Anaheim, about 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles, was named by German-American settlers in the mid-1800s – ‘Ana’ after the Santa Ana River and ‘heim,’ which means home. Formerly a wine colony, Anaheim has developed into a thriving, diverse midsize city. Typically associated with Disneyland, Anaheim offers so much more than being home to ‘the happiest place on earth.’ While preserving its rich heritage in the historic Downtown, Anaheim continues to grow – offering new residents a range of lifestyle choices, from lovely large luxury view homes in the eastern foothills to condos amid the booming urban hub.
Located in Orange County, Anaheim is bursting at the seams with fun activities, famous destinations, major sports teams like the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Angels, a comfortable Mediterranean climate, and proximity to all SoCal has to offer. And if you’re looking to enjoy a fun day under the sun on the Pacific, famous beach spots like Long Beach, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach are all within a half-hour drive. From the magic of Disney to the many benefits of a vibrant economy, Anaheim is an easy place to call home!
Living in Anaheim, CA: What to Know Before Moving to Anaheim
Anaheim, located in Orange County, is part of the greater Orange County metro area. With about 355,000 residents, it’s the most populous city in the county and the 10th largest city in California. Conveniently situated between Los Angeles and San Diego, Anaheim offers an attractive blend of prime location, diversity, world-class attractions, and much more in the heart of Southern California.
Pros and Cons of Living in Anaheim
- Weather: It might be a cliché, but Southern California weather is truly hard to beat. And that definitely applies to Anaheim. It’s sunny, gorgeous, and temperate year-round!
- Strong economy: According to the Labor Market Information Division, Orange County’s unemployment rate is only 2.4% to 2.7%, compared to the state average of 3.9%.
- Tons of activities: There’s an endless list of things to do – from Anaheim Convention Center to Disneyland to Downtown Anaheim to Anaheim Packing District to Yorba Regional Park and much more!
- Diversity & lifestyle: Home to a wide variety of ethnicities and cultures, Anaheim is unified by a carefree lifestyle that encapsulates all the elements that make SoCal such a great place to live.
- Coastline & beaches: The city may not be directly along the Pacific Coast, but it offers quick access to top California beaches such as Newport, Long Beach, and Huntington Beach.
- Central location: Need to commute or take a day trip? Anaheim offers super convenient driving times of about 30 minutes or less to Santa Ana, Newport Beach, and L.A.
- High expenses: With a cost of living index of over 152, Anaheim is about 50% more expensive than the US average. However, it’s still lower than Los Angeles’ index of 173.
- Tourist magnet: Living in one of the happiest places in the world comes with a lot of visitors. For example, nearly 19 million tourists make their way to the Magic Kingdom every year.
- Overcrowding: As the most populated city in Orange County, congestion in all its forms is an issue. Traffic, for example, basically comes in two modes: “busy” and “less busy.”
- Crime: Sectors of the city do have high crime rates though this is not true of all parts of Anaheim – there are several safe, highly sought-after suburban areas.
- Property tax: According to the Overview of Property Taxes by smartasset.com, the average county tax rate is 0.684%. The average property tax bill is $1,710 compared to the US average of $2,700.
- Sales tax: The state of California levies a base sales tax rate of 7.25%. Combined with city and county taxes, the Anaheim minimum sales tax rate is 7.75%, a bit lower than the state average of 8.66%.
- State income tax: California currently has ten separate tax brackets, which range from 1% to 13.3%. Your income tax rate depends on your income and filing status (single or married).
The housing market in Anaheim is extremely competitive. According to Redfin’s Anaheim Housing Market Insights, homes tend to sell at 1% above listing price in about 27 days and around 1% lower than listing price in less than 50 days. Sellers typically go into contract after one offer.
As of January 2020, the median home value was $626,512, and the median list price was $619.000. Compared to the United States median home value of $244,000, these prices can be shocking. However, Anaheim offers relatively affordable housing compared to Los Angeles, with a current listing price of $850,000.
