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Moving to Orange County means you will be starting a new adventure in a place with a warm Mediterranean climate that is home to many Fortune 500 companies, some top-rated educational institutions, and 40 miles of coastline. No matter where you are coming from, if you are a fan of TV shows like American Horror Story, The OC, and The Sopranos, you probably already know how the area looks like.

Orange County
Laguna Beach

With sandy beaches, surfing, and plenty of restaurants all around, the answer to Is Orange County a good place to live? it is kind of given. However, to help you figure out the answers to questions like Is it expensive to live in Orange County? and What salary do you need to live in Orange County? We made this guide that can show you exactly why this place is the epitome of California dreaming.

What Are the Things to Know Before Moving to Orange County CA

When you are relocating to a new place, the unknown might give you slight anxiety. To avoid it, go over some basic facts about the OC, and you will see that there is nothing to be scared about:

  • It is located in Southern California, and with 3 million residents, it is the sixth most populous county in the US
  • Its total area is 948 square miles, of which 799 is land while the water spans across 157 miles
  • It is the home to 34 incorporated cities
  • Garden Grove has one of the largest Vietnamese populations in the US
  • There are four master-planned communities in the OC
View of the shore.
Learn some fun and useful facts before relocating.

Is It Expensive to Live in Orange County

When you are relocating abroad, balancing the finances and saving some money can be challenging. One of the first things you will learn when moving internationally is that living in the OC is more affordable than in many countries around the world.

If you are relocating cross country or internationally, make sure you compare your current area with the OC. According to the website BestPlaces, the county is overall more expensive than the national average. However, utility and health costs are lower than the US average.

What Salary Do You Need to Live in Orange County

No matter if you are moving for love or in pursuit of knowledge and a better life, you will still need cash. However, the question is just how much money you will need to earn to live comfortably enough in the OC? The answer to this will depend on your needs, desires, and overall lifestyle. According to the Living Wage Calculator, a family of four, with two working adults and two kids, has to earn around $248,900 annually to have a comfortable lifestyle.

Jar filled with coins.
Money you need will depend on your lifestyle.

What Are the Different Cities You Can Relocate To

Are you wondering where should I move in Orange County? Keep in mind that this is the smallest county by area in Southern CA, but that doesn’t mean that there are no great places you can call home. The most locals reside in one of two coastal valleys:

  • Santa Ana, where cities such as Buena Park, Irvine, and Anaheim are located
  • Saddleback where you can find Mission Viejo, Coto de Caza, and Laguna Woods

The area you choose will solely depend on your needs and desires; however, there are things to consider before buying a house or renting an apartment. That’s why you should take a closer look at some of the best cities and what exactly they can offer you.

Laguna Beach Is a Hot Spot for Local and International Artists

Would you want to stay in a city that is a touristic hot spot and an international artist hub? Laguna Beach blossomed into an art paradise in the early 1920s, and it retains its identity through beautifully designed spots around the city. Additionally, the Art Museum and Pageant of the Masters attract creative folks from all over the globe.

This is one of the best beach towns for expats and newcomers from all over the US because of its diverse natural landscape. When you relocate, you can go to the beach or explore Coast Wilderness Park in all of its 7,000 acres of glory every day. Also, if you are moving with a pet, there will be plenty of open spaces to take them out and enjoy all year round Mediterranean climate. If you are still not convinced that this is the spot for you, take a look at the video below.

Irvine Is One of the Best Places to Raise a Family

Are you relocating with kids in pursuit of a better life? No matter if you are an American or an expat, you should know that Irvine is one of the best places to live with family. Its school district counts more than a few high schools that ranked in Newsweek’s top 1,300 in the US. Also, there are elementary and middle schools you can enroll your children in. Furthermore, those pursuing higher education will have close access to universities such as Merced, Concordia, Westcliff, Paramount, and FIDM.

If excellent education opportunities convince you to choose Irvine, know that more than 53% of residents rent their homes and that the median rent is $2,260. However, if you want to become a homeowner, know that the median home value is $797,100.

Living in Newport Will Make You Feel Like You Are on a Movie Set

Have you ever wondered, is there really the spot depicted in movies and tv shows as a luxurious enclave of multi-million dollar mansions with beautiful folks running around or driving by in pricey cars? The location is real and its called Newport Beach. With its sandy waterfronts, the largest recreational harbor on the West Coast, plenty of restaurants, and high-fashion shopping, it is a paradise for people that dream about the California lifestyle.

Even though this is a city with pricey real estate, those willing to pay a median home price of $1,787,000 will be able to enjoy luxurious amenities and vast entertainment options. However, if you are planning on renting the apartment, be prepared to pay around $2,175 a month.

Coast at the Sunset.
There are plenty of beaches you can relax and enjoy your day.

