The Best Neighborhoods In Orange County To Buy A Home

Between the wide sandy beaches and the perpetually sunny weather, Orange County is one of the most coveted places to live in the country, let alone California. Unlike its neighbor Los Angeles, this area is mostly suburban with plenty of surfers and shopping mall. According to Visit California, Orange County, also known as the OC, is home to everything from Disneyland to Knotts Berry Farms to premium shopping at South Coast Plaza. Whether you are seeking a relaxing sunny weekend at the idyllic and picturesque Laguna Beach or you plan on having a family-friendly celebration at Disneyland, there is something for everyone in Orange County.

While there is no denying that Orange County is one of the priciest places to live, those who can afford the high prices will find an endless array of amenities. In addition to having uninterrupted access to some of the best beaches and hiking trails in the state, OC residents can enjoy tight-knit communities, breathtaking homes, and top-notch schools. It's a family friendly area many people can't help falling in love with. If you're looking to settle in SoCal, here are some of the best neighborhoods in Orange County to buy a home.

Newport Beach

Located on the central coast of Orange County between Los Angeles and San Diego, the coastal city of Newport Beach is a popular destination for homeowners and travelers alike. According to the City of Newport Beach, Newport Beach has a full-time population of almost 87,000 residents. This number grows to over 100,000 during the summer months as those with second homes return for beach season, and the city can host anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 tourists daily. With such a large population, Newport Beach offers ever-changing lively energy with a bustling main street, a wealth of shopping, dining, and nightlife, and, of course, miles of stunning California beaches (via Visit Newport Beach). Take a surf lesson, go wine tasting, or sit back and enjoy a stunning sunset at the beach.

That said, living on the coast in Southern California is undeniably costly. However, purchasing a home in Newport Beach is still significantly more affordable than similar Los Angeles county beach towns. The median home price in Newport Beach lies around $1.97 million (via Niche). While costly, it's a worthy investment for those looking to live on the stunning southern California coast. Whether you're looking to enjoy a day on the boardwalk or take the ferry over to Balboa Island, Newport is a family-friendly town that offers endless fun and adventure.

Laguna Beach

Situated in southwest Orange County across 8.8 square miles, the small town of Laguna Beach is home to some of the most beautiful properties on the California coastline. Laguna Beach is a smaller town than many of its coastal counterparts and is home to just 23,000 people, according to the City of Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach takes pride in its sense of community and wide range of locally available services for its residents, including recreational activities like hiking, cultural arts events, public works maintenance of streets and parks, transit operations, and community development. There are also several great eateries and restaurants that are all within walking distance of each other on the main street, giving this iconic city a very small-town feel.

Laguna Beach boasts seven miles of beautiful beach and over 20,000 acres of protected wilderness. Residents and tourists are welcome to bike, hike, enjoy, and explore the stunning natural beauty (via Visit Laguna Beach). The median home cost in Laguna Beach is certainly expensive, landing at around $3.2 million (via Zillow). However, for those with a more flexible budget, the stunning natural landscaping, picturesque properties, home construction, and wealth of community services are well worth the expense. If you're into surfing, Laguna Beach is the place to be. The water is known for being incredibly clear and blue. While the beaches can get pretty crowded with tourists during the summer, it feels like a charming oasis filled with locals and families for most of the year.


Most well known as the home of Disneyland and the Anaheim Angels baseball team, the city of Anaheim is one of Orange County's most sizable, bustling neighborhoods. According to Anaheim, CA – Official Website, the city spans over fifty square miles and is home to 341,000 residents, making it one of California's most populous cities. Anaheim is situated on the northeast end of Orange County and is conveniently equidistance between Southern California's two largest cities, San Diego and Los Angeles.

Considering Anaheim is home to an impressive amount of residents and tourists from around the world, there is no shortage of entertainment options accessible from all areas of the neighborhood. Residents enjoy great shopping, delicious local restaurants, bars, entertainment, and outdoor park areas with pristine nature across the entire city (via Visit Anaheim). One of Anaheim's biggest draws is its considerable affordability compared to its coastal neighbors. With a median home cost of $834,500, Anaheim is one of the only Orange County neighborhoods where buying a beautiful home is possible at under a million dollars (via Redfin). That said, being able to visit Disneyland regularly is priceless, especially for families, and the charming suburban town puts you in the center of many beautiful surrounding areas. 