About half of Anaheim residents, 49.8%, rent their homes. According to apartmentlist.com’s Apartment List National Rent Report, Anaheim has a median rent price of $1,677 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,154 per month for a two-bedroom apartment. Housing is cheapest in neighborhoods like Northwest Anaheim, West Anaheim, Anaheim Resort, Southwest Anaheim, and Southeast Anaheim.
Cost of Living
According to the Cost of Living in Anaheim by bestplaces.com, Anaheim’s cost of living index is 152.2. This index is quite a bit higher than the nationwide average of 100.
Here are examples of individual costs comparing Anaheim to California’s overall costs: Groceries, 102.5 vs. 105.1; Health, 95.9 vs. 92.4; Housing, 257.1 vs. 239.1; Utilities, 97.4 vs. 102.4; and Transportation, 118 vs. 133.1. The median household income in Anaheim is currently $59,707 annually. This income level is slightly lower than the United States median of approximately $63,000 per year.
Average monthly living expenses in the Anaheim metro area for a family of four include Housing, $1,876; Food, $845; Childcare, $1,331; Transportation, $1,277; Health Care, $890; Other necessities, $1,098; and Taxes, $1,282. A family of two adults and two children will need to earn $8,598 per month or $103,174 per year to live a moderately comfortable lifestyle in Anaheim.
Weather & Natural Disasters
California sun – it’s hard to beat! If you’re looking to escape frigid winters or hellish summer heat, then Anaheim is a great pick. The city experiences a Subtropical Mediterranean climate, which leads to warm winters, hot summers, and little seasonal variation.
During summertime, average temperatures hover between lows of 65°F and highs of 89°F while wintertime typically sees average lows of 47°F and average highs of 71°F. Anaheim receives about 14 inches of rainfall each year, and there’s no snow, which might be a big selling point for some transplants.
When it comes to natural disasters, the main concern is earthquake activity. To prepare yourself for common threats, visit the Emergency Management & Preparedness page.
Economy & Job Market
According to The Orange County Register’s reporting of the St. Louis Fed regional economic indexes, Los Angeles-Orange County ranked as the 6th best-combined economy in the United States. It cinched this ranking with a 4.5% growth rate in 2019, the highest in four years – up from 2.7% in 2018.
As of December 2019, the unemployment rate in Anaheim was only 2.4%. For comparison, the state of California currently has an unemployment rate hovering around 4%. Major industries include tourism, manufacturing, business, retail trade, and health care.
The top 10 major employers in Anaheim are The Walt Disney Company, The Boeing Company, Bank of America, UC Irvine, County of Orange, St Joseph Health, Kaiser Permanente, Albertsons, Target, and Walmart.
To give you a jumpstart on job hunting, here are some helpful online resources: CareerBuilder, CollegeRecruiter, Indeed, LinkedIn, and City of Anaheim Careers. Before you start job shopping, make sure your resume is in tip-top shape and practice your interviewing skills.
Traffic and Transportation
Anaheim is a car-dependent city, so you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the major routes. Seven highways run through the city, including north-south running Orange Freeway, SR 57; east-west running Riverside Freeway, SR 91; north-south running Costa Mesa Freeway, SR 55; the north-south running Eastern Transportation Corridor, SR 241; and the north-south Santa Ana Freeway, I-5. East-west SR 39 and north-south SR 90 serve as regular city surface streets.
Aside from driving your own vehicle, Anaheim has several public transportation options. These include Anaheim Metrolink and Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA); John Wayne Airport, 16 miles south of Anaheim; and Los Angeles International Airport, aka LAX, 34 miles to the west. Of course, as with most parts of SoCal, ridesharing such as Lyft and Uber is super popular.
According to Living in Anaheim Walk Score, Anaheim is currently rated 55 for walking, 37 for transit, and 52 for biking. The most walkable neighborhoods include Anaheim Resort, North Euclid, and The Colony.
