“People want to hike. You want to ride a bike. You want to see nature. Irvine was far-sighted enough to ensure all of this. “- Joel Kotkin, author on the future of cities
Minghua Liu and her husband had waited years to take the plunge.
They liked their home in West LA, but there was too much concrete and clutter – and not enough fresh air and nature, says Liu.
“We’d been looking at Irvine for a long time,” she says. “With interest rates so low, the time was right to take this step. We are happy to be here. “
They chose Orchard Hills for its location amidst hills of avocado orchards overlooking the ocean.
And they chose it for three reasons West LA lacked: abundant parks, a senior public school district, and public safety – all reasons why Irvine is one of the five “happiest cities in America,” according to WalletHub.
“We want to have children,” says Liu. “So we needed a safe community with great schools and open spaces. Irvine has it all. “
Liu and her husband see no compromise when it comes to leaving the big city lifestyle.
“Irvine has everything we love about LA – restaurants, shopping, easy airport access.”
She says. “But it’s safer and has lots of parks, trails, and areas to explore that Los Angeles doesn’t.”
A virtual view
Liu and her husband fell in love with their future home before they even set foot in it.
That’s because Orchard Hills builder Irvine Pacific came up with a simple approach that offers both virtual and safe personal experiences.
Using Irvine Pacific’s 3D technology, they were able to virtually view multiple models, viewing the layout and dimensions of each room from almost every angle.
“We toured the house from our LA home,” says Liu. “We even sent it to our interior designer so she could start her work.”
It also enabled them to hold a “virtual housewarming” with friends and family in the area.
“It was great,” she says of the experience.
Preference for suburbs
Liu and her husband are not alone in their desire for more space.
According to Joel Kotkin, a renowned urban writer and Chapman University’s Presidential Fellow for Urban Futures, this trend has been going on for some time, but has been accelerated by the pandemic.
He points to current data indicating a strong desire for suburban living and the space that goes with it.
“Even before the pandemic,” he says, “Americans were three times as likely to prefer suburban living to big cities.”
This is the case in Los Angeles, he believes.
“It would be the largest city in the world,” says Kotkin. “But it hasn’t preserved open space in the way it was recommended a long time ago, and it has been declining for a number of years.”
That makes homeland values stronger in places like Irvine than in big cities.
“People want to hike,” says Kotkin. “You want to ride a bike. You want to see nature. Irvine was far-sighted enough to ensure all of this. “
Liu and her husband found that value – and their dream – right here in Irvine.
“We chose Irvine and Orchard Hills because of the beautiful trees and rolling hills,” she says. “We see our new home as a wonderful long-term investment.”