Moving to Mission Viejo

Teetering on the brink of the decision to turn your life towards the sunny side? Mission Viejo, CA might just be the perfect destination and this comprehensive relocation guide is your ticket there. Imagine the cool breezes from Lake Mission Viejo brushing against your face as your eyes soak in the beauty of perfectly manicured landscapes. And who can ignore the promise of a life in a city with one of the highest safety rankings in America? Buckle up, as we embark on an adventurous journey towards a possible life in this captivating Californian city!

Moving to Mission Viejo, CA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Mission Viejo

1. Welcome, Sunshine Lovers!

California is famous for its awesome weather and Mission Viejo is no different. This glorious city gets over 280 sunny days annually, which is way above the national average. Pack your sunglasses, sunscreen, and flip flops because endless summers are part of the deal when you move to Mission Viejo. But don't worry, it's not a scorching sun-and-sweat fest. Even amidst the sun's generous offerings, the weather here remains pleasingly moderate, so you can splash into the community pool without melting!

2. Community that Cares!

The city of Mission Viejo takes their tagline "A City with a Mission" quite seriously. With a diverse network of community programs, volunteer organizations and emergency services, there's a strong sense of care and support here. Expect your weekends to be buzzing with farmers markets, local sports events, and a plethora of outdoor festivities. We promise, you won't be lacking in the neighborly love department.

3. Joy of Historical Places!

Get ready to let your history nerd run wild! Mission Viejo is peppered with historical attractions like the 18th-century Mission San Juan Capistrano and its Serra Chapel, the oldest Spanish Mission in California. Did you know that Mission Viejo was modelled after a Spanish city? Hence the authentic, Spanish mission-style homes and wine tasting tours. So yes, history in Mission Viejo isn't just an event - it's a lifestyle.

4. You'll Love the Great Outdoors!

Surrounded by the gorgeous Saddleback Valley, Mission Viejo has a lot to offer to all you nature lovers. Enjoy boating on the Lake Mission Viejo, a private, recreational body of water surrounded by beach clubs. Isn't that the cherry on top? Offering endless fun from hiking trails to picnic spots, an outdoor enthusiast is likely to fall head-over-heels in love with this place.

5. But Wait, It Has Pink Poodles?

Here's something esoteric - Pink Poodles are kind of a thing in Mission Viejo. No, it's not an exotic breed of dog, but a unique local gardening phenomenon. Keep your eyes peeled for trees daubed in intense shades of pink. This city loves to color its poodles - those round-headed, carefully trimmed trees - with vibrant pink paint to celebrate various events. So, if you're moving in, make sure you get in on the inside joke.

6. Education, Education, Education!

Mission Viejo takes its education seriously. The city's public schools are part of the Capistrano Unified School District, one of the highest-rated districts in the state. If you have a thing for learning, you'd be positively tingling with all the knowledge one can soak up here. They have a community college, public libraries, and plenty of tutoring centers too. Who knew moving to Mission Viejo could be an intellectual journey as well!

So there you have it! A sneak peek in all the brilliantly lovely things you'd want to know about relocating to Mission Viejo, CA. This lovely city is waiting to welcome you, with its serene landscapes, rich history, festive spirit, and of course, its pink poodles! Get ready for a step towards a richer, fuller, and sunnier life in this slice of Californian paradise. See you soon in Mission Viejo!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Mission Viejo

Pros of Living in Mission Viejo

A High Quality of Life

Mission Viejo is well-regarded for its high standard of living. The city boasts a bustling city center, a solid education system, largely regarded as safer compared to other metropolitan areas, and a vibrant social scene with numerous activities for all age groups. Furthermore, the well-kept parks, clean streets, and the aesthetically pleasing environment illustrate the city's commitment to the quality of life.

Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

For those who love outdoor activities, Mission Viejo has a lot to offer. Lake Mission Viejo, a man-made reservoir, is the city's primary recreational facility where residents can enjoy fishing, swimming, and boating. Besides, the city is home to numerous parks, golf courses, and hiking trails that provide ample opportunities for leisure and recreation activities.

Rich Cultural Scene

Mission Viejo features a vibrant and diverse cultural scene that includes the performing and visual arts. Events ranging from art festivals, music concerts, and food festivals occur throughout the year. The city's premier cultural facility, the Saddleback College, frequently hosts a variety of performances and exhibitions, ensuring a rich cultural experience for locals.

