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Possibly Relocating to Southern California

Hi moms!
Well my husband has been offered a promotion to Anaheim California. We have both lived in Texas most of our lives and really don't know what to expect. I was wondering if any of you from southern cali could help me out with info about areas in orange county that are nice middle class places to live. I have been online searching like crazy and so far I like mission viejo, tustin, irvine, costa mesa, and santa ana. I was wondering if any of you know about or have lived in those areas. We are thinking that we will have to rent for a little while to at least get to know more about the area in general. Also what have been some of your experiences if you have had to relocate across the country. We don't know if we are going for sure, but it is looking more and more like it everyday. Thanks!

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My brother and his family lived in La Habra and he worked in Anaheim. I loved the shopping there. It was a really nice middle class neighborhood. The kids had a good school and it looked nice. You will love CA so much to do...the beach one day the mountains the next. Lots of free stuff to do.

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Hi there,

I lived in So. Cal for 8 years before moving to El Paso with the Army. All of the areas you mentioned are nice. What is going to matter is exactly where he is going to be working and how long he is willing to spend on the road each day for his commute. The traffic is gnarly! I do not miss that!

Irvine and Tustin, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo are all very very nice. Santa Ana, kinda depends on where exactly in Santa Ana.

Good luck with the move! If you have any other questions you can hit me up at ____@____.com


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We relocated in August 2007 from San Diego (just south of the area where you are looking). Even though So Calif real estate has taken a nosedive, the areas of Mission Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point and others are very pricy. You may have sticker shock at what you can get for the $$ compared to Austin. I would stay away from Santa Ana. Property taxes are lower in CA, but the governator is instituting more taxes daily to help make up for the tremendous deficit. You have state taxes in CA also. A relocation package should offer a better salary to offset the increase in cost of living. So Calif is beautiful. The weather is usually great and consistent and you have the beaches! You also have wonderful CA fruits and veggies! We were so spoiled! The farmer's markets are fabulous. Best of luck!!

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Wow...I'm in the same position. My husband's company has relocated to Irvine, Ca. We are waiting for our house to sell. I've been researching the area for a few months now. I think the cost of living increase will be a shocker.
I have a 10 month old and am expecting another baby in August. My entire family is here. So, I'm not exactly looking forward to the move.

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Check out Yorba Linda and Fullerton as well. They're a little farther north, but the area is quite good.

Villa Park is more upscale with bigger homes.

The city of Orange can also be good. There's a great church, St. Paul's Lutheran, on Heim that has a private school going all the way up to 8th grade in addition to their pre-school.

Orange has a wonderful little downtown area with antique shops and a retro diner. They have art walks once a month and a big food fair every year. (Can you tell I lived in Orange? Hee hee!)

Generally, you'll want to be careful when you are looking in the city of Anaheim as the area's just outside the tourist belt around Disneyland aren't wonderful.

Most of the Orange County areas will have a Moms Club and there are lots of MOPS clubs as well. Both of them have websites where you can hook up with local clubs. Give one of them an email explaining your situation and see if they'll give you some info.

You can also get down into the beach areas of Huntington Beach, Dana Point, Balboa but they'll be more expensive.

When you go out, have an In-n-Out burger and visit downtown Disney. (the free part of the Disney resort) And have fun! Southern California has a lot to offer. It's not Austin, but it has it's own flavor that's just as unique.

Good luck!

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I just Recently moved from Garden Grove, CA (West Side Part) and I absolutely loved it. The area I lived in was very family like. Everything was about the kids in the neighborhood. Near all the above cities you mentioned and the beaches and parks were minutes away. As one person mentioned you should really map out the commute time, Traffic is NO JOKE, I worked 14 miles from my place and it took me 1 hr and sometimes an hour and a half. So you really should look into that and YES you are better of renting unless your hubby in rolling in some major bucks. The housing is much cheaper now with the economy taking its toll but you never know.
I wish you the best of luck and if you have any questions you can email me: ____@____.com
If I have the chance to move back I definitely would but right now timing isn't good for me.

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My brother and his family lived in La Habra and he worked in Anaheim. I loved the shopping there. It was a really nice middle class neighborhood. The kids had a good school and it looked nice. You will love CA so much to do...the beach one day the mountains the next. Lots of free stuff to do.

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I lived in central CA up until I got married =) Mission Viejo and Santa Ana are very nice. I'd stay away from Irvine, it's not quite as nice. Just remember traffic in the LA area is horrible!!! If mapquest says it takes an hour, it will take 2-3 hrs in rush hour (7-9am and 4-6pm are the absolute worst times to travel...when everyone is going to and from work!) There is TONS to do in So Cal, all kinds of theme parks and zoos, the beaches, shopping, San Diego is really close...the cost of living is much higher than here in TX, but I'm guessing your hubby will make enough or you wouldn't be considering moving LOL
As for moving halfway across the country, I did it from CA to Hawaii, Hawaii to El Paso, and El Paso to Killeen. It sucks, but it's doable. Feel free to message me if you have any other questions and I'll be happy to try and help you out =)

I don't have any information about California, but I just moved to Texas from Ohio. Relocating is quite a transition especially moving to a place you are not familiar with. My ENTIRE family is in Ohio so that was the hardest part for me. My husband actually moved 6 months before me because we had (and still have) a house to sell in Ohio. We are renting for now until we can sell our home and it also gives us a chance to drive around a look for good neighborhoods and schools. We rented a moving truck and they usually have better deals if you move midweek (or at least get the truck midweek). New co-workers of your husband can help recommending new doctors and things like that (thta's what we did). I hope everything goes smoothly for your move and just rememeber to take it one day at a time. God Bless!!!!!!!

