Nessa, Home Buyer in Sherman Oaks, CA

My finance got a job in Irvine, we are planning on purchasing our first home and irvine seems really expensive we where thinking maybe Corona??

Asked by Nessa, Sherman Oaks, CA Tue Jul 31, 2012

How's the commute??

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Jeff Glass, Agent, Lake Forest, CA
Wed Aug 1, 2012
Hi Nessa,
You might want to consider Lake Forest... It is a short easy commute and a wonderful city to live in. You get more home for your money, property taxes are low, no Mello-Roos and our services are excellent. Give me a call if you would like to learn more.

Jeff Glass
Regency Real Estate Brokers
(714) 325 1814
1 vote
Brian Wilson, Agent, Laguna Beach, CA
Wed Aug 1, 2012
Hello Nessa,

Both cities and their surrounding areas may work for you only you and your fiancé can decide that. I would suggest doing more research. Besides the fact you may get more home for your money in Corona you may spend all you would be saving on gas. Have you taken the time and drove the commute from Corona to Irvine? Do it in the morning and the evening to simulate what your commute would be like, with and without the toll road.

If the commute time doesn't bother you then you may want to focus your search in Corona or maybe a city along the way to shorten your commute. Go online and check out the city websites to get an idea of what goes on there, check crime rates, jobs, schools (do you have children yet?) and add a bit for utility costs such as air conditioning. Also remember many communities will have a home owners association and will have monthly dues to calculate too.

After more research you may find that Irvine or somewhere nearby actually isn't too expensive once all the additional costs of living and other items are figured in. Right now is a great time to be a buyer, interest rates are amazingly low but inventory is down too so you need to be as prepared as you can. Find a good lender (ask anyone here or me) and we will refer you so you can find out what price ranges work and then you will be able to focus your home search efforts better.

Good luck to you with your search,

Brian Wilson, Realtor
DRE #01321478
1 vote
Libardo Quin…, , Newport Beach, CA
Wed Aug 29, 2012
Good morning Nessa,
Let me help, Kinecta Federal Credit Union, will do a pre-approval for you, will give yu $500 for closing cost plus .625 bps (rate incentive), VIP membership, all benefits ($10.00 to be a member), our ATM transaction is free on all 7Eleven stores. Our realtors will help you to locate the property.

Please come to our Home Buyer seminar on Sept. 15/2012 at 9:30 am

Libardo Quintero
NMLS 380933
0 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Mon Aug 27, 2012
The commute from Corona is nothing nice. If the job will be in Irvine you may want to look in surrounding cities like: Tustin or Lake Forest. There are even some pockets of Santa Ana that border Irvine that offer some great values.

Best of luck to you,
Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
Mina Mullinax, , Newport Beach, CA
Mon Aug 27, 2012
You could get a bigger home in Corona but that commute would NOT be worth the Square footage in my opinion. I always recommend first time home buyers to check out the East side Costa Mesa area. Not only are there great starter homes and condos, but you would be very close to Irvine and a hop skip and a jump to the beach. It's really the young hot spot to buy right now, night life is great, homes range from fixer uppers to mansions and everything in between. Lot of character in this area and beautiful tree lined streets with a great youthful vibe. Contact me and I can get you a list of homes available in the area and you can see what you think. Below is a link to info about Costa Mesa :)
0 votes
Soila Thomps…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Aug 15, 2012
Hi ,

That is really and apples and oranges comparison. Corona is a nice area but if you live AND work in Irvine or Orange County you will have to contend with the COMMUTE though the Canyon on the 91 . There is no frontage road to get though the traffic, and the traffic into OC starts at 6 -10 and back to Corona 3-7.

Consider newer areas of Irvine and Tustin Ranch , they are priced well and you are IN OC - small commute and lots of restaurants and shopping AND great schools and neighborhoods. !

Soila Thompson
0 votes
Scott Fredri…, , Orange County, CA
Mon Aug 6, 2012
Hi Corona,

Corona and Chino Hills plenty of nice homes available easy drive, sounds great and the 241 toll rode will drop you off in irvine.

2-300k avg. home price, give us a call we would love to assist you in finding your new home.


Scott Fredrickson
Brentwood Pacific Financial
30 yrs serving Orange County
0 votes
Nessa, Home Buyer, Sherman Oaks, CA
Mon Aug 6, 2012
Thank you everyone for the advice!
0 votes
Michael Kim, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon Aug 6, 2012
Hi Nessa,

You will get much more house for you r money in Corona, or even Chino Hills. Traffic varies drastically throughout the day. Will your fiance have flexible hours?

If you want to stay closer to Irvine, you might consider Orange or Tustin. Home prices in these cities are more affordable.

I hope this helps you guys.

All the best,

Michael Kim, MBA
Modern Realty
DRE no: 01820612
Direct: (714) 337-1531
0 votes
Kerianne Wal…, , Irvine, CA
Mon Aug 6, 2012
I can see you've gotten a TON of good information below. Irvine can be expensive because of the schools and the amenities it has to offer. I've lived in Irvine for 12 years and love it. If you don't have kids, keep yourself open to other areas but BE CAREFUL. Mello Roos taxes and HOA dues can sneak up on you and impact the affordability of a home in any area.
When I show properties I usually provide a spreadsheet to buyers that show the monthly expenses they will have IN ADDITION to their mortgage payment. Make sure you do the math early so you can sleep at night. Remember, your home should be your haven, NOT your albatross.
I would love to help you find your new home and grew up in Orange County so I know it very well. Feel free to contact me if you need any further information & good luck!

