California’s 50 Safest Cities of 2019

SafeWise is happy to release our fifth annual Safest Cities report. Here are the 50 Safest Cities in California for 2019. See if your city made the list.

California saw some big challenges in 2018—and one of our safest cities, Thousand Oaks, went through two major events. This community faced a mass shooting and a devastating wildfire. But it was able to limit both violent and property crime to below state and national averages in 2017, making it our 28th safest California city.

Overall 86% of this year’s safest cities are on the list for the second consecutive year. And Northern California gained one more city this year, to claim 40% of the state’s safest cities—plus the number one city, Danville, is from the north. But Southern California continues to dominate, with 30 of its cities making the list.

The five safest cities in California in 2019 are Danville, Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita, Yorba Linda, and Murrieta.

Take a look at the full list to find out how your city ranks, and whether it’s one of the Golden State’s safest places to live.

California's Safest Cities

Interesting Findings

  • Every city on the list had fewer than two violent crimes per 1,000 people, and 26% saw fewer than one.
  • California’s violent crime rate is slightly higher (4.51) than the national rate of 4.49.
  • At 26.08, the state beats the national property crime rate of 27.11.
  • 92% of cities had lower property crime rates than both state and national averages.
  • Despite lower property crime rates, Californians ranked property crime as their biggest safety concern on our State of Safety survey, with 64% ranking it number one—that’s five points above the national average.
  • 21% of respondents cited personal experience with property crime in the past year, and 16% reported experiencing a violent crime.

California’s Earthquake Fear Factor

Earthquakes were the number two environmental concern of Californians on our State of Safety report60% named quakes their biggest natural disaster fear, coming in behind air quality with 72%.

pie chart showing percentage of cities in northern and southern california

The 50 Safest Cities in California

#1 Danvil

Population45,088 Median Income$152,798 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.35 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)7.83

Danville, California

#2 Irvine

Population: 276,115 Median Income: $95,573 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 0.61 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):13.16

Irvine, California

#3 Rancho Santa Margarita

Population: 49,144 Median Income: $106,939 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 0.65 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 6.67

Rancho Santa Margarita, California

#4 Yorba Linda

Population: 68,889 Median Income:$123,962 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000):0.65 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):10.36

Yucaipa, California

Population68,889Median Income$123,962Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.65Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)10.36

#5 Murrieta

Population113,016 Median Income$80,373 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.71 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)14.00

Murrieta, California

Population113,016Median Income$80,373Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.71Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)14.00

#6 San Ramon

Population76,325 Median Income$142,718 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.73 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)12.76

San Ramon, California

#7 Rancho Palos Verdes

Population 42,563 Median Income$124,552 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000) 0.78 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)10.48

Rancho Palos Verdes, California

#8 Folsom

Population78,155 Median Income$106,718 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.82 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)15.73

Folsom, California

#9 Laguna Niguel

Population65,700Median Income$99,206Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.82Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)8.72

Laguna Niguel, California

#10 Aliso Viejo

Population51,984Median Income$106,353Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.85Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)7.58

Aliso Viejo, California

#11 Chino Hills

Population79,480Median Income$102,746Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.88Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)17.14

Chino Hills, California

#12 Eastvale

Population62,422Median Income$110,685Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.88Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)21.13

Eastvale, California

#13 Lincoln

Population47,741Median Income$78,647Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.92Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)12.67

Lincoln, California

#14 Diamond Bar

Population56,996Median Income$94,531Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)1.00Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)18.30

Diamond Bar, California

#15 Temecula

Population115,220Median Income$87,115Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)1.02Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)22.69

Temecula, California

#16 Rocklin

Population63,735Median Income$91,995Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)1.04Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)17.81

Rocklin, California

#17 Mission Viejo

Population: 96,928 Median Income: $107,988 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.04 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)1: 0.00

Mission Viejo, California

#18 Poway

Population: 50,438 Median Income: $102,338 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000) : 1.15 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000) :11.42

Poway, California

#19 Pleasanton

Population: 84,440 Median Income : $138,269 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.17 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):19.67

Pleasanton, California

#20 Sunnyvale

Population: 154,919 Median Income: $118,314 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000) 1.17 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):17.31

Sunnyvale, California

#21 Fountain Valley

Population: 56,704Median Income: $86,602 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.20 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 27.88

