There are more than 3,000 counties in the US, but there’s hardly one more famous than the O.C. The famous TV series from the early 2000s made O.C. famous worldwide, but we all know real life is not what’s shown on TV, or is it? If you’re thinking about a cross country or international moving to Orange County, our guide will show you everything you should know about this California gem.
Located in the Los Angeles metro area, with more than 3 million residents, this is the sixth most populous county in the US, and third in the state of California. In fact, OC has more residents than 21 US states, so clearly, it is something special. There are more than 30 cities in this area, and we will present a few in our selection to help you narrow down your choice for house hunting. But before that, let’s see what are the things you should keep in mind before relocating.
Things to Know Before Moving to Orange County in 2020
Whether you’re moving abroad for love, moving abroad alone, or you’re doing a cross country employee relocation, every relocation is challenging. However, 2020 added another layer to it by bringing new challenges such as traveling during the Coronavirus outbreak. Although many decided to postpone moving internationally in these unpredictable times, you should think twice before delaying. Because this might be the best time of the year for moving overseas or interstate to OC. Prices are dropping, this is the new moving during the holidays season, so it is time to leave your worries behind and move to this sunny California paradise. Let’s see what some of the pros are
Reasons for Moving to Orange County, Besides 40 Miles of Beaches
You won’t need to look at the weather forecast because it is summer if it is not raining. There are 278 sunny days per year, on average, significantly more than the US average of 205 days.
The majority of places there have a suburban vibe, so keep that in mind if you’re still somewhat young and not looking to raise a family anytime soon. In that case, focus on cities that are more lively.
Numerous restaurants offer anything you could imagine, but we recommend focusing on Mexican and vegan restaurants – they are the best.
Yes, we said it is a bit suburban, but how could it be boring when you live close to Disneyland and beach? Plus, there are some great clubs and beach bonfire parties to attend.
Is It Expensive to Live in Orange County?
We can’t lie – life in OC can be a bit expensive, considering that the housing expenses alone are around 150% higher than the national average. Grocery prices are also higher, around 15%, transportation and gas as well, but if you’re good with money management, you can manage to handle it all. And of course, what’s expensive for one person, doesn’t have to be for someone else. Anyway, prices doesn’t stop people from relocating here, so it is obviously worth it and totally doable.
What Salary Do You Need to Live in Orange County?
Comfortable living is another arguable topic. It is not the same if you’re relocating alone or with a partner who is also working and contributing to the home budget. Also, city and neighborhood choices can also impact the overall amount of money needed for comfortable living. Do you prefer dining out or cooking?
Are the beaches of OC enough, or you want to hop around Greek islands during the summer? If you’re young, single, and looking to find a roommate, you could maybe manage to “survive” with $55,000 annually, but for slightly more comfort, anything above $75,000 should be enough.
Want to Know How Much It Costs to Live Like a Local in OC? Take a Look at This:
How much you’ll actually have to spend on living in some of the most popular OC cities? Let’s take a look.
|Irvine||Newport Beach||Santa Ana||Anaheim|
|Average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apt, central location||$2,150||$2,200||$2,050||$1,800
|Average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apt, outside of the center||$1,950||$2,380||$1,500||$1,500
|Average monthly rent for a 3-bedroom apt, central location||$3,350||$5,950||$3,000||$3,000
|Basic utilities for 914 square foot apt||$140||$185||$150||$185
|A monthly pass for public transportation||$105||N/A||$69||$69
|Average net salary, after-tax||$5,750||$8,450||$4,250||$3,950
Where Should I Move in Orange County? Different OC Cities You’ll Love
This region offers plenty of great spots for settling down, so choose carefully before you start curating your house-hunting list. Keep in mind your priorities, whether it is job opportunities, school districts, or proximity to the water. San Clemente, Lake Forest, San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita, Fullerton, and Huntington Beach are some great spots you should definitely consider, but today we decided to narrow down our selection. So, here is our choice of the best places you should keep your eye on if relocating to this area is your goal.
Laguna Beach, a Perfect Spot for Outdoor Activities
Located right on the coast, pretty much halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, this place has some of the most beautiful beaches you’ll find in this area. Besides, it has a pretty active and vibrant community. There’s always something going on from music and art festivals to theater shows.
Irvine, a Business Hub
Although it is not directly on the coast, it is still close enough to it, which is why so many people flock to it. This is the business hub of OC, so many come here for work, but life in Irvine is not just working and no fun. It has more than 20 community parks and a diverse culinary scene with numerous restaurants. It is also clean, safe, and has good school districts.
Anaheim, Share the Disneyland Experience
Anaheim is the largest city in OC, and it owes its popularity mainly to Disneyland. Expect that you’ll be living in a place that is a bit touristy because it has a direct bus and train connection to Disneyland. It is also not on the coast, but it is still pretty close and just a drive away.
Santa Ana, Urban Suburban Mixture
Another large city a bit further from the coast is Santa Ana. It offers a mix of urban and suburban living. It is preferred among families, but its lively Downtown with bars, clubs, local shops, restaurants, and monthly art shows attracts a younger population as well. It has good schools and proximity to UCLA, UCI, and USC, which is another bonus for those who pay attention to a good education.
Newport Beach, Active Lifestyle by the Coast
We are back at the coast, and Newport is one of the cities that should be on anyone’s list, with a good reason. This is one of the most active cities in the region, home to Crystal Cove State Park, Orange County Museum of Art, Balboa Pier, Newport Bay Nature Preserve, shopping centers, and many more. It is perfect for families, but also for singles and young professionals.
How to Get Around When Moving to Orange County CA
By far, the easiest way to go around the OC but also reach LA and other cities in California is to figure out how car shipping works and have your four-wheeler by your side. For everything else, you can rely on OCTA, Orange County Transportation Authority. There’s a total of 58 bus routes, encompassing all cities in OC, and what’s also cool is that every bus has bike racks, and it can carry up to three bikes. Some cities are connected by rail and streetcars as well.
What’s OC Really Like
Real-life is far from what we see on TV, and OC offers so much that it would be a shame to base our judgment on it only on some TV shows. Take a look at this video to get a glimpse of what it is all about.
How Much Does It Cost to Move to OC?
The cost of relocation depends upon a lot of factors, but the main ones are usually the distance and the amount of stuff for shipping. Relocating locally or interstate is somewhat easier if you moved before and know how to pack shoes, pack jewelry, and all the other household items by yourself.
But finding a reliable international moving company that offers international moving by sea, and all other related services, such as vehicle overseas shipping, storage, and custom crating, is not easy. Keep in mind that OC doesn’t have an international airport, so you’ll probably be landing in LA. Make sure you have all the important documents for moving and feel free to book your relocation to OC.
Is Orange County a Good Place to Live?
As always, we’ll leave the final verdict to you, which means that you’ll have to try and see it for yourself. But seriously, you can’t go wrong with a sunny area. Life’s always better by the beach. Living in OC feels pretty much like you’re on vacation 365 days per year, so if you have the opportunity to move here, schedule a free home estimate and move. No need to worry about how to keep in touch with old friends. They will be waiting impatiently for your visit invitation to arrive in their mail.