San Clemente

Located on the coast at the southernmost point of Orange County, the coastal city of San Clemente is home to some of the best surfing and beaches in the United States. According to Orange County California, San Clemente is home to around 64,000 residents and spans just over nineteen square miles. Since San Clemente is a larger Orange County neighborhood, there's a wide variety of homes available to purchase. From single-family properties to beach condos to newer townhomes and luxury custom estates, there's something for everyone (via While there is much architectural and structural diversity across San Clemente homes, most homes are designed in the classic Spanish style, further adding to the Mediterranean coastal vibe of the area.

San Clemente is the perfect blend of suburban and urban living. The areas surrounding the downtown area provide safe, low-population density housing with plenty of parks, high-quality schools, and spacious homes. The downtown district by the beach boasts an impressive number of restaurants, local and international shopping, bars and nightlife, and coffee shops (via Niche). This combination makes San Clemente desirable and convenient for all ages and stages of life. This beautiful beach-side town has a special charm and is an ideal spot for families and singles looking to make the most of the sun and surf. It is also close to San Diego, making it easy to head into the city when necessary. 

Dana Point

Boasting seven miles of stunning southern California coastline, the city of Dana Point offers residents some of the most beautiful coastal homes in the nation. According to the Dana Point Times, this beloved beach town is located on the coast in central Orange County and is home to around 37,000 residents. The neighborhood is most well known for its incredible Dana Point Harbor, an enclave home to more than 2,500 boats. Since Dana Point is a residential neighborhood and popular tourist beach destination, there are plenty of stores, restaurants, bars, outdoor parks, and a beautiful beach that looks out across the entirety of the city. Errands and fun activities are easily accessible at all times (via Visit Dana Point).

Owning a home in Dana Point is not as expensive as other popular California coastal cities. According to Zillow, the median home price in Dana Point is around $1.5 million. While this affluent community is undeniably expensive, considering the sweeping coastal views, blissful beach, lively shopping area, and beautiful homes, Dana Point is still an ideal neighborhood to own a home in Orange County. You truly can't beat the turquoise waters and picturesque cliffs. 

Huntington Beach

Known as Surf City, Huntington Beach is one of Orange County's most popular destinations for visitors and local homeowners alike, according to City of Huntington Beach, California. Located on the central coast of Orange County, Huntington Beach is 90 miles north of San Diego and just 35 miles south of Los Angeles. It's a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the greater Los Angeles area yet still provides plenty of activity, shopping, employment opportunities, restaurants, and nightlife. With a population of almost 200,000 people, there are a wide array of community events throughout the year catering to residents of different ages and interests, making sure everyone in the community feels at home and welcomed (via Niche). Huntington Beach also boasts a wealth of family-friendly activities and highly rated schools, making it the perfect neighborhood to purchase a home for those looking to settle in a suburban area and start a family.

The median home cost in Huntington Beach comes out to around $1.2 million (via Redfin). Considering the location close to the most beautiful California beaches, the diversity of shopping and activity, and the stunning properties, investing to purchase a home in Huntington Beach is an incredible option.

Corona Del Mar

According to Visit Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar offers a coastal beach town vibe in all ways. With streets named after flowers, a mix of beachy vintage cottages and modern coastal constructions, and a wealth of local seafood restaurants and boutiques, residents and visitors alike can enjoy the peaceful energy of their small oceanside suburb. With a name that translates directly to "Crown of the Sea," it is no wonder that the neighborhood of Corona Del Mar offers some of the most beautiful natural landscaping and home constructions in all of Orange County. Located at the foot of the San Juan Hills and boarded by the Pacific Ocean, Corona Del Mar is home to 88,000 residents, making it one of the smaller neighborhoods along the coast in Orange County (via Orange County California).

Living in Corona Del Mar comes with a cost. That cost is pretty high, considering the median home cost of Corona Del Mar comes out to around $4.8 million (via Realtor). However, Corona Del Mar is worth the high price tag for those looking for a safe, luxurious, high-quality coastal neighborhood. Those working or needing to visit Newport Beach regularly will also appreciate the proximity of Corona Del Mar.


Located in the center of Orange County, Irvine is one of the County's largest and most populous neighborhoods. According to Destination Irvine, the city is home to more than 300,000 residents and covers an area of over 65 square miles, making it the 72nd largest city in the United States. It's also one of California's best kept secrets (via HuffPost). It's located about 40 miles from Los Angeles in the south.

