Gray Group Real Estate & Design

Orange County, CA

Orange County | Gray Group LA

Orange County Real Estate Knowledge

Orange County (known as ‘OC’) is a true wonderland of relaxed southern California living. With a plethora of neighborhoods and climates, from coastal beach living, upscale suburban neighborhoods, and hillside enclaves, Orange County real estate has plenty of exceptional offerings.

OC stretches the coast from Huntington Beach in the north to San Clemente in the south. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the natural preserves to the east are a plethora of cities, each with their own character and charm.
A perk of OC is the John Wayne Airport, located between Irvine, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. This, as well as the airport’s smaller size, allow residents to get in and out of town with ease. Although this creates some noise pollution for nearby cities, the high demand for nearby real estate does not seem to be affected.
Amenities also abound in OC. World-famous beaches, luxury shopping, trendy restaurants, exceptional parks, top-rated schools and more keep attracting people from all over the country and world. Plus, located in the city of Anaheim, situated in the northeast part of the county, is the home of the world-famous Disneyland park.
Here are insights on just a few cities in this lovely SoCal county:


Irvine is the perfection of upscale suburban living. The city is clean, extremely safe, has great schools, exceptional public parks, and new developments dot the landscape with the backset of picturesque rolling hills.

Irvine Real Estate

The Irvine Company, Irvine’s largest land developer, has done an exceptional job of creating a suburban paradise filled with many different neighborhoods and developments, including Turtle Rock and the UCI area, West Park, and Oak Creek. Newer developments lie further east in Northwood, Great Park, Portola Springs, and Orchard Hills.
In Irvine, you will find plenty of master-planned communities with mostly townhomes or single-family residences. Depending on where you are in Irvine, you will find either older or newer properties.
Irvine Amenities
Irvine comprises mostly quiet, tucked-away communities with pockets of well-appointed commercial space. But there are several amenities in the city which complement family living.
This, first and foremost, includes the Irvine Spectrum Center. Developed by none other than the Irvine Company, this is an indoor/outdoor shopping mall. The Center features Nordstrom and Target, along with more than 130 stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, including Improv Comedy Club and Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21 IMAX & RPX.
Additional restaurants and shopping can be found in the many convenient outdoor strip malls of Irvine at almost every intersection.
Take the family to one of Irvine’s parks like the ‘Great Park’, which tells you everything you need to know in the name. There are also the Irvine Regional and William R Mason parks nearby.
There’s even the Irvine Barclay Theatre for music performances and plays.
The Irvine Unified School District is a top-rated, public school district. Where precisely you reside within the city will determine what elementary, middle and high school your children will attend.

Newport Beach

Orange County is world-famous for its beaches and picture-perfect coastal communities. Newport Beach and its bordering neighbor to the south, Newport Coast, could be considered the crown jewel of the OC coast.

Newport Beach Real Estate

The real estate in Newport Beach and Newport Coast is some of the most coveted in the county, not to mention all southern California. From homes right on the beach and in the Newport Bay to living on Balboa Island, fine coastal living abounds. However, there are also areas further inland with a more neighborhood-like feel, such as the guard-gated Big Canyon community and neighboring Costa Mesa.
Newport Coast is known more for its sprawling estates situated atop bluffs overlooking the crystal blue waters of the Pacific. However, one would be hard-pressed to find anything below $5 million there.
Newport Beach Amenities
As beach towns go, Newport Beach amenities include many beach and ocean-like amenities. For example, the Newport Beach Pier, Newport beach, Balboa Island, the Wedge for world-class surfing, and all the trendy restaurant and bars one could desire.
There is also the Fashion Island shopping mall in Newport and South Coast Plaza in nearby Costa Mesa filled with luxury boutiques. South Coast Plaza can be thought of as the ‘Rodeo Drive’ of OC.
If you are fortunate enough to be granted membership, Newport has a couple of exclusive country clubs. These are the Newport Beach Country Club just minutes from the beach and the Big Canyon Country Club.
re is a good mixture of public and private schools throughout Newport Beach. Here is the list of all schools in Newport Beach.

Lake Forest

For those wanting the OC area, but not particular the high price tag of Irvine or Newport, looking in nearby cities such as Lake Forest can be appealing.

Lake Forest Real Estate

There are plenty of new or newer home developments from developers such as luxury-builder Toll Brothers and KB Home in Lake Forest with a reduced price-per-square foot than neighboring Irvine.
In terms of builder-developed communities, public amenities, and clean shopping centers, Lake Forest very much models the family-oriented feeling of Irvine. However, it’s about 10 years behind Irvine, so less has been built out and infilled. This does create the opportunity to take advantage of growth and appreciation.
Lake Forest Amenities
There are numerous outdoor activities available in Lake Forest, such as recreation parks like the Lake Forest Sports Park or hiking trails like the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.
Beyond this, the big perk of Lake Forest is the proximity to cities with other amenities, such as the beach, shopping, Disneyland, and more.
The Saddleback Unified School District is a very well-respected school district. Here is a list of the schools in Lake Forest.