Excellent Educational Facilities

Mission Viejo is served by two excellent school districts and is home to Saddleback College, a community college known for excellence. The city places a strong emphasis on education, and the schools in this area have consistently received high ratings for their strong academics and range of programs.

Community-Oriented Atmosphere

The city's special events, community engagement programs, and general civic pride create a community-oriented atmosphere. Residents show a genuine consideration for their neighbors, contributing to the overall collaborative and cohesive community vibe that makes living in Mission Viejo a pleasurable experience.

Cons of Living in Mission Viejo

High Cost of Living

Mission Viejo, like much of California, is considered to have a high cost of living. This is particularly reflected in aspects such as housing, groceries, and transportation, which can be significantly higher when compared to national averages.

Traffic Congestion

Due to the city's size and its proximity to larger metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, traffic congestion can be significant, especially during peak hours. This could add to commute times and overall travel within and around the city.

Limited Nightlife

While the city has an impressive range of daytime recreational and cultural activities, it has less to offer in terms of nightlife. This could be a downside for those seeking a vibrant nightlife scene with a vast variety of bars, clubs, and late-night entertainment options.


Being an attractive place to reside in has its disadvantages, one of them is overcrowding. There can be high competition for resources such as housing and school placements, and a greater likelihood of crowded public spaces and facilities.

Distance from Large Urban Centers

Although proximity to cities like Los Angeles can be considered an advantage, it can also be a drawback. Being approximately an hour's drive from LA, trips to larger urban centers for specific events or needs could be inconvenient or time-consuming depending on traffic conditions.

Modern day picture of Mission Viejo, CA highlighting pros and cons of living in Mission Viejo, CA

Is Mission Viejo a Good Place to Live?

Mission Viejo, CA is a great place to live because of its beautiful landscapes, safety, and excellent school system. It's known for its serene suburban feel, energetic outdoor lifestyle with a plethora of parks, hiking trails and recreational facilities such as the Lake Mission Viejo. Moreover, the sunny weather all year round and the easy access to beaches, mountains, and deserts make it an adventurous hub!

What Is Mission Viejo Famous For?

Home to Saddleback College

One of Mission Viejo's primary draws is Saddleback College, a community college known for its diverse range of programs and vibrant student life. It provides a quality education and serves as a cultural hub for southern Orange County.

Renowned Sports Centers

World-renowned training and competitive facilities like the Marguerite Aquatics Center and the Mission Viejo Country Club call this city home. These places have groomed athletes who have competed on national and international arenas, making the city a significant landmark in the world of sports.

The Great Outdoors

With Lake Mission Viejo at its heart and numerous parks scattered throughout the city, Mission Viejo is known for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities. Boating, fishing, swimming, and hiking are favorite pastimes, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure for residents and visitors alike.

Original California Planned Community

Renowned as one of the largest master-planned communities ever built in the US, Mission Viejo proudly bears its Spanish Mission style with suburban layout. Designed by Donald Bren, the city is a symbol of visionary California suburban culture and was recognized by the Urban Land Institute for its thoughtful design.

Capital building of Mission Viejo, CA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the property tax rate in Mission Viejo, CA is 1.073%, slightly below the state average of 1.14% but relatively high compared to the national average of around 1.07%.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in Mission Viejo, CA is 7.75% as of 2023. This is in line with the California state average and higher than the national average sales tax rate of about 7.12%.

Income Tax

California state income tax, applicable to Mission Viejo residents, ranges from 1% to 13.3% as of 2023. This progressive tax system is higher than the average state income tax rates across the US, which typically range from 0% to 9.5%.

Housing Market

The Mission Viejo, CA housing market outperforms most areas in the US, boasting a median home value of over $712,500, an 8.1% increase over the past year. Conversely, the national median is $227,025, marking Mission Viejo as a premium market. Renters should prepare for a median rent of around $2,800/month, significantly higher than the US median of $1,500. The market health index indicates low risks of a market downturn, suggesting a stable investment for potential buyers. However, affordability remains a challenge due to the high cost of living in Mission Viejo compared to other US regions.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Mission Viejo, CA is relatively high compared to other cities. The overall cost of living index in Mission Viejo is 195.6, higher than the U.S average of 100. This includes categories such as housing, transportation, groceries, and healthcare, among others. This makes it more costly than many other locations in the United States. However, the city also offers excellent public services, quality education, low crime rate and a high standard of living, justifying its higher expense rate.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Mission Viejo, CA, is characterized by its warm, Mediterranean climate which offers residents temperate, sunny weather throughout most of the year. The area enjoys mild winters and warm, dry summers. Summer temperatures typically range from 70-85degF, while winter months see temperatures between 40-60degF. Rainfall is rare in this region, with most precipitation occurring in the winter months averaging in at 14 inches annually. The weather is generally stable, however, the natural disaster risks posed by the local geography include occasional earthquakes and wildfires. Furthermore, being located in Southern California, Mission Viejo can be prone to the seasonal Santa Ana winds, which have the potential to exacerbate fire conditions. Despite these occasional challenges, the consistent sunshine and pleasant weather make Mission Viejo an inviting locale year-round.

