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Old 04-21-2008, 05:02 PM
21 posts, read 82,877 times
Reputation: 19


Hi, I posted this on the L.A. board and was given the recommendation to post here for hopefully better answers.

I am a 20-something female and I will be working in Laguna Niguel next fall. I can't afford the Laguna Beach area, and the Laguna/Newport Beach area isn't my scene (living-wise) at all anyways.
It's not a must, but I'd still like to live by the beach and want a reasonable (if not short) commute. I will definitely consider a city that isn't by the beach though, if it's a nice/fun place to live for someone in my age group and if it provides me with a reasonable commute. My roommate and I can afford around $1400-$1800/month. Which cities/neighborhoods are my best options?

After getting some responses on the L.A. board, I'm stuck here:
-I really like the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach, but apparently that commute will make me pull my hair out
-I've heard nice things about Irvine. But I am wondering if it has varying levels of housing? I don't want some old dilapidated building obviously, but I like something with a bit of character, not just these brand new complexes that cost $2000. I've been shocked by the price of a 2br in Irvine on craigslist! I thought I could find something cheaper there. Where else can I look to get a broader view of Irvine housing, or is the whole city full of expensive, cookie-cutter new housing?
-Huntington Beach. But I've heard extreme opinions on both ends about this city so I'm not sure what to think of it (I need to drive down there for myself), and I'm not sure if the commute would be any less bad than it would be coming from Belmont Shore.
-I'm only considering areas from the O.C. on up, so no San Clemente, etc. suggestions please

Any opinions about this, or ideas about other cities I haven't considered, would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-21-2008, 05:09 PM
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 18,178,772 times
Reputation: 1902
Costa Mesa would be suitably close while giving you a more youthful atmosphere in a beach community. Huntington is the next stop north
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Old 04-21-2008, 05:51 PM
Location: Fountain Valley, CA
131 posts, read 497,340 times
Reputation: 61
I would have to say the same...Costa Mesa is cool and less expensive. You can check out Tustin too. About the same distance as Costa Mesa, but a littlemore inland.
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:42 PM
Location: South Bay
7,164 posts, read 20,083,198 times
Reputation: 3445
There's only a few ways in and out of Laguna, PCH from the north and south and Laguna Canyon from the east, so i would limit my search to areas around those roads. You may want to consider Aliso Viejo or Lake Forest, which are inland of Laguna Beach. San Juan Capistrano and Mission Viejo also aren't too far away. Huntington might be a good option north of Laguna, but the lack of freeway access would leave you stuck commuting on PCH, which is never fun. I would say that Belmont Shore is just too far north. You'd be commuting atleast an hour each way everyday.
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:55 PM
40 posts, read 120,582 times
Reputation: 12
I would say if you are working in Laguna Niguel look in Aliso Viejo, 5 miniute commute to Laguna Niguel 10 minute at most to the beach and Aliso Viejo offers a lot of affordable nice condos to rent in the range your looking to stay in. I would not suggest Costa Mesa if you are working in Laguna Niguel, to much of a drive. Good luck!
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:07 PM
365 posts, read 1,320,455 times
Reputation: 51
Have you looked in Laguna Niguel itself? You said Laguna Beach, but look in Laguna Niguel and Laguna Hills. For a younger person you may want to look in Mission Viejo and Also Viejo. Mission Viejo has a lot of things to do and young people to meet.
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