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Old 12-26-2018, 10:12 AM
 
5 posts, read 5,321 times
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Hi All,
My family and I are working on Moving to Orange County close to Irvine where I will be working. We are moving because of the weather and outside living as we are sick of living inside most of the year every year. Salary combined is about 170K. We currently own a house over 3,000 SF have 3 young kids. We will for sure rent first before we purchase and we know that we will not get a large house and we are ok with that. Looking for some suggestions on where to rent. Looking to rent closer to top rated Elementary/Middle schools. Also hoping to eventually purchase a house in the same area so we don't move put the kids in another school again.
Let me know is 170K good enough to start? and what kind of a life I will be expecting poor/average based on the income. And the most important thing for us is finding the right school for my kids.

thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
5,380 posts, read 7,257,964 times
Reputation: 4502
Quote:
Originally Posted by daoude View Post
Hi All,
My family and I are working on Moving to Orange County close to Irvine where I will be working. We are moving because of the weather and outside living as we are sick of living inside most of the year every year. Salary combined is about 170K. We currently own a house over 3,000 SF have 3 young kids. We will for sure rent first before we purchase and we know that we will not get a large house and we are ok with that. Looking for some suggestions on where to rent. Looking to rent closer to top rated Elementary/Middle schools. Also hoping to eventually purchase a house in the same area so we don't move put the kids in another school again.
Let me know is 170K good enough to start? and what kind of a life I will be expecting poor/average based on the income. And the most important thing for us is finding the right school for my kids.

thanks in advance for your help.
I would like to be more encouraging, but, I suspect that you would have to be very frugal in order to make it as a family of five in South County, if that's where you would like to live.

I'd suggest that you do a Google search to get a rough estimate of the COL here as compared to your home city.

Also, unless you have a very large down payment available, SFR home ownership may not be a reasonable option in the near future for a family of your size. Maybe a townhouse would be a better option.

Orange County median home price at $727,000: 5 reasons it got there in August
https://www.ocregister.com/2018/10/0...ere-in-august/
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
5,380 posts, read 7,257,964 times
Reputation: 4502
You might also want to try the C-D "Search" feature to find discussions like this one on South County cities:
Aliso Viejo or Rancho Santa Margarita - RELOCATING
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Old 12-26-2018, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
22,165 posts, read 25,382,084 times
Reputation: 35091
On 170k you’ll be in the middle/upper income bracket for OC

There are other cities that have great school districts. People think if Irvine being the be all end all. Fountain Valley has a great school district and lower house prices as opposed to Irvine. Look at HB also.

You can rent a townhouse for 25/2900 a month. Houses run a bit higher at 29/3500.

As far as home purchase houses in OC are expensive. IF you are walking in with a big down and good financrs you will find something. Especially if you sell your current home.
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
5,380 posts, read 7,257,964 times
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OP, while your income is far higher than the median for Orange County, it places you squarely at the level said to be needed to purchase a SFR here. So, your income is not high, but average in terms of income qualifications for a new OC homebuyer:

You need to earn almost $168,000 a year to afford typical O.C. house
https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/1...cal-o-c-house/

However, most present day OC homeowners paid far less for their residence. BTW, that also translates into having much lower property taxes.

What's more, as you know, your household size is larger than most in OC (5.0 vs. 3.04).
https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/or...untycalifornia

Will you be able to comfortably put away enough to finance your retirement, your children's college education, or emergencies?

OC is nice, but I'd suggest taking a long hard look at all of these questions, and maybe more, before taking the plunge.

Last edited by pacific2; 12-26-2018 at 04:43 PM..
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Old 12-26-2018, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Laguna Niguel, Orange County CA
9,809 posts, read 8,895,023 times
Reputation: 7941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrician4you View Post
On 170k you’ll be in the middle/upper income bracket for OC

There are other cities that have great school districts. People think if Irvine being the be all end all. Fountain Valley has a great school district and lower house prices as opposed to Irvine. Look at HB also.

You can rent a townhouse for 25/2900 a month. Houses run a bit higher at 29/3500.

