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Old 07-07-2009, 10:28 AM
 
17 posts, read 79,491 times
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HI, I am interested in a home in Santa Ana on S. Orange, I do not know the areas at all, I have 5 children and am pregnant, my husband and I are in our 30's, and currently live in San Juan Capistrano, we want to buy a home in Oc but can only spend up to 420k.My husband commutes to LA and all of N OC. I dont want to move my children to a terrible neighborhood and want decent schools for my children,but we cant afford most of where else I have looked! we are a caucasion family, I have no issue with multi cultural areas but a 50-50 ratio as far as the schools go would be nice.Can anyone tell me if this area is a good area of SA at all? The home is just south of 1st st. closer to the 5freeway, in the 300 block of S. Orange. Thanks so much, I really need advice.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:42 AM
 
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California School Performance Maps

It looks like there's an elementary school just down the street from that house. It scores 1 out of 10. How do you feel about a neighborhood where you're the only one speaking English and many of your kids' friends grow up to be gang bangers?
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Forest Grove, OR
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How about Placentia? There are some listings in your price range. I live here and can let you know about any of the neighborhoods. All in all it is a very safe city (there are one or two less than desirable pockets) with decent schools.

It's very central in North OC and more affordable than Brea, Yorba Linda or Anaheim Hills. You could also look in Fullerton.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:21 AM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 19,757,166 times
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I agree with EscapeCA. You may want to check Lakewood. Some respectable schools(avoid the area east of the 605 fwy and schools under the Paramount district) and when I looked it up yesterday, the median price was around 400k. I know that Lakewood isn't OC, but it's an OC border city and has various perks, like Sports Illustrated rating it the best youth sports city in the nation
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:07 PM
 
17 posts, read 79,491 times
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Good advice, thank you. I fell in love with the vintage home in SA, but maybe not too wise, are there any cool ,nice, affordable historic, vintage areas in OC ? victorians, craftsman type homes?
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Forest Grove, OR
68 posts, read 207,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamma6 View Post
Good advice, thank you. I fell in love with the vintage home in SA, but maybe not too wise, are there any cool ,nice, affordable historic, vintage areas in OC ? victorians, craftsman type homes?
Try Orange. There are lots of Craftsman bungalows there. Not sure of the price range though.
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:24 PM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 19,757,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamma6 View Post
Good advice, thank you. I fell in love with the vintage home in SA, but maybe not too wise, are there any cool ,nice, affordable historic, vintage areas in OC ? victorians, craftsman type homes?
Orange and OC neighbor Long Beach(coastal districts) will probably have the largest presences other than Santa Ana
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:24 PM
 
3,853 posts, read 12,863,253 times
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wait 2-3 years you'll be able to buy one of them track homes in a master planned community for 300k by then.

lol and 6 kids, you must like doing hard labor
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,764,742 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamma6 View Post
Good advice, thank you. I fell in love with the vintage home in SA, but maybe not too wise, are there any cool ,nice, affordable historic, vintage areas in OC ? victorians, craftsman type homes?
Orange or Santa Ana. A few places in Fullerton and some parts of Anaheim.

There are better areas of Santa Ana with amazing houses, but the schools are generally not too good. You will nto find many schools with 50% mix. The city is 80% + hispanic. However there are options.

The Arts schools donwtown are very good schools and have a good mix of students. Your kids have to be extremely talented in some form of the arts to get in. That could be writing, photography, singing, acting, drawing, graphic arts, muscial instruments, etc. You have to pay a lab fee or sometihing like that. For Jr. Hiigh it used to be $2600/year. It is probably more now. The fee for High School is higher. I know nohitng about the elemtary school.

The high school is one of the best performing schools academically in the county. The kids go from ealy morning until about 5:30 or so P.m. They have their regualr clases in the morning, and the arts classes int he afternoon.

There are also good elemtary schools here and there. John Muir is pretty good. The school at Floral Park is good. Good middle schools include Villa and Greenville and McArthur. High schools include the arts school, middle college, maybe Santa Ana high (I would nto choose there) and private school. You also may be able to get a transfer into a school district near your work. (we did into Tustin for a while, but it was a lot of work and the schools was insanely competitive so we switched to John Muuir).

However many of the public schools are awful. In some of the schools, you will be hard pressed to find someone who speaks English.

Private schools are another option.

Orange is terrific. The old town area is my favorite place in Orange County. Orange is more costly than Santa Ana, but cheaper than the newer suburban sprawl areas. Orange public Schools are generally decent, but not great. If you want top schools rather than just good schools, you pretty much need to look at Irvine, Mission Viejo etc. There you will not find any charming homes, just newer suburban sprawl and poor construciton. However many of the houses and neighborhoods are very very nice for subruban sprawl living, at least when they are new.


So back to charming and affordable.

Orange is the best option if you can find something that you can afford. Most of the older homes are pretty small.

