interest you so you can see for yourself, but I understand that might not be possible.

What kind of activities does your son like? Is he involved in sports in school?
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:01 PM
 
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Well my son is going to be 2 in October, so he is a typical toddler, very active.

We are actually going to visit my brother in a week, so I am planning on checking out the various areas a bit when we are there!

I am so happy that the job is at SNA and not LAX, although I will be covering for LAX from time to time and may also have to travel to Ontario airport probably biweekly.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:50 PM
 
10 posts, read 9,683 times
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no you can't do it. try again
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, ny
174 posts, read 287,262 times
Reputation: 162
I would also consider Costa Mesa. Good luck
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