A Planned Community Success Story: Aliso Viejo
Spanish for “Old Sycamore”, Aliso Viejo is a small city located within the San Joaquin Valley in Orange County. With a population of just over 52,000 as of 2020, Aliso Viejo is Orange County’s 34th city and the 1st city to be incorporated since the year 2000. The city is a planned community, the land originally belonging to the Moulton Ranch during the turn of the 20th century. Over time, the Moulton family sold portions of the ranch to various owners, the sections surrounding Aliso Viejo becoming Leisure World, Laguna Niguel, and Laguna Hills. Eventually, in 1976, the Mission Viejo Company bought the 6,600 acres that would become Aliso Viejo. In 1979, Orange County approved the master plan for Aliso Viejo — a community of 20,000 homes that would support 50,000 people. A few years later, in March of 1982, the first homes went on the market, and just a few months later in November, the first family moved in.
Now, more than 40 years later, Aliso Viejo is a thriving hotspot, and real estate in Orange County is highly sought after. This year, the median home price in Aliso Viejo is over $900,000, a 25% increase from 2021. Like most cities in the U.S., Aliso Viejo is currently in a seller’s market; approximately 82% of homes are sold above asking price, with an average sale time of just over a week. With housing in high demand and extremely low inventory, prices in the city are expected to continue to increase. As for rentals, the median rent in the city is $2,250, and only 40% of properties in Aliso Viejo are renter-occupied. Residents report that Aliso Viejo is a mixture of urban and suburban areas, with a bustling downtown area in addition to quiet, upscale neighborhoods.
Being a planned community, the city is well known for its fantastic balance between resident workforce and available jobs, as well as a significant number of green spaces and cultural activity. The top employer within the city is United Parcel Service; a number of other successful companies are located in Aliso Viejo, including Sony Interactive Entertainment, Quest Software, QLogic, and Nimbus Data. As part of the community plan, 2,600 acres in the city are dedicated to Orange County as part of the Aliso and wood Canyons Wilderness Park. An additional 800 acres throughout Aliso Viejo are community facilities, recreational areas, schools, and local parks, all managed by the Aliso Viejo Community Association. The most popular schools in the area are Aliso Niguel High School, Capistrano Unified School District, and Saddleback Valley Unified School District. Other points of interest within the city include the Aliso Viejo Library, Aliso Viejo Golf Course, Soka University of America, and the Soka Performing Arts Center.
Whether you’re looking to invest or considering moving, these are three of the most popular and desirable neighborhoods in Aliso Viejo:
Briosa: With a population of under 1,000 in just about one square mile, Briosa is a quieter suburban area in Aliso Viejo known for being a premiere condo community. If you’re looking for an upscale attached housing option, Briosa may be right for you.
La Posada: Similar to Briosa, La Posada is a peaceful and luxurious residential area with the average home having three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Filled with a wide range of architectural styles, residents can find the home that suits their needs.
Quail Creek: Quail Creek has a more urban feel with about 3,000 residents in a half-square-mile area. The average size home in quail creek is a one-bed one-bath. This area also features a number of condo and other attached housing options.
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