Why Invest in Orange County Real Estate?
Orange County is a beautiful region in Southern California best known for its sun-drenched beaches (with many popular surf spots), a few reality TV shows that were filmed throughout the area, and family-friendly attractions like Disneyland, California Adventure, and Knott’s Berry Farm. But the OC has so much more to offer to anyone looking to live and work here.
More than 3.2 million people call one of Orange County’s 37 cities their home, and in the past few years, it’s become a hub for many startups and tech companies, such as Cie and Blizzard Entertainment, which are both headquartered in Irvine. Orange County offers many outdoor activities with year-round sunshine, including more than 42 miles of coastline filled with surfable beaches, camping and hiking in the Santa Ana Mountains, and recreation at Newport Harbor (one of the largest recreational harbors in the US).
In addition to high tech, Orange County’s top industries include agriculture (main crops include: strawberries, tomatoes, green beans and bell peppers), healthcare (Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, UCI Medical Center), life sciences, international trade (close proximity to ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach), and tourism (an estimated 18 million people visit one or both Disneyland resorts each year). John Wayne Airport is a commercial and general aviation airport located in an unincorporated section of Orange County near Irvine and Costa Mesa.
- Median household income in Orange County is just over $86,000, compared to California’s average of $71,805 and the US average of $63,179 (US Census Bureau)
- Median price of homes sold is $719,200, compared to the state average of $506,000 (Zillow)
- In the past 10 years, Orange County’s population has grown by an estimated 5.8% (US Census Bureau)
- Irvine ranks #3 and Huntington Beach is #15 for the Best Places to Raise a Family (WalletHub)
- About 57.4% of people own homes in Orange County, compared to the national average of 63.9% (Data USA)
- The median rent in Orange County is $3,200, which is the same as the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan area (Zillow)
Northwest Orange County
In the northwest region of Orange County is the suburban city of Cypress, which offers a close proximity to Long Beach, as well as many Orange County cities. Homes in Cypress average under $700,000 and the schools are highly ranked. Among Orange County’s most popular coastal cities are Seal Beach and Huntington Beach, the latter of which was recently ranked as the #15 Best Place to Raise a Family by WalletHub. Huntington Beach offers award-winning schools, beautiful beaches, and an average home value of $851,000. A little further south are Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, whose East Bluff/Harbor View neighborhood is ranked the third best place to live by Niche, boasting great schools and a safe community environment.
- Huntington Beach Pier - at 1,850 feet, it’s one of the longest on the West Coast
- Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve - more than 1,200 acres protecting endangered fish and wildlife
- Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach - 3.2 miles of beach and 2,400 acres of backcountry wilderness
Northeast Orange County
Home to Disneyland and California Adventure, Anaheim is one of California’s most visited cities. More than 350,000 people live in the city, which is also host to two of Orange County’s pro sports teams (Los Angeles Angels and the Anaheim Ducks). Homes average around $622,000. The Anaheim Hills neighborhood is an affluent area (homes here average around $800,000) that boasts many activities for families, including parks and indoor recreational venues. Other family-friendly cities in the area include Orange, Brea, and Fullerton (which has a handful of colleges including CSU Fullerton).
- Disneyland Resorts - there are dozens of hotels to stay in the surrounding area
- Honda Center - Home of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks
- Angel Stadium - Home of the MLB’s Los Angeles Angels
- Bowers Museum in Santa Ana - features 100,000 artworks showcasing Native American, California plein air painting, and more
Southwest Orange County
Laguna Beach is where many of the OC’s megamansions were born. Its median home value is $1.89 million, and it contains some of the most popular beaches in the area (Main Beach, Victoria Beach). It is a small coastal town with only 25,000 residents and award-winning schools. San Clemente is the last coastal city in Orange County before entering San Diego County. It’s best known for its popular surfing beaches, San Onofre and San Clemente. Median home prices are under $1 million in this coastal city, which is relatively affordable among SoCal beach cities.
- Laguna Beach Wilderness Park - 7,000 acres of wilderness, canyons, and the only natural lakes in the OC
- Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens in San Clemente - cultural programs for all ages
- San Clemente Pier - features many shops and restaurants
Southeast Orange County
Irvine is the center of Orange County, both in location and as a business and recreational hub. Irvine consistently makes “best of” lists, and was recently ranked #3 Best Place to Raise a Family by WalletHub. Irvine is home to more than 277,000 residents, features award-winning schools, and lots of recreational activities; median home prices are around $870,000. To the north is Tustin, with median home values $150,000 lower ($724,000) compared to Irvine. Laguna Woods is a smaller city in Orange County, mostly occupied by residents of Laguna Woods Village, a private retirement community. Homes here average around $300,000. To the southeast of Irvine are popular cities of Lake Forest and Mission Viejo, where homes average $730,000. Both cities provide a suburban feel with good schools and many outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and more.
- Irvine Spectrum Center - popular outdoor mall featuring numerous shops and restaurants
- Orange County Great Park - located on an old Marine Corps air base in Irvine
- Red Rock Canyon in Lake Forest - family-friendly hiking trail
- Oso Creek Trail in Mission Viejo - creekside trails span 5.5 miles
- Lyon Air Museum - aerospace museum near John Wayne Airport
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