Home Ownership Costs in Orange County


Orange County, CA is one of the wealthiest regions in the United States, and with its stretches of beautiful beaches, theme parks and number of major corporations that call OC home, it’s no wonder that so many people are willing to pay a little extra to live there.


If you’re considering making the move yourself, you’ll want to do some research on Orange County’s cost of living and property taxes. It’s also worth exploring Orange County's new construction costs if you’re considering purchasing a new home or looking for personalization options so that your home better matches your lifestyle. If you do your homework well enough though, you might just find that a new construction home in Orange County can be a worthwhile investment.


Cost of Living in Orange County

Orange County is known as a tourist destination. Home to some big-name celebrities, tourist attractions like Disneyland Resort and Knotts Berry Farm, and local OC beaches famous enough to have their own TV series, Orange County has a lot to offer.


That’s probably why so many Californians are willing to pay a premium to live there. On average, Californians have a higher cost of living then the rest of the US, but Orange County cost of living tends to index even higher. This is predominately driven by property costs, which are high even by California standards. While utilities and groceries are on par with the rest of the state, those beachfront estates aren’t cheap, and, there is a constant need for new homes throughout the region.


That said, those looking for more affordable housing in Orange County can find, if they are willing to venture a little of further from the waterfront. Home builders in the Orange County have been focused on bringing in more housing to meet the every growing demand, and while the area strives to maintain a more suburban feel than, say, Los Angeles, its growing popularity means there continues to be shortages on properties, which can drive up property values.


Orange County Property Taxes

It’s no secret, high property values bring high property taxes–and Orange County property taxes are some of the highest around. In 2019, Orange Countians paid roughly 92% more in property taxes than the average American. To be more specific, you’d be looking at an average effective property tax rate of 0.69% and a median annual tax bill of $4,499. 


Don’t think of this as money down the drain, though. Orange County has some of the best public schools in California. Well-funded fire, police, and social services departments help keep Orange County communities clean, safe and as beautiful as the landscape that surrounds them. Whether you’re looking to buy an existing home or thinking about new construction, you can be sure that you’re getting what you pay for.  And if you’re worried about Orange County’s new construction costs, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that they are sometimes even more affordable than existing homes.


New Construction Costs in Orange County

While the idea of a new home in Orange County may seem intimidating, given all the competition, new housing developments are still being built to meet a variety of price points. In particular, new homes in the Irvine area, a master-planned city where convenience has literally been planned into the sidewalks and local businesses, is one place that families can find homes that could fit there budget.


In East Irvine, you’ll find yourself located right next to Orange County Great Park, where you can get city views from 400 feet above when you visit the great balloon attraction. Surprisingly enough, it’s not a hot air balloon. Considered one of the largest tethered helium balloons, its the first of its kind in the United States and is also environmentally safe. Also in East Irvine, you will find the Orange County Great Park, which is home to a beautifully nostalgic, antique carousel with twelve murals, 30 jumping menagerie animals, two chariots and two standing horses.


New construction homes in this area start in the lower $700s, which, while not cheap, are still better than the average price of a home in Orange County, which is almost $810,000. And, home values in the area continue to rise. From 2019 to 2020, home values went up about 8 percent—that’s about 3 percent higher than the expected average, suggesting an investment in a new home in Orange County could the a smart one.


There are a number of reasons to consider a move to Orange County. And more and more people decide every year that a move to the sunny, beach region just makes sense. Ready to call Orange County home? Consider Pulte Homes. With over 70 years of experience and plenty of new homes for sale in premier Orange County cities like Irvine, Pulte Homes can be an excellent partner for designing your new construction home in Orange County.



Contributed to Your Home blog

Looking for more tips, ideas or inspiration? Return Home here.

Published 7.28.2021

Related Posts

12 Steps to Buying a New House

Starting over in a new city can be both exciting and a little terrifying. Here are a few tips that will help you find your next home and get settled into your new city.

Designing a New Home in Sunny Orange County

Learn all about the process and planning for designing a new home in sunny Orange County, California.

Orange County Golf Courses - 5 Must-Visit Links

We've discovered the top Orange County golf courses, best Orange County country clubs, & what you need to know about Orange County weather before you play.