Take a look at Irvine, CA
Located approximately 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles is the City of Irvine. It's a great place to look at real estate in Orange County if you enjoy the look of urban buildings combined with a sense of community. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population in 2010 was 212,375, but the camaraderie among residents makes you feel at home. This is one of the reasons it continues to be a highly sought-after place to live.
In fact, in 2008 Irvine was chosen as the fourth best place to live in the country by CNN Money. The publication explains it put the Southern California city in such high regards due to its tight-knit neighborhoods, a school district that has been nationally recognized for excellent test scores and employment opportunities.
The City of Irvine was incorporated in 1971, and today includes more than 65 square miles, making it one of the nation's largest planned urban communities. It remains a great place for families as well as older individuals, as 28 percent of the city's population is expected to be over 55 by 2020.
The median value of owner-occupied homes in Irvine from 2006 to 2010 was $677,100, making it slightly more affordable than some other Orange County areas.