Author Topic: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM  (Read 1338 times)

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Offline Jewel

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Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« on: March 02, 2021, 05:55:59 PM »
Very new to this forum, and tried reading up to get info on homes in the OC.

Trying to get a feel on which area to lean towards buying. Working from home (commute is a non-issue), kids are not attending Irvine public schools (going to private). Locations we've narrowed down to are Irvine, Lake Forest, RSM or Mission Viejo.

Would it be out of the question for most buyers here to pay mello roos if not sending kids to public schools? If so, what areas alternative to Irvine would you recommend?

If considering Irvine, which divisions are best to purchase where mello roos are more reasonable or non-existent?

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Offline irvinehomeowner

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Re: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2021, 06:07:28 PM »
Any place in Irvine. :)
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Offline aquabliss

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Re: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2021, 06:36:37 PM »
Nope, it's not out of the question.  We pay a lot of Mello Roos and our kids don't attend Irvine Public Schools.  If you're WFH, I'd probably base my location in a good neighborhood near the Private School you intend to send your kids to, it's worth the convenience since you'll be driving there at least twice a day, plus sports practice, extra circular, etc. 

Depends of course on your price range, but...
If my kids went to Private school in MV, I'd buy in Canyon Crest.
If my kids went to Private school in RSM, I'd buy in Dove Canyon.
If my kids went to Private school in Lake Forest, I'd buy in Baker Ranch.
If my kids went to Private school in Irvine, you have tons of options.

Best place to buy in Irvine where MR are more reasonable or non-existent... Probably Lambert Ranch but depends if you like that side of Irvine or not.  Other than that you're probably looking at older communities (pre 1990) many of which are still very nice (Woodbridge and Turtle Rock).

Here's some listings with no Mello Roos:
http://www.irvinerealestate.com/blog/irvine-homes-with-no-mello-roos.html

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Offline Jewel

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Re: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2021, 07:22:10 PM »
With regards to Irvine, what are some of the top, most sought after communities, or is it variable (relative to what is convenient for commute, job, schools etc)

eg: Are areas like Woodbury, Stonegate or Portola Springs considered less desirable vs others Irvine communities closer to Newport Beach? Or are most homes in Irvine multi offer scenarios where it's difficult to compete in any location?

Also, of the areas you mentioned in MV, RSM, and Lake Forest - those are all reasonably close to the private school - any that you consider better than the others in terms of amenities, parks, proximity to restaurants etc?

Thank you for the info, this was incredibly helpful!


Offline Dr. CA Real Estate

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Re: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2021, 07:51:44 PM »
With regards to Irvine, what are some of the top, most sought after communities, or is it variable (relative to what is convenient for commute, job, schools etc)

eg: Are areas like Woodbury, Stonegate or Portola Springs considered less desirable vs others Irvine communities closer to Newport Beach? Or are most homes in Irvine multi offer scenarios where it's difficult to compete in any location?

Also, of the areas you mentioned in MV, RSM, and Lake Forest - those are all reasonably close to the private school - any that you consider better than the others in terms of amenities, parks, proximity to restaurants etc?

Thank you for the info, this was incredibly helpful!

Oh loaded question on your original post and follow up post. In regards to Irvine alone it depends on so many factors. Whats important to you in the physical aspect of the home? Whats important to you in the features of the lot? What's important in the neighborhood? What is your budget? Even the forum/website you post on will greatly change the replies you get.
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Offline zovall

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Re: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2021, 08:05:12 PM »
I think anywhere in Irvine will have to deal with multi offer scenarios. Irvine has been in high demand forever. The price per square foot will tell you what is the most sought after. Some like the new home feel, others prefer the older, less dense neighborhoods. I like the comment about being relatively close to where the school is and that probably also depends on how long you'll be at that school. There are good neighborhoods in all of those other cities and I think a desirable property anywhere will have multiple offers given the current market.

Offline USCTrojanCPA

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Re: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2021, 08:15:51 PM »
The newer villages and the areas south of the 405 tend to be the most desirables parts of Irvine.  As Zovall mentioned, the price per SF is a good indicator of the level of desirability for buyers.  Many of my clients have opted to buy in Baker Ranch, Foothill Ranch, and/or Portola Hills because they get the proximity to Irvine without the Mello Roos. Another area to consider is Tustin Ranch which has low or no Mello Roos.  The market in all of the cities that you've mentioned is very top given the strong buyer demand and limited inventory levels.

Here are some of the questions that you should ask yourself....what is my budget, do I want a newer property or an older one that may need to be renovated, do you want a larger yard, do you prefer a great room open floor plan or do you like the traditional space layout, are you just looking for a single family home or is a detached condo OK, how much mello roos are you comfortable in paying, how long do you plan on owning the home, etc
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Offline Dr. CA Real Estate

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Re: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2021, 08:27:45 PM »
Might also consider Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, RMV, LR, all in that same large general area
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Offline Soylent Green Is People

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Re: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2021, 09:37:17 AM »
Other than newer builds in Ladera Ranch and those built further South, most mid-South OC (RSM, Coto, Aliso Viejo, etc) Mello Roos is nearly paid off.

Ladera Ranch Mello Roos expense will begin to fade soon. The Mello Roos that does remain in these communities is very, very light relative to new build MR in Irvine. As noted by others the MR isn't always the highest criteria when looking to buy - important, but not always the greater focus.