As far as home purchase houses in OC are expensive. IF you are walking in with a big down and good financrs you will find something. Especially if you sell your current home.
It depends on how much cash they have to put down. 170k is lean at least around here without a lump of cash to put down.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:05 AM
 
255 posts, read 659,304 times
Reputation: 74
impossible to make it here on that combined salary unless OP goes to Temecula or IE.
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Dana Point, Ca
251 posts, read 243,429 times
Reputation: 611
Moving from Michigan...... you can live in Orange County, but there has to be some compromise.


We survive just fine, and live a great life in Dana Point, South Orange County.

We are retired and our incomes are a heck of a lot less than $ 170,000.00 per year.

We do not have the end all live all, by owning a house in south county. We also do not have a mercedes, or a BMW. But we live one heck of an exciting and active life. And, at the Beach.

We also do not have kids at home . Have we owned homes or condos, yes. Have we owned very high quality sail boats ? That is also an yes. Have we owned an airplane, Yes. Have we owned brand new cars, that is also a yes.

I have lived in Orange county all my life, and a good part of Erica's life has been living at the beach cities in OC. That is also yes, except for our TEN Years of living as full time residents on Kauai, Island, Hawaii. Our life as a team, has been super for 35 years.

Prior to moving to Kauai, Erica lived in Seal Beach , and commuted to L.A. County, she was an M.D. and supervisor of four different L.A. County Health Department Clinics. But, she did not want to live in L.A. and wanted to live at the beach in OC. See the compromise, she wanted to live at the beach, in a small quaint community, but for many years she commuted into L.A.

At that time, 12 years, in Seal for Erica, I lived in Huntington Harbor, ( huntington beach ), about a seven minute drive, until she retired from the County, and we moved to Lihue, Kauai. Yep, just across the road from Kalapaki Beach, that fronts the ( lihue, marriot ).

I also since I wanted to live at the Beach, I had to compromise, and commuted to Fullerton as I was flying as an instructor pilot for Air Combat U.S.A. ( 5 and 6G dog fights) and at the same time, I was also commuting to Newport Beach, to teach sailing, skipper charters, etc.

Point being, we enjoy living in beach style communities. We rented. And we still do. The crealock 37 was sold, the Piper Cherokee was sold, and we joined sailing and flying clubs when we wished to do either of those. More compromise to live a marvelous and fun life as well as careers.

When retirement came, and we moved to Kauai, 2005.

We did not want to wipe out our savings to tell people that we owned a home . We leased. We were there for nearly 10 years . loved every minute and also volunteered for beach and river clean up and were Sierra Club Hike Leaders. And, yearly, went off island to skipper boats, in australia , the south pacific, the caribbean , and Europe. We kept our savings, and investments going, but no outlay of big sums to buy a home.

Now comes moving back to Orange County from Kauai.

We followed our normal personal plan to rent, and not buy. Same advice that we gave people who were thinking of moving to Kauai. if owning that home is a priority, move here, rent for a year or two, and make sure that it is the correct decision.

In OC you will be working, making decent money, kids are in a good school. They will discover the beach, the sunshine, and outdoor activities that suits each of them. Kids outdoors, and being active, instead of roosting on a couch swipping and tweeting. No snow, no ice, no sleet. Oh, if you need snow and skiing, you can drive up to the snow capped mountains, and have a ball. Then drive back down the hill to blue skies and sunshine, sand, and ocean. Not a bad way of life.

By renting or leasing for a while, You will also become more familiar with the cost of living in different areas of Orange County, what the areas are like, and be more in tune with those other area. Then, you can make an informed decision and not be pressured or hurried into purchasing a home.

Erica's and my life , here in SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY. is not for everyone, we are in the minority, but our life is great in all aspects . At least those things that are important to us.

How do we do it :

1. No big down payment on any home purchase. That money goes to our two week sailing vacations world wide, Where we bare boat, skipper a well found sailing vessel, in the Caribbean, or south pacific, or a motor vessel up the river shannon in Ireland. We also take advantage of our Dana Point location and take several stay cations out to our desert, or up to the mountains. A wide diversification .