Fountain Valley, California

#22 Foster City

Population: 34,808 Median Income: $136,383 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.24 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 10.03

Foster City, California

#23 Oakley

Population: 41,509 Median Income: $89,392 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.25 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000) : 11.78

Oakley, California

#24 Cupertino

Population: 60,970 Median Income: $153,449 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.26 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):15.91

Cupertino, California

#25 Moorpark

Population: 36,813 Median Income: $102,145 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.30 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):9.02

Moorpark, California

#26Central Marin

Population: 35,060 Median Income:$104,703 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.31 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 25.44

Central Marin, California

#27 Corona

Population: 169,164 Median Income: $73,594 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.32 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):19.49

Corona, California

#28 Thousand Oaks

Population: 129,240 Median Income:$103,793 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.33 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 13.05

Thousand Oaks, California

#29 Palo Alto

Population: 67,441Median Income: $147,537 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.33 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 26.44

Palo Alto, California

#30 Glendale

Population: 202,381Median Income: $58,657 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.35 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):15.41

Glendale, California

#31 Menifee

Population: 90,403Median Income: $60,808 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.36Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 21.81

Menifee, California

#32 Dublin

Population: 62,235Median Income:$138,007 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.37Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 19.20

Dublin, California

#33 Davis

Population: 68,540Median Income: $63,071Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.37Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 23.62

Davis, California

#34 Yucaipa

Population: 53,614Median Income: $58,166Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.38Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 17.29

Yucaipa, California

#35 San Clemente

Population: 65,596Median Income: $101,843Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.39Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 12.38

San Clemente, California

#36 Martinez

Population: 38,619Median Income: $98,102Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.40Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):16.03

Martinez, California

#37 Cypress

Population: 49,064Median Income: $90,345 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000: )1.41Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 14.80

Cypress, California

#38 Newport Beach

Population: 86,910Median Income: $119,379Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.43Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 24.43

Newport Beach, California

#39 Milpitas

Population: 79,503Median Income: $110,752Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.43Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):24.88

Milpitas, California

#40 Simi Valley

Population: 126,635Median Income: $93,516Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.45Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):14.40

Simi Valley, California

#41 Temple City

Population: 36,500Median Income: $69,853Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.48Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):15.12

Temple City, California

#42 Walnut Creek

Population: 69,953Median Income: $86,845Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.50Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):32.94

Walnut Creek, California

#43 Wildomar

Population: 36,683Median Income: $67,510Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.53Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):18.62

Wildomar, California

#44 Orange

Population: 141,130Median Income: $83,500Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.54Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):18.31

Orange, California

#45 Menlo Park

Population: 34,195Median Income: $132,928Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.55Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):19.18

Menlo Park, California

#46 Lake Forest

Population: 84,224Median Income: $93,963Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.58Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):8.99

Lake Forest, California

#47 Camarillo

Population: 67,714Median Income: $92,780Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.58Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):16.04

Camarillo, California

#48 Morgan Hill

Population: 45,277Median Income: $107,161Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.59Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):15.95

Morgan Hill, California

#49 La Quinta

Population: 41,528Median Income: $76,131Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.61Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):28.82

La Quinta, California

#50 Novato

Population:   56,698Median Income:   $89,812Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000):   1.62Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):16.35

Novato, California

How We Determined the Safest Cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

Beyond Safest Cities: What Are the Biggest Safety Concerns in Your State?

Crime statistics are one thing, but do they line up with what people are really worried about when it comes to safety? To find out, SafeWise conducted a nationwide survey. See what the biggest safety concern is in your state—and learn more about what your neighbors are nervous about—in our State of Safety report.

If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email info@safewise.com.

How to Make a Safe Home Anywhere

Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services.

To learn more about the home security options available to you, check out SafeWise’s picks for  Best Home Security Systems.

Didn’t Find Your City in the Top 50?

See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.

Click here to view original article via Safewise

September Activities in Orange County!

Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to!  Here is a list of activities happening throughout Orange County during the month of September! 

