Start with the High Schools, since if they are rated good, so are the middle schools and elementary schools that feed into them. Edison is ranked higher than Huntington Beach High, and then you have Fountain Valley high school - neighborhoods from Huntington Beach feed into there too. Its easy when a client says they want to be in the Edison School District - or they want to be in the Eader elementary, or Sowers middle school neighborhoods - we know exactly what neighborhoods to look into for this reason.
Mesa Verde goes to Estancia High School in Costa Mesa. You can go onto each high schools website and see the boundaries for each and also the lower schools that are in those boundaries.
The OC Register had the rankings about a week ago and Edison and Huntington Beach were ranked Gold, but all of the Huntington Beach High Schools came in to the top 25. There is Edison, Huntington Beach, Marina and Ocean View, and as I said, a lot of the HB kids go to Fountain Valley, too, also a very good high school.
Give me a call and I can clue you in to the feeder schools for each high school, and then what neighborhoods go to each, all the way down to the elementary schools. You can also go to the link provided earlier for greatschools.com and find the information.
My thoughts after reading your question is your interest in "family" neighborhoods might have to do with schools and parks. Every city has a website that outlines city resources, crime, demographics, etc. Locate the schools and drive the neighborhoods to determine if it's best for your needs.
http://www.greatschools.com can help with academic decisions.
Often times guard gated communites are maintained at a higher level but can be higher in price. Every city has original homes, newer construction, duplexes, apartments, commercial and industrial areas. If you know Meredith Gardens and SeaCliff you may also be familiar with Huntington Place and The Peninsula - both fabulous places to live!
Because it's your choice, a professional would seek as much information to define the essential elements regarding discriminating neighborhoods along with your goals and objectives .
Choose a Realtor you feel comfortable with or call me for a free consultation otherwise any one's opinion about best neighborhoods isn't your opinion and it's your opinion or determination that's most important to you, isn't it?
Let me know if you'd like to see it?
You can also search the MLS just like I do, by visiting my website & signing up for a Listingbook acct., you can even search the different MLS areas in Huntington Beach or Costa Mesa, narrow down your search to JUST what you're looking for. I think you'll like it!
It really depends on your budget and what style house you're interested in. If you're interested in Eastside CM and Mesa Verde, you may also like some of the neighborhoods in South HB near Brookhurst/Atlanta. There's also Huntington Hills - Yorktown/Newland area. On the West side of HB, another nice area is near Meadowlark as well as just South of Warner/Springdale. And of course, there's the Harbour.
I was born and raised in HB and know it well. There's a section on my Website titled "Huntington Beach Areas" which may guide you further. Please let me know if you have any questions.
I am a Realtor here in Huntington Beach and I work all of the areas you are interested in. You have mentioned areas in each city that have great neighborhoods and great schools. There are also the Deane Homes, La Cuesta homes and others in Huntington Beach.
Each of these cities have other pockets that are very good too. I know these cities well as well as the school districts and the homes associated with each of them. If I can help you with this, please contact me.
First Team Real Estate