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Old 01-29-2020, 08:35 AM
 
11 posts, read 11,022 times
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Hi all!

I am a 30-year-old life-long East Coaster. Specifically, I've lived in the Washington DC area for most of my life. That said, I am currently interviewing for a job in Orange County that would come with a huge pay-raise, and heavily considering it. My girlfriend is originally from SoCal (LA County specifically), so she would be joining me to be closer to family. The job is in the Orange-Irvine-Anaheim part of the county. With that said, since neither of us are overly familiar with Orange County, I figured I would ask the City-Data community for some advice about which communities in the county would be best for a couple in their late 20s and early 30s. Some considerations for us:

We already live in an area with high housing costs, and OC seems comparable to the DC area (especially communities inside the Beltway). With that said, our upper-limit for a 2-br rent-wise would be between $2,500-3,000. We're eyeing apartments, single-family homes and townhouses; so we're pretty flexible on that front.

I'd like to keep my commute within 30-minutes when factoring for traffic.

We currently live in a fairly walkable and transit-accessible community, which is something we both enjoy. Based on my research so far, transit-accessibility doesn't really seem like much of an option in OC. But I think we would still like to live in a community where we don't need to drive to meet a lot of our day-to-day needs (i.e., dining, groceries, shopping, entertainment). Neither of us are much into nightclubs or anything like that, but we do like having a low-key neighborhood bar to unwind at. Being close to a year-round farmer's market would also be nice, since we enjoy cooking.

I am an avid hiker and runner, so being near parks with trails would be a definite plus for me personally. I am less concerned about being close to the beach. Neither of us are regular beach bums, so I see that as more of an activity we would do once every couple of months or when family/friends are visiting.

We're Jewish, so it would be nice to live close to a local Jewish community with people around our age.

Also, if any of you have made the coast-to-coast move, I would appreciate any insight into what challenges you faced adjusting to SoCal life; along with ways in which your quality of life has improved.

Any suggestions you may have in terms of communities would be very helpful! Thanks in advance!

Last edited by msgolds89; 01-29-2020 at 08:56 AM.. Reason: Additional details
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:56 AM
 
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Try the apartment communities in Irvine along the Jamboree / Alton or Jamboree / Main St. corridor. Rents about where you want, near the Diamond Jamboree shopping center with a lot of restaurants and an "H" Market, and there are a pair of Jewish Temple/schools along Michelson, one at the intersection with Culver, and one at the intersection with Harvard.

Hope this helps.

Addresses to some of those include: Cosmopolitan Apartmentss at 1200 Sullivan, 2501 Alton, 17200 Millikan, 16899 Jamboree, etc. Seriously, google maps the area and you will find nearly a dozen high end apartment complexes and a couple middle-end ones (The Sofi at 2750 Kelvin and some others on Kelvin). The Metropolitan on Kelvin is high end. The nicest, IMHO, is the Cosmopolitan.

There is also the Spectrum apartments and Los Olivos apartments, both off of Irvine Center Dr. They are close to a large strip mall with a Whole Foods, and of course the outdoor Spectrum Mall with Nordtrom's, etc. It is right off the 405 Fwy, on the south end of Irvine.

You can also try The Arts (3400 Avenue of the Arts) right next to OC Performing Arts center in Costa Mesa. It is walkable to a small, low-end shopping mall called South Coast Plaza, lol.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:08 AM
 
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Ooh! The Irvine neighborhood you mentioned looks promising. The Korean markets/restaurants are actually pretty similar to the ones offered in the community I grew up in. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:08 PM
 
807 posts, read 272,273 times
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Originally Posted by msgolds89 View Post
Ooh! The Irvine neighborhood you mentioned looks promising. The Korean markets/restaurants are actually pretty similar to the ones offered in the community I grew up in. Thanks for the advice!
It really depends on where your jobs are. You said it was in the Irvine Anaheim Orange part of the county. If it's in Irvine by John Wayne, you should live in Irvine, Tustin, Santa Ana, (SouthCoast Metro) or Costa Mesa. If it's Irvine by Spectrum then you want to look at South County or Irvine. If it's in Anaheim you probably want to live in Anaheim or Fullerton. If it's in Orange you want to live in Orange or Tustin.

