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Old 07-23-2020, 04:15 PM
 
72 posts, read 41,872 times
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Thank you, and I can imagine easily getting mixed up. We plan to just drive through the cities, to get as much of a feel as possible.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrician4you View Post
Imo don’t try to see a bunch of homes at once. You’ll get the features mixed up. I tried that. By the time I got home I was exhausted and all the noises were basically one big jumble.
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Old 07-23-2020, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaNative2 View Post
Thank you, and I can imagine easily getting mixed up. We plan to just drive through the cities, to get as much of a feel as possible.
With the exception of Dana Point and parts of San Clemente, you might not see that much of a difference between cities if you stick to main thoroughfares.

One thing that you might try doing is to is go to Redfin and select a target house, just about any house, for each city, and then drive by it. That way, you would be forced to actually venture into various neighborhoods.

Otherwise, you won't know when you are in Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo...……..

Last edited by pacific2; 07-23-2020 at 04:52 PM..
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Old 07-23-2020, 06:00 PM
 
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This is extremely helpful, thank you for taking the time to explain.
I should have added, and I don’t know how to edit original post, we would like a home with either no or low HOA fee, and if there are no Mello Roos, that’s a bonus.



Quote:
Originally Posted by pacific2 View Post
There are some differences and some similarities:

Aliso Viejo-Newer master-planned city. Mini tech and mini biomed center which has always attracted young people. *Lot's of tech startups. IMHO, a bit more willing to take risks than most other South County cities. America's only Buddhist-inspired university is here. Green-orientation with plans to develop a small ranch into an organic teaching farm. Still, it's very family-oriented. Lately, more older people than in the past have moved into the city. Housing mostly consists of attached units (Apartments, condos, and townhouses) with relatively few SFRs. About 10-15 minutes away from the beach. Hilly with lots of parks, hiking, and biking. Restaurants are mostly of the chain type, but the city has commissioned an urban planning firm to make recommendations for a major redevelopment to attract different restaurants, boutiques, and other independent shops.

Dana Point-Quiet coastal community which seems to mostly attract an older crowd. Not master-planned. Contains a range of homes from the modest to the very expensive. Marina. Nice restaurants. Lots of parks, hiking and biking. Undergoing some major redevelopment, but still retains a small town feel.

Laguna Niguel-Older master planned and hilly with lots of trees. Beach-close. Lots of SFRs and also some attached units. Seems to mostly appeal to older people. Very settled feel.

Ladera Ranch- Family oriented newer master-planned community. Very child friendly. A bit more inland. Trees, parks, etc.

Rancho Mission Viejo-New. I have never visited, just read about it and also heard from others, but it seems to be a fairly typical master-planned South County community with a family-orientation. Hiking and biking trails.

Mission Viejo
-Older master-planned community with more SFRs than attached housing. Very settled feel. Lots of trees and parks. Seems to mostly appeal to older people.

Others may wish to chime in, especially if they live in the areas listed and can offer first-hand accounts.

* Aliso Viejo is a hotbed of entrepreneurship among Southern California cities, study finds
https://www.ocregister.com/2015/05/0...s-study-finds/
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Old 07-23-2020, 06:03 PM
 
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My husband mentioned that, and how there is not alot of space between each city like here in Bay Area.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pacific2 View Post
With the exception of Dana Point and parts of San Clemente, you might not see that much of a difference between cities if you stick to main thoroughfares.

One thing that you might try doing is to is go to Redfin and select a target house, just about any house, for each city, and then drive by it. That way, you would be forced to actually venture into various neighborhoods.

Otherwise, you won't know when you are in Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo...……..
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Old 07-23-2020, 06:22 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
5,000 posts, read 6,765,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaNative2 View Post
My husband mentioned that, and how there is not alot of space between each city like here in Bay Area.
That's what I was thinking, too. I lived out there and it's just one big continuous sea of humanity.
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Old 07-23-2020, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
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Redfin will list any HOA fees for a property, but these may not be current. Sometimes, especially if the fee is very low, it's what the current owner originally paid when purchasing the house. Nevertheless, fees tend to be low for SFRs, but vary for condos/townhouses. Still, a realtor would have the current information.

Regarding Mello-Roos, Aliso Viejo has ended that charge for most residences. I think they may still apply for homes near the golf course. Laguna Niguel never had Mello-Roos. You'd have to check for other cities.

You can plug in an address at this website, play around with it, and find a current listing of all possible Mello-Roos fees and special assessments. That's important because even if there is no Mello-Roos, there may be assessments for other items. You won't find HOA fees listed there.

Orange County Tax Assessor:
County of Orange - Treasurer-Tax Collector

Some cities charge very small HOA fees, as well. So, you'd end up paying those in addition to the small fees charged by your development.

For example, everyone who lives in Aliso, or owns a business here, whether they know it or not, pays a nominal annual fee to the city.

This might be as small as about $100 or so a year; maybe slightly more or less. The money, collected from about 52,000 residents and multiple businesses, goes towards the maintenance of the city's parks, trees, etc., and for recreational activities. The same is probably true for the other master-planned South County cities.
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:05 PM
 
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I didn’t realize that the listing may entail old HOA fees, will double check - thanks for the link.