2. We traded in our go fast sports cars, and now have something that I thought that I would never own. Yep, a wonderful RED, Mazda three , hatchback. Great mileage, fast, handles the road and curves well, and looks good.
But , we do not need his and hers luxury cars or huge SUV's. ( In fact, here at home, I wash and detail that red rascal myself every week. Been tanking care of my cars on my own since I was 16. Very rewarding and feels good )

3, We live great every day, and are very active. I know, that the OP and his wife are working, and raising a family.
We have done all that, and the kids on each side are totally self sufficient, successful, raising families, and own one or more homes. Erica's daughter and the hubby and grand kids are in Reno, NV. My son and his wife live here in SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY, own their home in Rancho Santa Margarita, and another in North Orange County.

4.Now, again, we are on a fixed income, but we live life to the fullest, but within our means. No hundreds of thousand dollars a year income is necessary for us. Sure, it would be nice, but it is what it is.

5. We live in the Monarch Beach Area of Dana Point. You might Look up Dana Point and the surrounding South County areas on the computer. South County is a very, very , nice and special place to live.

* We can walk to the beach in five minutes. SALT CREEK BEACH AND BEACH PARK.
* We are next to wonderful Sea Terrace Park. 2 minute walk. Hardly anyone there, except for Summer Sunday Free
Music Concerts in the park. No diving, no parking, easy day. Just Walk off the property a bit, and the fun light is shining.

* No, we do not have the big house on the hill. But, we do have a comfortable apt, tennis courts, a very nice fitness center, one large swimming pool, and jacuzzi and a couple of bbq;s. And, another jacuzzi that is totally away from the main swimming pool. Also, the property has very , very tall trees, hillocks, winding paths, and actually right now we have the leaves piling up .

* We are blessed with very nice and friendly neighbors. And, wonderful friends from all over Orange County,

* Also, if we feel like walking, or biking for some, we have easy 2 mile hikes.

And also partially along the coast, and partially thru some very nice new and old homes, we hike down to DANA POINT HARBOR ( 4 miles R/T). Walk along the boats and slips, and visit the shops, or drop by the ice creame parlor and bakery, or have lunch at one of the marina view restaurants. You can drive it in 7 minutes.

* In addition to Salt Creek Beach, and park for surfing, and boogie boarding, or just catching the rays, the park has a basket ball court, wonderful shaded pavilions, and bbq's, and a huge well manicured view lawn up on the hill for spreading out a blanket or beach towel.

* Also, just out the door, we can walk thru sea terrace park, over to the Salt Creek Trail for a nice hike inland, with the golf course and creek and thick foilage along the trail. Point being, we have all the treasures without a huge outlay of cash.

COST OF LIVING :

Yep, it does cost to live here. But, we handle that by.....

1. Shopping at Raplhs , not Gelsons.....the same or better groceries, but for a whole lot less. Get a Ralphs card.
2. Shopping at COSTCO....big help there with your large family
3. Shopping at Trader Joes for the things that we do not buy at the other stores.

4. We have learned where the best happy hours for food and drink are in our Dana Point Marina, and surrounding areas, as well as those other great dining establishments throughout OC.

5. We have great roads all around, south county, and they are landscaped, and very nice to drive.

6. For the active family , it is easy drives to our wilderness areas for hiking, and some bbqing or picknics.. You can be out enjoying the beauty of nature, and save money on family outings.

7. For the kids, there are sailing programs and other very cool adventures in Dana Point Harbor. It is fun living all 'round.

For us, living here in Dana Point is preferable to Irvine......but, again that is us. Others have different priorities.

We also have our wonderful sister cities ( towns ) of San Juan Capistrano, and San Clemente.

As you can see, we love South Orange County, and stay within our means, to have a most happy and rewarding life .


Also, except for my active military service 1964 to 1966, and living on Kauai for 10 years, I have lived in Orange County since 1955. I am still loving it here, now in south county. Each day is special to us . This area is very special.