Is Orange County a Good Place to Live If You Are a Career Chaser

Those looking for a dream job should consider OC as their next destination. After all, it is the area where many Fortune 500 companies can be found. From Ingram Micro, Broadcom, Pacific Life, to Western Digital and First American Corporation. Furthermore, Fortune 1000 companies in OC include Quiksilver, Beckam Coulter, and Apria Healthcare Group. There are also many regional headquarters for international and national businesses in OC. If you want to work for Toyota, Kia, Mazda, or Toshiba, know that they all have employees all over the area.

One of the first things to consider when moving to another county is employment if you are an expat. Don’t hesitate to go online while you are still preparing for the move, and send a few resumes to the companies you would want to work for. If you happen to land a job, don’t hesitate to ask your employer relocation questions regarding your overall moving experience. They might be willing to pay your overseas shipping company to relocate you to the US.


Career chasers can land a job in one of many local and international companies.

How Is OC Connected to the Rest of the World

When you are picking the spot to call home, you might wonder how it is connected with the rest of the country and the world. This is especially important if you have a job that requires constant traveling.

There is John Wayne Airport, located in the unincorporated territory near Costa Mesa and Irvine, for those traveling internationally. Furthermore, locally you can access many places by using Orange County Transportation Authority network. You will have access to almost 80 bus lines and 40 trains that can get you anywhere around the OC. If you want to drive, know that there are three major interstate highways and more than a few state routes that connect the location with Los Angeles in the north and San Diego in the south.

Local areas are well connected with the rest of the state.

What Are the Things You Should Know When Moving Internationally to OC

If you are one of those people wishing to achieve the American dream moving overseas is the first step in the right direction. Start with planning, create a relocation checklist, and figure out the way to handle finances.

One of the most important things you should know when moving across the world is that you shouldn’t do it alone. The best way to avoid relocation stress is to hire an international moving company to provide you with a variety of services. While professionals are taking care of everything from packing your belongings to putting them in storage and then shipping overseas, you can deal with all the changes in your life. Additionally, since OC is well connected with the rest of the county, you should consider hiring an overseas moving company that can provide you with car shipping service so that you can enjoy driving around.

When you don’t have to worry about how car shipping works, you can dedicate yourself to gathering documents needed to travel abroad and preparing for the culture shock that is bound to happen. Furthermore, if you are coming from non-English speaking countries, you should think about breaking the language barrier. Take a look at the following video that can provide you with a few tips and tricks for learning a new language, which will eventually help you fit in faster.

When Moving Abroad Consider This: OC Is a Very Diverse and Accepting Spot

Moving abroad comes with many unknowns, but adapting to a location shouldn’t be that hard if you choose a diverse and accepting spot. Luckily, the US might as well be one of the friendliest countries in the world, making the OC welcoming to everybody as well. This means no matter what corner of the Earth you are coming from, you won’t feel like an intruder. Diversity can be seen in the racial makeup because besides African and Native Americans, there is a significant number of Asian residents followed by Mexicans. Also, you might run into some Vietnamese, Koreans, Cambodians, and Pacific Islanders. Keep in mind that expat communities are strong, and you shouldn’t have a problem reaching out and asking for help during the adaptation period. Also, joining expat groups is a great way of making friends when relocating abroad.

Group of people hugging,
As an expat, you have to do your research if you want to fit in fast.

What Kind of Entertainment Can You Expect in the OC

You are relocating to a sunny, movie-like location where you can find something for everybody. A Mediterranean climate and 42 miles long beaches are a hotspot for surfing, beach volley and sunbathing.

This might not be a top vegan area in the world, but it surely has plenty of restaurants that serve a variety of cuisines that can impress even the pickiest foodies. There are also food festivals such as 626 Night Market, where you can check out some fusion food while listening to music.

If you want to learn about history, you can stop by Mission San Juan Capistrano or Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. On top of it all, if you just want to explore the area, grab a map and go movie sightseeing, because many movies and TV shows are filmed here.

What Are the Activities That Don’t Involve Beaches

Even though the first thing that probably pops into your mind when you think about OC are miles of sandy beaches and surfing, there’s more to the area than that. If you are moving with your family, the first stop should be “The Happiest Place on Earth” or Disneyland. You can, if you want to spend a few days, there book a Disneyland Resort Hotel and have enough time to try every ride at least once. Also, check out Knott’s Berry Farm, a theme park with various rollercoasters and log rides. Those that love hiking should check the loop designed El Moro and bask in the glory of the nature around them. Furthermore, if you are not up for a strenuous physical activity, have a picnic in OC Great Park or visit one of many art galleries.

Amusement park.
You can check out Disneyland or some other fun spot.

All in All, Is Orange County a Good Place to Live?

When you are considering the OC as your next destination, keep in mind that even though it might be a bit pricier, it comes with excellent job opportunities that can cover your expenses. Not only that, living in this part of California will bring you plenty of entertainment, no matter if you are outdoor enthusiasts, an art lover, or a foodie. Every day spend here can feel as you are playing the leading role in a high budget Hollywood flick, so don’t hesitate, pick up your bags, and head to California, the OC is waiting for you.