Via: Connie Lasley

 

Festival of Arts || Through Sept. 1
The show features the original artwork by 140 award-winning artists from
Orange County.
Time/Place: 650 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach
Contact:  www.foapom.com

Pageant of the Masters || Through Sept. 1
Ninety minutes of tableaux vivants (“living pictures”), incredibly faithful re-
creations of classical and contemporary works of art, with real people
posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces.
Time/Place: 650 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach
Contact:  www.foapom.com

Huntington Beach Concert Band Summer Series || Through Sept. 2
Sundays. Bring out your lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic blankets for this
HB tradition. The HB Concert Band hosts a free eleven-week series
featuring various music groups, like concert bands, Latin bands, and hot
swinging big bands.
Time/Place: 5pm / Thomas Ridley Central Park Bandstand
Contact: 714-891-6856 /  www.hbconcertband.org

Dana Point Concerts in the Park || Through Sept. 12
Sundays. A Spirit Garden will be available to purchase alcoholic drinks with
the proceeds benefiting the 5th Marine Regiment Support Group. BBQ food
items will be for available for purchase and the proceeds will benefit the
Dana Point Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9934.
Time/Place: 3-6pm / Sea Terrace Park: 33501 Niguel Road
Contact: 949-248-3530 /  www.danapoint.org

La Habra Movies in the Park || Through Oct. 12
Join the Recreation staff for an outdoor, family-friendly movie on Friday
nights.  Participants should bring their own lawn chairs and blankets and
can enjoy food vendors and the Bamboo Kids Club. Movies begin at dusk.
Time/Place: See website for schedule.
Contact:  www.lahabracity.com

Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Summer Concert Series || Through Oct. 12
Fridays. Another incredible summer filled with world-class music, fine wine
and dining at the intimate Back Bay Amphitheatre of the Hyatt Regency
Newport Beach.
Time/Place: 7pm / 1107 Jamboree Road
Contact:  http://series.hyattconcerts.com

International Street Fair || Aug. 31-Sept. 2
International foods, crafts, folk dancing and music. Many different ethnic
foods and costume. The Street Fair has become known for the variety of
food reflecting cuisine from around the world. Food, drink, entertainment
and crafts provided.
Time/Place: Fri 5-10pm, Sat & Sun 10am-10pm / Orange Plaza
Contact:  www.orangestreetfair.org

Tall Ships Festival || Sept. 7-9
Live music, art shows and a variety of tasty food. Interactive living-history
encampments including blacksmiths, scrimshaw artists, and the infamous
Port Royal Privateers are sure to entertain and amaze guests of all ages
and are not to be missed. Explore the historic tallships and listen to the
crew share tails of life at sea.
Time/Place: Dana Point Harbor / Ocean Institute
Contact:  www.ocean-institute.org

Friday Fall Flicks || Sept. 7 & 21
Seating is on a grassy field. Bring a blanket or low chair, so you don’t
obstruct viewing. Dress warmly as it may cool down once the sun sets.
Please, no pets, smoking or alcohol. Snacks will be available for purchase.
Time/Place: 7-9pm / Marina Hills Park, Laguna Niguel
Contact: 949-425-5100 /  www.cityoflagunaniguel.org

Dana Point Lobster Fest || Sept. 8
Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club’s Dana Point Lobster Fest. Enjoy
gourmet appetizers, no-host bar, fresh east coast lobster, smoked tri-tip
steak, desserts, live music and dancing.
Time/Place: 4-10pm / Doheny State Beach
Contact:  www.danapointlobsterfest.org

Ballet Repertory Theatre’s Fall Festival || Sept. 8-9
Discover a riveting new contemporary piece by Ballet West Guest
Choreographer Christopher Sellars, enjoy the classic beauty of Swan Lake
Act II, and delight in the exuberance of Expressions, a company creation.
Time/Place: Golden West College Theater, Huntington Beach
Contact: 714-895-8150 /  www.gwctheater.com

Heroes Day Event || Sept. 9
The City of Lake Forest is honoring local heroes who made the ultimate
sacrifice by naming the ball fields at Heroes Park in their honor. The
ceremonies will feature the OCSD Mounted Honor Guard, two OCSD
helicopters and more.
Time/Place: 10am-12pm / Heroes Park
Contact:  www.lakeforestca.gov

Oktoberfest Small Breed Dog Races || Sept. 9-23
Sundays. Come see these small dogs race to the finish line during. Arrive
early and stay for lunch on their dog friendly patio.
Time/Place: 3-4pm / Old World Village, Huntington Beach
Contact: 714-895-8020 /  www.oldworld.ws

