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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Santa Ana, CA

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As the seat of Orange County California, Santa Ana is busy with the hustle and bustle of business and government. But don't let all that regional responsibility fool you.

Santa Ana is full of fun activities area residents relish in all year through. With L.A. only 40 minutes away and Huntington Beach just 20 minutes away, the region boasts serious pleasure just outside its borders.

Of course when you throw in an excellent education system into the mix, you have the balance of commerce, law and schooling all right in the heart of Santa Ana, making it a great place to live for obvious reasons.

If you are interested in relocating to the California community, browse through this guide and read about everything from regional employment to culture to see if the popular province is where you and your family may want to reside.

Santa Ana Climate

The California community's climate is ideal, with Santa Ana summers and winters both gorgeous times of the year. From June to September, the daily high is 82-degrees and the nightly average is 62-degrees, and from December to March, the daily high is 70-degrees and the nightly average is 48-degrees. With only around 14-inches of precipitation a year, residents rarely get rained out, staying dry and comfortable during all four seasons.

Santa Ana Neighborhoods

As the seat of Orange County, downtown Santa Ana is the place to be. As the area politicians take their places at the Santa Ana Civic Center, the main center of government for both the county and city, laws are made and legislation is upheld in downtown. North of the city center is midtown, where Main Street runs bringing shopping and entertainment close to the business district.

The south end of the city is considered South Coast Metro, a culturally complex community that has direct access to both Los Angeles and San Diego. The upper-middle and middle-class subdivisions are set apart from the rest of Santa Ana, with affluent residents and visitors living and frequenting the eye-catching vicinity.

The Metro East area is made up of mixed-use developments, making the Santa Ana setting a combination of commercial, residential and educational facilities. The Santa Ana Neighborhood Associations is comprised of 64 subdivision alliances that work together to keep the California community a most excellent place to live.

Registering Your Car

Considered a state resident if you register to vote, pay school tuition or file property taxes, the California Division of Motor Vehicles mandates you have a license within 10 days of doing any of the above. After completing an application, new residents must provide proof of name, address and birth date, as well as a social security card to get a California license.

A vision test and $39 fee are also required to retain a permit. Registering your car and receiving California plates can be done by filling out the necessary paperwork and providing proof of insurance. It cost $46 dollars to register your car in the Golden State.

Santa Ana Schools

The Santa Ana Unified School District is made up of 56,000 students and runs on a $499 million annual budget. With 36 elementary, 9 intermediate and 7 high schools, the system sees childrens' education all the way through senior year. The district also has 3 alternative, 1 special and 5 charter schools. The 61 educational sites swanks 4 National Blue Ribbons and 28 California Distinguished Schools acknowledgements.

For a more specialized and religion-based education, students are sent to private elementary schools, and then to Mater Dei High School. After graduation, area students often attend the Santa Ana Community College for university preparation or special career training. California Coast University is also an option for residents who are thinking about getting their associates, bachelor's or master's degree.

Santa Ana Employment

As the Orange County seat, more than 15,000 workers are employed at the local government agency downtown. Other top employers include Ingram Micro, employing 4,000, and the United States Postal Service, employing 2,000. Though the city has a 10.8% unemployment rate, jobs are still available if you search hard enough. Checking with the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce or the Orange County Register classifieds are two great places to start searching for employment in the region.

Living Costs in the City

A median household income of $52,003 and average home price of $260,000 according to CNN Money, makes Santa Ana a reasonably priced region to reside in if you are making enough money. With a 9.4% higher cost-of-living than the state average and a 43.5% higher rate than the national average, Santa Ana is not necessarily an inexpensive place to settle by any means.

A one-bedroom apartment alone can run you anywhere between, $1,300, the lowest, to $3,000, the highest, depending on the location's landscape and luxury. However, if you really wanted to settle in Santa Ana, you can do so with the right paying job and affordable piece of property.

Santa Ana Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to Santa Ana, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in California. Make sure you get estimates from multiple moving services before you commit to hiring any (at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at to get quotes for the following services:

Santa Ana Transportation

L.A. is only 40 minutes away once you jump on the Santa Ana Freeway, I-5, taking locals straight to the stars, figuratively speaking. Garden Grove Freeway, Route 22, is also another main corridor that runs motorists in and out of the city to nearby neighborhoods. If you are not in the mood to drive, ride the Metrolink light rail system around, taking the service to local stops or to L.A. With seven lines and 55 different stations, the railroad gives residents many routes to travel whether they are going to work Monday thru Friday or enjoying a weekend activity.

The Orange County Transportation Authority is another available mode of area transportation. With 591 busses that drive 77 routes in the region, there is no excuse to be late to a red carpet affair. Lastly, John Wayne is not just a famous actor who portrayed a cowboy in so many Hollywood hits, it is also the name of the Santa Ana Airport that flies locals and visitors in and out of the city.

Culture & Contemporary Life

Though hopping on the freeway to Hollywood for a good time is an option, most residents don't even leave the region, finding all the fun they need right at their fingertips. World-class dining, shopping and entertainment are what residents enjoy every season of the year in downtown Santa Ana. From museums, music venues, performing arts centers and theaters, locals are never bored within the regional borders.

Outdoor activities keep residents busy as well with so many grabbing a game of golf or seeing a collegiate sporting competition all year long. Historic French Park and the Santa Ana Zoo are also popular places locals frequent for some fun and exercise. And of course, Newport Beach is but 20 minutes away, making it possible for residents to lather up with suntan lotion and get a great tan.

Santa Ana Relocation Tips

  • Visit Santa Ana and see for yourself why so many vacation in the area, nevertheless call it their home.


  • Take some time to research the Internet to find out where local banks, businesses and shopping centers are located. Knowing the area will make it easier for you to get around when you first arrive.


  • Orange County Volunteers is a great organization to get involved with if you are considering moving to the community. There is no better way to become a local than by lending a helping hand in the area.

Staff Writer  Posted by Staff Writer on April 24, 2013

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