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Irvine tops website’s list of region’s best cities for young families

Irvine is ranked No. 1 on a list of “Best Cities for Young Families in Southern California” by consumer website NerdWallet.com.

The site studied public school ratings, median home values, monthly homeownership costs, median household income and income growth for its second annual study, which rated five Orange County cities among the top 10.

“The beautiful city of Irvine attracts families with its strong education — from public elementary schools to the renowned University of California, Irvine.” NerdWallet said. “Irvine schools have strong backing from the community, thanks to initiatives such as the city’s Challenge Match Grant program that matches the exact amount raised by the nonprofit Irvine Public Schools Foundation. The city’s high home values come with the territory, and access to the ocean and numerous parks help create a balance between nature and a thriving business community.”

The site said it analyzed factors that “matter most to families,” including students’ test scores and other statewide data collected by the school rating website GreatSchools.org; census data on home values and costs such as mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance and other bills; and census figures on household incomes and income growth.

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Irvine had a GreatSchools rating of 10, the highest possible, NerdWallet said. Its 2012 median home value was $646,500, with monthly homeownership costs of $2,995, according to the survey.

The city’s 2012 median household income was $92,663, a 28.6% increase from 1999, the site said.

Other Orange County cities in the top 10 were Rancho Santa Margarita (No. 2), Seal Beach (3), Cypress (5) and Yorba Linda (9).


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