I know that this long, but, we look at life in a very positive manner, and enjoy south orange county, every day and wanted to let the OP see life here from a positive standpoint.

There is a way to make life work, if you want it to work.
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Old 12-28-2018, 06:56 PM
 
5 posts, read 5,645 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kauaidooley View Post
Moving from Michigan...... you can live in Orange County, but there has to be some compromise.


We survive just fine, and live a great life in Dana Point, South Orange County.

We are retired and our incomes are a heck of a lot less than $ 170,000.00 per year.

We do not have the end all live all, by owning a house in south county. We also do not have a mercedes, or a BMW. But we live one heck of an exciting and active life. And, at the Beach.

We also do not have kids at home . Have we owned homes or condos, yes. Have we owned very high quality sail boats ? That is also an yes. Have we owned an airplane, Yes. Have we owned brand new cars, that is also a yes.

I have lived in Orange county all my life, and a good part of Erica's life has been living at the beach cities in OC. That is also yes, except for our TEN Years of living as full time residents on Kauai, Island, Hawaii. Our life as a team, has been super for 35 years.

Prior to moving to Kauai, Erica lived in Seal Beach , and commuted to L.A. County, she was an M.D. and supervisor of four different L.A. County Health Department Clinics. But, she did not want to live in L.A. and wanted to live at the beach in OC. See the compromise, she wanted to live at the beach, in a small quaint community, but for many years she commuted into L.A.

At that time, 12 years, in Seal for Erica, I lived in Huntington Harbor, ( huntington beach ), about a seven minute drive, until she retired from the County, and we moved to Lihue, Kauai. Yep, just across the road from Kalapaki Beach, that fronts the ( lihue, marriot ).

I also since I wanted to live at the Beach, I had to compromise, and commuted to Fullerton as I was flying as an instructor pilot for Air Combat U.S.A. ( 5 and 6G dog fights) and at the same time, I was also commuting to Newport Beach, to teach sailing, skipper charters, etc.

Point being, we enjoy living in beach style communities. We rented. And we still do. The crealock 37 was sold, the Piper Cherokee was sold, and we joined sailing and flying clubs when we wished to do either of those. More compromise to live a marvelous and fun life as well as careers.

When retirement came, and we moved to Kauai, 2005.

We did not want to wipe out our savings to tell people that we owned a home . We leased. We were there for nearly 10 years . loved every minute and also volunteered for beach and river clean up and were Sierra Club Hike Leaders. And, yearly, went off island to skipper boats, in australia , the south pacific, the caribbean , and Europe. We kept our savings, and investments going, but no outlay of big sums to buy a home.

Now comes moving back to Orange County from Kauai.

We followed our normal personal plan to rent, and not buy. Same advice that we gave people who were thinking of moving to Kauai. if owning that home is a priority, move here, rent for a year or two, and make sure that it is the correct decision.

In OC you will be working, making decent money, kids are in a good school. They will discover the beach, the sunshine, and outdoor activities that suits each of them. Kids outdoors, and being active, instead of roosting on a couch swipping and tweeting. No snow, no ice, no sleet. Oh, if you need snow and skiing, you can drive up to the snow capped mountains, and have a ball. Then drive back down the hill to blue skies and sunshine, sand, and ocean. Not a bad way of life.

By renting or leasing for a while, You will also become more familiar with the cost of living in different areas of Orange County, what the areas are like, and be more in tune with those other area. Then, you can make an informed decision and not be pressured or hurried into purchasing a home.

Erica's and my life , here in SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY. is not for everyone, we are in the minority, but our life is great in all aspects . At least those things that are important to us.

How do we do it :

1. No big down payment on any home purchase. That money goes to our two week sailing vacations world wide, Where we bare boat, skipper a well found sailing vessel, in the Caribbean, or south pacific, or a motor vessel up the river shannon in Ireland. We also take advantage of our Dana Point location and take several stay cations out to our desert, or up to the mountains. A wide diversification .