Huntington Beach Oktoberfest || Sept. 9-Oct. 28
Every Wednesday through Sunday. Sample Imported German Beers,
Bratwurst, Rotisserie Chicken, Hamburgers, Pork Sandwiches, Strudel,
Pretzels & more.
Time/Place: Old World Festival Hall
Contact:  www.oldworld.ws

Patriot Day Remembrance Ceremony || Sept. 11
Join the City of Rancho Santa Margarita as we pay tribute to those who lost
their lives on September 11, 2001, and observe the National Day of Service
and Remembrance.
Time/Place: 5:30-6pm / Civic Center Plaza, RSM
Contact:  www.cityofrsm.org

Orange County Craft Beer Festival || Sept. 15
This year there will be over 100 breweries serving over 250 craft & import
beers plus awesome food, live entertainment, beer seminars, all at the best
location in Orange County.
Time/Place: 1-4pm / Lake View Park, Orange
Contact:  www.ocbrewhaha.com

Coastal Clean Up Day || Sept. 15
Join us at Doheny to participate in one of the largest volunteer events in the
world as volunteers from up and down the coast join together to remove
trash from our beaches and waterways.
Time/Place: 9am-12pm / Capo Beach Park, Dana Point
Contact:  www.danapointchamber.com

Hometown Heroes Concert || Sept. 15
The concert will be honoring and celebrating La Palma’s own Hometown
Heroes –veterans, active serving military, police and fire personnel for their
tireless service.
Time/Place: 5-7pm / La Palma Central Park
Contact:  www.cityoflapalma.org

Dozynki Harvest Festival || Sept. 15-16
Celebrating Polish culture with food, music dancing and exhibits. Dozynki is
a celebration of thanksgiving after a bountiful harvest that dates back to
16th century Poland. Polish folk dancers in traditional costumes plus
delicious polish food such as freshly prepared stuffed cabbage, traditional
pierogi, authentic Polska Kielbasa and Polish beer.
Time/Place: Pope John Paul II Polish Center, Yorba Linda
Contact: 714-996-8161 /  www.polishcenter.org

Fiestas Patrias Festival and Parade || Sept. 15-16
Celebrates Santa Ana's vibrant Mexican culture with a parade, beer
garden, performers each night, delicious food, vendors, interactive
activities, and exciting carnival rides.
Time/Place: 12-10pm / Santa Ana Civic Stadium
Contact:  www.gandcproductions.com/FiestasPatrias

Balboa Island Carnival/Taste of the Island || Sept. 16
Family Fun, Games, Bungee Jump, Great Food, Pie-Eating Contest, DJ
Music, Wine & Beer Garden, Fashion Walk.
Time/Place: 1-5pm / Marine Avenue
Contact:  www.visitnewportbeach.com

Senior Expo || Sept. 21
Enjoy Life, Be Healthy and Plan for the Future. Raffles, Door Prizes, Health
Screenings, 30+ vendors.
Time/Place: 9am-12pm / 24602 Aliso Creek Road, Laguna Niguel
Contact: 949-425-5151 /  www.cityoflagunaniguel.org

Lions Club Fish Fry & Carnival || Sept. 21-23
Features a parade, carnival, food and car show in Fairview Park. The Fish
Fry is presented to help raise money for local schools, clubs, and other
organizations in the community. Event includes, fish fry, raffle, baby contest
carnival and rides.
Time/Place: Fri 5-9pm, Sat & Sun 12-9pm / Fairview Park, Costa Mesa
Contact:  www.cmnhlions.com

St. NorbertFest || Sept. 21-23
The annual St. Norbertfest (formerly Oktoberfest) continues to grow and
helps to build the parish, school, and the Orange community. There will be
great food, fun games, raffles, exciting rides and awesome entertainment
for everyone.
Time/Place: St. Norbert Catholic Church, Orange
Contact: 714-637-4360 /  www.stnorbertchurch.org

Anaheim Craft and Vintage Fair || Sept. 22
One of a kind handmade items from local crafters. No multi-tiered
marketers. Real art and handmade items! Attention foodies! Food will be
sold, including handmade Eastern European favorites, baked goods and
homemade jam!
Time/Place: 9am-4pm / Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church, Anaheim
Contact: 714-533-6292 /  www.annunciationbyzantine.org