Irvine is home to a variety of attractions and businesses, making it an incredible city for guests and residents alike. There's the ranked public University of California, Irvine, an international airport, a wide range of dining, shopping, and entertainment opportunities, and some of the most incredible weather in the world. It's no wonder Irvine is one of the most popular neighborhoods in not only Orange County but all of California (via Visit California). The median home cost in Irvine is around $1.3 million, making purchasing a home here more affordable than many of its coastal neighbors without compromising safety, quality of life, or opportunity (via Zillow).

San Juan Capistrano

Most well known as the home of the San Juan Capistrano Mission, the neighborhood of San Juan Capistrano is located in the southern district of Orange County. According to, the presence of the mission and the remnants of Mexican cultural history give the neighborhood remarkable character. Walking the streets in the area is an activity in San Juan Capistrano, as homes, shops, and streets throughout the city are rich in historic style and beautiful construction.

In addition to its stunning historical architecture throughout the downtown district, San Juan Capistrano is also home to over 35,000 residents across 14.3 square miles (via Niche). Beyond the popular and lively downtown district, the residential neighborhoods are spread out and suburban, allowing residents to truly enjoy a sense of privacy and suburban safety in their homes. The median home price in San Juan Capistrano falls around $1.2 million, which is standard for homes in Orange County (via Redfin).

Mission Viejo

With a population of over 100,000 residents, the suburban neighborhood of Mission Viejo is one of the most popular neighborhoods in all of Orange County. According to Orange County California, Mission Viejo was the first completed master planned community in the United States and has continued to serve as a model for this type of development's success. The carefully crafted community is home to a large number of single-family homes, a community college, a recreational lake, 43 gorgeous parks, a 41,000 square-foot library, numerous California Distinguished Schools, a hugely popular mall, as well as a wealth of local shops, restaurants, and coffee shops. Mission Viejo has also been continuously ranked as one of the safest cities in all of the United States by multiple sources over the last ten years, making it desirable for those looking to settle down in a safe suburban area with a family.

The median home cost in Mission Viejo lands around $1.1 million, making it more affordable than many other Orange County neighborhoods yet still providing complete safety, access to convenient shopping, and top schools (via Zillow).

Laguna Niguel

Also located in southern Orange County, Laguna Niguel is another beautiful suburban master-planned community. According to Orange County California, the neighborhood covers just under fifteen square miles and is home to around 65,000 residents of all ages. The landscape of Laguna Niguel is primarily hilly, and over a third of the community is designated as open space, preserving the natural ecosystem and ensuring the community continues to offer beautiful views of the California hills even as development continues.

Laguna Niguel Regional Park provides residents with a wealth of recreational activities and incredible views of the natural landscape. The park is home to 44 acres of Laguna Niguel lake, tennis, volleyball, jogging and bicycling, fishing, boating, and numerous trails and playgrounds for residents to enjoy (via OC Parks). Stroll down ocean paths, surf the waves, and spend some time recharging in nature. The median home cost in Laguna Niguel is $1.3 million, standard pricing for a high-quality home in a desirable neighborhood in Orange County (via Realtor).

Yorba Linda

Last on our list (but certainly not least) is the residential neighborhood of Yorba Linda. According to Yorba Linda, CA, Yorba Linda covers 20 square miles and is home to around 68,000 residents. The suburban community primarily features single-family homes, offering a peaceful, laid-back, community-oriented vibe throughout the neighborhoods. Yorba Linda consistently ranks as one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the entire United States.

Between the high property values, award-winning schools, natural beauty, investment in public infrastructure, and expansive outdoor space, it is no surprise that many people love this charming suburb. Yorba Linda is also known for its incredible equestrian industry, hosting three state-of-the-art equestrian arenas and 100 miles of equestrian, biking, and walking trails (via Orange County California). The median home cost in Yorba Linda is around $1.3 million, which is consistent with the market across Orange County's most desirable neighborhoods (via Redfin). Since it is one of the more low-key neighborhoods in Orange County, Yorba Linda provides residents with a more mellow and peaceful experience while offering many of the same benefits you'll get in places like Orange County and Newport Beach. The main difference is that it's not located right on the ocean.