Mission Viejo California City Guide
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Mission Viejo City Limits
City Overview: Mission Viejo is a calm and quiet city that isn’t lacking when it comes to modern and urban comforts.
Located in Saddleback Valley, Mission Viejo’s scenery is hard to beat. Lake Mission Viejo and other lakes in the city provide beautiful views, and of course the city is within a short distance of the Pacific Ocean as well.
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, O’Neill Regional Park, and other locations are also right outside of the city, which means that green views and outdoor activities can be enjoyed from any corner of Mission Viejo.
The city is considered a fantastic choice for families, seeing as Niche.com places Mission Viejo in the top bracket of California suburbs to raise a family. Plus, schools in the area are well-rated and listed among some of the best in the state.
Additionally, young professionals are attracted to the city thanks to factors like great job opportunities, a vibrant nightlife scene, and safe crime statistics as well.
Top City Highlights
- Scenic location
- Local golf courses
- Good crime statistics
- Well-rated public schools
- Convenient commutes
- Diverse population
- Welcoming community
Location: Located in Orange County, Mission Viejo is a master-planned city with a total area of 18.1 square miles. Nestled in the Saddleback Valley, the city is situated roughly 70 miles northwest of San Diego and about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
Lake Forest is found northwest of the city, and Trabuco Canyon defines Mission Viejo’s northeastern border. Rancho Santa Margarita and Madera Ranch are found a short distance east of the city. Meanwhile, San Juan Capistrano lies to the south, and Laguna Niguel and Laguna Hills are west of the city.
Commutes: Residents over 25 years of age in Mission Viejo have a mean commute time of 24.7 minutes, which is a little under the expected commute time in the state, notably because convenient roadways can be accessed quickly in Mission Viejo.
Residents benefit from having Interstate 5 and California State Route 73 curve through Mission Viejo’s southwestern area. Ortega Highway is a short drive south of Mission Viejo, and Foothill Transportation Corridor can be accessed in the city’s northern corner. Interstate 405 is a short distance northwest of the city as well.
It takes about 35 minutes to reach Santa Ana from the city and 30 minutes to reach Laguna Beach.
Culture: Mission Viejo’s population sits at around 96,000. 51% of residents are female, and 49% are male.
67% of the population is White, and 17% is Hispanic. 10% of residents are Asian, 4% and are multiracial or biracial. Additionally, 1% of residents are African American.
32% of the population has some college education or an associate’s degree. 31% of residents have a bachelor’s degree, and another 16% have a master’s degree or above.
The median household income is estimated to be $108K, and the median individual income is about $42K. The poverty rate sits at 4.9%, and the unemployment rate tracks around 3.6%.
Mission Viejo operates under a council-manager system of government that places legislative power in the hands of a 5-person city council. Council members are elected at-large to serve for staggered 4-year terms of office.
The city council meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month in the Council Chamber at 6PM.
Address: 200 Civic Center Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Under the city’s council-manager form of government, the council elects a mayor and a mayor pro tem to serve for 1 year terms of office.
The mayor of Mission Viejo has equal legislative power as the city council. Additionally, the mayor acts as the city’s ceremonial leader and serves as the presiding officer of all city council meetings.
Address: 200 Civic Center Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Chamber of Commerce
The Mission Viejo Chamber of Commerce began in August 2011 and in a short span of time grew to include more than 200 members. The chamber encourages and promotes businesses in the city in an effort to keep the city’s economy thriving.
The chamber hosts regular networking events, monthly mixers, and more, in addition to being a resource center.
Address: 23052-H Alicia Parkway, Ste 218 Mission Viejo, CA 92692
Overview: Mission Viejo is serviced by Saddleback Valley Unified School District, a highly-rated school system that is ranked to be Orange County’s 9th best school system by Niche.com. Around 28,000 students attend campuses in Saddleback Valley Unified School District, and the district’s average student-teacher ratio is 26 to 1.
On a statewide level, Saddleback Valley Unified School District’s athletic programming ranks as #15 out of 487 other districts. This school system also is known for being one of the best to teach in across California, and out of 487 total districts, Niche.com ranks Saddleback Valley Unified School District ranks as #66.
