Even before the famous television series like Fox’s The O.C., everyone who was anyone wanted to reside in one of the county’s incredible cities. If you’re also looking to settle in one of the best cities to live in Orange County, CA, here’s a list of our top seven picks that will blow you away.
Creating a list of the best cities in Orange County, CA, is not an easy task, as what’s interesting for one group of people can be the complete opposite for another. However, we managed to come down to seven places that should please everyone, from young professionals to families and retirees. Once you find a location that peaks your interest, start preparing for the relocation by making a moving to-do list, or contact some reputable and affordable movers in Orange County, CA, to assist you.
Is Orange County, CA a Good Place to Live?
It’s not hard to see why the OC is such an attractive place for living. The vibrant cluster of densely packed cities and suburban communities has incredible beaches and consistently sunny weather, making it the top spot for outdoor activities in California. It’s also the healthiest of all the state counties, with very low crime rates and excellent public schools, making it especially attractive for families. The local economy provides plenty of job opportunities, attracting numerous young professionals looking for their chance to shine. The culture is rich and diverse, and there’s always something new to do in the area.
How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Orange County?
Before going over your relocation expenses checklist, make sure that your annual earnings will allow you to lead a comfortable life here. The OC will give you access to all kinds of amenities, but living here certainly has its price. For a typical rental of $1,850 a month, you’ll need an income of at least $72,500, which is about $6,000 a month before taxes. Although that’s on the same level as the median household income in the state overall, it’s somewhat lower than the OC’s $90,000.
On the other hand, if you’re interested in one of the typical houses in the area, you’ll have to earn at least $167,700 to afford to buy it using traditional methods. That’s because the OC’s median home price of $680,000 is higher than even LA’s $583,000. However, although 40% of the real estate listings cost over $750k, almost half of all the homes are in the $400-$749k price range, making buying somewhat less expensive. To avoid missing out on some excellent properties, book some professional movers in Orange County, CA, as soon as you start going through the listings.
Irvine Is Without a Doubt One of the Best Cities To Live In Orange County, California
Easily taking the top spot among all the cities in OC, living in this master-planned community provides many benefits, making it a popular choice with all groups. Irvine is the safest big city in the country, holding the title for nine years in a row and counting. Niche ranks it as the second healthiest and a top pick for both families and young adults. It houses several excellent schools and higher education institutions, such as the University of California, Irvine (UCI), the OC Center of the University of Southern California (USC), Irvine Valley College, and many more.
Irvine’s Economy Attracts Newcomers Looking to Work or Start a Business
Irvine is often rated as one of the top places to start up a business, helping OC continuously rank as one of the country’s fastest-growing job markets. With the local government granting low-cost or free filming permits, it’s often used as a filming location for various film productions. For example, the first Iron Man movie was filmed here.
Numerous companies from several different industries also attract a lot of newcomers. Blizzard Entertainment, the creator of popular video game franchises like Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft, has a headquarters in Irvine. Other tech giants such as Google, Amazon, and Toshiba also have a strong presence in the city. The market also features a lot of healthcare companies, including Endologix and Johnson & Johnson Institute.
Santa Ana Is One of the Largest and Most Diverse Cities in the OC
Santa Ana is the administrative center of OC and its second-largest city, currently ranking fourth in the US by population density. Its unique demographics show that 80% of the residents identify as Hispanic or Latino, making it stand out among all other cities in the whole country. You will hardly find a place where Latinos have a stronger influence in everyday life. Besides having a diverse population, Santa Ana’s southern and northwestern edges are a part of the OC’s largest commercial clusters. Finally, local schools also make it a great place to raise children.
What Is the Safest City in Orange County? That Would Be Aliso Viejo
You won’t have to worry about experiencing a moving scam in Aliso Viejo, as that will be almost statistically impossible. The city’s crime rates are lower even than Irvine’s, with fewer than 900 crimes per 100,000 people. This means that Aliso Viejo experiences no more than 450 felonies each year, out of which only 5% are violent, making it one of the safest cities in Orange County.