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Offline Jewel

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Re: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2021, 10:17:35 AM »
Thank you everyone for the helpful tips!

I think I want to narrow down location before deciding on new home construction vs a renovation. Assuming if I picked RSM for instance, I would most likely be looking at a renovation project, unless it's a flip.

Biggest issue is commute to the school. If I had first pick, it would be closer to the beach, but the commute to school would be a grind once traffic starts to head towards normal.

Having looked at communities in Irvine, I think my favorites closer to the school are Pavilion Park, Woodbury and Portola Springs. Assuming those mello roos have a ways to go before being paid off since they are relatively new in the last 5-10 years?

The Meadows by Toll Bros in Lake Forest also looks like a good option! Other than that, still trying to narrow down the focus of city and community before deciding on the type of home. (New construction is always easy and preferred over an older, fixer upper)

USC brought up a good question, and I don't plan to live in this home more than 8 years. If that is the case, would most opt for renting for that period, and invest in the area they plan to relocate to? This is probably the biggest dilemma I have - will I regret not purchasing something in Irvine even though I know it will be an 8 year commitment at most).

Offline Mety

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Re: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2021, 05:24:12 PM »
Pavilion Park, Woodbury, and Portola Springs are all good options. If you cared for about the better appreciation later on, I would suggest Stonegate or Eastwood. These two villages also carry lower Mello Roos like around $3000 a year. But not everything is about ROI and I would choose where the home is closer to kid's schools.

Out of Irvine, Lake Forest and RSM, Irvine will be the best option personally since Irvine serves connivence to pretty much everything I need. The only downside is that Irvine does not have those boutique shops or restaurants. Everything is pretty narrowed franchises which will be sufficient for most people, but it just doesn't have that uniqueness here if that's important to you. But you can always go to nearby cities for that at the same time. Good luck!

Offline aquabliss

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Re: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2021, 05:56:18 PM »
I would probably steer clear of Woodbury, I live close enough to have access to their Nextdoor and seems like the crime there is pretty out of control.  Not violent crime but every week there's people posting video of car break-ins, weird people on their ring doorbell at 4am, hit and run, package theft, etc.

The new enclaves of Portola Springs are nice and very close to the toll road if you need to use that to get to kids school in South County. 

Offline Jewel

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Re: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2021, 10:57:32 AM »
Very helpful once again! Wow, I'm surprised about Woodbury as it looks like such a nice community, but I guess it has more of a mesh of townhomes, condos and apartments vs other communities. Will defo steer clear of that one.

How is the older section of Portola Springs off Arrowhead in terms of safety and appreciation?

For Irvine, I think I've narrowed it down to Stonegate, Pavilion Park & Portola Springs, especially with easy access to the Toll road for school commute.

Still trying to weigh the other options for other cities like RSM, Lake Forest etc. How does appreciation of those homes fare against strong communities in Irvine?

Offline misme

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Re: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2021, 11:47:44 AM »
Very helpful once again! Wow, I'm surprised about Woodbury as it looks like such a nice community, but I guess it has more of a mesh of townhomes, condos and apartments vs other communities. Will defo steer clear of that one.

How is the older section of Portola Springs off Arrowhead in terms of safety and appreciation?

For Irvine, I think I've narrowed it down to Stonegate, Pavilion Park & Portola Springs, especially with easy access to the Toll road for school commute.

Still trying to weigh the other options for other cities like RSM, Lake Forest etc. How does appreciation of those homes fare against strong communities in Irvine?

I don't live in Woodbury but have friends that do.
Regarding Woodbury and property crime in general...I think it's more likely that the thieves are driving into the neighborhood to steal, rather crime from the actual residents of Woodbury themselves.  There may be more posting about package theft, mail theft on next door from a community with more residents (like Woodbury) than a smaller one, so I wouldn't necessarily go just off the nextdoor postings,  if you otherwise like Woodbury as a neighborhood.

In general, neighborhoods right near freeway exits tend  to be attractive targets to criminals because of easy access to make a quick getaway.  Even Quail Hill, a high end neighborhood,  had an issue with this in the past. Tollroads are not attractive access points because of license plate cameras.

You might consider buying in a neighborhood that has locking mailboxes if you are worried about mail theft (usually all the newer ones do).

Offline BlackkFever

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Re: Where to buy - Irvine, Lake Forest or RSM
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2021, 12:14:01 PM »
Very helpful once again! Wow, I'm surprised about Woodbury as it looks like such a nice community, but I guess it has more of a mesh of townhomes, condos and apartments vs other communities. Will defo steer clear of that one.

How is the older section of Portola Springs off Arrowhead in terms of safety and appreciation?

For Irvine, I think I've narrowed it down to Stonegate, Pavilion Park & Portola Springs, especially with easy access to the Toll road for school commute.

Still trying to weigh the other options for other cities like RSM, Lake Forest etc. How does appreciation of those homes fare against strong communities in Irvine?

Maybe you should consult YF.  He had a spreadsheet with all the pros and cons of each village.  No village is perfect.  SG has the dump truck traffic and air pollution from the asphalt factory.  PP has high mello as part of GP with 3% annual escalation and no sunset date.  There is also the 3 story low-income housing that looks down on you and a black rapist living off Native Spring.  Potty Springs gets trash gravy from the Bowerman landfill and all the ash from the wildfires.  Have you considered the Port Streets in Newport?

 

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