Saddleback Valley Unified School District includes 26 elementary schools, 7 of which are in Mission Viejo’s borders. As for middle school campuses, SVUSD includes 4 intermediate campuses, and 2 such campuses are in the city. Out of 4 high schools in the district, 3 are in Mission Viejo.
There are 7 K-6 elementary schools in the city that are a part of SVUSD, and each early education campus in Mission Viejo has earned an overall A grade from Niche.com based on qualities like student diversity, academic achievement levels, health and safety records, and other such factors that indicate excellence.
La Paz Intermediate School and Los Aliso Intermediate School act as the city’s 2 middle school campuses. SVUSD has 2 other middle schools in the area that are within short commuting distance from Mission Viejo as well.
Overall, middle schools in the area are well-rated among parents, teachers, and students, and campuses have impressive clubs, activities, and student achievement levels.
Saddleback Valley Unified School District has 5 outstanding 9-12 campuses, and 3 of which are based in Mission Viejo.
Mission Viejo High School, Trabuco Hills High School, and Virtual Academy High School all earn high marks based on impressive average graduation rates, high ACT and SAT scores, impactful college preparatory programs, and other such qualities.
Out of 13 total private schools in Mission Viejo and the surrounding area, a number are religious institutions like Heritage Christian School, Mission Viejo Christian School, and Stoneybrooke Christian Schools.
Other local private campuses like Stratford Mission Viejo, Sunflower Montessori School, and Mission Viejo Montessori School have low student-teacher ratios and impressive educational track records.
Overview: Out of an estimated 34,000 residential options in the city, 76.3% of housing is owner-occupied, and 23.7% of properties are rented.
The majority of housing options are single family homes, seeing as 71.5% of residences are this type of property. 12.7% of options in Mission Viejo are condominiums and attached properties, and 12% of properties are apartment complexes. Just 3.8% of residences are smaller apartment buildings.
As for age, 83.2% of properties were constructed between 1970-1999, and 12.4% of residences were built between 1940-1969. Just 0.3% of options were built in or before 1939, which leaves around 4% of options being built in 2000 or later years.
To give an idea of property size, 36% of options have 3 bedrooms, and 28.7% have 4 bedrooms. 7.4% of properties have 5 or more bedrooms, and 20.8% have 2 bedrooms, which means 7.1% of housing options have 1 bedroom.
Single Family Homes
The average price of a 1 bedroom detached home in Mission Viejo is $373K, and 2 bedroom family houses jump to having an average price point of $536K.
Additionally, 3 bedroom properties are the most common in the city and have an average price of $705K. Meanwhile, other 4 bedroom properties average around the $885K mark.
Newly built homes in Mission Viejo are small in number and have high price points relative to local trends.
A 2 bedroom property that was recently built can be expected to be priced between $700K-$865K, and more luxurious options stretch to higher prices. Larger new homes with 3-4 bedrooms commonly can be found for prices above $1.1 million.
1-2 bedroom condos in Mission Viejo vary greatly in terms of price points. Some condos are priced around $600K-$750K, while others can be found for around $800K and up.
Larger 3-4 bedroom condos similarly range greatly around $800K, though properties can also be found for smaller sums.
Prices largely depend on location, property age, amenities, and similar variables.
A studio apartment in the city has an average cost of $1,651 per month, and 1 bedroom apartment layouts average only slightly higher at $1,835 per month.
2 bedroom apartments in Mission Viejo have an average monthly rent of $2,237, and larger 3 bedroom apartments average at a monthly rate of $2,725.
Lake Mission Viejo is surrounded by custom housing, waterfront living areas, and impressive condominiums that all enjoy fast access to activities and attractions on the lake.
Waterfront residences with 3 bedrooms can be expected to be priced around $650K-$800K, though larger and more expensive residential options can also be found for price points around $3 million.
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 Mission Viejo Real Estate Listings by Property Types
List of Mission 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 Mission Viejo is about $785K, which doesn’t rank among the highest of medians in the state, but still ranks as one of the highest medians on a national level.