Typical weather in Mission Viejo, CA

Economy & Job Market


* Professional, scientific, and technical services

* Health care and social assistance

* Retail trade

* Educational services

* Finance and insurance

Oh, Mission Viejo! A land of palm trees, sunshine, and a constantly evolving economy. Once known for its agriculture business - particularly, walnuts and apricots - Mission Viejo has blossomed into a hub of modern industry over the years. Currently, the city is buoyed by areas such as professional, scientific, and technical services, which is one of the key driving forces of the local economy. Meanwhile, sectors like health care and social assistance are right on its heels. And let's not forget the retail trade, always buzzing with activity and opportunities. From the humble grocery store to the grand fashion outlets - there's always a consumer demand to fulfill. And to round of this wonderful economic symphony, we have the educational services and finance and insurance sectors chipping in efficiently and effectively to the overall economic output.

If you're thinking of joining the workforces in Mission Viejo, you're in for a treat. Strap on your job-hunting boots and let's trot along for some hefty job market insights. The employment rate in this sunny city is fairly robust, with unemployment rates typically below the national average. This gives a nod to a healthy job market and a competitive talent pool. As for industries that are the best bet for jobs, look no further than health care and social assistance (nurses and caregivers are frequently in demand), retail (Hello, consumer paradise!), and education (Because you know what they say about the power of knowledge, right?). But remember, it's still important to consider your own career interests and skills in line with industry trends. So prep up that resume and warm up that interview handshake, because the Mission Viejo job scene awaits you!


Traffic and Transportation

If you're zipping around in Mission Viejo, CA, the typical commute time is a breezy 27.1 minutes - a hair under the national average! But hey, who's counting? If you're more of a "let someone else do the driving" kind of person, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has got your back. From buses to Metrolink trains, getting around is as easy as pie (or a slider on Taco Tuesday). But what if your wings itch to fly in the big blue sky? No problem! John Wayne Airport is just a quick jaunt up the I-405, and it's ready to whisk you away to just about anywhere you want to go. Whether you're road-tripping or jet-setting, getting from Point A to Point B is a breeze in Mission Viejo.

What is the traffic like in Mission Viejo, CA?

Best Neighborhoods in Mission Viejo

1. Pacific Hills

Pacific Hills is a charming neighborhood full of gorgeous homes and plenty of old-world charm. This neighborhood, known for its manicured lawns and picturesque views, has a mix of large single-family homes, charming townhomes, and apartments. The residents take great pride in their community, and it shows in the well-maintained properties and public spaces. The nearby Pacific Hills park is perfect for families with kids or anyone who loves the outdoors.

2. Palmia

Palmia is a vibrant 55+ community that combines the tranquility of suburban living with a healthy dose of social activity. This lovely neighborhood boasts a robust set of amenities, from a beautiful golf course and resort-style pool to an active clubhouse where residents often gather for social events. The well-designed homes are stylish and spacious, perfect for retirees who are down-scaling but do not want to compromise on comfort. With plenty of green spaces and walking trails, it's an ideal location for those who value fitness and outdoor activities.

3. City Plaza

City Plaza is the heart of downtown Mission Viejo and the perfect neighborhood for those who crave a bustling city vibe. You'll find a range of condos right in the center of the action, just a stone throw away from the city's top restaurants, boutiques, and entertainment venues. But it's not just about the city life here; City Plaza also has some lovely green spaces and community parks, making it a versatile choice for many prospective residents.

4. Evergreen Lakeview

Just as its name suggests, Evergreen Lakeview offers stunning lake views and lush greenery, making it one of Mission Viejo's most charming neighborhoods. Located along the eastern tip of Lake Mission Viejo, this neighborhood is a haven for nature lovers. In addition to the beautiful scenery, Evergreen Lakeview has a sense of tranquillity and a closely-knit community that makes it an inviting place to call home. Enjoy lake activities or take tranquil walks along the beautifully maintained pathways.