2. We traded in our go fast sports cars, and now have something that I thought that I would never own. Yep, a wonderful RED, Mazda three , hatchback. Great mileage, fast, handles the road and curves well, and looks good.
But , we do not need his and hers luxury cars or huge SUV's. ( In fact, here at home, I wash and detail that red rascal myself every week. Been tanking care of my cars on my own since I was 16. Very rewarding and feels good )

3, We live great every day, and are very active. I know, that the OP and his wife are working, and raising a family.
We have done all that, and the kids on each side are totally self sufficient, successful, raising families, and own one or more homes. Erica's daughter and the hubby and grand kids are in Reno, NV. My son and his wife live here in SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY, own their home in Rancho Santa Margarita, and another in North Orange County.

4.Now, again, we are on a fixed income, but we live life to the fullest, but within our means. No hundreds of thousand dollars a year income is necessary for us. Sure, it would be nice, but it is what it is.

5. We live in the Monarch Beach Area of Dana Point. You might Look up Dana Point and the surrounding South County areas on the computer. South County is a very, very , nice and special place to live.

* We can walk to the beach in five minutes. SALT CREEK BEACH AND BEACH PARK.
* We are next to wonderful Sea Terrace Park. 2 minute walk. Hardly anyone there, except for Summer Sunday Free
Music Concerts in the park. No diving, no parking, easy day. Just Walk off the property a bit, and the fun light is shining.

* No, we do not have the big house on the hill. But, we do have a comfortable apt, tennis courts, a very nice fitness center, one large swimming pool, and jacuzzi and a couple of bbq;s. And, another jacuzzi that is totally away from the main swimming pool. Also, the property has very , very tall trees, hillocks, winding paths, and actually right now we have the leaves piling up .

* We are blessed with very nice and friendly neighbors. And, wonderful friends from all over Orange County,

* Also, if we feel like walking, or biking for some, we have easy 2 mile hikes.

And also partially along the coast, and partially thru some very nice new and old homes, we hike down to DANA POINT HARBOR ( 4 miles R/T). Walk along the boats and slips, and visit the shops, or drop by the ice creame parlor and bakery, or have lunch at one of the marina view restaurants. You can drive it in 7 minutes.

* In addition to Salt Creek Beach, and park for surfing, and boogie boarding, or just catching the rays, the park has a basket ball court, wonderful shaded pavilions, and bbq's, and a huge well manicured view lawn up on the hill for spreading out a blanket or beach towel.

* Also, just out the door, we can walk thru sea terrace park, over to the Salt Creek Trail for a nice hike inland, with the golf course and creek and thick foilage along the trail. Point being, we have all the treasures without a huge outlay of cash.

COST OF LIVING :

Yep, it does cost to live here. But, we handle that by.....

1. Shopping at Raplhs , not Gelsons.....the same or better groceries, but for a whole lot less. Get a Ralphs card.
2. Shopping at COSTCO....big help there with your large family
3. Shopping at Trader Joes for the things that we do not buy at the other stores.

4. We have learned where the best happy hours for food and drink are in our Dana Point Marina, and surrounding areas, as well as those other great dining establishments throughout OC.

5. We have great roads all around, south county, and they are landscaped, and very nice to drive.

6. For the active family , it is easy drives to our wilderness areas for hiking, and some bbqing or picknics.. You can be out enjoying the beauty of nature, and save money on family outings.

7. For the kids, there are sailing programs and other very cool adventures in Dana Point Harbor. It is fun living all 'round.

For us, living here in Dana Point is preferable to Irvine......but, again that is us. Others have different priorities.

We also have our wonderful sister cities ( towns ) of San Juan Capistrano, and San Clemente.

As you can see, we love South Orange County, and stay within our means, to have a most happy and rewarding life .


Also, except for my active military service 1964 to 1966, and living on Kauai for 10 years, I have lived in Orange County since 1955. I am still loving it here, now in south county. Each day is special to us . This area is very special.

I know that this long, but, we look at life in a very positive manner, and enjoy south orange county, every day and wanted to let the OP see life here from a positive standpoint.