Cruisin’ For A Cure Car Show || Sept. 22
The world’s largest one day car show dedicated to helping find a cure for
Prostate Cancer. Live music, food and vendors.
Time/Place: 6am-4pm / OC Fair and Expo Center, Costa Mesa
Contact: 949-353-7353 /  www.cruisinforacure.com

J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center Annual BBQ and Family Faire || Sept. 22
Traditional family barbecue in a casual setting featuring live country
western entertainment, activities for children, live and silent auctions and
riding demonstrations.
Time/Place: 4pm / 26284 Oso Road, San Juan Capistrano
Contact: 949-240-8441 /  www.sheacenter.org

Irvine Global Village Festival || Sept. 22
Featuring more than 100 performances representing cultures from around
the world; international cuisine; kids’ crafts and activities; cultural and
religious exhibits; and an international marketplace.
Time/Place: 10am-6pm / Orange County Great Park
Contact: 949-724-6606 /  www.irvinefestival.org

Lantern District Classic Car & Motorcycle Show || Sept. 23
This event is free to the public and will feature hundreds of custom and
classic cars, a motorcycle display, awards, great entertainment, food and
more! Come for the cars, stay for the great dining and shopping!
Time/Place: 10am-3pm / Dana Point Lantern District
Contact: 949-496-1555 /  www.danapointchamber.com

Race for the Cure Orange County || Sept. 23
Susan G. Komen Orange County’s signature fundraising event to provide
local breast health services and fund national breast cancer research.
Time/Place: 6:30am-12pm / Fashion Island, Newport Beach
Contact: 714-957-9157 x26 /  www.komenoc.org/race

Ohana Fest || Sept. 28-29
Craft beer, wine, signature cocktails, as well as artisan food options from
local restaurants and food trucks will be available all-day long. Ohana will
donate a portion of proceeds to the San Onofre Parks Foundation.
Time/Place: 12-10pm / Doheny State Beach, Dana Point
Contact:  www.ohanafest.com

Battle of the Bands || Sept. 29
Brian Young and the Blues Band Blues Racket Band. Enjoy food from local
restaurants – included with ticket Sip beer, wine and spirits. Win great
prizes in our raffle Support the Ocean Institute in a silent auction.
Time/Place: 5-9pm / Ocean Institute, Dana Point
Contact:  www.sanddollarguild.org/tickets

Taste of Lake Forest || Sept. 29
The Taste of Lake Forest is a great opportunity for Lake Forest restaurants
to promote their unique cuisine to the local and surrounding communities.
Time/Place: 12-3pm / Foothill Ranch Towne Centre Food Festival
Contact: 949-461-3567 /  www.lakeforestbusiness.com

San Juan Capistrano Greek Festival || Sept. 29-30
Greek food, live Greek music and dancing, shopping at the Greek bazaar,
kid friendly activities and exhibits featuring Byzantine icons and traditional
Greek costumes.
Time/Place: 11am-10pm / SJC Community Center
Contact:  www.sjcgreekfest.org

Orange County Children’s Book Festival || Sept. 30
Authors, illustrators, booksellers, animals, storytellers, costumed
characters, train rides, crafts, food and entertainment and much more.
Time/Place: 9:30am-4pm / Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa
Contact: 714-838-4528 /  www.kidsbookfestival.com

You’re Invited // Legacy Loung & Music Mixer // Corona del Mar

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 8.22.24 AM Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 8.22.35 AM

 

RSVP Here: 

Mix & mingle at our swanky Corona Del Mar office. Experts on asset protection and digitizing photos/videos will share tips on preserving treasured memories and valuable possessions for your lasting legacy. “Unplugged” musical performance by Burden of Groove, including the Realtor-Hostess-Vocalist, Greta Tucker. Refreshments will be served.

For more info please contact Greta Tucker at 949-339-9940 or Greta.Tucker@TheBoutiqueRE.com

What to look for in a Luxury home

via David Glenn

Nothing quite defines the American dream like homeownership, and that’s true for homes of all shapes and sizes. For those of you who want to really invest in your abode, the luxury market might be for you. Luxury homes are currently defined as homes with a multi-million dollar price tag. Though that qualification does not always need to be met if the home is possessed of certain features such as location, amenities, etc. Luxury homes are always homes that are unique and original, and they include amenities such as a Home Theater, private elevators and car lifts, cutting edge technology and more.