Take care,

Kerianne Waldrop
Broker (01700776)
Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate
0 votes
Harold Sharpe, Agent, Menifee, CA
Wed Aug 1, 2012
I see you are from Sherman Oaks so Traffic is no stranger to you.
I use to live in the valley as well and the the Conejo valley T.O., and now out in the I E.
I noticed your underlying question is hows the commute.
You can look at it a few ways.
1. you can go online on google in the morning and see traffic.
2. you can turn on cal trans traffic cams online.
3. you can get a motel in Corona and do the drive for working hours to test it out.
I usually ask people to do number three before I show them any homes.
I do not want them to know they can have a great home but be mad at the world because of the traffic.
You will probably also find the people are a bit friendlier out here as well.
FYI you will also find many live in places like las vegas and commute by flight into irvine as well.

Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes
(951) 821-8211
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
0 votes
Keith Jones, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Wed Aug 1, 2012
Hi Nessa,
It is all about your traffic tolerance. You definitely get more bang for your buck in Corona but the drive is the trade-off. The reason that the commute is so bad is that there are so many people willing to do it. I refer to it as the 6 figure drive because that is how much you save in Corona. I suggest that if possible, you give it a test run.
0 votes
Grant Fawcett, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Tustin, CA
Wed Aug 1, 2012

I'm not a real estate agent but I work with them on a daily basis in all surrounding cities to Irvine. Each city is going to have a particular agent that I would suggest using. It's important to have a good buyers agent on your team. I suggest giving Amy Sims with First Team Real Estate a call - She's an expert on all South County Cities - Amy's cell is (949) 559-5959. Below is a link to her Trulia profile. She is very highly regarded buyers agent - One of the best. Check out all of her recommendations!

Irvine is a great city to live. Nevertheless, it's expensive. There are amazing cities that surround the Irvine area. A lot is going to depend on what you are looking for? Young crowd? Family? Beach?

So what do I do? I'm a mortgage banker. I work with agents and buyers to provide the financing portion of the transaction. Castle & Cooke is a direct lender (very important in today's lending environment). Our Chairmain of Castle & Cooke is David Murdock who is the founder & chairman of Dole Foods. Your first step is to get pre approved for a mortgage loan. The big question is "Do you qualify?" Regardless of what "bank" you go with - They will require at a minimum - 2 years tax returns * 30 days of pay stubs * 2011 & 2012 W2 * Bank Statements * Copy of your Drivers license.

I can have you pre approved same day for a mortgage loan and would love to help you. My direct cell is (949) 212-4578 - Feel free to call and discuss your options.

I used to live off Malibu Canyon road - I've been living in OC for the past 12 years. I think you will enjoy the move! Best of luck and I look forward to speaking with you.

Best regards,

Grant Fawcett
Mortgage Banker
Castle & Cooke Mortgage
Cell: (949) 212-4578
0 votes
Libardo Quin…, , Newport Beach, CA
Wed Aug 1, 2012
Hi Nessa,
Commuting from corona and back to Corona is not good. let me know your purchase power (approval or i can do a pre-approval) and we can find something closer.

make sense?

0 votes
Walter 'Skip'…, Agent, Brea, CA
Wed Aug 1, 2012
Hi Nessa,
On a good day that commute is horrible.
Good luck,
0 votes
Carlos Moral…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Wed Aug 1, 2012
Hello Nessa Good Morning,

The best person to answer to your question is people who live in Corona and are making the commute to Irvine, I have a list if referrals that I have helped in the past who are actually commuting right now, I can share it with you.

Please send me an e-mail so we can discuss this further.

Thank you
0 votes
Paul Loulis, Agent, Newport Beach, CA
Wed Aug 1, 2012
Hi Nessa,
Welcome to Orange County. Irvine is a great city to live in. People pay a premium to live here because of the great school system. The Irvine Spectrum is a hub for technology jobs and Irvine has been named as “America’s safest city” with populations over 100,000.

When the market tumbled in 2007, properties in many Southern California cities lost 40% to 50% of market value. Irvine held more value losing only about 18% to 22% for the reasons mentioned above.

With that said, there are much better values in cities surrounding Irvine, but still within an easy commute. The traffic coming into Orange County from Corona in the morning and going back in the evening is extremely congested. The new 241 and 261 toll roads have cut significant miles and time from the Corona to Irvine commute, but it is still difficult and can be expensive. Call or email me for help in navigating through this decision on where to relocate. I have lived in many Orange County cities and even made the reverse commute from Orange County to Corona for eleven years as CEO & President of a manufacturing firm located there.

Best Regards,
Paul Loulis / Realtor / MBA / C.D.P.E.
RE/MAX Fine Homes / 3 Corporate Plaza, Suite 100 / Newport Beach, California 92660
949-400-7805 - cell / / D.R.E. License #01443983
0 votes
Alex Vargas, Agent, Irvine, CA
Tue Jul 31, 2012
Hi Nessa,

Irvine is a fantastic all around City. If you can afford to purchase in Irvine, or the very near surrounding areas would be much more desirable than that of Corona. It really all depends what you are looking for, i.e., schools, proximenity to work, family, etc... If your finance is working in Irvine, the commute will be pretty tough.

I hope this helps...

If you'd like more information on any home here on Trulia, including Schools, shopping, night life, etc, feel free to email or call.


Alex Vargas

555 Corporate Drive Suite 100

Ladera Ranch, CA 92694

714 269 8775 Cell
949 417 1219 Fax

DRE License 01332235

Go green, keep it on the screen – think before you print!
0 votes
Nick, , Irvine, CA
Tue Jul 31, 2012
Will be a difficult commute with lots of traffic during morning and afternoon traffic hours.
If you let me know your budget, I'll try to find a better solution for you near irvine.

Nick Binesh
Golden House Real Estate
0 votes
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