Since some people got together and decided in advance what Ladera was going to look like at the end, it definitely has a feel different from most ramshackle communities that developed organically (yawn). In addition to your typical swimming pools, clubhouse gyms and playgrounds, of which there are many, the ranch also has a skate park, a water park, a dog park (Picking up on the theme yet, clever girl?) and its own shopping district. Phew! If thats not enough to keep you busy, the close-knit community also offers a plethora of daily activities, specialty classes and weekly events, sometimes as many as 10 or more a day that cover sports, swim safety and stroller jogging. Oh, there are also yoga classes, guitar lessons and skateboarding instruction (you know, for the skate park). Always wanted to learn Spanish? Ladera Ranch is happy to assist. This isnt even close to an exhaustive list.
Ladera Ranch is a unique community tucked above San Juan Capistrano, next to Mission Viejo and Laguna Niguel, and west of Coto De Caza (of the Real Housewives fame). Its also pretty far from traditional freeways (just a toll road nearby), so commutes are long. And those awesome planned communities come with steep HOA fees and seven-figure price tags. The cost of living here hovers around, oh, 183 percent above the average. You read that correctly, sir. Rental properties are certainly more forgiving than buying outright, and there are townhouses, detached homes and two-bedroom apartments aplenty. Sorry, though, theyre still stiffly marked. One silver lining: There are plenty of open condos and homes for rent, so quickly getting into a great space is no problem.
There are neighborhoods of a sort in Ladera Ranch. They are known as villages, and there are nine of them. But while they each boast a somewhat individual style, architecturally speaking, they are generally priced similarly within a range. Most have both condos and single-family homes available, but a few have either/or.
Covenant Hills Village: The most expensive and newest neighborhood at the Ranch, its also the only gated one. Homes begin at the low seven figures and skyrocket upwards.$$$$$
Flintridge and Oak Knoll:Both of these northern neighborhoods have detached homes only, with no available condos or apartments.$$$
Township Village:Itty bitty, with only three internal neighborhoods, Township is the smallest. Its made up mostly of condos and apartment homes of varying sizes.$$
Wycliff Village: Small and boasting almost all condos, Wycliff is another more affordable option that comes with nearly the same square footage and privacy as a detached home.$$
Terramor, Echo Ridge, Avendale and Bridgepark: They are interchangeable, really. These communities have homes, townhomes and condos, and they offer easy access to tennis courts, spas and parks.$$$
Ladera Ranch is clearly a paradise for parents eager to raise their children in a protective and entertaining space geared specifically towards their needs. They even have roundabouts instead of stop signs and regular intersections for added safety. Its a beautifully planned play land for families, and if you have the funds and the offspring, you should definitely settle in immediately.