Brea California City Guide
Researching Brea city? Here is a complete guide with the most up to date information about city of Brea!
Brea City Limits
History: The first European explorers to trek through inland areas of Alta California visited a large canyon on July 29, 1769. The Spanish Portolá expedition’s first visit to the area that would later become Brea, California is labeled with a historical marker.
During the early 19th century, settlement in the area began in earnest to search for petroleum. Abel Stearns, a landowner, sold 1,200 acres of the fledgling village of Olinda to the Union Oil Company of California, which led to oil-drilling towers being constructed across the Brea-Olinda Oil Field.
Olinda and another neighboring village named Randolf merged in the early 1900s and was officially classified as a town under the new title of Brea, which means “oil” or “tar” in Spanish. On February 23, 1917, Brea was formally named the 8th city of Orange County.
With its slogan, “Oil, Oranges, and Opportunity,” Brea’s population grew steadily as the city expanded and became a lively city of 40,000 residents.
Top City Highlights
- Impressive public schools
- Varied nightlife
- Diverse population
- Luxury homes
- Good crime statistics
- Educated population
- High average income
Location: Brea, California consists of 12.1 square miles in Orange County’s northernmost corner. Brea is outlined by unincorporated sections of Orange County, and Los Angeles County is north and east of Brea as well.
Brea’s southern neighbors are Fullerton, Yorba Linda, and Anaheim. Chino Hills State Park defines the city’s eastern and northeastern borders. West Covina, Pomona, and Chino are north of Brea, while La Habra is directly west of the city.
Brea is about 30 miles northeast of Long Beach. The city is also situated 33 miles southeast of Los Angeles, California and is a short distance west of Chino Hills State Park.
Commutes: The mean commute time for residents 25 years and over in Brea is 31.9 minutes, which is about average when it comes to commuting in California.
Brea benefits from having Orange Freeway bisect the city laterally through its center. Imperial Highway also runs through the city’s southern areas, and Carbon Canyon Road is another roadway that curve city’s eastern sections. California 91 is a short distance south of the city, and Interstate 5 is found southwest of Brea.
It takes about 45 minutes to reach Los Angeles by car, and John Wayne Airport is about 22 minutes south of Brea.
Culture: Of about 40,000 residents, 51% are female and 49% are male.
33% of residents have some college education or an associate’s degree, while 29% have a bachelor’s degree. Another 18% have a master’s degree or higher, which overall means that the population is considerably educated.
45% of Brea residents are White, 29% are Hispanic, and another 21% of the population is Asian. 2% of residents are African American, and 3% are biracial or multiracial.
The median household income of Brea residents is about $90K, and the median individual income is $41K. The unemployment rate tracks near 3.8%, and the poverty rate is about 7.3%.
Brea operates under a council-manager system of government, and the city council is comprised of 5 members who are elected to serve for 4 year terms of office.
Specifically, the council includes 3 council members, the mayor, and the mayor pro tem. Additionally, the council elects a city manager and oversees the municipality’s departments.
Address: 1 Civic Center Circle Brea, CA 92821
Brea’s mayor is elected by the city council to serve for a 1 year term of office. Along with a mayor pro tem, the mayor is selected from current city council members.
Working with the city manager, the mayor has a hand in directing the municipality’s government, advising Brea’s departments, and furthering the quality of life for residents.
Address: 1 Civic Center Circle Brea, CA 92821
Chamber of Commerce
The Brea Chamber of Commerce represents the city’s businesses and offers specialized programming and events for members designed to promote prosperity and growth.
The chamber focuses on proactive leadership and involvement by monitoring government legislation, hosting monthly networking events, and publishing multiple resources for businesses and Brea’s community.
Address: # 1 Civic Center Circle Brea, CA 92821
Overview: The Brea-Olinda Unified School District serves the city. This district is highly rated and known for having multiple award-winning schools with impressive teachers and high standards for student success. This district has an average student-teacher ratio of 26 to 1.
Brea-Olinda Unified School District is rated by Niche.com to be Orange County’s #11 best school district based on academic records, diversity, college preparatory programs, clubs and activities, health and safety records, and other important factors. Additionally, this district is known statewide for athletic programming and its ethnically and economically diverse student population.
