Aliso Viejo California City Guide
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Aliso Viejo City Limits
History: In 1842, the Mexican government granted land in present-day Orange County to Juan Avila. Three decades later, Avila’s 26,000 acres were sold to the Moulton family, who named the land Moulton Ranch.
Sections of Moulton Ranch were sold in order to found Leisure World, Laguna Hills, and Laguna Nigual. During 1976, Mission Viejo Company purchased the remaining 6,600 acres of Moulton Ranch, which led to the planned construction of Aliso Viejo.
A total of 2,600 acres were set aside to become the Aliso and Woods Canyons Wilderness Park, and another 800 acres were designated to become recreational land and community facilities.
Orange County approved the project in 1979. Once homes in the master-planned community began to be sold in 1982, Aliso Viejo’s population gradually grew while still remaining classed as an unincorporated community. In 2001, Aliso Viejo became an official city after a special election.
Today, Aliso Viejo is home to about 50,000 residents.
Top City Highlights
- Many local parks
- Great restaurants
- Liberal-leaning population
- Great public schools
- Safe crime statistics
- Lively nightlife
- Diverse population
Location: Aliso Viejo, California is located in Orange County, and the city is situated on the eastern slope of the San Joaquin Hills, a 15 mile mountain range on the Pacific coast.
The city consists of about 7.5 square miles and borders Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park, which makes up Aliso Viejo’s western border.
Notable neighboring residential areas include Laguna Woods and Lake Forest to the north, while Laguna Hills and Mission Viejo are found east of the city. Additionally, Aliso Viejo borders Laguna Niguel to the south. Aliso Viejo is also about 7 miles northeast of Laguna Beach.
Commutes: Aliso Viejo’s residents have an estimated mean travel time of 24.5 minutes, which indicates that on the whole residents enjoy short commutes to and from work.
California State Route 72 and San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor run east and west through Aliso Viejo’s center and lead to Interstate 5 right outside of the city’s eastern border. Additionally, Interstate 5 can be accessed a short distance north of Aliso Viejo, while Laguna Canyon Road is directly west of the city.
It takes about 15 minutes to reach Laguna Beach or the Pacific Ocean’s shore from Aliso Viejo, and Los Angeles is roughly an hour drive northwest of Aliso Viejo.
Culture: The city’s population of about 50,000 is 52% female and 47% male.
As for racial background, 60% of residents are White, while 18% are Hispanic. 15% of residents are Asian, and 4% of the population is biracial or multiracial. 2% of the population identifies as African American.
About 30% of Aliso Viejo’s population has some college education or an associate’s degree. Meanwhile, 36% of residents have a bachelor’s degree, and 19% have a master’s degree or above.
Aliso Viejo has an estimated unemployment rate of 3.7% and a poverty rate of 4.6%. The median household income is about $106K, and the median individual income is around $53K.
Aliso Viejo’s operates on a council-manager system of government. Working alongside a city manager, the 5 person city council meets at 7PM on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.
City council members are elected on even-numbered years during state and national elections to serve for staggered terms, which indicates that each election fills 2 or 3 council positions.
Address: 12 Journey, Suite 100, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
The city council annually votes for the next mayor of Aliso Viejo along with the mayor pro-tem to serve beginning January 1st following the election. This means that Aliso Viejo’s mayor and mayor pro-tem only serve for 1 year terms of office. The mayor and mayor pro-tem are selected from sitting council members.
Address: 12 Journey, Suite 100, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Chamber of Commerce
Aliso Viejo Chamber of Commerce was founded in 2012 and is focused on growing and improving as a chamber while also furthering Aliso Viejo’s economic prosperity.
The chamber provides members with opportunities to network with other businesses and leaders in the community to work towards a common goal of helping Aliso Viejo grow.
Address: 92 Argonaut, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Overview: Established in 1972, Capistrano Unified School District is currently Orange County’s 2nd largest school system and the 8th largest in Ohio. This district educates over 54,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade and has an average student-teacher ratio of 27 to 1.
Capistrano Unified School District, or CUSD, encompasses 40 California Distinguished Schools and also includes 11 National Blue Ribbon Schools. This school system has a total of 19 Golden Bell winning programs and many other awards that speak to the district’s overall excellence and record for high student achievement levels.
