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Old 12-06-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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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?
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Laguna Niguel. It's closer to the beach.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Laguna Niguel. It's closer to the beach.
Its also more established. Aliso Viejo didn't really take off until the toll road went in and it looks more like Irvine to me. That is, beige stucco houses 2' apart.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:16 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
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I think either place would be fine! It's been a number of years since I've been as far south as southern O.C., but I think Laguna Niguel is a somewhat more established community and Aliso Viejo has a lot of newer homes that have been built during the past decade or so.

You might want to give Mission Viejo and San Juan Capistrano a good look too. The whole area boasts a very low crime rate, and the weather, though too dry for my taste (about 11 to 13 inches of rain per year on average), is just about darned near perfect. I'm actually from St. Louis too, originally. You might be ready for milder, drier weather!

Interstates 5 and 405 are huge, and there are also a number of toll roads you could take if you find the traffic too heavy. But within each of the towns on city streets, you'll be fine.

The beaches are pretty good so long as they don't have to be closed on account of high bacteria. Though the water temperature isn't as warm as the southern Atlantic coast, it's warm enough to swim in during the summer months.

Southern O.C. should be one of the very best places in all of California to raise your young son. Let us know how your relocation goes!
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northbayeric View Post
think Laguna Niguel is a somewhat more established community
This may have a bearing on Mello Roos. Homes (wherever in California) built before the early 1990s may not have Mello Roos and homes since then may have it. You can get the Mello Roos amounts from the Orange County Assessor office. That's the good news. The bad news is that it is a pain in the butt to get the maturity dates.

So, you can be comparing two properties and you like everything about both and you can't decide. You look up the Mello Roos and Property A has a $4500/year MR and property B has $1200/year MR. It's a no brainer right? Maybe not. Property A's maturity might be 2012 and property B's maturity might be 2025. You have to to go the tax records and write down a phone number and (using 1930s technology) call someone to look up the maturity date for that Mello Roos bond.

Last edited by Charles; 12-07-2009 at 09:44 AM..
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:41 AM
 
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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?
Pretty much the same thing across all of south inland oc. Tract homes and shopping malls. Though Laguna Niguel is closer to the beach and has a couple upscale sub-divisions.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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I live in south OC. Both Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel are very similar. They are both clean and have very low crime rates. Both have the "planned community" look. Some people don't like planned communities because they prefer the charm of a town that has transformed over time. If you like this, you may prefer San Juan Capistrano which by West coast thinking is an older community. San Clemente is also an older settlement. I wouldn't recommend Laguna Beach because housing is expensive and it is hard to navigate in and out of there, and there are a lot of tourists in the summer. Also consider Mission Viejo because house prices may be less.
You will like the OC because of the weather. Get ready for the people. I am from the east coast and found the people here to be rather ill-bred, expressing a lot of the vulgar qualities of the newly rich and/or the newly upper middle class. Many of them are ill-mannered and lack in taste despite the fact they have bettered themselves economically. Many act as if they are one or two generations out of the trailer park. Try to keep a straight face upon encountering the Peter Pan complex. You will see men who think they are forever 21, making complete fools of themselves. You will witness women in their 40's and 50's trying to dress like a 21 year old when they don't have the body for those clothes, not to mention way too much body fat for those type of clothes. The people are a mixed bag. You will come across polite and refined people while others are just plainly "yankee trash." Surprisingly people here are more approachable and friendlier than southerners. Strangers strike up a conversation easily. People smile here more and generally seem happier. I left the south because I grew tired of stagnate thinking, cliquish people, and Christian fundamentalists. All in all, you will be in awe of the blue skies and lower humidity in southern California. You will see flowers in bloom in the winter months, thinking you are in paradise. The only downside is the cost of living, shallow/coarse people, and traffic. The weather can balance those things. Best wishes in your new move to the OC.
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:32 PM
Status: "I am a dude." (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Anaheim
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If you're buying check the history of the dwelling you would plan to purchase. Laguna Niguel has had problems in the past with foundations shifting under houses, where they were built on hills on fill dirt.

I would say buy an older house there, but these areas are so new that there aren't really any.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:10 PM
 
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Thank you all SO much for the information. This is my first time posting a question on City-data and I'm so glad I did.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:16 PM
 
13 posts, read 128,563 times
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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.
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