What is especially important in the luxury market is the ability to adjust the home to a particular homeowner’s individual needs. There’s a big difference between what’s considered luxury in Los Angeles and in Houston,
and the market responds to that. Many luxury homes are focused on security, with gated entrances, motion detectors, and secure buildings to make homeowners feel safe and secure, as well as grant peace of mind. Aside from practicalities, there are a few standard features that most luxury home buyers look for.

Firstly, location. As with any real estate purchase, location is perhaps the most important consideration. Most luxury homes abide in gated communities or closed buildings, in what are considered elite neighborhoods. Luxury apartment buildings are equipped with incredible views, a full time staff, and concierge service. Luxury homes are equipped with private locations, stunning vistas, and plenty of room to grow.

Depending on where the home is located, outside can be just as important as inside, with decks and pools playing a big part of a luxury lifestyle. Californians are more likely to be drawn to a house with a pool, while New York residents and other city dwellers are more interested in a room with a view.

Quality is also key. Luxury homeowners want quality in everything, from the floors to the walls. Many choose exotic or imported woods and tiles to finish with, and that alone can bump up a price tag. In the kitchen especially, custom cabinetry is a must, and homeowners want the install to be perfect.

Another amenity that appeals to most luxury buyers is a Home Theater. These rooms often come equipped with a large screen, custom lighting and sound, a mini-kitchen or refrigerator, and often a popcorn maker, to lend that movie atmosphere to your home.

Homeowners are also beginning to embrace an entire wet room instead of a simple shower or bathtub. Many of these rooms have multiple shower heads, as well as a place for seating and luxurious flooring. They are considered one of the most popular luxury features, for the relaxation value alone.

Open floor plans are also a must, just like in the suburban real estate market. However, luxury homes often have extremely high ceilings of twenty feet or more, along with the use of counters or cabinetry to separate the living and eating areas. The floor plans are fully customized as well.

Wine cellars are also becoming a more usable space, with room for entertaining and serving guests directly in the cellar itself. This use of smaller space is creative and whimsical, and allows hosts and their guests to be more focused on the current conversation then perhaps they would be in the rest of the home.

There’s also a focus on technology in the home, especially in the kitchen, where smart appliances are quickly gaining popularity. Many homes can be fully synced to a mobile device, like your ipad, that you can use to control everything.

So what’s most important in a luxury home? Real estate always focuses on location first, but after that, most of the requirements are left to homeowner’s individual taste. With the luxury market expanding as it is today, there are no shortages of opportunities to fully customize a home and make it yours. It’s said that “A man’s home is his palace”, and the luxury market provides the chance to make that statement very true indeed.

 

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Top 10 Orange County Beaches | The Boutique Real Estate Group

Written by Melissa Sims

I spend probably half of my year at the beach.  No joke.  We are a family of surfers, scuba divers, spear gun hunters and stand-up paddlers.  Squeezing the amazing beaches of Orange County into a ‘top 10’ is no easy task.  With over 40 named beaches (and I’m sure numerous unnamed), trying to pick the best is like trying to compare wine to beer.  You just can’t…each beach here in the OC has something unique and breathtaking about it. So let’s start south and head our way up.

1.  San Onofre State Beach (my personal favorite)

Located in the southernmost coastal part of Orange County, San Onofre state beach is an old-school surfer mecca.  You will not find any food stands or bike rentals here – this is strictly for the dedicated beach goer, as you have to be in line for parking no later than 6:00am on the weekend in order to find a spot.  They let a limited number of cars in, so if you show up late, you can count on waiting for someone to leave before you get your spot.  Why such a draw?  Well, for starters, you park DIRECTLY in front of the sand.  No sidewalks, no hauling your cart-o-crap.  Just open up the trunk and set up shop. Everyone that comes here respects the beach, and usually respects you (as long as you aren’t THAT guy).  The surfing at San Onofre, affectionately called ‘Old Man’s,’ is smooth, somewhat consistent and perfect for longboarders and beginners (on a small day).  You won’t find a lot of young groms here ripping arials.  It’s an awesome vibe and a clean beach – the San Onofre Surfing Club takes impeccable care of this beach, with hand-built showers and garden walks. Cost to park = $15 (or buy a state park annual pass for $195, good at any state beach).

