Northpark is another new section of Irvine east of the 5 freeway developed on what was previously orange groves until the late 90s. When Irvine re-zoned the area for residential development, several upscale communities were slated for the land including the exclusive gated community of Northpark.
Northpark is one of the easternmost areas in Irvine, nestled up against what is now called “Orchard Hills”. It inhabits the section of Irvine surrounded by Jamboree Rd. to the north, Portola Pkwy. to the east, Culver Dr. to the south, and Irvine Blvd. to the west. It is divided nearly in half by the 261 toll road and is mere blocks east of the 5 freeway (map here).
As with other newer neighborhoods in Irvine, the average age of residents in this area is in the mid 30’s, meaning that community makeup tends to be a little younger than other, more established neighborhoods and that there are a good deal of families with school-aged children living here. Families with kids make up nearly 35% of the Northpark housing population, making this one of the more family friendly zones in all of Irvine.
The cultural content of Northpark is a little less diverse than areas like nearby El Camino Real, with over 75% of its residents being of Caucasian and Asian descent. The median income for the area is slightly above the Irvine average at about $100K yearly and a good majority of the homeowners hold 4 year college or graduate degrees.
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.
Irvine master planned communities are divided up accordingly to include a bit of every type of residence. Like the other neighborhoods in town, there are available apartments, condos, townhomes, and single family homes to choose from. Average attached unit (condos & townhomes) values are slightly less than that of the city as a whole coming in at $470K. Median single family home values are also a hair less than the Irvine average hovering around $735K.
Condo-wise, you can currently get 2 beds and 2 baths inside of a spacious 1,400 square foot layout for $460K (on the low-end) and 3 beds and 2.5 baths under the roof of 1,800 square feet for $610K. The polar ends of this spectrum are not too far apart, making this type of property very affordable for many budget levels in this part of Irvine.
Single family homes prices vary considerably more with the least expensive market price coming in at $720K currently for 4 beds, 2.5 baths, and 2,500 square feet, then skyrocketing upwards of $2.3M for a 5 bed, 4.5 bath, 4,400 square foot estate on a quarter acre of land.
If having a detached property inside of Irvine is a must and finances are a bit tight, you might find yourself better served by communities with less pricey single family offerings such as Woodbridge or Westpark. However, if a condo or townhome is right up your alley, then a great deal on a newer structure inside of a safe, gated community can be had by checking out Northpark homes for sale.
Those with families will be glad to know that like all other areas of Irvine, the schools here are impeccable. Just as Lower Peters Canyon, Northpark is under the umbrella of the the Tustin Unified School District and shares the same schools with its neighbor to the northeast
Elementary school-aged kids (grades K to 5) will attend Hicks Canyon, an excellent institution garnering a Greatschools.org rating of 10 out of 10 and a California Academic Performance Index (API) score 939 – meaning that it ranks in the top 10% of all elementary schools in the state.
From 6th grade through 8th grade, pre-teens and teens will attend Orchard Hills junior high school. Another academy with colossal ratings – 9 out of 10 from Greatschools.org and a near-perfect API of 942 (on a scale of 0 to 1,000).
Teens will go on to attend Arnold O. Beckman High School for grades 9 until graduation. It is hailed as one of the more modern and sought after High Schools in South OC, due to its state-of-the-are facilities, high academic achievement, and meticulously kept grounds. Beckman nailed an awesome 9 out of 10 rating from Greatschools.org and scored an 886 on the state API.
Northpark housing is in the fortunate position to be hooked into the nerve center of east Irvine shopping, dining, and entertainment. Connected through the 261 toll road, Jamboree, and Culver drives, it is mere minutes away from the District at Tustin Legacy, the Tustin/Irvine Marketplace, Heritage Plaza, Orchard Hills Village Center, and Northpark Plaza shopping centers.
Everything you would ever need as a consumer and resident in this part of town is available to you inside of a short radius, including stores such as:
Dining options near Northpark are equally impressive in variety and quality. Noted area favorites include:
There’s also 2 theaters in the Tustin/Irvine Marketplace that show new, first-run movies as well as an AMC Cinema in the District at Tustin Legacy that not only shows the most current movies available, but also takes time to hold occasional festivals that showcase some films from Hollywood past.
For those interested in sweating more than sitting, Northpark (being true to its name) shares the spacious and scenic Hicks Canyon Community Park and sports complex with other bordering neighborhoods. This area contains multiple greenbelts and localized play areas with jungle gyms and swings for younger children to jump around and play on.
Fortunately, Northpark in Irvine is one of the least financially stressful gated communities in all of South Orange County. Normally, “gated” means “super-expensive”, but not in this case. Attached homes and single family properties can be had for well under the $700K line and those with more money can indulge in more lavish, estate-style homesteads.
Location is fantastic for commuters (being so close to 2 major OC arteries), the crime index is nearly less than a third of the national average (92.7 compared against 298 for the US on whole), and education for kids is great (not one school with less that a “9” rating from Greatschools.org).
Traveling outside of the city to satisfy you primal needs is a non-issue. There is so much to do in this 2.5 square mile swatch of the Irvine map that you’ll rarely have to leave the northeast side of town.
Given those factors as well as those laid out above, Northpark is one of the better choices for families starting out as well as those who are a little more established. It’s really one of those neighborhoods where you can’t go wrong – where each end of the spectrum is represented as well as everything in between.
Do yourself a favor and on your next home buying expedition make sure to speak with a Northpark realtor. Any home search in Irvine would not be complete without considering homes in this lovely, ever-developing northeastern sector of Irvine.
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