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Old 12-08-2009, 06:39 PM
 
13 posts, read 129,071 times
Reputation: 19

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I mentioned short sale mainly because in our price range, that's about all that is available. We plan on moving in April so we probably need to get serious about it. If we could secure one that would be great. I'm glad to hear it may become easier. I wasn't aware of that.
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Colorado
4,023 posts, read 5,527,926 times
Reputation: 8660
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenStL4 View Post
My husband, 4 yr old son and myself are moving to Orange County from St. Louis, MO. In general, what are your first impressions of Laguna Niguel and Aliso Viejo?
I've lived in Laguna Niguel for almost 25 years......2 different homes. Aliso Viejo was not even started when I first moved to the area. It was just an area of rolling foothills.

Both are family communities with decent schools, public and private.

Aliso, being newer, will tend to have younger families bunched together.....I don't think it looks like Irvine at all, but being that the whole town was pretty much built at the same time, the 'newness' tends to make it look like one big development, but really, it isn't. Shopping is very convenient...and both are located just a few minutes from 2 decent malls and 2 very good hospitals. Aliso has a nice ice skating rink and gymnastics center.

Aliso has a college.....can't think of the name right now. It's kind of a Japanese word...I was there for a swim meet.....it's a nice campus...

Laguna Niguel, being older, is more settled....bigger trees, different types of developments, has a great YMCA, etc. There have been 3 small areas of slippage as far as I know, and true, the houses were built on soil that was brought/packed in, but those areas are not common and nothing major....in other words, I would not avoid looking at Laguna Niguel because of what the poster wrote about slippage........

Both are close to the ocean...I see the water from my house....Laguna Niguel gets afternoon breezes off the water every day. Both are on the ocean side of the freeway, which is a good thing if you don't like heat.

Housing in Laguna Niguel is more expensive..... Laguna Niguel has some upscale areas whereas Aliso is more middle-class in almost all the developments. This is not to say that Aliso is cheap. It is just not as expensive as Laguna Niguel. I would venture to say that Aliso has more townhouses and possibly more apartments.

Aliso has a huge UPS place.....great for mailing, not so great when all of the big brown trucks are taking off on the toll road early in the morning....LOL

Both towns have planned development areas, but they blend in with the area.....

Laguna Niguel has a nice regional park....with a man-made lake....kids fish, people jog, picnic, etc. They shoot off fireworks on 7/4 at the lake..I used to live right above the lake. Both towns have nice community parks....full of soccer teams, etc.

One poster mentioned Belmont Shores in the Long Beach area. To me, it's not family oriented....it's a trendy area and caters to DINKS, plus it's not that far from Long Beach State, so it's got a lot of stuff for college kids....overpriced restaurants, bars, etc. Parking is a pain if you have company.....yards are small.....

Aliso has Mello Roos taxes. Laguna Niguel does not.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:15 PM
 
916 posts, read 3,699,752 times
Reputation: 318
"One poster mentioned Belmont Shores in the Long Beach area. To me, it's not family oriented....it's a trendy area and caters to DINKS, plus it's not that far from Long Beach State, so it's got a lot of stuff for college kids....overpriced restaurants, bars, etc. Parking is a pain if you have company.....yards are small....."

That was me. I should have differentiated between belmont shore and belmont park. I didn't because non-locals don't know the difference. But, specifically the Belmont Park area (generally north of the Toledo) is very family oriented. In fact it is mostly families. The dinks live in Belmont Shore proper (primarily south of 2nd Street). But everyone mixes on the 2nd Street which is what gives the place it's life, fun, etc.

In belmont park your yard will be as big if not bigger than most aliso/laguna niguel tract homes. Parking is not a problem at all in belmont park. Hard to say the restaraunts/shops are overpriced ... there is a little of everything including hole in the wall places.

If you're looking for something unique, walkable, strong sense of community where you know your neighbors, outdoor living, character in the homes, etc then belmont park is a great place including for families. (There are some families in the shore too by the way.)

Aliso/Laguna Niguel is a much different culture. It's very suburban / exurb and essentially cookie cutter, tract stuff with chain amenities. some people like that but I didn't get the impression that is what the poster was looking for.

To be fair I should note that it is cheaper in in aliso/laguna niguel primarily because they are inland and tract style housing.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,329 posts, read 93,748,294 times
Reputation: 17831
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenStL4 View Post
I mentioned short sale mainly because in our price range, that's about all that is available. We plan on moving in April so we probably need to get serious about it. If we could secure one that would be great. I'm glad to hear it may become easier. I wasn't aware of that.
My understanding, and as explained below on the Redfin website, is that short sales are extremely difficult to secure.

Redfin explains it this way, it is worth reading the text in the lower URL.

