The El Camino Real neighborhood of Irvine is a 1.777 square mile portion of the city commonly understood to be within the boundaries of Culver Dr (to the north), the 5 freeway (to the east), Jeffrey Rd (to the south), and Irvine Center Dr (to the west). Map here.
Being one of the older neighborhoods in the city of Irvine, it is inhabited by families that have been in the area since before the OC population explosion of the late 80’s and 90’s. Like all of the neighborhoods here, it is part of the Irvine master planned community and as such is made up of several different tracts that comprise its housing developments.
El Camino Real in Irvine CA has a variety of housing types situated within its boundaries including:
It is an extremely affordable area of Irvine to live in with a median home price of only $560K. Many homebuyers looking to move to this part of Irvine do so for its fantastic location, great schools, and diverse cultural makeup.
Taking the time to research each neighborhood is this city is a must before deciding on which part of this highly desirable segment of the OC to live in. Because the neighborhoods in Irvine can seem similar, it’s imperative to understand the pertinent facts and differences about each so that you can fulfill your priority list and make necessary distinctions when committing to your next home purchase here.
As mentioned above, this is one of the more affordable, older neighborhoods in Irvine, meaning you won’t have to live paycheck-to-paycheck to be able to purchase a reasonable-sized single family home is this part of Orange County.
At $225 per square foot, this ranks as one of the least expensive sections of Irvine on the market currently. Condos and attached townhomes begin at around $275K for 2 beds and 2 baths within a 1050 square foot layout and go up to $430K for 3 beds and 2.5 baths inside of 1,700 square feet.
Single family detached homes can be found for as low as $500K, having 3 beds and 2 baths under the roof of 1,250 square feet and list on the high-end at 1.6M for something with 5 beds and 6 baths inside of 5,700 square feet on a sizable 8,000 square foot lot.
Many of the single family homes in this older district benefit from being on lots that are in excess of 6,000 to 8,000 square feet (and beyond), giving you a fair amount of room for landscaping, a garden, or even a small-sized pool and back patio setup.
Currently, inventory is good in this area with nearly twice as many single family homes available for sale as there are condos and townhomes on the market. If you’re young and looking for a great starter home, this neighborhood is one you’ll want to put high atop your search list when looking for homes in Irvine right now.
Similar to the rest of Irvine, the El Camino Real area includes some of the finest schools in the OC and in the state.
Younger students (grades K through 6) will attend Greentree Elementary School which scores an exceptional 9 out of 10 at Greatschools.org and has a California Academic Performance Index (API) of 907, putting it into the top 10% of all elementary schools in the state.
From there, pre/early teens (grades 7 & 8) will go on to attend Venado Middle School which is again, one of the finest in the county and state with a phenomenal 10 out of 10 score on Greatschools.org and a California API of 939.
Older teenagers (grades 9 through 12) will graduate from Irvine High School, the oldest high school in the area with a fantastic 10 out of 10 rating from Greatschools.org and an API of 877.
Basically, if you’re looking for top-notch education for you children, then you can’t go wrong with the El Camino Real area. You’ll also find this to be true for most of Irvine, so decisions about where to live may have to come down to other factors that you’ve penciled into your “must-have” list.
One of the biggest draws in this portion of Irvine is Heritage Park. It’s the largest park in all of Irvine and includes a library, art center, and a world class aquatic facility that is used by the US Olympic Swimming Team for trials. Several Olympians hail from this club/training facility including Amanda Beard, Jason Lezak, and Aaron Piersol.
This part of Irvine is also one of the best for shopping and dining. Locals will be within walking distance to either Orange Tree Square, Arbor Village, or the newly redesigned Heritage Plaza – all with a variety of the best Asian food and markets that South OC has to offer.
Favorite restaurants in the area include:
Residents of this neighborhood are fortunate enough to be minutes away from the Tustin/Irvine Marketplace (just over the 5 freeway to the north east) where you can find anything you could possibly need for your home or personal entertainment needs in places such as:
There is also a veritable smorgasbord of grocery shopping in the Heritage Plaza center with not only a Ralphs, but 2 Asian variety stores – Daiso Japan and Mitsuwa Marketplace, making this one of the most culturally diverse gallerias in the entire city.
With reasonable pricing, great schools, the city’s best park, and shopping/dining without limits, it’s hard to see how this neighborhood wouldn’t be on the short list for your next home purchase.
It’s also close to the freeway and fairly central with regard to other cities in Orange County, making for an easy commute.
One drawback might be that home values in this area tend to be a little less than in other sections of Irvine. That may mean you might only want to consider this neighborhood if you’re in it for the long-haul and not for a short-term investment or stepping-stone property.
Other than that, El Camino Real is a perfect location for families, couples, and singles – old and young alike. It’s all that Irvine was planned and intended to be with tons of benefits right at your fingertips.
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