As mentioned in the pros and cons, Anaheim traffic comes in two modes: “busy” and “less busy.” According to Patch’s Here’s How L.A.-Orange County Ranks Among Traffic Congestion, drivers in Anaheim lose about 119 hours to delays, 35 gallons of fuel, and an average congestion cost of $2,400 per year. Ouch.
What to Do
When most people think of Anaheim, Disneyland usually comes to mind. Along with being home to the Magic Kingdom, there’s no shortage of fun things to do! Plus, its central location offers an endless variety of activities with short trips to Los Angeles, the Pacific beaches, and much more.
The star attraction is, of course, Disneyland Park. Anaheim GardenWalk is a popular outdoor entertainment and shopping district that’s close to Disney Resort. If you’re looking for some respite from the usual urban attractions, you can stretch your legs, relax, exercise, or just get out in nature at Yorba Regional Park where you’ll find 140 acres of green space, bike paths, four lakes, numerous playgrounds, and more than 400 picnic tables.
Looking for other diversions? Check out Muzeo Museum & Cultural Center, Center Street Promenade, and Medieval Times. Anaheim’s prime location also allows quick access to several popular beach communities like Long Beach and Huntington Beach, both within a 30-minute drive.
Schools and Universities
Overall, Anaheim K–12 public schools rank above average. Several major districts serve the city and include Anaheim Elementary School District, Magnolia Elementary School District, Centralia Elementary School District (CESD), Orange Unified School District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD), and Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD).
Are you looking for top schools in Anaheim? For public education, check out Valencia High School (A+), Bernardo Yorba Middle School (A), Woodsboro Elementary School (A), Esperanza High School (A), and Kraemer Middle School (A). For private schooling, consider Fairmont Preparatory Academy (A+), Cornelia Connelly School (A+), Servite High School (A), and Acaciawood School (A).
Anaheim is home to several colleges, universities, and trade schools. These include American Career College – Anaheim, Southern California Institute of Technology, West Coast University – Orange County, Bethesda University of California, and Brownson Technical School.
According to Crime in Anaheim by bestplaces.com, the city has a property crime rate of 39.4. This rate is higher than the Los Angeles average of 35.1 and the US average of 35.4. The violent crime rate is currently 22.3, which is lower than the Los Angeles average of 29.1 and the national average of 22.7. It seems crime rates are consistent throughout the city; however, The Colony and tourist-centered areas experience higher crime.
It’s a smart move to open your utility accounts well before you arrive at your new home. Here’s a list of the major providers in the Anaheim area:
- Electric service: Anaheim Public Utilities is the sole municipal electric utility in the area. To learn more about electricity service, visit the electric company’s Electric Services page.
- Gas service: The same as in Los Angeles, the Southern California Gas Company, or SoCalGas, serves the City of Anaheim. To initiate gas service, go to the Schedule Service page.
- Water service: Along with electric service, Anaheim Public Utilities also provides water service and monitors water supply. Check out their Water Services page for more info.
- Trash pick-up/recycling service: Republic Services and the City of Anaheim Services both provide trash pick-up. For more information, check out the Solid Waste & Recycling page.
- Internet/Cable service: Last but not least, we can’t forget internet and cable services. The major providers include AT&T, Verizon, Spectrum, DirecTV, and Frontier Communications.
Best Neighborhoods in Anaheim, CA
Anaheim Colony Historic District (The Colony)
Also known as The Colony, Anaheim Colony Historic District is a square-shaped community that’s logically bordered by W North St on the northern border, N East St on the east, W South St on the south, and S West St on the west.
The vibrant Colony surrounds Downtown and includes the Anaheim Packing District. Pearson Park features an amphitheater, children’s play area, and greenspace. The Colony House is an indoor-outdoor event venue, and Umami Burger Anaheim is a must-stop if you’re a hamburger lover.
When it comes to downsides, parking can be awful, and the area can be noisy. Some spots are sketchy, especially at night. Around 63% of residents rent their homes, mainly apartments, but you can also find condos and single-family homes with character.
