Santa Ana Heights is a community within Orange County zoned for more moderate income families, which provides for less expensive housing than in the coastal neighborhoods of Newport Beach. The moniker of “Heights” refers to the small foothills that the area is set on. This unique residential neighborhood contains some of the most affordable properties in Newport Beach with a variety of options available to potential residents including exceptional single family houses as well as some of the most beautiful condos in the area.
While the eastern portion of the town is well within the city limits of Newport Beach, the rest of the neighborhood is considered to be within Costa Mesa’s “sphere of influence”. The community itself is bordered by John Wayne Airport and Costa Mesa to the north, Upper Newport Bay to the South, Santa Ana Avenue to the West, and the Bayview Terrace area to the East. It situated next to the 55 freeway which serves as the main artery in an out of the area.
Living in Santa Ana Heights Homes
It is well known for its collection of unique and prestigious homes and is surrounded by spectacular scenery, being nestled between the scenic nature preserve of Upper Newport Bay and eclectic, yet trendy Eastside Costa Mesa.
Santa Ana Heights is largely a residential area, with a variety of housing types to suit all types of families that live in within its boundaries. It also neighbors a plethora of extremely diversified shopping, dining, and entertainment sectors on nearly all of its borders.
This is a highly desirable area of Orange County to live in that has a sizable inventory currently. Motivated buyers will absolutely need some assistance sifting through the wealth of listings and learning about what the area has to offer.
How Much Do Santa Ana Heights Homes Cost?
As mentioned above, homes in this are considerably more affordable than those on the coast and in other Newport Beach communities. Buyers in the 6 and 7 figure income brackets alike will all be able to find something that suits their fancy within this splendid slice of the OC.
Condos here are extremely affordable, starting in the low to mid $300K range for 2 beds and 2 baths with anywhere from 950 to 1,300 square feet (depending on location). Single family homes really run the gamut in this area. On the less expensive side of the spectrum, expect prices to run anywhere from $400K for 2 beds and 2 baths with roughly 1,300 square feet to upwards of $1.4M for 5 beds and 5 baths with 3,000 to 4,000 square feet of space.
Lots tend to be larger than other parts of Newport such as in neighborhoods like Harbor View, with the average single family home sitting on anywhere from 4,000 to 8,000 square feet – plenty of space for lush landscaping, a guest house, or even a moderate sized swimming pool.
Whether you’re looking for a starter home or intending to settle the family in for the long haul, Santa Ana Heights has enough affordable options to satisfy your growing family needs for years to come.
Pros and Cons of Living in Santa Ana Heights
This neighborhood, more so than any other in the area is subject to the noise of aircraft departing John Wayne Airport. In an effort to diminish the noise impact most residents endure on a daily basis, the FAA has made some strides in reducing the effect by requiring departing jetliners to curtail takeoff engine thrust until they have flown out over the ocean.
Currently, the city is petitioning the FAA to alter the standard departing flight path of all commercial airlines coming out of John Wayne Airport into a different take off pattern so that jet-related noise can be muffled even further.
Overall, residents of Santa Ana Heights acclimate to the occasional noise (much like residents of neighboring Eastbluff), and report that after living there for a while, it tends to blend into the background.
Notwithstanding the occasional aircraft noise, Santa Ana Heights is characterized by being one of the most diverse, urban settings in all of Orange County.
Residents hailing from the East Coast and Northern California comment that they feel more at home in this part of the OC than any other because it’s one of the few non-master planned communities with almost no tract-like elements.
Santa Ana Heights is home to one of the largest selections of schools in the county. Younger children, grades K through 6 will have access to some of the best schools in the state including:
Mariner’s Elementary School (10 out of 10 on GreatSchools.Org)
Heinz Kaiser Elementary (8 out of 10 on GreatSchools.Org)
Newport Heights Elementary (9 out of 10 on GreatSchools.Org)
Older kids in grades 7 & 8 as well as high-schoolers grades 9 through 12 will attend:
Horace Ensign Intermediate School (8 out of 10 on GreatSchools.Org)
Monte Vista High School (8 out of 10 on GreatSchools.Org)
Newport Harbor High School (8 out of 10 on GreatSchools.Org)
Activities and Dining in Santa Ana Heights?
Shopping, dining, and entertainment are a no-brainer is this ultra-central haven. Within minutes, you can be on the beach, on the Balboa Peninsula, at South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island, The Triangle, or at a number of different theatres, restaurants, and shops that surround you in neighboring Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Santa Ana.
There are also several well maintained neighborhood parks including the serene and spacious Mariners Park/Nature Preserve which host the area’s annual Independence Day Festival.
For those who like to spend their weekends on the links, there are not one, but two championship golf courses to satisfy enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds:
Santa Ana Country Club (private) Newport Beach Golf Course (public) One of the hardest parts of living here is deciding which way to go and what to do each time you leave your driveway with all of the options available to you in the direct vicinity of Santa Ana Heights. Nowhere else in Orange County can you get better access to cheap eats, fine dining, clubs, bars, theaters, malls, and everyday amenities.
Should I Consider Living in Santa Ana Heights?
If you’re looking to live close to the beach and within striking distance of the best that Orange County has to offer, this veritable Mecca will have to be at the forefront of your home search.
Airport noise notwithstanding, this is a pretty cool place to live. There is no denying that it sits in a great central location, local to the best shopping, dining, and entertainment that the area has to offer. It’s also minutes from the beach, has easy access to major freeways, and has a diverse feel that sets it apart from any other community in all of Newport Beach.
With the many housing options available to you, living in Santa Ana Heights won’t have you living paycheck-to-paycheck, always worrying about making each month’s mortgage payment. For those who don’t require an ocean view or living in exclusive, gated enclaves, this area is priced just right with all of the amenities that other, more expensive coastal towns enjoy. Make Santa Ana Heights your first stop when looking for your next home in the Newport Beach area.