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Old 02-28-2014, 12:46 PM
 
63 posts, read 214,720 times
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I am relocating with my husband, 9 and 11 year old daughters this summer from Miami to California. We are exploring our options for a family friendly community, with great schools, to purchase a home for UNDER $1.5. We may rent at first, but I would like to rent where we will ultimately buy so the girls do not have to switch schools again.

At first, I got mixed review about Huntington Beach, but then several people told me they lived there with their families and were very happy. Looking at coastal cities in the OC area it is more affordable, which of course is a plus. I was told too look in Huntington Beach Harbor. Any other family friendly neighborhoods, with great schools and community, you can recommend for my family? We will be there scouting it out over spring break. Thank you!
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
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Most of Huntington Beach is very safe. Even our slums look better than the better parts of some older OC towns.

Your budget will get you a nice home with a yard in many parts of the city.

That being said, the only area to really avoid is the area bounded by Beach, Slater, Gothard and Edinger. There is a lot of good development in Belle Terre area of Edinger, but its already becoming a traffic nightmare.

I would also avoid living near the Toxic Waste Dump on Hamilton Avenue and Magnolia Street. They are cleaning it up, and sadly it is a nice area.

The Best High schools within the city borders are Edison, Marina and Huntington Beach. Ocean View is OK.
(Other district High schools are Fountain Valley (one of the best in the country), and Westminster (not so good).

When I was raising (ex-step) kids, we lived downtown. As crazy as it got on main street, the downtown residential area was a very good place to raise kids. Schools (Smith Elementary, Dwyer Middle School and HB HS were all very good schools). We left the area because of the summertime crowds and competing for parking.

I currently live in the Harbour Area (Harbour View Elementary, Marine View Middle School, Marina HS) is a quieter area with good water front activities and decent restaurants and gathering places. We like it.

You just have to drive around the neighborhoods and discover what you like. Its not as pretty as South County, but the people are genuine and there is a lot to do.
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:16 PM
 
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Thank you for the information. Given the choice,would you choose Huntington Beach Harbour, Laguna Niguel, or Mission Viejo?
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
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Laguna Niguel and Mission Viejo are very pretty and very family oriented. Of those two I would take MV.

But I like water activities. Sailing, Rowing, Kayaking. I prefer to be near the ocean/beach. I just like Huntington Beach
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
38 posts, read 112,903 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcellamiami View Post
I am relocating with my husband, 9 and 11 year old daughters this summer from Miami to California. We are exploring our options for a family friendly community, with great schools, to purchase a home for UNDER $1.5. We may rent at first, but I would like to rent where we will ultimately buy so the girls do not have to switch schools again.

At first, I got mixed review about Huntington Beach, but then several people told me they lived there with their families and were very happy. Looking at coastal cities in the OC area it is more affordable, which of course is a plus. I was told too look in Huntington Beach Harbor. Any other family friendly neighborhoods, with great schools and community, you can recommend for my family? We will be there scouting it out over spring break. Thank you!
Based on your budget and description I'd check out homes in the Edwards Hill area, within the Seacliff Elementary School boundaries. It's full of newer, larger homes in the $1.2M-1.5M (and up) price range and many of the communities are gated if you care about that. Huntington Harbor is also great. I live down near the Bolsa Chica wetlands and it's very family friendly. Also another pocket of more expensive homes to check out is Brightwater, and also the homes just adjacent to that community. There are some nice, large lots adjacent to the new development if you are looking for a large lot.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
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Fountain valley is nice and safe also. South HB is nice and also HB area Brookhurst from Slater all the way to the beach is nice also. FV has good schools too
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:22 AM
 
33 posts, read 68,890 times
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Are there really 3 or 4 bedroom homes of 2,000-plus square feet, with a yard for a dog, available in Huntington Harbour for under $1.5 million? (Those are some of the specs the OP quoted in her original "moving to Southern California" thread.) It would surprise me if that were the case, but I will let those with expertise in the Huntington Harbour market speak to that.

