Caroline, Home Buyer in Simi Valley, CA

For a family with small children looking for a family-friendly place to call home,

Asked by Caroline, Simi Valley, CA Sun Jan 18, 2009

what would be a better move, to buy a (cosmetic)fixer upper 2 bdr, 1 bath SFR in irvine for $385,000 or newer3bdr, 3bath townhome/condo in Tustin for 344,000? We're planninmg to live in OC for the next 5-8 years.

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Archana Jaya…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Fri Jun 19, 2009
Hello Caroline,

As pointed out by fellow Realtors, Irvine is popular for its school district and for being family friendly. The prices here therefore are more than Tustin. Having said that, Tustin also has some very good areas. for example, Tustin Ranch is also a very popular area and has good schools too. Also, not all areas within Irvine City are under the Irvine Unified School District. Please check for the school boundaries at

You mentioned that the Tustin Condo is newer. Check if the homes have Mello Roos as that would add to your monthly payments especially in Condos as they have higher HOAs generally. Basically, check for hidden costs in both the properties. If you would like more specific information please email me or call me.




Archana Jayaraman
Realtor @ HanuReddy Realty, Irvine
DRE License No.01845233
0 votes
Steven Lefler, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon Jan 19, 2009
Irvine is a great community.
The Condo and Townhouse communities are under stress presently. This Sunday O.C. register had a complete description on the perils of HOA, Lender guidelines and lender approvals for condo and townhome communities. The Short Sales, foreclosures, unpaid HOA dues and Lender approval will make your best choice for housing. The greater number of any one of these results in less likelyhood a lender will approve your loan. Be careful!

When you go and look at the homes pay particular attention to the quantity of homes for sale in its community.
0 votes
Harrison K.…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Sun Jan 18, 2009
Hi Caroline ...

The previous answer here was by Cynthia Fleming, Realtor agent and friend of mine. I agree in general with what Cynthia said.

If indeed you can find and buy a home in Irvine for $385K at this time, with two bedrooms and 2 full baths, please consider moving forward with that. Irvine is a great place to live and amazingly popular with young folks and business people.

Please know that many of the homes for sale here in Irvine are short sales not yet lender approved. If you want to present an offer on such a home, be patient and expect to wait 4 to 6 months until the bank decides whether to allow you to purchase.

My wife and I have lived in Irvine for many years, have great neighbors and good friends here, and love the opportunities that the community provides.

If you have any questions about Irvine and surrounding neighborhoods, please let me know.

Or call Cynthia Fleming, Realtor agent, our friend and Coldwell Banker Previews associate. Best wishes.

Harrison K. Long, Explore Group properties, Irvine, CA.

For a good home and property search site check out
0 votes
Cynthia Flem…, Agent, Laguna Niguel, CA
Sun Jan 18, 2009
I can't direct you specifically towards a family friendly neighborhood as it is against Fair Housing Laws. However, in reference to your question regarding newer unit in Tustin vs. Irvine fixer: In general, Tustin real estate values are lower than in Irvine. Irvine is a very desireable community, due to it's location and convenience to the highway, the number of businesses in the area and what the city has to offer, including the school system. There are however, areas of Tustin that are in the Irvine School District and these areas are also very desireable. My personal opinion is that when the market bounces back, the property in Irvine will be easier to turn over. There are a lot of students from UCI always looking for housing, as the housing for the university is very limited. On the other hand, a 3 bedroom carries more value than a 2 bedroom and generally has more demand. Take my comments for what they're worth! I'm sure others will have their own opinions. If I can help you any further, please don't hesitate to contact me via email: Thank you.
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