There is a way to make life work, if you want it to work.
I loved everything about this post. Stay blessed!
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Old 01-27-2019, 04:14 PM
 
Location: California
1,272 posts, read 1,238,471 times
Reputation: 2668
Quote:
Originally Posted by kauaidooley View Post
Moving from Michigan...... you can live in Orange County, but there has to be some compromise.


We survive just fine, and live a great life in Dana Point, South Orange County.

We are retired and our incomes are a heck of a lot less than $ 170,000.00 per year.

We do not have the end all live all, by owning a house in south county. We also do not have a mercedes, or a BMW. But we live one heck of an exciting and active life. And, at the Beach.

We also do not have kids at home . Have we owned homes or condos, yes. Have we owned very high quality sail boats ? That is also an yes. Have we owned an airplane, Yes. Have we owned brand new cars, that is also a yes.

I have lived in Orange county all my life, and a good part of Erica's life has been living at the beach cities in OC. That is also yes, except for our TEN Years of living as full time residents on Kauai, Island, Hawaii. Our life as a team, has been super for 35 years.

Prior to moving to Kauai, Erica lived in Seal Beach , and commuted to L.A. County, she was an M.D. and supervisor of four different L.A. County Health Department Clinics. But, she did not want to live in L.A. and wanted to live at the beach in OC. See the compromise, she wanted to live at the beach, in a small quaint community, but for many years she commuted into L.A.

At that time, 12 years, in Seal for Erica, I lived in Huntington Harbor, ( huntington beach ), about a seven minute drive, until she retired from the County, and we moved to Lihue, Kauai. Yep, just across the road from Kalapaki Beach, that fronts the ( lihue, marriot ).

I also since I wanted to live at the Beach, I had to compromise, and commuted to Fullerton as I was flying as an instructor pilot for Air Combat U.S.A. ( 5 and 6G dog fights) and at the same time, I was also commuting to Newport Beach, to teach sailing, skipper charters, etc.

Point being, we enjoy living in beach style communities. We rented. And we still do. The crealock 37 was sold, the Piper Cherokee was sold, and we joined sailing and flying clubs when we wished to do either of those. More compromise to live a marvelous and fun life as well as careers.

When retirement came, and we moved to Kauai, 2005.

We did not want to wipe out our savings to tell people that we owned a home . We leased. We were there for nearly 10 years . loved every minute and also volunteered for beach and river clean up and were Sierra Club Hike Leaders. And, yearly, went off island to skipper boats, in australia , the south pacific, the caribbean , and Europe. We kept our savings, and investments going, but no outlay of big sums to buy a home.

Now comes moving back to Orange County from Kauai.

We followed our normal personal plan to rent, and not buy. Same advice that we gave people who were thinking of moving to Kauai. if owning that home is a priority, move here, rent for a year or two, and make sure that it is the correct decision.

In OC you will be working, making decent money, kids are in a good school. They will discover the beach, the sunshine, and outdoor activities that suits each of them. Kids outdoors, and being active, instead of roosting on a couch swipping and tweeting. No snow, no ice, no sleet. Oh, if you need snow and skiing, you can drive up to the snow capped mountains, and have a ball. Then drive back down the hill to blue skies and sunshine, sand, and ocean. Not a bad way of life.

By renting or leasing for a while, You will also become more familiar with the cost of living in different areas of Orange County, what the areas are like, and be more in tune with those other area. Then, you can make an informed decision and not be pressured or hurried into purchasing a home.

Erica's and my life , here in SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY. is not for everyone, we are in the minority, but our life is great in all aspects . At least those things that are important to us.

How do we do it :

1. No big down payment on any home purchase. That money goes to our two week sailing vacations world wide, Where we bare boat, skipper a well found sailing vessel, in the Caribbean, or south pacific, or a motor vessel up the river shannon in Ireland. We also take advantage of our Dana Point location and take several stay cations out to our desert, or up to the mountains. A wide diversification .