5. Aegean Heights

Aegean Heights is an excellent pick for families and working professionals seeking a beautiful, community-oriented neighborhood. The houses are perfectly positioned in hilly lands, offering great city views. Highly-rated schools, plenty of recreational amenities, and a strong sense of community make Aegean Heights truly special. The area has plenty of sidewalks and parks, making it perfect for kids, while the adult population will surely enjoy the nearby boutique shopping and restaurants.

In conclusion, Mission Viejo is a city full of character and diversity, offering a variety of neighborhoods to suit every lifestyle. Whether you're seeking a bustling downtown vibe, a serene lakeside retreat, or a tranquil suburban environment, there's a neighborhood for you in Mission Viejo. The charm of this city lies not just in its scenic beauty but in the vibrant communities that make each neighborhood unique and special. Welcome to your new home in Mission Viejo!

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Things to Do

Welcome to sunny Mission Viejo, California - a picturesque paradise, well known for its beautiful residential neighborhoods, impressive Mediterranean climate, and high-end culinary delights! This slice of SoCal is not just about the palm trees and ocean blues; it's laden with plenty of experiences that appeal to residents, both new and old. Here are seven must-try activities if you're settling into a golden retirement, starting your family, or just seeking an adventurous solo move. Grab your adventuring gear or your knack for relaxation, we're about to explore Mission Viejo!

1. Get Lost in O'Neill Regional Park

Sprawling over 4,500 acres, the Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park is a nature enthusiast's haven. You'll get swept away by the astonishing flora and fauna, and the 8-mile Oak Trail Loop offers some of the most breathtaking views of unique sandstone formations, sycamore groves, and countless wildflowers. Not to mention, the park runs various overnight camping programs.

2. Take a Swing at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club

With the stunning backdrop of the Trabuco Creek and lush greens, Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club is a golfer's utopia. Perfect for beginners to professional golfers, the club offers well-manicured courses, excellent amenities, and a fantastic restaurant, O'Neill's Bar & Grill, which is just a perfect way to wind down after an exciting game.

3. Shop at The Shops at Mission Viejo

This premier shopping mall is home to over 150 upscale stores, ranging from fashion boutiques to tech hubs. With ample dining options offering mouthwatering cuisines from around the world, The Shops at Mission Viejo ensures a delightful shopping experience, whether you're shopping for daily necessities or designer brands.

4. Unearth Mission Viejo's History

Did you know that Mission Viejo was the largest master-planned community in the US when it was constructed in the late 60s? Take a walk down history lane by visiting the Mission Viejo Library. Their excellent local history collection is sure to pique your curiosity and enlighten you about your new hometown.

5. Attend a Show at Saddleback College

Get a taste of local culture by attending a show at Saddleback College's McKinney Theatre. From jaw-dropping concerts, inspiring plays to thought-provoking lectures, there's certainly a lot to look forward to in this cosy performing arts venue. Might we add, it's also a perfect space for date night!

6. Paddleboard in Lake Mission Viejo

Not known to many, Lake Mission Viejo hidden within the city, is a perfect spot for those seeking to satisfy their adrenaline cravings. This member-only reservoir is perfect for activities such as fishing, boating, swimming, paddleboarding, and just having a fun and relaxing day under the California sun!

7. Savor Artisanal Breads at The Hidden Bakery

As the name suggests, The Hidden Bakery isn't the easiest to find, but boy, is it worth the hunt! The Hidden Bakery is known for its cheery ambiance, amazing service, and most importantly, its array of must-try fresh baked goods. For a delightful encounter of the taste buds, try their artisanal breads and pastries.

As the sun sinks over the horizons of Mission Viejo, you'll appreciate the city's irresistible charm and a plethora of things to do that makes life here so unique and lively. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventures, performing arts, rich history, or mouth-watering bites, Mission Viejo doesn't fall short of your expectations. Welcome to your new adventure!

Things to do in Mission Viejo, CA?

Find Movers for Your Mission Viejo Relocation

As you plan your thrilling Mission Viejo journey, remember - making a move doesn't need to be stress-filled. Great Guys Moving is your gateway to reliable and affordable moving companies. A simple quote request brings reputed, licensed, and insured moving experts right to your fingertips. Their years of experience guarantee minimal hassle and maximal satisfaction. So, go ahead and foster your beautiful California dream. Don't just move - move with assurance. Fuel your excitement and set your moving experience in motion by requesting a completely free moving quote from Great Guys Moving, your reliable moving companion.

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