That’s good to know about Aliso Viejo, that will open up more opportunities.

I checked the weather for all of the cities we are considering, sounds like Laguna Niguel is the coolest.
It was high 80s here today, so really any of the cities would be significantly cooler.

I realize we will see this when we visit next month, but do all of these locations have good parks?
We have young children, so will visit often.

Lastly, do you find any of the cities to have more down to earth people than others, or is everyone equally awesome?








Quote:
Originally Posted by pacific2 View Post
Redfin will list any HOA fees for a property, but these may not be current. Sometimes, especially if the fee is very low, it's what the current owner originally paid when purchasing the house. Nevertheless, fees tend to be low for SFRs, but vary for condos/townhouses. Still, a realtor would have the current information.

Regarding Mello-Roos, Aliso Viejo has ended that charge for most residences. I think they may still apply for homes near the golf course. Laguna Niguel never had Mello-Roos. You'd have to check for other cities.

You can plug in an address at this website, play around with it, and find a current listing of all possible Mello-Roos fees and special assessments. That's important because even if there is no Mello-Roos, there may be assessments for other items. You won't find HOA fees listed there.

Orange County Tax Assessor:
County of Orange - Treasurer-Tax Collector

Some cities charge very small HOA fees, as well. So, you'd end up paying those in addition to the small fees charged by your development.

For example, everyone who lives in Aliso, or owns a business here, whether they know it or not, pays a nominal annual fee to the city.

This might be as small as about $100 or so a year; maybe slightly more or less. The money, collected from about 52,000 residents and multiple businesses, goes towards the maintenance of the city's parks, trees, etc., and for recreational activities. The same is probably true for the other master-planned South County cities.
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaNative2 View Post
I didn’t realize that the listing may entail old HOA fees, will double check - thanks for the link.

That’s good to know about Aliso Viejo, that will open up more opportunities.

I checked the weather for all of the cities we are considering, sounds like Laguna Niguel is the coolest.
It was high 80s here today, so really any of the cities would be significantly cooler.

I realize we will see this when we visit next month, but do all of these locations have good parks?
We have young children, so will visit often.

Lastly, do you find any of the cities to have more down to earth people than others, or is everyone equally awesome?
Dana Point and San Clemente are the coolest, then comes parts of Laguna Niguel. Each city actually has microclimates and you can sometimes watch the temperature change in your car, for example, as you travel up or downhill

As far as I know, there are good parks throughout South County. I don't feel like looking it up, but the Orange County Register once ranked Aliso Viejo's (22 parks) and Laguna Niguel's parks as being the best in OC. That is, if I recall correctly, and I may be a bit biased since I live in Aliso. Here's a nice regional park:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltdrO-Ci_IA

Quote:
Lastly, do you find any of the cities to have more down to earth people than others, or is everyone equally awesome?
That's hard to answer.
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Old 07-26-2020, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
2,540 posts, read 836,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finper View Post
I’d check out Coto De Casa if you want privacy. Lots of new developments in south county are with houses crammed together to Get as many houses in a development as possible
The OP has a budget of $1.1. How are they going to get anything in Cota? Now, if they "sweetened" their budget to say $10-11, then you might be onto something.
Rancho Santa Margarita might be a better alternative, due to their budget. RSM is growing tho...
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Old 07-26-2020, 03:02 PM
 
10,073 posts, read 6,176,499 times
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I'd be cautious about the "large private backyard" in most of south OC. Very often, these yards are large because they back up onto hilly wilderness areas with a major wildfire risk. If nothing else, this can make your homeowner's insurance very expensive. Wildfire hazard is definitely something to be aware of in general throughout the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NORTY FLATZ View Post
The OP has a budget of $1.1. How are they going to get anything in Cota? Now, if they "sweetened" their budget to say $10-11, then you might be onto something.
Rancho Santa Margarita might be a better alternative, due to their budget. RSM is growing tho...
Rancho Santa Margarita is pretty much built out, actually. I'm not seeing any new developments around here. Since the OP asked, the Mello-Roos in our tract expired last year, but are still in effect in other tracts. You need to look up each neighborhood individually to find that out. RSM also has an HOA fee of $66/month, which covers parks, community pools and lakes, common landscaping, community events, etc.

In my opinion, both RSM and Aliso Viejo are superior to some of the older communities (Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, etc.) in terms of amenities for young families. These cities were planned differently (and, in my opinion, better) than the older ones. We raised our three kids in RSM and highly recommend it for families. Our particular location has a park, playground, tennis courts and a community pool right around the corner (two minutes' walk), the lake is a pleasant half-mile walk away, an entrance to O'Neill Regional Park is also within a stone's throw, and a lot of shopping including Trader Joe's is just a couple of blocks away.

Ladera Ranch, although also newer, is not a favorite of mine. It looks pretty to drive through, but the houses are extremely close together, it's really not walkable at all, and yards can be nonexistent (there are "common areas" instead).
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