Big city living isn’t for everyone–but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.
There’s the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There’s traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing–pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you’re looking at.
But that’s where the suburbs come in–they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.
Of course, not all suburbs of Santa Ana are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…
Here are the 10 best suburbs around Santa Ana for 2018:
- Redondo Beach (Photos | Homes)
- Palos Verdes Estates (Photos | Homes)
- Rancho Palos Verdes (Photos | Homes)
- Rolling Hills Estates (Photos | Homes)
- Newport Beach (Photos | Homes)
- San Marino (Photos | Homes)
- Aliso Viejo (Photos | Homes)
- Rancho Santa Margarita (Photos | Homes)
- Yorba Linda (Photos | Homes)
- Mission Viejo (Photos | Homes)
If you happen to be a resident of Redondo Beach, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.
We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 Santa Ana ‘burbs better than the rest–but first, a bit about our methodology.
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Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the best in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.
How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Santa Ana for 2018
Figuring out the best ‘burbs around Santa Ana was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:
- Low unemployment rate
- High Median household incomes
- Population density (lots of things to do)
- High home values
- A lot of college educated people
- Low poverty
- High rate of insured families
Then we used the newest American Community Survey data (2012-2016) to research each suburb.
FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Santa Ana.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 3,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 100 suburbs to evaluate around Santa Ana.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 100 in each category, where 1 was the ‘best.
Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.
And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the ‘Best Suburb near Santa Ana.’ We’re lookin’ at you, Redondo Beach.
Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.
1. Redondo Beach
Population: 67,664Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Median Home Price: $775,300
Median Income: $103,782
More on Redondo Beach: Real Estate | Data
Redondo Beach is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Santa Ana area. We’ll tell you the good about ‘Awesome Redondo Beach.’
Everyone here is rich; families average $103,782 a year, which is the 12th highest in the Santa Ana region. And only 5.8% are out of work. Homes average more than $775,300 each.
2. Palos Verdes Estates
Population: 13,582Unemployment Rate: 2.0%
Median Home Price: $1,609,500
Median Income: $200,766
More on Palos Verdes Estates: Real Estate | Data
Palos Verdes Estates is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Santa Ana for 2018.
It ranks 1st for incomes in the area and only 3.6% of residents lack insurance, good for 2nd best.
3. Rancho Palos Verdes
Population: 42,412Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Median Home Price: $1,003,300
Median Income: $120,668
More on Rancho Palos Verdes: Real Estate | Data
Here in Rancho Palos Verdes, it’s really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you’ll see in the Santa Ana metro area.
The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.
But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Rancho Palos Verdes.
4. Rolling Hills Estates
Population: 8,206Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Median Home Price: $1,096,400
Median Income: $129,728
More on Rolling Hills Estates: Real Estate | Data
Rolling Hills Estates ranks as the 4th best suburb of Santa Ana for 2018.
You won’t find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Rolling Hills Estates and the schools are some of the best around.
5. Newport Beach
Newport Beach gets kudos for having the 2nd most expensive homes in the Santa Ana area, where houses sell for an average of $1,584,900. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.
6. San Marino
Population: 13,324Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Median Home Price: $1,518,400
Median Income: $139,792
More on San Marino: Real Estate | Data
San Marino is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here’s why.
Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 4.3% which is 3rd best in the area.
According to online reports, San Marino is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Santa Ana area, meaning you need to get in soon.
7. Aliso Viejo
Aliso Viejo schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.
And, it’s only 14.0 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.
8. Rancho Santa Margarita
Population: 49,038Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Median Home Price: $584,000
Median Income: $104,556
More on Rancho Santa Margarita: Real Estate | Data
Rancho Santa Margarita is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.
A solid 5.8% of people lack insurance, good for 13th in the area.
9. Yorba Linda
It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it’s really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.
10. Mission Viejo
This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It’s far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.
Welcome to the Best Santa Ana ‘Burbs of 2018
We said it once and we’ll say it again–life in the big city isn’t for everyone. At least not all the time.
So if you’re hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Santa Ana, but don’t want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.
For more California reading , check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In California
- 10 Safest Places In California
- 10 Worst Places To Live In California
Detailed List Of The Best Santa Ana Suburbs
|2||Palos Verdes Estates||13,582|
|3||Rancho Palos Verdes||42,412|
|4||Rolling Hills Estates||8,206|
|8||Rancho Santa Margarita||49,038|
|11||La Habra Heights||5,406|
|58||San Juan Capistrano||36,006|
|63||Santa Fe Springs||17,436|
|85||South El Monte||20,566|