This district has about 6,000 students across 6 elementary schools, 1 middle school, and 1 high school campus, in addition to a continuation high school. Some of the many great schools in Brea include Olinda Elementary, Mariposa Elementary, Brea Country Hills Elementary, Brea Junior High School, and Brea-Olinda High School.
There are also a considerable number of established private school campuses within Brea’s borders.
Olinda Elementary School is a K-6 Blue Ribbon School with 630 students. 80% of students are proficient in math, and 72% are proficient in reading.
Brea Country Hills Elementary is a California Distinguished K-6 School with about 550 students and impressive teachers.
Mariposa Elementary School is another local campus with 600 students and a student-teacher ratio of 27 to 1.
Known for its diversity, qualified teachers, and solid academic record, Brea Junior High is a California Distinguished campus with 900 students enrolled in grades 7-8.
Col. J.K. Tuffree Middle School is a nearby 7-8 campus that ranks in the top bracket of middle schools in California. This campus has about 750 students and a 25 to 1 student-teacher ratio.
Brea-Olinda High School is a Blue Ribbon School with 1,800 students throughout 9-12. This campus has an average graduation rate of 98% and an average student SAT score of 1230.
El Dorado High School is a highly rated 9-12 campus located in Yorba Linda, California. This campus has excellent college prep programs and an average graduation rate of 98%.
Brea Olinda Friends Christian School is a Christian pre-kindergarten-5 campus with about 230 enrolled students and a student-teacher ratio of 29 to 1.
Christ Lutheran School is a well-rated Lutheran pre-kindergarten-8 campus with an average student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1.
Heritage Oak Private School is a K-8 campus with highly-rated teachers and a record for overall excellence.
Overview: 61% of properties are owner-occupied, and 39% are rented. Typically, 3.3% of properties are vacant.
52.5% of properties were built between 1970-1999, and an impressive 15.8% of properties were built in or after 2000, which means newly built housing can be more easy to find. On the other end of the spectrum, 29% of housing options were built between 1940-1969, and another 2.6% of properties were constructed in or before 1939.
57.1% of properties are single family detached homes, and about 8% of properties are condominiums and attached properties. Another 4% of options are small apartment buildings, and the remaining properties are larger apartment complexes.
Housing size varies a good deal in Brea, seeing as 13.6% of options are 1 bedroom properties, 21.6% are 2 bedroom residences, and 30% are 3 bedroom layouts. Additionally, about 28% of residences have 4 bedrooms, and 4% have 5 or more bedrooms.
Single Family Homes
Generally speaking, single family homes in Brea range above half a million, and it isn’t uncommon for properties with any number of bedrooms to stretch over $1 million.
1-2 bedroom detached homes on average vary from $541K-$595K. Meanwhile, more spacious 3 bedroom homes have an average price of $667K, and 4 bedroom properties can go for $785K and up.
Properties built after the turn of the 21st century in Brea make up a respectable number of housing options in the city, and newly constructed options can be considerably expensive.
Specifically, recently constructed properties consisting of about 2,200 square feet can range from $760K to $1.2 million. More expensive new housing can be found in eastern neighborhoods.
A 2 bedroom attached condominium in Brea may be priced from $650K-$780K, and larger 3 bedroom options typically range between $670K-$790K.
Meanwhile, certain more spacious and newly built 4-5 bedroom condos in Brea can be found for starting prices of $760K.
Brea residents have an average apartment rent of about $1,630 for a studio layout, and 1 bedroom apartments on average go for $1,800 per month.
2 bedroom layouts with slightly more square footage than 1 bedroom options have an average price of $2,140, and 3 bedroom apartments in the city typically go for $3,500 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 Brea Real Estate Listings by Property Types
List of Brea 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: With a median property value of $730K, Brea’s real estate market is among the most expensive in the United States.
The majority of Brea real estate at 47.5% is worth between $613K-$919K. 15.8% of the market is more expensive and priced between $919K-$1.2 million. Another 5.2% of Brea properties are priced over the $1.2 million mark.