If you have jobs in two different cities then that also makes a difference. Look at a map. Get on google street view. Look at estimated drive times during rush hour. Do your homework.
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:28 PM
 
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So this particular job would be in Orange, right by the Old Town. My girlfriend is still trying to figure out her work situation.
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:47 PM
 
10,062 posts, read 6,171,164 times
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Originally Posted by bad debt View Post
It really depends on where your jobs are. You said it was in the Irvine Anaheim Orange part of the county. If it's in Irvine by John Wayne, you should live in Irvine, Tustin, Santa Ana, (SouthCoast Metro) or Costa Mesa. If it's Irvine by Spectrum then you want to look at South County or Irvine. If it's in Anaheim you probably want to live in Anaheim or Fullerton. If it's in Orange you want to live in Orange or Tustin.

If you have jobs in two different cities then that also makes a difference. Look at a map. Get on google street view. Look at estimated drive times during rush hour. Do your homework.
Take this advice to heart. Rush hour traffic in Orange County is no joke. Pin the jobs down first, THEN look for nearby neighborhoods that you can see yourself living in. Don't do it the other way around.

Old Town Orange is cute and walkable and you would probably like it better than the depths of Irvine anyway. It's expensive, but so is every place in OC you would want to live.
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Old 01-29-2020, 03:15 PM
 
807 posts, read 272,273 times
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Originally Posted by msgolds89 View Post
So this particular job would be in Orange, right by the Old Town. My girlfriend is still trying to figure out her work situation.
Well in that case I would figure out if you want to be in a big modern complex with lots of amenities, or rent a house/townhouse directly from a small landlord.

Regardless I would look within a 20 minute drive to your work and then once your wife has nailed down a job you can always move in a year when your lease is up.

When my wife was a resident at CHOC we lived in the Windsor Apartments in Orange off Town and Country Road. Good freeway access and was about a 20 minute walk to the circle and a 2 bed unit should be about $3,000/mo.
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Old 01-29-2020, 05:52 PM
 
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I have only been to D.C. as a visitor. I love Northern Virginia; places like Tysons Corner are an East Coast version of Irvine.

I think the pace of life is slower in Orange County than in D.C. as a whole, with one exception: Irvine. Irvine is known for being THE hyper-competitive, ultra-expensive, Asian-dominated, high-tech, economic overachiever of Orange County that is already overcrowded and still growing gangbusters. It moves at a faster pace than the rest of OC, but if that's what you want, then Irvine is great. As others have mentioned, there are several synagogues in Irvine. While Westminster is OC's Little Saigon with the best Vietnamese food, Irvine has the best Chinese food in OC and the largest Chinese population. Korean food is pretty good, too.

Irvine is even safer than Fairfax County as a whole. Anaheim is as safe as Prince George County as a whole. Santa Ana has a higher crime rate than Anaheim, but even then is slightly below average by national standards.
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:06 PM
 
842 posts, read 400,218 times
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Originally Posted by msgolds89 View Post
So this particular job would be in Orange, right by the Old Town. My girlfriend is still trying to figure out her work situation.
I assume you are working at either CHOC or St Joseph Hospital
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
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I work in the stadium area, and live near PCH and Warner, near the beach in Huntington Beach.
We back up to the bolsa chica wetlands nature preserve, and are less than a mile from the beach, we see the ocean every morning when walking our dogs.

We live in a nice area, with a low crime rate (although there are a lot of 40-50 year olds suffering from severe cases of arrested development)

My commute in the morning is about 25-30 minutes, evening commute is about 45 minutes.

just food for thought....
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