In Santa Ana you might want to look at Floral Park, Park Santiago, French Park, and maybe Wachington Square or Wilshire Square.

Santa Ana is a city unlike most of Orange County. That means extremely dense population and all of the funs, excitement and problems that goes with extremely dense population. It also means that you can walk to a lot of neat things (or bike or a short drive). Cityliving isnto for everyone and requires common sense, Be certain that you know what you are getting into if you choose Santa Ana. Some parts of the City have substantial gang presence. Some parts ate 100% hispanic and a few of those areas may notbe very welcoming.

There are a few decent areas just south of first. I cannot remember what is in the 300 block of Orange, if I get a chance, I will drive or walk over there this afternoon. The area is generally not too bad once you get into he organized neighborhood. Fringes of the neighborhood may not be the greatest.


What you need to do is go talk to people who live there. Try to talkwith at elast 20 different people. Igonroe the people who rave about whata hellhole it is, and ignroe the people who tell you it is the best place on earth. LIsten to the people who tell you the middle. These are the ones giving you a realistic representation. If everyone there tells you that it is a hell hole, then it is not a decent area.


Ignore people from outside the city who tell you wild stories or quote staistics at you. They know nohting about what it is really like here.

If you have a poineering spirit, if you are a community activist, somewhat wise and reeasonably smart, if you are willing to work hard to find suitable schools and to oversee your childs education, and if you will be involed in activities like church or clubs where your kids can meet other kids who speak English, you can raise a family well in Santa Ana. It takes more work than in a suburban sprawl community and there are risks, it is also more exciting and meaningful.

Downtown Santa Ana is not "nice" but it is "cool" There are a lot of neat things to do. Discovery science museum, the artists villiage area, the bower museum and kiseum, St. Joeseph's ballet, the main street players, the Pavilli9on, OCHSA (The high school) and several other venues provide entertainment, culture and education. There is a nice farmers market on Wednesdays (r=or there was, I have not gone in a while so I cannot be sure it is still done). Check out the Santa Ana Kiwanias, the Santa Ana presbyterian church, and the Old Court house. Also wander around 4th street between Main and Flower. It is very ethnic, but pretty neat.

To be honest, you will probably like Orange better if you can find something suitable near old town. However we raised our five kids in downtown Santa Ana (French Park) for 9+ years and we have no regrets. Plus we lived in a large beautiful 1893 victorian home with a decent sized lot (by California Standards) andhad a blast. We also had absolutely wonderful neighbors. I am sitting in French Park now, and it is very pleasant and calm (for a city).


Fullerton is very nice,but the collection of older charming homes is very limited. Anaheim has some great neighborhoods, I just do nto know where they are. I have been in them, but Cannot identify them. Anaheim has a few good schools, but nothing great except Oxford Academy which is technically in Cuypress I think and it is very hard to get into;.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:31 AM
 
17 posts, read 79,491 times
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wow, thanks for all of the great info!! I really appreciate it! I am definatley willing to try and make it work for us, but all of my extented fam is so discouraging its unnerving.My mother in law lives in Newport in spyglass, I know I could use her address for schools, but its a bit of a distance I think. I also have a sister in law in Huntington and she said we could use her address for HB schools...I have looked in French Park and wish we could afford it, maybe to rent, but buying was the idea.The home I found is a colonial revival its 5 bdrm and on a huge lot, I mainly worry about theft ( break ins) and the kids, I have 1 blonde that might stick out like a soar thumb, also 1 girl that is only 6 and very pretty,they LIVE outside right now and I worry about them playing outside and crime.I also have middle school aged and other younger 4 & under boys. My 7th grader is a 4.0 student and was going to take all accelerated classes in the fall, I have to keep him thriving in a good education, for all of them too of course.I have lived in a city before in high school and found no issue with it or problems, but everyone in our family here live in really "good" areas of california and think there is no way we should do it, they make me feel like Im putting my kids in a warzone or something. I just dont want to live with an element of fear in my home, I want to feel safe, but we cant afford the "best" areas....I have looked into Orange and love it, but again, cant find anything even close to this fab home in SA...The area is 3 blocks south of 1st, more towards the 5.My husband drove by and said the street was lovely, big old fashioned homes, wide treelined street, but very populated lots of people outside, which sounds nice.He did say though that he would worry about me alone there. Are there alot of breakins? We are not flashy, drive old cars and dont have alot of expensive things, but my children are very pretty kids and we attract attention because we're so many! I would hate the boys to be targeted for being the minority and bullied....sounds like I have alot of fear, but Im just a typical protective mother, I dont want to make a big mistake, and I dont want to be scared of everything.French park is about 17 blocks north of there...the zip is 92701..Again thank you for all of your input, as you can see, Im torn and maybe I have too many fears like I said, but good advice to talk to the neighbors. Thank you again, you have been very very helpful!
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