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Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Irvine

Moving to Irvine? This planned community ranks as one of the top ten healthiest cities in America and is a growing, family-friendly city with miles of walkable trails, shopping destinations, and beautiful scenery. If you’re looking for a place to call home, check out these five safe, affordable neighborhoods in Irvine!

Northwood

Modern split level home in Irvine neighborhood of Northwood. Photo provided by Instagram user @reddy.steve.

Photo via @reddy.steve

  • Home Price: $634,894 median purchase price; $1,464 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 63% of Irvine neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

The neighborhood of Northwood is clean, safe, and full of friendly residents. Located a few minutes from Irvine Spectrum Center, Northwood offers residents an urban-suburban feel, with affordable Craftsman and Spanish Revival-style homes dotting the landscape. Highly-rated schools like Santiago Hills Elementary, Sierra Vista Middle School, and Northwood High School also offer excellent educational opportunities for local kids—plus, Northwood offers a large selection of fine arts schools, including the Southland Ballet Academy and Vienna Music Institute.

Things to Do in Northwood

Check out different shops, restaurants, and businesses at Northwood Town Center. Introduce kids to music theory or private music lessons at the Irvine Conservatory of Music. Enroll in one of the many community classes like ballroom dancing or sign your kids up for a youth sports team at Northwood Community Center. Let your kids’ imaginations run wild at Northwood Community Park, more fondly known as Castle Park, where a cinder block castle surrounds the playground area! Bike or walk the 3.5 miles of Jeffery Open Space Trail, which stretches throughout the city of Irvine. Grab Persian and Mediterranean cuisine like Pomegranate Walnut Stew or Soltani Kabob at Caspian. Chow down on dishes like Pork Belly and Scottish Salmon from Mokkoji Shabu Shabu Bar. Head over to Beijing Restaurant for main courses like Shredded Pork with Rice Noodles and Leek Cakes. Or grab a tea like the Taro-fic, Soy Bestie, and Jasmine Green Milk Tea from YOYO Tea Shoppe.

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Oak Creek

Modern split level home in Oak Creek neighborhood of Irvine. Photo by instagram user @shervin.rafii.

Photo via @shervin.rafii

  • Home Price: $610,700 median purchase price; $2,299 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 79% of Irvine neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families

Young professionals and families alike thrive in Oak Creek, a safe neighborhood in Irvine with a warm sense of community and pet-friendly streets featuring Craftsman-style homes. Families have their choice of top-rated public schools like Oak Creek Elementary School, while local college students can attend nearby Irvine Valley College, which offers programs for liberal arts, business, accounting, and more. Residents can also find all kinds of shops, restaurants, and entertainment in and around Oak Creek!

Things to Do in Oak Creek

Book a tee time and try out your swing at Oak Creek Golf Club. Shop for specialty foods like Manassero Candied Green Tomatoes at The Original Manassero Farms. Explore Oak Creek Community Park, which boasts a bustling playground, shady sycamore trees, and access to the Sand Canyon Side Path. Take a walk or bike ride the nearly four miles of the paved Freeway Trail or enjoy more than seven miles of views on the San Diego Creek Trail. Visit Oak Creek Shopping Center to shop at a variety of stores like Gelson’s Market and Massage Heights. Take a sip of a Café Vanilla or a Cookie Butter Iced Latte and order a plate of Coffee Crumble Cake at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Chow down on seafood favorites like the Battered Shrimp Taco Combo or Barramundi Sea Bass at OC Fish Grill. Or head over to The Stand for unique twists on American classics like the Onion Stack burger, 1/4 LB Classic Chili Dog, or a Short Rib Grilled Cheese!

University Park

Contemporary single family home in Irvine neighborhood of University Park. Photo by Instagram user @stellarealty.

Photo via @stellarealty

  • Home Price: $582,867 median purchase price; $1,997 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 83% of Irvine neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families, retirees

University Park may be located close to the bustling University of California-Irvine and Concordia University Irvine, but this neighborhood is a lot quieter than you may think! University Park is surrounded by green space, with the Turtle Rock Preserve and Sand Canyon Wash Loop Trail, as well as University Trail, which stretches the length of William R. Mason Regional Park. In addition, as one of the safest neighborhoods in Irvine, University Park offers access to amazing schools in the award-winning Irvine Unified School District!

