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Old 11-28-2007, 11:41 AM
 
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I am moving back to So Cal after living in Minnesota for 8 years. I love it here (Minnesota) but my family is in So Cal. I will need to commute between Culver City and Tustin on a regular basis so I'd like to live somewhere inbetween.

I used to live in South OC and I'm not familiar with the Northern neighborhoods. I have a family so schools, safety and family atmosphere is vitally important.

Any recommendations on neighborhoods to consider... or avoid at all costs would be super helpful. We are likely going to relocate in January/February. We are looking to spend around $600k for a house.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 11-28-2007, 01:51 PM
 
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East Long Beach. If you can stretch to 900k I'd look at Belmont Shore. 900k would buy a small house but you can't be the neighborhood.
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
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I don't know if the schools in East Long Beach would be the best. I don't personally know anything about Wilson High School, but the median API is 700 in California, and Wilson High scored 731 out of a possible 1,000, putting Wilson about average. So expect an average education unless your kid will be in the advanced classes. The school also seems huge for a high school also at 4, 700 students. Perhaps Naples knows more about the schools. The Long Beach, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos area all is a good half way point, but expect a lot of time sitting in your car in traffic, the 405 is one of the worst in So Cal.
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:57 AM
 
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Naples, Lowell, and Fremont elementary schools are all 900 API and up. Rogers and Stanford intermediate are about the same. You won't find better elementary or intermediate schools in southern california.

Wilson is a big high school but it is a "California Distinguished" High School, has a huge waiting list and has a great program for entry into the UC college system. Long Beach schools are "school of choice" so students from any part of the city can attend any school provide there is room after the neighborhood children are placed. So there is more diversity at Wilson than some of the OC high schools. In other words, 10% of Wilson is African American. And 30% is Hispanic. Not saying that's bad, but data points to know.

My opinion, is that you shouldn't wouldn't worry about the schools as long as you live in Naples, Belmont Shore, the Peninsula, Park Estates, Virginia, Bixby Knolls, Cal Heights, El Dorado, or College Park. There are probably a few others but off the top of my head that should get you started.

What I would worry about is how much house you need. For example, an 800 sq. ft. 2BR/1Bath house in Naples will run about 800k to 900k. To get a 3BR/2bath you're going to spend 1M to 1.5M depending on how new the house is. And this is OFF water. Anything on the canal, bay, etc. is at least 2M going up to 10M.

As far as atmosphere, I like a walkable town with shops, eateries, etc. and I don't like cookie cutter neighborhoods. So I love coastal LB. You don't get that in OC really unless you live in Laguna or Newport. Don't know if that is important to you.

If you're looking for a big house you will probably be better off in inland OC (Mission Viejo, Aliso, etc.) but then it sounds like your commute to Culver City will be tough from there. So it's location vs. size of house.

Last edited by NaplesRes; 11-29-2007 at 11:07 AM..
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:47 PM
 
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Good information to know. Thank you very much. I was looking around at Real Estate in Long Beach but I had no idea what constituted a good neighborhood from a bad one. When I lived in CA, the general thought was Long Beach = gang land. I know that is a false perception but I recognize some areas aren't good.

I used to live in Mission Viejo and RSM. I liked it there but it won't work given my commute situation.

Are any of the North OC areas worth considering? Cypress, La Palma, Westminster, etc? I've seen good and bad reviews in this forum.

Thank you again for the advice.
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:57 PM
 
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There are bad parts of Long Beach. It's a big city / area. East LB is a very different / disconnected place from north Long Beach for example.

I would look as Seal Beach too. It's got the same kind of feel as Naples / Belmont Shore and you get a little more house for your dollar.
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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Default north oc cities

La Palma and Cypress are definitely great choices also. The school district in the cities are better than what they have in LBUSD. Cypress will fit your budget more in the 600k range and you should consider the area around valley view and orangewood, it is definitely well priced and not too far from the 22/405/605. I hope this helps and the neighbors are very friendly.
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:02 PM
 
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Default Long Beach

600k will get you a nice family home in East LB (near El Dorado Park). Public middle and high schools are questionable, though. Although I love LB, when it comes to schools, I'd try to move to Los Alamitos (still close to all the amenities of LB and better schools).
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Old 11-30-2007, 09:01 PM
 
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I think those of you concerned about schools (Long Beach or other) should check out GreatSchools.net

You can see the API scores and ratings for each of the schools.

The schools I mentioned in my previous post are in 90803 zip code. You can see for yourself that the Long Beach elementary and middle schools I mentioned are as good as any in southern california. Wilson High School is a good school as well though not as strong as the elementary and middle school options in the area.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:59 PM
 
Location: Southern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pootie562 View Post
La Palma and Cypress are definitely great choices also. The school district in the cities are better than what they have in LBUSD. Cypress will fit your budget more in the 600k range and you should consider the area around valley view and orangewood, it is definitely well priced and not too far from the 22/405/605. I hope this helps and the neighbors are very friendly.
I agree with Cypress and La Palma. The housing in those two cities are in the $600K range you're looking for. Los Alamitos is nice, too, but the homes there may be higher, especially in the Rossmoor area (technically unincorporated Orange County, but with Los Alamitos, CA 90720 addresses). Schools in this area are also highly rated.

If you're also looking a little farther west into Long Beach, the eastern side of the city by El Dorado Park may be what you're looking for in the price range of $600K.

Hope this helps and good luck!


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