Aliso Viejo Is One of the OC’s Top Suburbs
Aliso Viejo is the only city from this list incorporated since the 2000s, but this doesn’t stop it from being one of the OC’s top suburbs. With a relatively small population of about 50,000, the city’s area provides a mixed urban-suburban feel. Excellent schools make it a great choice for families, while its vicinity to Irvine and Laguna Beach means you’re only a short trip away from some exciting outdoor opportunities.
Newport Beach’s Beautiful Coastline Is Excellent for Water-Based Activities
Who needs a park when you can enjoy the beautiful coastline of Newport Beach. The city’s incredible beaches and vistas offer an experience that few other places in the OC can provide. It’s one of the top surfing locations in the world, but you can also indulge in other water-based activities like rowing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and fishing. Sailing is very popular among the locals, and there are even five private yacht clubs based in the harbor.
What’s the Cost of Living in Newport Beach?
Becoming a resident here will require a lot of money, as the local real estate is some of the most expensive in the country. The median home value of $1.9 million is very high even for the OC, making it one of the most luxurious places in the US. With a median rent of $2,250, renting is slightly cheaper. Still, over 60% of all rentals go for $2,000+.
Where Should I Live in Orange County, CA? Check Out Laguna Beach
Despite millions of tourists visiting the community every year, this seaside resort town still feels like a suburb. Yes, there are plenty of restaurants and coffee shops, but it’s mostly known for its art community, scenic coves, and strong environmental preservation efforts. Since the location feels like a paradise, there’s a very high demand for local properties. This causes the real estate prices to rank among the highest in the state consistently.
The median home value of $1.8 million is just below Newport Beach’s, and renting cost of $2,300 is even slightly higher. If you can afford to move here, throw a good moving away party to celebrate the occasion as soon as you book one of the local movers in Orange County, CA. Also, take a look at this video montage going over some of Laguna Beach’s most important features.
Anaheim Is Known for Housing the Happiest Place on Earth
Besides being the most populous city in the OC, Anaheim is also home to Disneyland, known as the “Happiest place on Earth“. The amusement park had an essential role in developing the city’s entire economy, making it the entertainment and industrial center it is today. Modern Anaheim spans over 20 miles from east to west, encompassing numerous districts and landscapes, meaning you shouldn’t have a problem finding a neighborhood that suits you. Living here is also relatively affordable, as the median home value of $575,600 and rent cost of $1,650 are well below the typical OC’s prices.
You Have the Highest Chance of Finding Affordable Housing in Seal Beach
Although Seal Beach is the closest to LA out of all the places on this list, it has the most affordable homes in the OC and the state. With a median home value of $371,600, it comes as no surprise that 75% of all homes are occupied by their owners. The demographics show that almost half of the population is aged 65 and over, making it a very popular location for retirees.
Besides being affordable, it also helps that very few crimes occur in any neighborhood, especially violent ones. However, young professionals interested in space exploration will also want to check out this location. After all, Boing has several facilities in the area, some of which were used to build parts of the Saturn V rocket for the Apollo manned missions to the Moon.
Seal Beach’s Outdoors Feature All Kinds of Opportunities
The city’s coast is known for its incredible vistas and the second-longest wooden pier in California, an excellent spot to visit to wind down from all the moving stress. You can also relax by taking a long walk on its long beaches or perhaps even take a lesson in surfing.
If you’re looking to explore a park close by, the 965-acre Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge features all kinds of outdoor activities that nature enthusiasts can enjoy. It’s an excellent location for observing wildlife, photography, and even fishing, but you can also go on a guided walking tour at the end of each month. Seals are also a very common sight in the area and are responsible for the city’s current name.
Now That You Know Where to Move, Hire the Best Movers in Orange County, California to Assist You
That’s about all we have for you, but we’re confident that this list will help you choose where to live in Orange County, CA. The only thing left to do is plan the relocation. While using some of the top moving hacks can make the transition easier, everybody knows that hiring local Orange County movers is the only way you can genuinely move efficiently.
If you’re looking for reputable professionals that know how to pack fragile items, Orange County Moving Services is just the company for you. Whether you need to pack dishes or even move a piano, our company’s excellent packing service will ensure everything is safely transported from your current location to the new residence. Our Orange County, CA movers also provide several local moving options that cover everything from residential moves to more complex commercial relocations, ensuring anyone can use our services. To get the best movers in Orange County, CA, you only need to contact our representative and request a free quote.