As an FYI, Long Beach was listed last year as one of the dirtiest air cities in the U.S., according to the American Lung Association 2010 State of the Lung Report.
Rossmoor and Los Alamitos have great schools and nice neighborhoods. Prices start at about $650K and $500K respectively.
You can speak with a member of the Garden Grove Gang Suppression Unit at (714)741-5588 to get an update if you are considering any areas of Garden Grove. I called them the other day to confirm the phone number and the sergeant agreed with Emily's suggestion that west of Beach Blvd. is a good area. Price points are lower there too.
Westminster bordering Huntington Beach (HB) and HB may also be a good area to look at. There are very nicely remodeled homes in HB starting at approximately $450K. There is a commute. Fountain Valley is a great city. Prices start around $500K.
Mission Viejo and nearby areas have at least a 45 minute drive w/ no traffic, but there are more newer homes in the inventory within the $450K range.
Also, here are a few resources you may want to check out when deciding on a location to move to and raise your children.
(Has city data, including sex offenders. For example: Cypress has 26 sex offenders registered in the city.)
(Ranks schools by city)
(OC Register lists areas that are toxic sites in Orange County)
4.) You can call (916) 445-5716 to get a copy of an orange county map of liquefaction/landslide areas (You may want to know up front if the house is on liquefaction soil or on a landslide before you open escrow and spend money on inspections. Not necessarily a big consideration for many folks. But we are in earthquake country and we have issues of landslides.) Some people make that a priority.
5.) Also you can call each city or visit their website for information on crime stats on specific neighborhoods. Some cities will direct you to their websiteâ€™s neighborhood watch articles which may list current crime stats.
Basically, there are pros and cons to every area, every neighborhood and every home. Listing your priorities (i.e., length of commute, cityâ€™s amenities and reputation, safety issues), familyâ€™s specific needs (large yard for kids, newer homes,), and price points will help when you start narrowing down to your top choices.
Shoot me an email if I can be of assistance or answer any questions. Hope the above info is helpful!
Prudential CA Realty