2.  Doheny State Beach

Located in Dana Point, just south of the harbor, Doheny is notorious for it’s unhealthy water report.  It has gotten cleaner in past years, but still ranks among the ‘bad’ in Orange County.  So why is this beach on our list?  Doheny is the ultimate beach trip – with an awesome snack shack, volleyball courts, barbeques, camping, grassy lawn and promenade with rentals.  Doheny used to have one of the best breaks in Southern California, but once the jetty was built, the shape of the wave changed and it is now known as one of the best beginner spots in Orange County.  In addition, the city of Dana Point puts on some spectacular events at Doheny, including Doheny Days, the Blues Festival and the annual Outrigger Canoe Races.  Even if you don’t get in the water, Doheny is definitely worth a visit.

3.  Salt Creek

Buzzing up the coast, just north of Doheny in Laguna Niguel, is a gem called Salt Creek.  Not the easiest to get to from your car…you have to hike down a very steep hill to get to the beach, so pack lightly.  The trek is worth it – trust me.  With beautiful cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and a view of the Ritz-Carlton high above, you’ll feel like you’ve found a private paradise – except for the crowds.  It can get quite busy here, so head out early.  There is a snack shack and restrooms here, so you really just need the essentials.  Salt Creek is a popular spot for surfers and skim-boarders, and not always the best for swimming.  There is also a grassy park above the beach, for those that just want the view. Metered parking.

4.  Treasure Island, Laguna Beach

Arguably one of the MOST beautiful beaches in Southern California, Treasure Island Beach is located below the famous Montage Resort in Laguna Beach.  Meander along spectacular paths, peppered with California native plants and views of the posh resort.  Take the stairs down to the beach and you will understand why this beach is so special.  Not only is this beach spectacular in its own right, it is also known for it’s protected tidepools.  The Montage Resort offers docents to educate the public on busy weekends and holidays, during low tide.  Metered parking, very limited.

Treasure Island

5.  Crescent Bay, Laguna Beach

I like to pretend this is my little secret, I’ve just let everyone in on it!  Crescent Bay is a beach found in a residential area of Laguna Beach.  It is not easy to park, nor easy to walk to…but locals love this spot for it’s sheer beauty.  Surrounded by cliffs, with mega-mansions to gawk at, this crescent-shaped beach is absolutely stunning.  No sound of trains or traffic…just crashing waves and seagulls and pelicans.  You will spot the occasional dolphin or sea lion, but mostly just sparkling waters and easy-going people.  Beware – the waves can get quite powerful.  Limited metered street parking.

Crescent Beach Laguna

6.  Crystal Cove State Park, Newport Beach

Personally, I’m a state park kind of gal.  I love feeling like I am getting away from the crowds and enjoying the beauty of nature.  If you like that too, you’ll love Crystal Cove.  Surprisingly, this is right off of Coast Highway – but has a huge preserve between the water and the highway, so you’ll never hear any traffic noise.  The park is quite expansive, with 3.2 miles of coastline, offering mountain biking, scuba/skin diving, horseback riding, swimming and surfing.  There is also a campground across the street and primitive camping at Moro Ridge.  In addition, Crystal Cove is home to the famous Beachcomber Café and the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages, available for rent through ReserveAmerica.com. The history of Crystal Cove dates back to the early 1900s, as a favorite spot of the Irvine family and shooting spot for many classic movies.  This is definitely one of Orange County’s best treasures!

Crystal Cove State Beach

7.  Corona Del Mar

‘Big Corona’

A favorite spot for families, Corona del Mar is located just south of the Newport Bay jetty, off of Ocean Blvd. and Breakers Drive.  A huge parking lot and spectacular views bring lots of crowds, but this spot never feels touristy.  This is a great beach for kids because the waves are much calmer than other local spots because of the jetty.  But you’ve been warned – LOTS of kids.  If you aren’t in the mood for that, go to elsewhere.  Parking is $15, and even though this is a state beach, it is run by the City of Newport Beach – so you can’t use the annual parking pass here.

‘Little Corona’

Little Corona is just south of Big Corona, off of Poppy Street.  This is one of the only beaches where you don’t have to walk down stairs to get to the sand.  It is a path entry, making wheeling your equipment down very easy.  It has a public restroom and showers, and is a local favorite for diving and children.  It is flanked on both sides with rocky reefs, so waves are not an issue here.  Snorkeling is another favorite activity here.  Street parking only.