"This home is flagged as a short sale. We're sorry, we don't tour or write offers on short sales because of the slim chance that you'll get the home. "

which points to:

Short Sales | Redfin

Redfin allows a home searcher to filter out short sales. This will probably give you a realistic picture of the housing market.

Here's a thread that has some info

https://www.city-data.com/forum/orang...hort-sale.html


Still, there are indications that things may loosen up. Also, and this is important, even if you can't score a short sale, short sales are still used as comps. That's good for you the home buyer.



Are more foreclosures and short sales coming? - Mortgage Insider : The Orange County Register

Agent: Short sales now go ‘a lot faster’ - Huntington Homes : The Orange County Register

Treasury to encourage homeowner short sales - Mortgage Insider : The Orange County Register
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
41 posts, read 73,354 times
Reputation: 22
I moved to OC from the midwest about a year ago and just have never found a good niche here. Its so expensive...... Honestly, on a $100k budget, there are not a lot of homes in unique areas in southern OC that you can realistically afford. Also, lots of the schools are questionable, so you will probably need to look into pricvate school, which also cuts into your finances.

I'm not going to lie, the weather, hiking and beach, are amazing, but IMHO the cost of living and self absourbed people (not everyone... but a lot of them) do not make up for it. I love living (renting) in Laguna Beach, and enjoy the community/location, but dislike living somewhere I could never afford to buy another home. Most of the rest of the area just seems to contrived for me personally, and neither of us is willing to commute too far to work, so need to stay in the laguna/aliso/LN area. The Aliso Town center is a giant strip mall with big box chains! I dont think Laguna Niguel even has a town center.

If i was like you and worked from home, I would look into san diego, long beach, or San Juan Capistrano. They have a much nicer community feel than either Laguna Niguel or Aliso Vijeo. Also, some of no OC like Orange and Brea is nice, but they are less safe.

trust me on this... make sure you have full calculated the cost and are sure you can afford it. it is so much more expensive out here than I expected. gas is more, food is more, housing is more, hair cuts/colors are a lot more, taxes are a lot more. I wish we had really spent more time before coming here and really calculated the real cost. I don't mean to shoot down your plans, but please make sure you are ready for the move.
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:10 PM
 
11,715 posts, read 40,446,365 times
Reputation: 7586
Quote:
Originally Posted by eribear View Post
I moved to OC from the midwest about a year ago and just have never found a good niche here. Its so expensive...... Honestly, on a $100k budget, there are not a lot of homes in unique areas in southern OC that you can realistically afford. Also, lots of the schools are questionable, so you will probably need to look into pricvate school, which also cuts into your finances.

I'm not going to lie, the weather, hiking and beach, are amazing, but IMHO the cost of living and self absourbed people (not everyone... but a lot of them) do not make up for it. I love living (renting) in Laguna Beach, and enjoy the community/location, but dislike living somewhere I could never afford to buy another home. Most of the rest of the area just seems to contrived for me personally, and neither of us is willing to commute too far to work, so need to stay in the laguna/aliso/LN area. The Aliso Town center is a giant strip mall with big box chains! I dont think Laguna Niguel even has a town center.

If i was like you and worked from home, I would look into san diego, long beach, or San Juan Capistrano. They have a much nicer community feel than either Laguna Niguel or Aliso Vijeo. Also, some of no OC like Orange and Brea is nice, but they are less safe.

trust me on this... make sure you have full calculated the cost and are sure you can afford it. it is so much more expensive out here than I expected. gas is more, food is more, housing is more, hair cuts/colors are a lot more, taxes are a lot more. I wish we had really spent more time before coming here and really calculated the real cost. I don't mean to shoot down your plans, but please make sure you are ready for the move.
This is good to see posted. For some reason, no one believes the locals when we say this place is expensive.
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,248,320 times
Reputation: 6920
There's no shame in not making enough to live somewhere. There are plenty of more affordable spots that would welcome you. Just be thankful you have a roof over your head and aren't living on the street or in a third-world slum.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:03 PM
 
6 posts, read 24,831 times
Reputation: 15
I like both cities a lot but I think i would give the edge to Laguna Niguel....
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Colorado
4,023 posts, read 5,527,926 times
Reputation: 8660
Quote:
Originally Posted by NaplesRes View Post
"One poster mentioned Belmont Shores in the Long Beach area. To me, it's not family oriented....it's a trendy area and caters to DINKS, plus it's not that far from Long Beach State, so it's got a lot of stuff for college kids....overpriced restaurants, bars, etc. Parking is a pain if you have company.....yards are small....."

That was me. I should have differentiated between belmont shore and belmont park. I didn't because non-locals don't know the difference. But, specifically the Belmont Park area (generally north of the Toledo) is very family oriented. In fact it is mostly families. The dinks live in Belmont Shore proper (primarily south of 2nd Street). But everyone mixes on the 2nd Street which is what gives the place it's life, fun, etc.