Offering great nightlife, activities, diverse culture, and quick access to the downtown area, The Colony, has been growing and adding new businesses and apartment complexes in recent years, making it a popular area with singles and young professionals.
- Population – Under 50,000 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $434,400
- Household Income – Median yearly income $55,300
- Rent Prices – Average rent $2,041 per month
- Schools – Katella High School, Loara High School, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, St Catherine’s Academy, and Anaheim Montessori Learning Center
Consistently rated as the #1 neighborhood to live in Anaheim, including landing the top spot on HomeSnacks’ The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Anaheim for 2020, Anaheim Hills certainly provides a lot! This upscale planned community is less than 15 miles east of Downtown Anaheim and offers great schools, family living, amenities, and diversity.
With large houses on big lots, Anaheim Hills is a great place to buy a home. So much so, a resounding 81% of residents are homeowners. It’s also in a great location only 20 minutes from Disneyland and less than two hours from the snow at Big Bear Mountain Resort.
Simply put, Anaheim Hills is a wonderful place to call home!
- Population – Under 57,400 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $562,800
- Household Income – Median yearly income $88,616
- Rent Prices – Average rent $2,066 per month
- Schools – Canyon Rim Elementary School, Anaheim Hills Elementary School, Woodsboro Elementary School, Running Springs Elementary School, Yorba Linda High School, Hephatha Lutheran Church & School, and Trinity Lutheran Christian School
Anaheim Resort Area
If you’re looking to live right next to Disneyland as well as the Downtown Disney District, this is the neighborhood for you! With a population of fewer than 41,000 residents, Anaheim Resort Area is the location of “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
Bordered by Interstate 5 to the east and the Garden Grove Freeway to the south, Anaheim Resort Area is less than five miles south of Downtown. Along with the most famous theme park in the world, the neighborhood offers highly rated public schools, affordable condos, and single-family houses.
Of course, a few issues taint the magic, including congestion, tons of tourists, and higher property crime rates (as a result of the intense tourism).
If you’ll be working in the Magic Kingdom or associated resorts, Anaheim Resort Area is an ideal choice.
- Population – Under 40,400 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $324,400
- Household Income – Median yearly income $63,100
- Rent Prices – Average rent $1,801 per month
- Schools – Garden Grove High School, James Monroe Elementary School, Earl Elementary School, Louis Lake Intermediate School, and Parkview Elementary School
Considered the #2 neighborhood to live in Anaheim and #3 neighborhood for families and young professionals, Canyon District borders the Imperial Highway on the east, the Riverside Freeway on the south, the Orange Freeway on the west. The Santa Ana River, the largest river in Southern California, which offers fishing and other fun water activities at Anaheim Lake, forms the northern edge of this neighborhood. Canyon District is directly west of Anaheim Hills, and Downtown is about a 10- to 15-minute drive west.
Approximately 64% of residents own their homes, and you’ll find many single-family residences in the area. The neighborhood is home to the Orange County-Anaheim Medical Center, Peralta Park, and Riverdale Park, which sits along the Santa Ana River.
Good or bad, everyone seems to know everyone in this community. Some eclectic features include a number of abandoned properties plus there are some overcrowded parts of the neighborhood. Still, Canyon District offers stellar public schools and high diversity.
- Population – Under 44,500 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $489,900
- Household Income – Median yearly income $91,900
- Rent Prices – Average rent $1,918 per month
- Schools – Nohl Canyon Elementary School, Crescent Elementary School, Canyon Hills Schools, and Canyon High School
Northeast Anaheim, less than four miles east of Downtown, is a popular neighborhood for families. Bordered by Lincoln Ave on the south, N Tustin Ave on the east, W Crowther Ave on the north, and Lennon St on the west, Northeast Anaheim is an established community in the middle of everything.
