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Old 01-14-2014, 06:05 AM
 
63 posts, read 229,384 times
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I am moving to Southern California from Miami this summer with my husband and two daughters who are 9 and 11. Which place is better to live in Newport Beach or Laguna Niguel? I understand both are expensive but so is Miami and we are willing to downsize. I also know in Newport we will get less house for the same price than in Laguna Niguel but is Newport Beach worth the sacrifice of square footage, yard, pool, etc? Are the schools better? Community? My husband travels for work so I am looking for excellent schools and a great community for the girls and I. I am looking to buy so we want to invest in a place where my husband and I will be happy beyond the years when my children leave the nest Any information will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Dana Point
1,224 posts, read 1,813,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcellamiami View Post
I am moving to Southern California from Miami this summer with my husband and two daughters who are 9 and 11. Which place is better to live in Newport Beach or Laguna Niguel? I understand both are expensive but so is Miami and we are willing to downsize. I also know in Newport we will get less house for the same price than in Laguna Niguel but is Newport Beach worth the sacrifice of square footage, yard, pool, etc? Are the schools better? Community? My husband travels for work so I am looking for excellent schools and a great community for the girls and I. I am looking to buy so we want to invest in a place where my husband and I will be happy beyond the years when my children leave the nest Any information will be greatly appreciated.
The schools will be better in Laguna Niguel, and by better I am only talking about API scores or GreatSchool type ratings. This is partially because Laguna Niguel has more families, and is more of a true suburb, where Newport is more of a rich-guy's playground, or old money retirement community (each description fits pretty well). When I was buying, I choose to be more in South County (where Laguna Niguel is located) because it's not near John Wayne airport. I have a close friend who owns a multi-million dollar home in Newport Beach, beautiful property with ocean views. Unfortunately, he gets lots of airplane noise from John Wayne, and IMO, it got annoying to me really fast. Some people may have better noise tolerance than me, but in general, I like peace and quiet.

Both have great beach access. If you live in Laguna Niguel, you will have access to beaches in Dana Point (Salt Creek, Capo, Baby Beach, etc). Newport has Corona Del Mar, Crystal Cove, the Peninsula, and access to Huntington Beach as well.

In terms of activities for kids, I think I'd also give it to Laguna Niguel as it seems more family oriented of a city overall. You can also participate in the Harbor events in Dana Point like the Winter Festival, Holidays at the Harbor, and the numerous Ocean Institute activities for kids.

In terms of price, both areas can be pricey, but both areas have cheap areas of the city as well. In Newport, the priciest areas are going to be more Southern, and coastal; Corona Del Mar, Newport Coast. The cheaper areas will border Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach (and will have the poorer performing schools as well). Laguna Niguel's priciest areas are generally near the border of Dana Point; Ocean Ranch, Bear Ranch, Beacon Hill. The cheaper areas are more inland, closer to Crown Valley Pkwy, and the 5 freeway.

Hope that helps!
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:33 PM
 
Location: CDA
521 posts, read 727,772 times
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Newport. Newport. Newport. On the peninsula! I grew up there and it was so fun. You ride your bike everywhere and there is a ton to do. The elementary school is right on the beach with the beach literally as the playground. There is a fun zone and boardwalk. I had such a great time growing up there it's a very unique experience. Laguna Niguel is nice, safe, and pretty but it's like any other upper middle class neighborhood you will find. There is nothing fun or unique about it. If you have any specific questions about Newport schools or neighborhoods you can message me. Good luck!
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:33 PM
 
Location: California
46 posts, read 130,607 times
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I say it's a toss up-depends on what you want.
LN is more of a family area with planned communities and a more suburbia feel. Good schools, community parks, pools, and rec leagues. Not far from the beach but it will be warmer in LN than Newport. Might not seem like a big deal but it will in the summer when you are wishing for those ocean breezes and no AC. Houses are bigger, actual yards, more space in general. BUT, you will have home assoc rules in many places too if that matters to you.

Newport has more of a mix of schools-some excellent and some not so great on the edges. Just do your research first on schools and this won't be an issue. I think there is a different "vibe" in Newport that is more fun and busy, but in a good way. You are so close to the beach and will probably visit it more just because of proximity (if the beach is a big deal for you). Love the peninsula area too as the person above described. But soooo $$$$$ to buy there. Houses are closer together and everything is more condensed. But you have so much right outside your door.