In belmont park your yard will be as big if not bigger than most aliso/laguna niguel tract homes. Parking is not a problem at all in belmont park. Hard to say the restaraunts/shops are overpriced ... there is a little of everything including hole in the wall places.

If you're looking for something unique, walkable, strong sense of community where you know your neighbors, outdoor living, character in the homes, etc then belmont park is a great place including for families. (There are some families in the shore too by the way.)

Aliso/Laguna Niguel is a much different culture. It's very suburban / exurb and essentially cookie cutter, tract stuff with chain amenities. some people like that but I didn't get the impression that is what the poster was looking for.

To be fair I should note that it is cheaper in in aliso/laguna niguel primarily because they are inland and tract style housing.
Hi Me! Okay, then I was talking about 'Shores'.... (we had friends who once lived in Belmont Shores...just when they were starting out and had no kids....dinky, eclectic house, miniscule yard, near the water but no view and sometimes we'd have to park a block away when we went to visit. The parking in this type of area is enough to do me in....same with the Redondo/Manhattan area, Lido, Balboa, etc...)....

I see the Pacific from my house so I wouldn't consider Laguna Niguel to be inland...I can be down at the harbor within 5 minutes.....and the two towns border one another, with Aliso being more 'inland'..... I'd say, from the fartest point 'inland', you can hit the ocean within 15 minutes, and that's including stop lights.... I'd say that Aliso is more cookie cutter....my house is custom. Many homes in Laguna Niguel (Dana Point and San Juan, too), have ocean views, mainly because they are built at various elevations throughout the hills.

I agree, NaplesRes, you get more for your money in this area.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Colorado
4,023 posts, read 5,527,926 times
Reputation: 8660
Quote:
Originally Posted by eribear View Post
I moved to OC from the midwest about a year ago and just have never found a good niche here. Its so expensive...... Honestly, on a $100k budget, there are not a lot of homes in unique areas in southern OC that you can realistically afford. Also, lots of the schools are questionable, so you will probably need to look into pricvate school, which also cuts into your finances.

I'm not going to lie, the weather, hiking and beach, are amazing, but IMHO the cost of living and self absourbed people (not everyone... but a lot of them) do not make up for it. I love living (renting) in Laguna Beach, and enjoy the community/location, but dislike living somewhere I could never afford to buy another home. Most of the rest of the area just seems to contrived for me personally, and neither of us is willing to commute too far to work, so need to stay in the laguna/aliso/LN area. The Aliso Town center is a giant strip mall with big box chains! I dont think Laguna Niguel even has a town center.

If i was like you and worked from home, I would look into san diego, long beach, or San Juan Capistrano. They have a much nicer community feel than either Laguna Niguel or Aliso Vijeo. Also, some of no OC like Orange and Brea is nice, but they are less safe.

trust me on this... make sure you have full calculated the cost and are sure you can afford it. it is so much more expensive out here than I expected. gas is more, food is more, housing is more, hair cuts/colors are a lot more, taxes are a lot more. I wish we had really spent more time before coming here and really calculated the real cost. I don't mean to shoot down your plans, but please make sure you are ready for the move.
LOL, yes, Laguna Niguel definitely has a town center and it is called Town Center and it is on Town Center Drive.....the post office is on Ivy Glen and Town Center is one over. I've lived here a long time.....that's pretty much all we had when we first moved here...man, we had to cross the freeway and sweat to death in Mission Viejo just to go to Gemco, (that was later remodeled into a Target! We were so happy to get our own Target a few years later! LOL) Anyway, the town grew up around it and spread out.... Many of the streets dead-ended or didn't exist when we moved here....there were lots of golden hills surrounding the area.... Aliso was just a pipe dream....the jets were still flying out of El Toro. Laguna Niguel wasn't even a city yet...there were coyotes, rabbits, bobcats, roadrunners, rattlesnakes and a few mountain lions running around...(these animals are still here, just less of them).

There are still lots of boutiques around......and I think we are all grateful for the big boxes so that we can have the variety, (and so that we can live within our budgets, too).

I agree, eribear, compared to most states, California IS expensive, that's for sure! Any town by the ocean is not going to be inexpensive. We don't have basements because we dont have tornados. Although the ocean air can damage paint jobs, our cars don't rust on the bottoms because we don't have to salt roads. Outdoor sports are played all year long, We don't have to invest in heavy winter clothing... Plus, there just aren't too many states where you can have a day at the beach....ski in the mountains....check out the deserts....and eat fresh fruits and vegetables that were grown on the most fertile farmland in the world. Natives of any given state take a lot for granted. I really didn't know how fresh California's produce was until I visited my friend in Virginia during late winter one year.....
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