The neighborhood is home to three water basins that include Miraloma Basin, Kraemer Basin, and Miller Basin plus Anaheim Lake, which offers a multitude of outdoor recreational activities. There’s also K1 Speed, an indoor go-kart facility; and Camelot Golfland, for mini-golf and more.
As for drawbacks, the area is heavy on apartment complexes that include a concentration of low-income households. However, you can also find a good assortment of desirable apartments, townhomes, and condos.
If you have a family or are planning on raising one in the future, Northeast Anaheim is a great pick!
- Population – Under 59,800 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $421,700
- Household Income – Median yearly income $68,500
- Rent Prices – Average rent $1,966 per month
- Schools – Troy High School, Kraemer Middle School, John O Tynes Elementary School, Anaheim Discovery Christian School, Minaret Academy, and Zion Lutheran School
Heading to the northwestern part of the city, we land in the aptly named Northwest Anaheim. Bordered by the Riverside Freeway on the north and Lincoln Avenue on the south, the neighborhood is family-friendly with relatively little traffic, a lower cost of living, and convenient amenities.
Into golf? Northwest Anaheim is home to Dad Miller Golf Course. Like retail therapy? You’ll find convenient shopping and dining at Anaheim Plaza. Downtown Anaheim is just ten minutes southeast of the neighborhood and living here offers quick commutes for work or play.
On the downside, the housing options aren’t great, and public education needs a boost. On the flip side, Northwest offers affordable rentals and is a kid-friendly neighborhood.
- Population – Under 44,500 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $303,400
- Household Income – Median yearly income $54,100
- Rent Prices – Average rent $1,691 per month
- Schools – Savanna High School, Brookhurst Junior High School, Servite High School, The Islamic Education School, Happy Day Education School, and Open Door Christian Academy
Platinum Triangle, the least populated neighborhood on this list, is considered one of Anaheim’s top 3 neighborhoods. It’s bordered by Interstate 5 to the west and the Santa Ana River on the north and sits less than five miles southeast of Downtown.
Home of Angel Stadium and Honda Center, Platinum Triangle, is where all the major sports action happens in the city. Notable spots to check out include City National Grove of Anaheim, an indoor, live music venue; The Catch for great seafood; Stadium Towers Plaza, a business center; and Backstreet Brewery for a selection of craft pints.
As for drawbacks, there’s room for improvement when it comes to public school quality and crime. On the other hand, you’ll find a desirable assortment of townhomes, condos, and single-family homes.
- Population – Under 16,000 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $506,800
- Household Income – Median yearly income $56,100
- Rent Prices – Average rent $1,966 per month
- Schools – McPherson Magnet School, Katella High School, Orange High School, Portola Middle School, Loara High School, and Calvary Chapel Anaheim School
We end our tour of the best neighborhoods with West Anaheim. Consistently ranked in the top 8 best communities to live in the city, it offers a neighborly suburban vibe and spacious parks. Surrounded by several cities, Stanton is to the south, and Buena Park and Fullerton are to the north. Interstate 5 forms the northeastern border for handy commuting, and Downtown is only two miles east.
In addition to having the highest number of residents on this list, West Anaheim offers several beautiful parks like Chaparral Park and Willow Park. Anaheim Plaza provides casual dining and lots of varied shopping, and if you’re looking for a chill place to relax, Nubia Café offers a hookah and Middle Eastern cuisine.
West Anaheim offers a great balance of affordable single-family homes, apartments, and condos plus friendly neighbors and high diversity that appeals to families and young professionals.
- Population – Under 126,500 residents
- Home Price – Median home value $434,600
- Household Income – Median yearly income $58,300
- Rent Prices – Average rent of $1,732 per month
- Schools – San Marino Elementary School, Glen H Dysinger Senior Elementary School, Walt Disney School, Fairmont Preparatory School, and Cornelia Connelly School
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With this informative guide, you should know if Anaheim is right for you. If it is, then get started today and request free moving quotes from top-rated moving companies!