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Old 02-22-2021, 03:04 PM
 
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Likely moving to OC from Chicago burbs due to a job opportunity for my wife in Irvine. Our kids are 12, 10, and 5. Also have a dog. Starting the reality-based research after years of the theoretical SoCal moves. Would like her not to have a monster commute (less than 30mins) but it’s hard to figure out real commute times on Google maps. Which areas should we focus on outside of Irvine itself which I’m not sure really suits us? Is HB farther away in real-time driving? Thanks all in advance! I’m sure I’ll have many more questions regarding the area in the coming months.
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Old 02-22-2021, 03:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renton99 View Post
Likely moving to OC from Chicago burbs due to a job opportunity for my wife in Irvine. Our kids are 12, 10, and 5. Also have a dog. Starting the reality-based research after years of the theoretical SoCal moves. Would like her not to have a monster commute (less than 30mins) but it’s hard to figure out real commute times on Google maps. Which areas should we focus on outside of Irvine itself which I’m not sure really suits us? Is HB farther away in real-time driving? Thanks all in advance! I’m sure I’ll have many more questions regarding the area in the coming months.
What exactly are you after, besides a reasonable commute? I assume a very family-friendly area. What is your housing budget--are you looking to rent or buy, SFH / townhouse ? Is being close to the beach important to you?
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Old 02-22-2021, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Corona del Mar & Coronado, CA
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The first key is knowing your budget and wants. If you want a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house and a budget of $1.5 million you are in okay shape. University Park is one of the original Irvine neighborhoods and I am a big fan because of the location and amenities and schools.
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Old 02-22-2021, 05:03 PM
 
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Thanks for the quick replies! Wants: good schools first, 4 bedrooms, budget up to 1.4mil, hopefully less. Don’t need large square footage but would like some outdoor space. Pool or easy access to one. We hope to get out that way again in a few weeks to check out all the areas and get a better feel for them but was curious how far we should limit our search around Irvine. Sounds like HB is not too far commute-wise
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Old 02-22-2021, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Corona del Mar & Coronado, CA
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HB isn't too far, but I am not sold on the quality of their schools. I'd concentrate on Irvine first, I think you will find something acceptable in the IUSD.
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Old 02-22-2021, 05:43 PM
 
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I'm interested in why you said in your first post that you weren't sure Irvine would suit you. What do you not like about Irvine? That would help us find places that you would like better.
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:34 PM
 
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Probably worded that poorly, certainly not going to rule Irvine out. Just sounds very planned out with a little less character than other areas, but I’ll admit that’s all internet hearsay; I’ve never spent a lot of time there. Also prices seem high for no backyard space, at least on initial searches. Any other areas besides HB and Irvine we should check out? Laguna Niguel too far for a daily commute?
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:14 PM
 
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For a larger yard, look to slightly older neighborhoods. There are some in Irvine and many elsewhere. The newest builds are mostly huge houses crammed right up against each other. ("People nowadays don't want the upkeep of a yard" = "We can make more money by putting more homes in less space.")

Homes in, say, Mission Viejo often have pools. Homes in Rancho Santa Margarita (my city) don't have pools, but there are several community pools. Buy a home near one of them and you have virtually all the convenience of a pool without any of the upkeep. That was a great thing for us when our kids were younger.

Irvine does have several of the highest ranked and most competitive schools in OC. Some of the South County schools are also well ranked (Mission Viejo, Tesoro).

All of the cities along the 241 Toll Road (North Tustin, Anaheim Hills, north Lake Forest/Portola Springs/Baker Ranch/Foothill Ranch, RSM) have very easy access to Irvine via the 241 and 133. Using the toll road is actually not necessarily right now because of lighter traffic (Covid), but in normal times, they save a lot of time and you can avoid the 5 and 405 freeways.
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:15 PM
DKM
 
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
5,867 posts, read 2,123,256 times
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Well "planned out" means different things to different people. I think I know what you mean though, and that's why I chose where I live. You need something older like late 60s until around 1990. Newer means tiny yards, less character, more cookie cutter, unless you are willing to pay a lot. Don't let the age worry you, anything can and will be renovated. That said, schools are very important so no to Laguna Niguel or Hills, or Lake Forest... Stick with 8s and above if you can, elementary through high school. I would recommend looking at North and East Yorba Linda, North Tustin, Anaheim Hills, etc. Much of south county is cookie cutter hell, but I don't know a lot about it other than Laguna area. Further east like RSM and you are looking at a lengthy commute to Irvine (assuming you are working on the "airport" side of Irvine). A lot of people recommend Aliso, but you have to be okay with not having any character. Great park in Irvine is even worse.

Everyone has different tastes, but if I was you these would be high on my list:

https://www.redfin.com/CA/Santa-Ana/...5/home/4434563

https://www.redfin.com/CA/Yorba-Lind...6/home/4278066


This is what you want to avoid, look at the last pictures outside from the back:

https://www.redfin.com/CA/Yorba-Lind...6/home/5955954

Great park (hideous):
https://www.redfin.com/CA/Irvine/229...home/112723867

Live the California dream instead!
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DKM View Post
Further east like RSM and you are looking at a lengthy commute to Irvine (assuming you are working on the "airport" side of Irvine).
Just for the record--we live in RSM and can get to the Irvine Spectrum in 20 minutes, OC airport in 30 minutes, by using the toll road. Of course one does need to be willing to pay the toll.
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