Meanwhile, 11.7% of properties are worth between $490K-$613K, and 8% of properties vary from $368K-$490K. 4.4% of properties range between $123K-$368K, and just 7.4% of real estate is worth under $123K.
Between December 2009 and December 2019, Brea had one of the highest appreciation rates in the country, seeing as real estate appreciated 54.31% during this specified time period. This number annualizes at an average rate of 4.43%, which indicates that purchasing Brea real estate has a high likelihood of being an investment that pays off considerably well.
Things to Do
Overview: Brea is known for its convenient location next to nearby hotspots like Anaheim, Downtown LA, Huntington Beach, and Pomona, but Brea itself has a ton of attractions to keep residents and visitors entertained.
Beyond popular outdoor attractions and reservations like Carbon Canyon Regional Park and Craig Regional Park, Brea is known across Southern California as a retail center. Fans of shopping can browse multiple local malls, outdoor shopping areas, and quality boutiques throughout Brea’s corners.
Then there’s the city’s emphasis on history, culture, and art that is hard to beat. The Children’s Museum at La Habra, Brea Gallery, and Brea Museum and Historical Society are only 3 of the many venues worth visiting in the city.
Local restaurants make it hard to choose where to eat since each offers delicious dishes. Additionally, Brea is well-known for its highly rated night time hotspots and contains many venues that keep the fun going long after the sun has gone down.
Retail & Entertainment
Parks & Recreation
Carbon Canyon Regional Park has 124 acres of redwood trees, sports fields and complexes, play structures, walking trails, and more. Meanwhile, Craig Regional Park has picnicking areas, a rose garden, and a beautiful lake.
Additionally, Powder Canyon is north of the city, and Black Gold Golf Club is found a short distance southeast of Brea.
Brea Mall is known for its high quality stores, wide selection, and great atmosphere. As Brea’s central shopping location, this mall has it all.
Other popular shopping centers around town are Brea Marketplace, Brea Plaza Shopping Center, Brea Union Plaza, and Brea Gateway Center.
Highly rated local boutiques include SUO Boutique, Nutcracker Craft Boutique, and Blue Eyed Girl.
Art & Culture
Brea has a wide range of venues to visit for a culturally enriching or educational outing.
The Children’s Museum at La Habra has many exhibits geared towards younger visitors, and Brea Gallery features local artwork. Meanwhile, Brea Museum and Historical Society showcases Brea’s history with engaging exhibits.
Arboretum Museum, Compasion Trailer, and the Olinda Oil Museum & Trail are other noteworthy locations.
Macallans Public House is a traditional Irish tavern with live music, while Shady Nook is a bar that specializes in games and karaoke.
Hedz Or Tales Sports Bar attracts sports fans from all over, and Group Therapy is a pub with a big personality.
Brea Sky Lounge, NOOC, Cask & Hammer, Yard House, and California Cocktails are other popular venues.
Alza Osteria is a favorite Italian restaurant in Brea, and TAPS Fish House & Brewery serves up fresh seafood.
Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen is a lively and colorful Mexican cantina, and Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern serves up American cuisine that can’t be beat.
Other delicious and highly recommended eateries include D’Vine: A Mediterranean Experience, On The Hook, and Slapfish.
Overview: Brea, California can be divided into 14 separate neighborhoods, including Blackstone, Carbon Canyon, Lambert, and Olinda Ranch.
The neighborhoods in Brea with the most expensive cost of living are found on Brea’s eastern part of the city. The median real estate price in eastern sections of Brea is $814K. To put this number in perspective, this number is more costly than about 72% of California towns and cities and above an estimated 94% of neighborhoods across the United States.
Then there’s Brea’s southern neighborhoods, which are generally more affordable and have an estimated median real estate price of $581,580. This is considerably less expensive, though more pricey than about 54% of other California neighborhoods and 88% of neighborhoods on a national level.
Brea’s northern neighborhoods can be considered the most affordable, seeing as the median real estate price in this corner of the city is just under southern sections’ estimates at $581,534.