Keeping in mind that California’s average graduation rate is about 85%, CUSD’s graduation rate is an impressive 97.2%. Each high school in the district is included in U.S. News & World Report’s top 1000 US high school campuses.
Aliso Viejo itself includes 4 elementary schools in CUSD, 2 middle schools, 1 high school, and 3 private schools.
Each K-5 elementary school in Aliso Viejo is a California Distinguished school.
Canyon Vista Elementary has 630 students, 62% of which are proficient in math while 70% are proficient in reading.
Don Juan Avila Elementary has 770 students and a student-teacher ratio of 31 to 1.
About 70% of Oak Grove Elementary School’s students are proficient in math and reading.
Both of Aliso Viejo’s 6-8 grade middle schools are California Distinguished Schools and California Business for Education Excellence Scholar Schools.
Aliso Viejo Middle School has over 1,000 students and a student-teacher ratio of 25 to 1.
Meanwhile, Don Juan Avila Middle School is rated as the #16 top middle school in Orange County and has over 1,200 students.
Aliso Niguel High School is a California Distinguished School and a National Blue Ribbon School. This campus educates about 3,000 students and has a graduation rate of 96%.
Laguna Hills High School is a 9-12 campus just north of Aliso Viejo. This highly-rated school has about 1,600 students and high marks for teacher qualifications, diversity, and college preparatory programs.
VanDamme Academy is a Montessori school in Aliso Viejo. This K-8 campus has a student-teacher ratio of 8 to 1.
St. Mary and All Angels School is a Christian pre-kindergarten-8 campus with a diverse student population and great teachers.
Aliso Viejo Christian School is a K-8 campus with a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1 and about 380 students.
Overview: Out of about 18,660 housing options in Aliso Viejo, around 60% of residences are owner-occupied, while 40% are rented. The vacancy rate is generally estimated to be about 5.7%.
While the majority of housing options in the city at 37% are single family type residences, about 30% of properties are apartment complexes. Meanwhile, another 5% of properties are smaller apartment buildings. At 27%, a sizeable number of options are condominiums and attached properties.
Because Aliso Viejo is a modern planned city that began construction in the later years of the 20th century, 83.8% of housing options were constructed between 1970-1999, while just 1.6% of properties were built between 1940-1969. An impressive 14.2% of housing options broke ground after the turn of the 21st century.
34.3% of residential options have 2 bedrooms, while 12.5% have 1 bedroom. Around 33% of residences have 3 bedrooms, and about 18% of options have 4 or more bedrooms.
Single Family Homes
Since single family homes make up the majority of housing options in the city, there are a wide range of houses available.
A 1 bedroom home in Aliso Viejo averages at $371K, and a 2 bedroom property is commonly priced around $475K. 3 bedroom homes average at $631K, and 4 bedroom houses are priced in the $891K ballpark.
Since 14% of residences were built after 2000, new construction is relatively commonplace in Aliso Viejo.
Newer properties are largely family homes that run on the more expensive side of the price spectrum. Specifically, a new 2 bedroom home may go for $550K, and a recently built 3 bedroom property may be priced around $750K.
Condominiums in Aliso Viejo can be expected to feature classic Californian-style architecture and include modern amenities and open layouts.
A 2 bedroom condo with about 1,000 square feet typically goes for around $450K, though more expensive options can be found. Meanwhile, 3 bedroom condos under 2,000 square feet are generally priced around the $600K mark and vary upwards.
The cost of a studio apartment in the city averages at $1,940 per month. Meanwhile, 1 bedroom layouts average at just under $2,000 per month.
Larger 2 bedroom apartments in Aliso Viejo average at $2,370 per month. Even more spacious 3 bedroom apartment layouts are typically priced just under $3,000 per month.
Homes for Sale
If you’re interested in buying a home in this area, we invite you to search homes for sale on our website. You are also welcome to check out the following resources listed below. If you would rather speak directly to a professional and licensed Realtor, feel free to contact Morales Team.
List of Aliso Viejo Real Estate Listings by Property Types
List of Aliso Viejo Real Estate Listings by Popular Searches
If you’re interested in selling your own property, contact Morales Team, your go-to local real estate company, by clicking the link below:
Overview: The median property value in Aliso Viejo is estimated to be $680K. Although prices aren’t among the most expensive in California, this real estate market is among the most expensive in the United States.