2. We traded in our go fast sports cars, and now have something that I thought that I would never own. Yep, a wonderful RED, Mazda three , hatchback. Great mileage, fast, handles the road and curves well, and looks good.
But , we do not need his and hers luxury cars or huge SUV's. ( In fact, here at home, I wash and detail that red rascal myself every week. Been tanking care of my cars on my own since I was 16. Very rewarding and feels good )

3, We live great every day, and are very active. I know, that the OP and his wife are working, and raising a family.
We have done all that, and the kids on each side are totally self sufficient, successful, raising families, and own one or more homes. Erica's daughter and the hubby and grand kids are in Reno, NV. My son and his wife live here in SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY, own their home in Rancho Santa Margarita, and another in North Orange County.

4.Now, again, we are on a fixed income, but we live life to the fullest, but within our means. No hundreds of thousand dollars a year income is necessary for us. Sure, it would be nice, but it is what it is.

5. We live in the Monarch Beach Area of Dana Point. You might Look up Dana Point and the surrounding South County areas on the computer. South County is a very, very , nice and special place to live.

* We can walk to the beach in five minutes. SALT CREEK BEACH AND BEACH PARK.
* We are next to wonderful Sea Terrace Park. 2 minute walk. Hardly anyone there, except for Summer Sunday Free
Music Concerts in the park. No diving, no parking, easy day. Just Walk off the property a bit, and the fun light is shining.

* No, we do not have the big house on the hill. But, we do have a comfortable apt, tennis courts, a very nice fitness center, one large swimming pool, and jacuzzi and a couple of bbq;s. And, another jacuzzi that is totally away from the main swimming pool. Also, the property has very , very tall trees, hillocks, winding paths, and actually right now we have the leaves piling up .

* We are blessed with very nice and friendly neighbors. And, wonderful friends from all over Orange County,

* Also, if we feel like walking, or biking for some, we have easy 2 mile hikes.

And also partially along the coast, and partially thru some very nice new and old homes, we hike down to DANA POINT HARBOR ( 4 miles R/T). Walk along the boats and slips, and visit the shops, or drop by the ice creame parlor and bakery, or have lunch at one of the marina view restaurants. You can drive it in 7 minutes.

* In addition to Salt Creek Beach, and park for surfing, and boogie boarding, or just catching the rays, the park has a basket ball court, wonderful shaded pavilions, and bbq's, and a huge well manicured view lawn up on the hill for spreading out a blanket or beach towel.

* Also, just out the door, we can walk thru sea terrace park, over to the Salt Creek Trail for a nice hike inland, with the golf course and creek and thick foilage along the trail. Point being, we have all the treasures without a huge outlay of cash.

COST OF LIVING :

Yep, it does cost to live here. But, we handle that by.....

1. Shopping at Raplhs , not Gelsons.....the same or better groceries, but for a whole lot less. Get a Ralphs card.
2. Shopping at COSTCO....big help there with your large family
3. Shopping at Trader Joes for the things that we do not buy at the other stores.

4. We have learned where the best happy hours for food and drink are in our Dana Point Marina, and surrounding areas, as well as those other great dining establishments throughout OC.

5. We have great roads all around, south county, and they are landscaped, and very nice to drive.

6. For the active family , it is easy drives to our wilderness areas for hiking, and some bbqing or picknics.. You can be out enjoying the beauty of nature, and save money on family outings.

7. For the kids, there are sailing programs and other very cool adventures in Dana Point Harbor. It is fun living all 'round.

For us, living here in Dana Point is preferable to Irvine......but, again that is us. Others have different priorities.

We also have our wonderful sister cities ( towns ) of San Juan Capistrano, and San Clemente.

As you can see, we love South Orange County, and stay within our means, to have a most happy and rewarding life .


Also, except for my active military service 1964 to 1966, and living on Kauai for 10 years, I have lived in Orange County since 1955. I am still loving it here, now in south county. Each day is special to us . This area is very special.

I know that this long, but, we look at life in a very positive manner, and enjoy south orange county, every day and wanted to let the OP see life here from a positive standpoint.

There is a way to make life work, if you want it to work.
These nice and positive posts is why I come to city data. It is so nice to see them through all the negativity. I am glad you are happy
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