Hi J.,

I'm in Texas now but lived most of my life in Orange Co. I lived in Cypress but worked in Newport Beach and Irvine. The cities you mentioned are very nice areas except there are some questionable areas in Santa Ana so check that out carefully. Also the areas you mentioned can be pricey. They are all south of Anaheim so check the commute time.

As was mentioned to you before, you should also include Fullerton, Orange and Yorba Linda in your search. There are other communities that would be good choices so I would get an apartment first and then take the time to figure out what area suits your family the best. But again, you can't go wrong with the cities mentioned.

Enjoy the experience. Best of luck to you and your family.

In this economy, it is best that you do rent. I hope his promotion comes with a cost of living increase and that he negotiated the cost of the move to add onto his promotion. If its just a promotion of position/title without a substantial increase in pay then I would reconsider. CA has state income tax, which in Texas is offset by the property tax and school taxes that we pay if we are home owners. You'll get a lot less home for the price you pay here in Texas. The area is crowded and traffic is really bad. Most time, you have to live really far away from where you work to make it work cost wise.
So I would recommend that you look for a place to live that will minimize your hb's commute time. Relocating to a new place with just you and a baby is going to wear thin especially the only person that you know does not get home til really late at night and by the time he gets home he is tired from work and from sitting in traffic.
Irvine would be my top choice. Be ready for the influx of the Asian community. Irvine has grown to be little Saigon. But it is a college town so you'll have the benefits of that: UC Irvine. So I would look for rental property/apartment in that area first then you can start branching off to other areas. Orange county is a great place to live but expect the much higher living expense. But you get the great beaches that you should take your boy to and all those wonderful parks and the great weather almost most of the year.

i moved from Dallas Texas to So Cal almost 2 years ago. I know all about it. So if you are willing to(or if he is willing to) drive each day to work we know some great places around here.

The one thing I need to warn you a out is the price of living. It is a serious hit to the pocket. You may be rich and have money and you may not. But I will tell you this. A 3 bed 2 bath HOUSE that is not a condo or town home is going to be anywhere from $2500-$4000 a month. Most are $2700-$3200. Unless you go to the Hood and you can get a 1000skft home for rent at about $1800. I know of 3 places for rent right now around us in the LA area. We live in Rancho Palos Verdes. Torrance in the 90503 are is good. The rich area here...but closest to Texas living would be....Rolling Hills Estates, Rolling Hills, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rancho Palos Verdes Estates, Palos Verdes.
VERY rich part of town but great houses for rent, wonderful school districts (best in the area)and all by the beach.

We home school so if you are a home schooler we have a great community here for that. Academies and park groups.

Let me know if you have more questions or have questions about the areas I mentioned.

BE blessed, T.

PS IF you want to know more about me and who I am so you can trust my imput go to these 2 websites.


J., My best advice is for you folks to look for a place as close as possible to your husband's place of employment first. Next, consider the quality of the local schools. Use Google maps to make a radius of 5 miles with your husbands place of employment at the center. There of tons of places to live within that distance from Anaheim. From there, start investigating the school districts (assuming u have youngsters). After that, I would suggest that renting first is a good idea. Good luck and Happy hunting.

Hi J., I don't know much about California (except that rent is high :) However, I am a realtor here in Houston and work alot with relocation. In most cases when there is a transfer/job promotion the company handles the move. There usually is a "relocation package" that is offered to the employee which includes someone coming to your home, helping you pack and loading onto the truck. You usually don't have to do too much. Your husband may want to ask about that. If you need any assistance in selling your home here, I would love to meet with you and/or refer you to an agent in California to assist you with your move.
Please feel free to visit my website at: www.michelleposey.com
Good luck to you and let me know how I may help you!

I lived in Mission Viejo, Dana Point, and Rancho Santa Margarita. They are lovely communities. Mission Viejo and RSM both have relatively easy access to freeway but RSM has easy access to Tollway. Since he's working in Anaheim the drive will be long unless he's got a motorcycle because in California they can split the lanes. Which is to say drive in the middle of traffic along the dashed lines. I know sounds dangerous but my husband drove from Dana Point to San Diego for a year this way. He made the trip in 45 min. verses traffics hour and half.

Hi J.,

I have moved 3 times in the last 3 months and although I don't know much about Cali I wanted to share our move. We went from Pittsburgh PA to San Antonio TX, back to Pittsburgh PA, and now we are in El Paso TX. Gotta love Military life! Any way the first 2 moves we did ourselves and they involved a little fighting and alot of stress. If you can swing it in your budget you may want to hire movers. Our last move was a military PCS where they packed everything and did all the moving. When we got here they set up all our beds for me and helped put tables and everything else back together.

I know there are companies out there, non-goverment that will do the same thing. I'm not sure on the price, but you may want to compare that when you are considering moving. Some of them will come in your home, box and pack everything making a chart of where it was and then they will set up your new house with stuff in almost the same place.

Good luck on the move they can be tough with tiny ones.

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