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Old 12-07-2009, 07:55 PM
 
916 posts, read 3,699,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenStL4 View Post
So, if I were looking for an area close/semi-close to the beach with more personality than the Aliso Viejo type city in Southern CA, what would be your recommendation? We are not relocating b/c of a job, we both work from home and are looking for a cool place to live. The midwest just isn't doing it for us.
What is your budget? If I were moving to socal and commuting wasn't an issue I would live in a beach town. Each beach town has it's own personality. What kind of culture are you looking for? Conservative vs. liberal? Family oriented vs. young singles? A mix? Need a little more info.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,243,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsltd View Post
I would say buy an older house there, but these areas are so new that there aren't really any.
There are some 40 year old neighborhoods there. You might want to check out Dana Point too, especially if money is no object.
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:39 PM
 
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Have lived in both places and unless you are going to buy a house they are really the same. My two places were actually 1.6 miles apart. If you want to buy, most of Aliso has Mello Roos tax and most of Laguna Niguel doesn't. More condos in Aliso and less in Laguna Niguel. Do the math and see what works. If you want character then look in Dana Point, laguna Beach or San Juan as mentioned. I am not sure how their schools rank, but shouldn't be bad. Overall that area of the state is very "sterile" so to speak. As ambiguity is trying to say, people are a bit superficial, drive cars that are sometimes worth half their houses. Lots of plastic surgery and .com rich people. I guess that is what makes it safe.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:31 PM
 
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Default Alternatives to newer south O.C. cities

Quote:
Originally Posted by JenStL4 View Post
So, if I were looking for an area close/semi-close to the beach with more personality than the Aliso Viejo type city in Southern CA, what would be your recommendation? We are not relocating b/c of a job, we both work from home and are looking for a cool place to live. The midwest just isn't doing it for us.
I may not be qualified to answer this, given I have lived here only a few years, but I have found Tustin and Orange charming. This may not be close enough to the beach. It depends on time of day, but you can be to the beach in maybe 20 minutes. Good thing about Tustin and Orange is they have that small town feeling and suburban at the same time. They are less pretentious than the newer south O.C. cities. It isn't unbearably hot like the Inland Empire but warmer than coastal towns. If you want to be closer to the beach and want to avoid the tract home type of city like Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel, consider San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente. San Juan Capistrano has a lot of the adobe and Spanish type architecture in its downtown.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Anaheim
1,962 posts, read 4,482,649 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenStL4 View Post
So, if I were looking for an area close/semi-close to the beach with more personality than the Aliso Viejo type city in Southern CA, what would be your recommendation? We are not relocating b/c of a job, we both work from home and are looking for a cool place to live. The midwest just isn't doing it for us.
That's a really open question. What is "cool"?

If you are going by stereotypes on TV and in popular culture, not much of Southern California fits all of those.

Close to the beach cities (actually, ON the beach) would include Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, San Clemente. San Juan Capistrano is very close. Most of these cities have inland areas also.

Don't entirely nix the inland, though, depending on your budget.

Oh, and forgot Seal Beach and Sunset Beach. Those two, in my opinion, are the "coolest" places on the coast. "Cool" for me means: 1) space to breathe--2) less crowds in a nice place
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:56 AM
 
13 posts, read 129,043 times
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Maybe unique would be a better term as opposed to "cool". I'm not into chain restaurants and identical houses. We lived in Los Gatos up near San Jose a few years ago and loved it but would like to try somewhere in Southern CA. We have visited Newport Beach and I felt a bit out of my element. Our income is in the low $100s. We drive a Mazda and a Toyota, not a Maserati and will be looking for a townhome or condo for no more than $375k (probably a short sale). I suppose we are going to get that pretentious feel in most of the area we are looking from what I've heard. I just like diversity. I'm a caucasian blonde that doesn't want to be surrounded by them, ha!
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:59 AM
 
916 posts, read 3,699,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenStL4 View Post
Maybe unique would be a better term as opposed to "cool". I'm not into chain restaurants and identical houses. We lived in Los Gatos up near San Jose a few years ago and loved it but would like to try somewhere in Southern CA. We have visited Newport Beach and I felt a bit out of my element. Our income is in the low $100s. We drive a Mazda and a Toyota, not a Maserati and will be looking for a townhome or condo for no more than $375k (probably a short sale). I suppose we are going to get that pretentious feel in most of the area we are looking from what I've heard. I just like diversity. I'm a caucasian blonde that doesn't want to be surrounded by them, ha!
Do you have to be in OC? OC is generally very cookie cutter. How about Belmont Shore in Long Beach. It's an upscale beach area. Houses have a lot of character (no tracts). Lowell is the elementary school and it's great. Not pretentious at all particularly for a beach town. 2nd Street is the main drag of shops, eateries, etc that you can walk to. Great mix of young professionals, families, LBSU students, etc. Has much more of an SF vibe than anything in OC. It is predominantly a white area but it does have more diversity than normal due to its Long Beach proximity. You could get a decent condo in the range you're talking.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:06 PM
 
13 posts, read 129,043 times
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Really? I've heard of Long Beach but have never been. We are visiting CA again in January. Maybe we'll check it out. Thank You!
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:13 PM
 
916 posts, read 3,699,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenStL4 View Post
Really? I've heard of Long Beach but have never been. We are visiting CA again in January. Maybe we'll check it out. Thank You!
Check out Belmont Shore and Naples. Belmont Shore is a bit more lively but still family friendly. Naples is waterfront with canals and boat docks through the neighborhood. Great environment. There are a couple of condo buildings though. Might be tough on your price range but if you can tolerate a smaller condo might be possible.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,329 posts, read 93,734,875 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenStL4 View Post
will be looking for a townhome or condo for no more than $375k (probably a short sale).
Out of curiosity, what do you mean by "probably a short sale"? Does it mean you are hoping to purchase one (attracted by the SS's lower than non-SS prices)? My understanding is short sales are really tough to get but some people who are willing to wait it out and jump through hoops have managed to secure them. I've also read recently that short sales may become a little easier to secure.
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