The majority of properties in the city at 51.2% are priced between $607K-$910K, and 22.5% of real estate varies between $910K-$1.2 million. Another 4% of properties are worth over the $1.2 million mark. 11.5% of properties are in lower price ranges, specifically between $485K-$607K. Another 6.9% of real estate varies between $364K-$485K. Less than 3% of Mission Viejo properties are valued under the $364K mark.
As for appreciation rates, real estate in the city appreciated an impressive total of 55.07% between December 2009 and December 2019, which breaks down into an average annual home appreciation rate of 4.48%. This number places Mission Viejo’s appreciation rate as among the highest 10% in the nation.
Things to Do
Overview: Mission Viejo has various shopping venues, excellent local activities, stellar outdoor locations, and much more that residents and visitors alike are welcome to explore.
The Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center has regular community events and a number of areas for recreational use. The city averages at having 2 parks per square mile. Additionally, Mission Viejo has 3 total golf courses, and Lake Mission Viejo is found at the center of the city.
Shoppers have access to great malls and retail spots around town. Plus, Mission Viejo’s art community is strong, seeing as there are multiple playhouses, theaters, art galleries, museums, and other intriguing cultural venues well worth exploring in the city.
Pubs, bars, and lounges can all be found throughout Mission Viejo’s areas, so residents are never far from an entertaining night out. Also, top-rated restaurants and local gems are situated in all corners of Mission Viejo, and this city’s eateries are sure to deliver delicious dishes.
Retail & Entertainment
Parks & Recreation
Lake Mission Viejo has 2 main beaches, Playa del Norte and Playa del Este, alongside more secluded private beaches. These outdoor areas are ideal for barbecues, picnicking, and of course swimming and fishing.
Nineteeners Golf Club, Casta del Sol Golf Course, and Mission Viejo Country Club all have excellent greens, and O’Neill Regional Park is just northeast of the city.
Impressively rated local shopping malls and retail areas include The Shops at Mission Viejo, Market on the Lake Shopping Center, Olympiad Plaza, and Gateway Shopping Center.
There are multiple well-reviewed and frequented local boutiques and stores in Mission Viejo, such as HEAVEN CLOTHES, Callie Girl Boutique, and Evolve.
Plus, there are many other boutiques and shopping malls in neighboring cities.
Art & Culture
California Fire Museum is located right down the street from Saddleback Art League, and Saradipour Art Gallery and American Museum Resources are found near Lake Mission Viejo.
Additionally, Laguna Woods History Center is a short drive from Mission Viejo, as is Orange County Natural History Museum.
There are also great local playhouses like Puppets & Players Theatre and Creative Kids Playhouse.
Pub Thirty Two is a modern venue with various microbrews, and Patsy’s is a casual Irish pub. Mulleady’s Sports Pub & Grill has large TVs that are perfect for catching a game, and Delizie Ristorante & Bar is known for its wide selection.
Other local spots worth checking out include The Rush Bar and Grill, Dublin 4 Gastropub, and Wineworks For Everyone.
No matter what food sounds good, restaurants in Mission Viejo are sure to please.
Piccolino Ristorante and Antonucci’s Italian & Seafood Restaurant both serve Italian dishes on white tablecloths. Meanwhile, Shin Sushi specializes in Japanese cuisine.
Olamendi’s Mission Viejo is a well-rated local Mexican eatery. Hatam Restaurant serves Persian fare, and The Empanada Maker has a tasty Latin America-inspired menu.
Overview: As one of the largest master-planned cities in the United States, Mission Viejo’s layout is intentionally designed to have tree-lined neighborhoods and scenic surroundings.
Northern neighborhoods have a high cost of living, seeing as the median real estate price is about $1 million. This is more expensive than 83% of California neighborhoods and around 96% of neighborhoods on a national level.
Central neighborhoods are more affordable, seeing as these neighborhoods have a median real estate price of $822K. Even so, this is more expensive than 74.2% of California neighborhoods and 94.2% of residential areas across the U.S.
While other neighborhoods are similarly more affordable, the southern corner of Mission Viejo has a notably low cost of living. This area has a median real estate price of $579K, which is more affordable than roughly half of residential areas in the state. That said, this area is still considered to be more costly than 87.4% of neighborhoods nationally.