marcellainmiami:

If you end up settling in Huntington Beach, know that the one or two days a week that you husband has to drive to the office in Santa Ana or to the airport, he could have a hellish commute (unless he would be making the drive outside of the "rush hours"), as I have heard from friends and colleagues who live there that there is a long line of cars on the surface street inching along until they get to the freeway onramp, and then continuing to inch along for miles once they finally get on the freeway. For getting to the office, though, he could probably take surface streets, if he doesn't mind the stoplights (pick your poison). That said, if he is willing to put up with that commute the one or two days he is not working from home, as others have said, Huntington does have some nice neighborhoods (I know nothing about the schools, so will leave that up to others to comment on).

BTW, don't know if you saw my post in your "Tustin…" thread, but, if not, I recommended while you are visiting, you take a look at Santa Ana, where, if your daughters are artistic, they could apply to the one of the top 4 high schools in Orange County (it is actually both a middle school and a high school), the Orange County School of the Arts, and you could buy a house in a beautiful neighborhood full of vintage homes (and perhaps get a break on your property taxes due to the Mills Act), such as in the Floral Park neighborhood (see my post in your "Tustin…" thread for links to the OCSA web site and to the Floral Park Neighborhood Association web site). If you lived in Santa Ana, your husband would have a REALLY easy and quick drive to the office and to the airport, adding to the quality of life...
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
38 posts, read 112,903 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AyeScotland View Post
Are there really 3 or 4 bedroom homes of 2,000-plus square feet, with a yard for a dog, available in Huntington Harbour for under $1.5 million? (Those are some of the specs the OP quoted in her original "moving to Southern California" thread.) It would surprise me if that were the case, but I will let those with expertise in the Huntington Harbour market speak to that.
You won't find something on the water with a boat slip AND a yard for a dog, that would be tough. Usually the waterfront homes have a patio that just leads directly down to the slip. Plus only the cheapest waterfront homes would get under 1.5M. However if you don't need to have a slip and go one row inland then yeah you can definitely get in there under $1.5M (and get a decent yard).
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:28 PM
 
63 posts, read 214,720 times
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Although my husband will be based in Santa Ana, and a shorter commute would be wonderful, we feel we need to be closer to water. Our girls have been raised with the ocean in their back yard since we currently live on a canal. We feel it would be an easier transition for them if they continue to have access to water. This is why Huntington Beach is looking more attractive to us since we could afford beach close there. However, we are not looking for a house on the water, just near water. I do not want to buy or even rent a home where I have to see if they can get into a certain school. I need a home that is zoned to a great and safe school.

SO with this in mind. A safe family community with great schools:
Huntington Beach Harbor vs Mission Viejo vs San Clemente???

I will be there in two weeks driving through it, but I would love to hear form someone who has experienced it firsthand. No replacement for that.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
22,155 posts, read 28,111,726 times
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If you want as close as you get to what you have Newport Beach Peninsula and bay surrounding area has the most oceanfront/canal to choose from. I speak from experience I have rentals on the peninsula

The big houses start past the fun zone. Yards are almost nonexistent because the area is so expensive. You'll find houses with yards on Bay island ( walk on only no cars) probably way over your budget
The bigger houses don't start till you go past the Fun Zone. Some houses on the waterfront have a sandy beach as a "back yard" usually a wall defines the yard itself
You can look across the bay on PCH side there are houses there also with bay view there are some condos on little corona beach.
The houses here are simply built differently than Florida which has. Tons of canals bays estuaries and swamp.
Houses here at the beach/bay are simply not built with yards. Very few can afford to leave that land unused.

Huntington has some houses along Bolsa Chica Wetlands on Brookhurst and PCH you can also look into Sunset Beach. It's next to Huntington and has some waterfront too

Sorry I don't know much about San Clemente

Last edited by Electrician4you; 03-02-2014 at 10:23 PM..
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