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Old 05-05-2009, 09:21 AM
 
9 posts, read 22,454 times
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We are a young couple (25 and 30) and may possibly move to the Orange County area. My fiance has been offered a position there. It is not the first place we would choose to relocate; however, the position is a great career move for him. Our budget for a home is in the $600,000 to $750,000 range. We have been looking at homes on MLS in Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, Irvine and near Huntington Beach. The company is setting us up with a realtor as we are going out to visit this weekend, but we would love to hear feedback from others familiar with the area. We were both raised in the Midwest area and love the friendly and laid-back atmosphere we have grown up in. Also, we are looking to start a family in the next 2-3 years so an area with a family oriented environment and great schools would be ideal. Thanks in advance for all the info.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,930,816 times
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Just a quick question: Where is the job specifically in Orange County? Around here you don't want to commute 25 miles to work just because you can hit a lot of traffic. That is a major factor in location choice.

Hungtington Beach is a beach city, with vibrant beaches, many surfers, a good location on the center coast of the county, and good schools. The biggest plus will be great weather and proximity to the beach (you will be within 2 miles). The city has a main street area at the beach/pier with shops and cafes.

Mission Viejo/Irvine/Rancho Santa Margarita are all master planned communities not on the beach (20-30 minutes away, depending on location]. Irvine has some more established communites (1970-80), while most of it is newer stucco track homes in neighborhoods like Northwood, Portola Springs, Quail Hill, Woodburry, etc... Mission Viejo is a mix of homes built in the 1960-80's on it western side and newer communities on its eastern/northern side built in the 90's and early 2000. The community is very very hilly [see Pictures of Orange County thread at top to see pics]. RSM is the overall newest, starting construction in the 1990's and completed in roughly the early 2000's. There are good association ammenities and is spotless, but farther from freeways. All three of these cities have great schools.

That is just a rough outline.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:53 AM
 
9 posts, read 22,454 times
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I could not even tell you exactly where he would be working. He is an engineer and would be overseeing construction projects in Orange County. The recruiter for the company said that a few of the engineers at his level have homes around the Huntington Beach area. We aren't really looking to live on the beach. We just want to be in a nice neighborhood with friendly people who take care of their homes and yard. Is it a safe time to even buy in today's market?
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,342 posts, read 89,334,825 times
Reputation: 17727
Check out a thread I started on House Hunting tools (lots of stuff specific to OC too):

//www.city-data.com/forum/orang...ing-tools.html


Very good quick and dirty tools:

School Performance Maps

Find All the Homes for Sale & Experienced Real Estate Agents | Redfin

Here's a good source of information on the OC real estate health:

Lansner on Real Estate - OCRegister.com

Extremely important you become familiar with traffic. Check this website out during the times you may potentially commute:

www.sigalert.com try the new beta version by clicking the link at the top
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:47 AM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 18,741,388 times
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I would add Rossmoor to your list of cities(technically it's unincorporated inside Los Alamitos 90720 zip). You won't have expensive HOA or Mello Roos taxes like you do in many of the cities you mentioned and you have excellent schools(#2 district in the state by average API score according to a graphic someone posted here recently) as well as a nice, safe, close/friendly community.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:52 PM
 
114 posts, read 449,832 times
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Ok so grew up n oc, moved out of portola hills ( a very close neighbor to rsm and mission viejo) to austin, Tx and yes.. we are now heading back. So first off get prepared for sticker shicok, however.. also be prepared for some good shocks which you dont have in houston as in the qweather, the much greater diversity in things to do, the world class resorts etc, and the more diversified labor base for jobs etc.

As to area..ive done the research and lived all over oc., we are in your price point and have a 5 year old. So id say focus on mission viejo ( area more eat and farter away from te freeway), portola hills, foothill ranch, ladera ( if you can deal or like some of its quirks), rsm, dove canyon( by rsm) robinson ranch( also rsm), the area off melinda( also rsm), aliso viejo, laguna niguels. Id personally stay away from north oc, including hb etc. Just be aware, that you will find homes that seem cheap,in these areas and sometimes they are due to being located in a lesser maintained pocket of an otherwise nice place ( areas of mission viejo come to mind)
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:22 PM
 
619 posts, read 2,071,767 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfarmer002 View Post
Ok so grew up n oc, moved out of portola hills ( a very close neighbor to rsm and mission viejo) to austin, Tx and yes.. we are now heading back. So first off get prepared for sticker shicok, however.. also be prepared for some good shocks which you dont have in houston as in the qweather, the much greater diversity in things to do, the world class resorts etc, and the more diversified labor base for jobs etc.

As to area..ive done the research and lived all over oc., we are in your price point and have a 5 year old. So id say focus on mission viejo ( area more eat and farter away from te freeway), portola hills, foothill ranch, ladera ( if you can deal or like some of its quirks), rsm, dove canyon( by rsm) robinson ranch( also rsm), the area off melinda( also rsm), aliso viejo, laguna niguels. Id personally stay away from north oc, including hb etc. Just be aware, that you will find homes that seem cheap,in these areas and sometimes they are due to being located in a lesser maintained pocket of an otherwise nice place ( areas of mission viejo come to mind)

Wow!..pricing declines in OC makes ppl coming back!
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:29 PM
 
619 posts, read 2,071,767 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megs1130 View Post
We are a young couple (25 and 30) and may possibly move to the Orange County area. My fiance has been offered a position there. It is not the first place we would choose to relocate; however, the position is a great career move for him. Our budget for a home is in the $600,000 to $750,000 range. We have been looking at homes on MLS in Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, Irvine and near Huntington Beach. The company is setting us up with a realtor as we are going out to visit this weekend, but we would love to hear feedback from others familiar with the area. We were both raised in the Midwest area and love the friendly and laid-back atmosphere we have grown up in. Also, we are looking to start a family in the next 2-3 years so an area with a family oriented environment and great schools would be ideal. Thanks in advance for all the info.
LOL! 3-5 years ago Californians were moving to Houston ...now Houstonians are moving to Calif...
I was in Houston house hunting in 2006 and at an open house the listing agent couldn`t understand why anyone would want to leave So Cal and move to Houston ...obviously she was a Houstonian trying to get out of Houston....she was so honest about it she didn`t care I could have been a potential buyer for her listing!....her honesty stuck with me and opened my eyes. Now So Cal looks even better with the prices declining and more declines on the way!
Good Luck with your move, there`s no place like So Cal!
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:22 PM
 
3,852 posts, read 12,334,686 times
Reputation: 2527
Quote:
We just want to be in a nice neighborhood with friendly people who take care of their homes and yard. Is it a safe time to even buy in today's market?
Nope which leads me to wonder why you are in such a rush to buy a home? Wait 2-3 years until you know what OC is all about.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:48 AM
 
4,486 posts, read 9,894,173 times
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You REALLY should try to find a rental that will accept a 6 month lease and WAIT to buy.

Your price range...you can afford a nice place, BUT there is a huge mountain of builtup ARM readjustments that are primarily focused in mid-upper end housing. This is probably going to cause a huge number of defaults on these properties and send the places currently priced $600k-1.5million tumbling in the same manner that already happened wtih the low end properties. At any rate, they are not going to go up in price anytime soon unless you listen to some of the kool aid drinking realtors that are about to go out of business.
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