"Shouts going out to the city where I venture/It's the city of Placentia/Living your life ain't never been better" - (Kottonmouth Kings)
Located in sunny northern Orange County, where not only the Kottonmouth Kings but also Johnny Richter hails from, Placentia may at first give you the impression it has some rough and rugged rap cred. Not so, as Placentia is a quiet, sleepy suburb filled with schools, parks and yes, drive-thru restaurants. Its well inland from the coast, but beaches arent terribly far away, and mountains are near, too. Most importantly, Disneyland is just a single city border away in Anaheim. Obviously, this city of 50,000 is perfect for families, regardless of the type of music they listen enjoy. And while the high cost of living (this is California after all) may deter some from making their way out here, the nearly limitless list of amenities close by more than make up for that little issue. Plus, who can put a price on happiness? (hell, the happiest place on earth can, and its pretty high). Come here, get a season pass and save some cash in the long run.
Moving to Placetia
Placentia is a hot commodity. Its a bedroom community that puts family first. The city is developing a massive transportation project called the Metrolink, set to finish in 2017. Theyre also building housing units, from single family homes to studios, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments. Peppered all around these abodes are retail shops and businesses. Its an attempt, and a good one, to really revitalize the downtown area. But for now there arent a lot of available homes. If you need to get here in a hurry, you still better plan a few months in advance, or youll be parking it in one of those home-away-from-home hotel suites that are for long-term guests.
Theres also that business with cost of living. Its elevated in Southern California, and it takes some getting used to. In fact, you may live here for years and years and still never get used to it, especially if you travel around the country to compare. Placentias cost of living hovers around 61 percent higher than the nations average, and housing costs are 190 percent higher than the country. Yikes. Make sure youve got a decent, well-paying job waiting for you when you get here (since unemployment is a wee bit high here, too).
Placentia doesnt really have traditional neighborhoods the way some larger cities do. Its a small, close-knit suburban area that has generally the same vibe throughout. There are some areas that offer some notable differences, but the areas surrounding Placentia also offer some unique qualities.
Placentia City Center: This is the best spot for younger folks, couples and the like in Placentia. The downtown area is hip, walkable and fun, and this is where youll find great spots to go out and drink. Vacancies are decent, thanks to students, and there are scads of rentals as well as homes.$$
Atwood:Professionals head immediately for this popular area, which is affluent and quiet, filled with detached-home owners and a few charming walkable areas. This area is better educated with better graduation rates, so if youve got kids, and extra zeroes at the end of your bank account balance, this is the best option. $$$$$
La Jolla: Hit or miss, La Jolla has lots of good stuff going for it, and plenty bad as well. Its a lower income area with higher crime and not so fab schools, but it has a lot of character and great culture. The Mexican food is out of this world, and it helps that 78 percent of the pop here has Mexican ancestry. Oh, and lots of people walk or bike to work.$$
Northeast Anaheim:This Anaheim adjacent district is super cheap, but theres a reason for it. Being close to the happiest place on earth doesnt seem to have much effect, since this area is plagued with crime, bad schools and cheap rents. Skip it. $
Brea: Another sleepy, family-friendly enclave, Brea has a cute downtown area with shops and restaurants and tons of similar-looking homes nestled away into similarly-green streets. Its a little nicer than Placentia, but also very similar. $$$
Anaheim:Have you always dreamed of living close to Disneyland? Well, its certainly doable, but if you value good schools, low crime, quiet, high vacancy rates or independent business, this is not the place for you. Its touristy, kind of a mess and not great for kids, despite its proximity to the nations best amusement park. Its got lots to do and plenty of studios and two bedroom apartments though, so its not unreasonable if you're looking for an affordable rental home.$$
Living in Placentia
Forget what you know about seasons. If youre not relocating from within state, youre in for a bit of a surprise when it comes to weather in SoCal. Sure, youve probably heard about it, or seen in movies or on TV shows that its perpetually perfect. While thats mostly true, the climate does have some differentiation to it. Winter, as many know it, does not precisely exist, but there is a rainy season, and locals call it Ugg Boot season. They usually pair them with shorts. There are dry years and wet years, so it may be Christmas is sunny and 75 degrees one year, and on the next, it will be hailing. Mostly though, the weather's exactly like what you hear. Start stocking up on swimsuits and flip-flops if you're planning a move.
Do you like to do stuff when you're not working? Placentia offers a heaping helping of Leave it to Beaver style fun times for kids, families and young adults. Its not too tame, though, as there are several colleges within a stones throw; thus bars, restaurants and the all-too-famous Bruery are here. Whats a Bruery? Its a brewery founded by a guy named Rue, obviously. And its one of the most popular spots for young folks to hang.
Besides the option of drinking to excess, there are also festivals, a chorus, and an annual photography contest. Dance is pretty big here, both in the form of clubs and performance. And don't forget, Disneyland and all its various attractions are just a few minutes down the highway, plus the Angels Stadium is in Anaheim as well, in case you're a sports nut. Placentia itself may not have absolutely every little entertainment you desire, but you will not have to go far to find it.
Placentia is one of those places that really does deliver on every front. It feels tucked away, safe and smart while being close to more outrageous fun without the two overlapping uncomfortably. Reasonable commutes, excellent weather and friendly inhabitants also help make this place seem like a little Orange County Oasis, just watch out for those home prices, and gas prices, and taxes, and, well, anything that costs money. Its expensive here. Welcome to SoCal.