I live within 10 minutes of all 3 areas. There is a SIGNIFICANT difference between the San Juan Capistrano area and Aliso Viejo/Laguna Niguel (these 2 aren't hugely different in my opinion, though Laguna Niguel is very well known for having many "well to do" familes and is more family life focused. Aliso has a greater amount of young professionals/singles, though of course plenty of families too.)
Though there are basically no "bad areas" of Aliso/Laguna... there are definitely several low income, seedier areas of San Juan. More property crime, pettty vandalism. My unprofessional opinion is that value will appreciate better in Aliso and Laguna. Aliso and Laguna have better schools as well, in my opinion. I have a teacher acquaintence and they've mentioned that subbing in San Juan (like in Tustin) can be a little depressing. (Lots of kids with parents with low English, so the kids have a hard time of it.) But then, that's just the public schools. There are nice private ones in San Juan - and, like I said, there are nice areas with families who find excellent schools to send their kids to.
I don't want to get too down on San Juan. The Mission is beautiful, and some parts of it are gorgeous. It has more "flavor" than Aliso/Laguna areas - which are very clean and pleasantly bland. And all 3 are still Orange County -- the rate of "violent crime" is less than the US average for all.
I pulled this up from BestPlaces online..
Race in San Juan Capistrano, CA
78.14% of people are white (includes hispanic), 0.83% are black, 2.18% are asian, 1.03% are native american, and 17.53% claim 'Other'.
33.74% of the people in San Juan Capistrano, CA, claim hispanic ethnicity (meaning 66.26% are non-hispanic).
San Juan Capistrano, CA Income and Salaries
The San Juan Capistrano median household income is $74,524.
San Juan Capistrano public schools spend $4,845 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $6,058. There are about 22 students per teacher in San Juan Capistrano.
In comparison --
Race in Aliso Viejo, CA
76.61% of people are white (includes hispanic), 2.38% are black, 11.62% are asian, 0.49% are native american, and 9.07% claim 'Other'.
13.11% of the people in Aliso Viejo, CA, claim hispanic ethnicity (meaning 86.89% are non-hispanic).
Aliso Viejo, CA Income and Salaries
The Aliso Viejo median household income is $89,451.
Aliso Viejo, CA, schools spend $5,169 per student. There are 22 pupils per teacher.
Race in Laguna Niguel, CA
82.61% of people are white (includes hispanic), 1.24% are black, 7.83% are asian, 0.30% are native american, and 7.63% claim 'Other'.
11.38% of the people in Laguna Niguel, CA, claim hispanic ethnicity (meaning 88.62% are non-hispanic).
Laguna Niguel public schools spend $5,273 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $6,058. There are about 22 students per teacher in Laguna Niguel.
The Laguna Niguel median household income is $92,769.