So look at your priorities and decide what you want for your family.
We have a large family and looked at LN seriously. But we ended up in Huntington Beach because we wanted a little different community vibe and no home assoc rules. And we wanted closer to the beach because that is important to us.
Good luck
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:14 PM
 
282 posts, read 444,919 times
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Laguna Niguel is smaller and more isolated due to geographical location; but you should visit both before you decide on one or the other.
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:28 PM
 
5,381 posts, read 8,630,690 times
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Laguna Niguel is quiet with more of a family-centered vibe than Newport Beach, which attracts vacationers and partiers. You also get the sense that NB has a few more party animals as permanent residents. That's not to say that it's not also family-oriented, to an extent, but it just seems less so than LN.

Laguna Niguel has good schools, but I don't know much about the quality of NB's schools. Check GreatSchools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community.

There is definitely more to do in NB (nobody comes to AV, LN or MV in search of excitement), but I personally don't think it's really that interesting.

While LN is not a beach city, it's ocean-close with an extensive park system and plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking. It's also close to Laguna Beach, which is far more interesting that Newport Beach.

Last edited by pacific2; 01-15-2014 at 06:36 PM..
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:16 PM
 
63 posts, read 229,384 times
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I plan to visit next month but the information provided will help me know what to look for when I go. Thank you so much for all the info. It's a great help.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Laguna Niguel, Orange County CA
9,810 posts, read 11,048,011 times
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Marcella:

I live in LN and chose it after exploring all over. It is stunningly gorgeous and clean. It is extremely convenient to everything with magnificent weather. On your budget, you can get a very nice home. I worked with a realtor who was sweet and very patient. She is also quite knowledgeable. I am not pawning her off on you, but if interested, let me know.

The only other place that I would consider aside from Laguna Niguel, on your budget is, without question, Nelllie Gail Ranch (Laguna Hills). I love the area. Please check it out as an alternative to Laguna Niguel. Oh and avoid Mello Roos!
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:41 PM
 
2 posts, read 15,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvSouthOC View Post
Marcella:

I live in LN and chose it after exploring all over. It is stunningly gorgeous and clean. It is extremely convenient to everything with magnificent weather. On your budget, you can get a very nice home. I worked with a realtor who was sweet and very patient. She is also quite knowledgeable. I am not pawning her off on you, but if interested, let me know.

The only other place that I would consider aside from Laguna Niguel, on your budget is, without question, Nelllie Gail Ranch (Laguna Hills). I love the area. Please check it out as an alternative to Laguna Niguel. Oh and avoid Mello Roos!

I read the thread a few times thinking that I must've missed the budget that OP mentioned. Maybe it's implied, but could you pls elaborate a little more specifically on what you think a reasonable budget would be needed for a nice home in LN? and a nice home for me is roughly 2000-2500 single detached home (one or 2 stories) on a 5000-7000 sqft lot. no Mello Roos, of course.

Thanks so much!!

B2W

ps, I would like your realtor's contact info. Thanks again.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Corona del Mar, CA - Coronado, CA
4,477 posts, read 3,259,828 times
Reputation: 5609
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExeterMedia View Post
The schools will be better in Laguna Niguel, and by better I am only talking about API scores or GreatSchool type ratings. This is partially because Laguna Niguel has more families, and is more of a true suburb, where Newport is more of a rich-guy's playground, or old money retirement community (each description fits pretty well).
Quote:
Originally Posted by pacific2 View Post
Laguna Niguel is quiet with more of a family-centered vibe than Newport Beach, which attracts vacationers and partiers.
Gee.... no gross, oversimplification in either of those posts.

You can not just say "Newport Beach", you have to look at school by school and neighborhood by neighborhood. Corona del Mar is completely different from Newport Crest and Harbor View Homes is very different from the Balboa Peninsula.

Corona del Mar is a much better high school then the other high schools in the district and it is one of the highest rated, non-magnet high schools in the state. It is also grades 7-12 (two schools one high, one middle) so the middle schoolers have access to some of the best facilities possible.

Anderson Elementary is highly rated and is the only elementary school around where students don't have to cross any major streets to get to school. Lincoln Elementary is on the former middle school campus, so it too has great facilities, better than most elementary schools.

Find the house you want/can afford, then look at schools.
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