Everyone who has ever visited Southern California, watched an episode of The OC, or even seen a calendar picture of Huntington Beach's sparking water and palm trees would like to live in Orange County. Most people will never even so much as investigate the possibility, preferring to stay in Mississauga, Ontario homes to be near family members, friends, and their current job. But if you're looking at this page, it means you're different. So for you, we've outlined the practicalities of buying real estate in Orange County.
The first and most obvious concern is price. With the county's reputation as being one of the most expensive parts of the country to live in, most people expect they'll be calling Orange County bankruptcy attorneys within a few days of arriving. But the recession and the mortgage crisis have hit the area hard. Home values are now in the range of $344,000 to $802,000 depending on the city, which is a savings of around $200,000 in a lot of places.
You'll find a mixture of home styles in Orange County. There are single family homes of all sizes, including subdivision styles like you'd expect from Port Credit real estate and sprawling mansions belonging to entertainment moguls. Condos are also popular because of the high population density in many of the county's cities, especially the coastal ones. The most popular architectural style is Spanish Colonial.
Buying into Orange County isn't just about the house, though. It's also about warm weather, beach access, ocean views, and having palm trees in the yard, all the things that make it different from homes in Hudson Valley counties. Expect to pay more for a water view or access to the beach, but the warm weather is free and the palm trees are everywhere.
There are several distinct locales in which you can buy your Orange County home. Cities like Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and Laguna Beach are all known for their surfing and party atmospheres while Irvine is a model planned community not unlike the subdivisions you saw when you were looking for a home for sale in Georgetown, Ontario, but on a grander scale. Anaheim is noted for its high density and tourism while Santa Ana prides itself on having a more small town atmosphere. And these are just the cities. There are also plenty of smaller towns and unincorporated communities. Generally speaking, communities on the coast or in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains are the most expensive.