8.  The Wedge, Newport Beach

If you want to see some of the biggest, most mind-boggling waves, go to the Wedge.  On a big day, the surf can reach 30 feet…yes, that’s right.  30 feet!  Not known for swimming, this is mainly for bodyboarding and body surfing, and if the sets are optimal, surfing.  In the winter, this is a major spot for watching some serious talent.  During summer months, from May-October, boards of any type are not allowed so that others can enjoy the water.  Not only good for water-watching, the beach itself is great, and offers amazing sunset views.

9.  Newport Beach

Newport Beach is so spread out that it is hard to feel crowded in once you are on the sand.  With great restaurants and bars close by, you’ll never get bored here.  Rent a beach cruiser in town and experience Newport like the locals do.  All thirteen of Newport’s beaches have been ranked superbly high in cleanliness.  Just beware of major holidays, it can turn into a crowded party scene.  If you want to be closer to the ‘scene’, head over towards 24th street.  If you want to stay away from the crowds, head north, closer to 38th street or Superior.  Parking is a nightmare, and you’ll likely circle for some time trying to find a street spot.  But this is definitely not a beach you want to miss experiencing.  Quintessential Orange County.

Newport Beach

10.  Huntington City Beach

Infamous, or just famous?  With recent press, Huntington Beach is getting a bad rap.  90% of the time, this beach is just like every other beach.  But during major holidays and events, it has been known recently to have a rough crowd.  Located just off Main Street and PCH, Huntington is one of the most recognized beaches in America.  Regardless of some of the recent events here, people still visit in droves to experience Surf City at its finest.  You have the best of everything here – surf, sand, good food and great people watching.  Not only can you walk the pier, you can hop across the highway to some of the hottest party spots in town.  Visit in early August and watch the US Open of Surfing.  This year, promoters are banning alcohol sales and will not have live music – in an effort to bring the focus back to the sport of surfing, and away from partying.  I say, ignore the bad press and give Huntington Beach a chance.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Honorable mention:

Main Beach, Laguna

50% surfing, 50% people watching.  Main beach is located in the busiest part of Laguna, right in the heart of downtown.  There are volleyball and basketball courts right off the highway, and a boardwalk that snakes down the beach.  There are tons of easily accessible restaurants right across the street, so don’t be surprised to see people walking barefoot through downtown in nothing but a bathing suit.  This is probably the most crowded beach in Orange County…sometimes it is hard to see any sand because the beach is so full.  This beach is great for families, as there is a large play area for kids.  Regardless of the crowds, still one of the best beaches in OC.  Park on a side street and you’ll be fine.

So, where will you be heading?

Connect with Melissa Sims at http://TheBoutiqueRE.com/Melissa-Sims or Melissa.Sims@TheBoutiqueRE.com

Laguna Beach | The Boutique Real Estate Group | Chris Kwon

Laguna Beach Lifeguard Tower

Laguna Beach is like no other place in Orange County. Take a moment and soak this in. The landscape, culture, people and the colors (ohhh the colors), makes it even hard to compare even to it’s neighboring cities. Even the scent of the ocean is different. The people of Laguna Beach know what I’m talking about, so this may be a odd concept to picture if you’ve never been here before.

But for those of you that live here and had to narrow down the best thing that this city has to offer, what would it be? Would it be the effect that the cool crisp air has across your skin as you open up the door for the first time in the morning? Or what about the grains of sand in between you toes as you walk along the beach? Maybe it’s the sound of the splashing waves as they hit the shore?

For me Laguna Beach is like a botanical garden. So alive, surrounded by diversity as every element changes so subtly. A collection of organic specimens that thrive and flow freely like a poem in harmony. Nothing ever stays the same but nothing really ever changes either.

So have I done it? Have I lost you in translation? Good, because this is the essence that makes Laguna Beach so unique and abstract. Everything that this city has to offer culminates to understanding this concept. But to understand this, you have to come and experience it for yourself. Your path might be different but you will all end up in the same place. You will understand that magnificence is a word that falls short in describing this city and all that it has to offer.

For a private home tour of Laguna Beach please contact Chris Kwon at Chris.Kwon@TheBoutiqueRE.com

Laguna Beach, Ca