4.5% of the city’s real estate market is worth over $1.1 million, and 13.7% of real estate is priced between $880K-$1.1 million. About 42% of properties in Aliso Viejo range from $587K-$880K. From there, 19.3% of real estate is worth between $470K-$587K, and 13.6% varies from $352K-$470K. 6.8% of properties are worth under $352K.
Between December 2009 and December 2019, real estate in the city appreciated 43.83%. This number breaks down into an average annual appreciation rate of 3.70%, which means Aliso Viejo’s real estate appreciation trends were in the top 20% bracket nationally.
However, current appreciation trends trail 80% of California’s residential areas and can be expected to annualize at 3.05%.
Things to Do
Overview: As a master-planned city, Aliso Viejo was designed to have excellent homes, scenic surroundings, and impressive attractions, so it’s no surprise that there are many ways to have fun in the city.
With over 20 parks and outdoor common areas, Aliso Viejo can entertain avid golfers, bird watchers, hikers, dog owners, and anyone looking to get some fresh air. The city’s amenities include sports fields, picnicking areas, playgrounds, fishing, and so much more.
The city also has a wide range of stores, from stand-alone specialty boutiques to national chains. Beyond conveniently located and well-rated retail options, there are also multiple museums, art galleries, and other unique indoor attractions within a short distance of the city.
Residents also enjoy many highly-rated restaurants and vibrant nightlife spots, so finding a place for a date, family outing, or a new hangout spot is never difficult.
Rain or shine, visitors and residents alike can always find something to enjoy in Aliso Viejo.
Retail & Entertainment
Parks & Recreation
There are multiple city parks like Aliso Viejo Community Park and Canyon View Park that are perfect for a daytime outing. Plus, Aliso Viejo Country Club has an 18-hole golf course.
Additionally, Laguna Niguel Regional Park has lakefront fishing, and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park consists of 4,500 acres of outdoor space known for winding trails, scenic views, and numerous wildlife.
Aliso Viejo Town Center, Laguna Niguel Plaza, and La Paz Shopping Center are popular local malls that cater to a wide range of retail needs.
Another great option just north of the city is Laguna Hills Mall, which also has recognizable chains and great stores.
A few notable local boutiques include Soultique, the Fort, OC Sparkle, and Modern Romance.
Art & Culture
Local art galleries include Ning Zhou Gallery and Westervelt’s Fine Art, and fans of music are welcome to visit Soka Performing Arts Center to snag a ticket to enjoy an outstanding concert.
Aliso Viejo is also located near great museums, including Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Nix Nature Center and California Fire Museum to only name 2 worthwhile options.
Aliso Viejo is known to be an entertaining location for nights out on the town.
Stadium Brew Co. is a popular sports bar with fast service and a wide beer selection. Meanwhile, Rock-It Bar serves up quality happy hour drinks.
Other nearby hotspots include the original Patsy’s Irish Pub, the Karman Bar, Mugs Away Saloon, and Emerald Lounge.
With so many outstanding restaurants to choose from in the city, the real challenge is picking just one place to visit per meal.
For example, Urban Plates is a top-rated New American eatery, while OPAH Seafood Grill serves fresh dishes. Citrus Fresh Grill is known for their delicious Mexican menu, and Mangia Bene Cucina features classic Italian plates.
Overview: Aliso Viejo can be divided up into 41 separate neighborhoods, all of which have relatively good safety ratings and feature Mediterranean-styled architecture and Spanish-inspired homes expected of Orange County. Aliso Park, Canyon Villas, Morningside, Pacific Ridge, Seagate Colony, and Towncenter are several of many recognizable neighborhoods.
The city’s southwestern neighborhoods typically are the most expensive to live in, seeing as the median real estate price is $972. This number classes the city’s southwestern neighborhoods as being more costly than about 82% of California neighborhoods and more high-end than 96.2% of United States neighborhoods.
Central neighborhoods are more affordable, seeing as the median real estate price is estimated to be $642K. However, this number is still above 60% of California towns and cities and more costly than roughly 90% of neighborhoods in the nation.
Aliso Viejo’s southwestern neighborhoods are among the most affordable in the city, seeing as the median real estate price in this area is $472K.