Things to Do in University Park

Tour Tanaka Farms, where you can take home a pumpkin in the fall, pick strawberries in the spring, or view Hikari – A Festival of Lights in the winter. Take the kids to Adventure Playground to play in a treehouse, sensory garden, and fort zone. Check out neighborhood camps and classes like Butterfly Ballerinas, skateboarding, and private tennis lessons at the University Community Center. Visit University Park Library, an Orange County public library, for story time events, college preparation, and volunteer opportunities. Order a handcrafted donut like the Maple Glazed or the Glazed French Cruller with Orange at Mag’s Donuts & Bakery. Savor high-quality meat and Korean BBQ with dishes like the Kimchi Stew and Spicy Marinated Bulgogi BBQ at Gogiya 3 BBQ. Devour sushi dishes like the Double Shrimp Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, and the Salmon Roll at Kpop Sushi. Or pick up a Tan-Cha milk tea like a Tiramisu Milk Tea or Thai Milk Tea!

Westpark

  • Home Price: $597,469 median purchase price; $2,327 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 50% of Irvine neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

If you’re looking for a quiet, clean, and safe neighborhood atmosphere, Westpark is a great place to settle down! With plenty of hiking and walking trails nearby, including the multi-season Harvard Side Path, the neighborhood is set up well for residents to enjoy the California outdoors. Community events like the Veterans Day ceremony at 42-acre Bill Barber Memorial Park also bring residents together throughout the year. Of course, there are other things to do in Westpark, too, like shopping at Crossroads Shopping Mall or Westpark Plaza!

Things to Do in Westpark

Join an adult or youth recreation ice hockey league or practice your skills at The Rinks Irvine Inline. Brighten up your home, backyard, or landscape with drought-tolerant plants like agave, aloe, and haworthia from OC Succulents. See a show at the amphitheater or stroll through the gardens of Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park, which also features athletic fields, recreation areas, and playgrounds for kids. Make a playdate and bring the kiddos to Plaza Neighborhood Park, which sports a tractor slide and a pretend farmer’s market! Order breakfast dishes like Buttermilk Pancakes, the Anaheim Panini, and Apple & Banana Overnight Oats from the Corner Bakery Cafe. Try Indian cuisine at Southern Spice, which serves up meals like Andhra Chilli Chicken, Dosa, and South Indian Fish Curry. And don’t forget to hop on over to THE CUT for handcrafted dishes like Poutine, the Bougie Bird Sandwich, and Truffle & Brie Burger.

Woodbridge

  • Home Price: $633,965 median purchase price; $1,927 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 71% of Irvine neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

Named for the wooden bridges crossing the community’s North and South Lakes, Woodbridge is a safe, quiet neighborhood in Irvine that’s great for families. Home to a community garden, multiple parks, and athletic fields, Woodbridge offers several areas for outdoor activities and events. Additionally, Woodbridge is home to exceptional schools, including Eastshore Elementary School, Lakeside Middle School, and Woodbridge High School, which offers 26 individual AP courses.

Things to Do in Woodbridge

Head over to the residents-only North Lake Beach Club and enjoy the barbecue area, sand volleyball pit, or the lake’s walking path. Sign up for a class in drawing, watercolor, or oil paints at Mission: Renaissance. Spend a day at Woodbridge Village Center, which offers a playground, music studio, movie theater, and more. Check out a variety of businesses, eateries, and shops at Alton Square. Join the Needle Arts Club, The Village Book Club, or any of the other Woodbridge Village Association Clubs. Drink a White Peach Mimosa while eating breakfast dishes like Malted Waffles or Ham & Swiss Crepes at Mimi’s Cafe. Visit Southern California and Fountain Valley’s authentic Philly cheesesteak restaurant Philly’s Best, which serves up sandwiches like the Mushroom Steak Philly, Italian Hoagie, and Chicken & Pepper cheesesteaks. Or create your own Korean hot pot with ingredients like Prime NY Steak and Calamari at dPot!

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Moving to Irvine? Extra Space Storage has storage facilities located throughout the Orange County area that can help make your transition easier. Find a self storage unit near you!

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