What's the Cost of Living in Orange County? - Move Central
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What’s the Cost of Living in Orange County?

Did you know that over 3 million people live in around 1 million homes in Orange Country?

Orange County is the southern region of California. This area is known for Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort but also includes Irvine and Newport Beach’s harbor.

While living in Orange County is more affordable than in Los Angeles, it’s by no means cheap. This is why it’s so important to take a closer look at the cost of living in any area before you decide to move there permanently.

Interested in learning more about the cost of living in Orange County? You’re in the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about living in Orange County along with the most important living costs to consider.

Benefits of Living in Orange County CA

Orange County may be famous for Disneyland, but it offers way more than that to its residents. From untouched beaches to bustling restaurants, Orange County has everything you could ever dream of. Here are some of the benefits of living in the south of California.

The Beaches

The beaches in Orange County are some of the best natural beaches in the country. While LA is always known for its beach, the reality is that not many people visit the city for its beach. Orange County is a bit smaller, making the beaches more accessible and private than those in Los Angeles and Long Beach. 

These beaches are also largely untouched. While there are piers and commercial beaches in Orange County, if you want something more picturesque, there are a few options for you as well. There are a few famous beaches in Southern California such as Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and Huntington Beach.

Laguna Beach has a great beach-town vibe to it, making it perfect for a day trip with you and your loved ones. There are tons of little gems like this around Orange County. This makes for ideal road trips whenever family from out of town come to visit.

Outdoor Activities

If you’re an outdoors person, Orange County is going to be perfect for you. There are tons of hikes, biking trails, and outdoor activities you can do. This includes outdoor classes for martial arts, yoga, and meditation.

The best part about these outdoor classes is that some of them are actually free! You’ll be able to look online beforehand so that you can plan your weekends in advance.

Orange County also offers a wide range of water sports. This includes surfing and body boarding but also kayaking. The best place to kayak is definitely in Newport’s Back Bay or the Dana Point Harbor.

Food Central

Orange County is heaven for all food lovers. With thousands of restaurants scattered throughout the county, you are bound to find something new every time you leave the house. There are so many restaurants that you can try something new every week for the rest of your life!

Orange County is also incredibly diverse. This means that you will be able to find a mix of different cuisines throughout the county. Whether you’re feeling for Indian, Mexican, or Asian, you’re bound to find a restaurant around every corner.

There are also a ton of cafes and bars throughout the county. While café culture is not as big in Orange County as it may be in San Francisco, there are plenty of small cafes around to satisfy your sweet tooth. The county also has unique bakeries, eateries, and designer dining experiences. This means there’s something for everyone and every budget.

Great Weather

The biggest selling point of Orange County is the weather. The sun seems to be endless, with spring and fall both being around 75 degrees. Winters are not harsh, making it a peaceful and comfortable place to live throughout the year.

Many residents agree that there are only one or two months in the year when the weather isn’t great. These months are May and June where many people complain about mornings being fairly cloudy and grey.

However, if you’re coming from the middle of the country, a few clouds in the morning is not going to get you down. Compared to the rest of the country, Orange County is a dream. So much so that you could even go to the beach in the middle of winter.

Every Store You Need

If you think you need to move to Los Angeles to get access to all the best stores, think again. Orange County has almost every store you can think of. From local to designer brands, you will find everything within just a few miles of your home.

While there are lots of options for tourists, there are tons of traditional shopping destinations for locals. These include large grocery stores like Walmart and Target.

There are a few larger shopping destinations in the county as well. These include South Coast Plaza, Newport’s Fashion Island, and The Outlets at San Clemente.

Cost of Living in Orange County

Before moving to Orange County, it can help to take a closer look at how much it will cost to live there permanently. While the place is absolutely stunning, things are different for residents compared to tourists. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most common expenses you can expect when moving to Orange County.


While there are stunning properties that you can invest in, most people moving to Orange County will rent for the first few years. With this being said, the average apartment in Orange County is going to set you back around $2,400 per month. This is without utility costs and home insurance.

While this is pricey, the average size of the apartments in Orange County is 925 square feet. This means that you’re getting quite a bit of space for your money. Despite this, you should note that Orange County is more expensive than both the national average and Los Angeles.


When it comes to calculating how much housing is going to cost you, it’s important to factor in the utility costs as well. While this does vary from person to person, the average resident in Orange County can expect to pay around $200 a month in utilities.

This can be even higher if you want to add home internet and cable to these costs. In this case, you can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $300 a month on utilities.


Transportation is one aspect where you can save some money if you have kids. This is because of the Youth Ride Free program. This initiative allows youth between the ages of 6 and 18 to ride on the OC Bus for free to school, work, and other activities.

While the Bus routes are great, you’re better off having your own car in Orange County. There is no major subway or public transport infrastructure to depend on like there is in New York City or San Francisco. You may be able to bike some of the towns, but having a car is the best way to embrace the entire county.

Food and Groceries

When it comes to food and groceries, Orange County is slightly more expensive than the rest of the country. Despite being smaller, you can expect to pay the same for food and groceries as you would in Los Angeles.

One area where you can save compared to Los Angeles is in restaurants. Orange County has a wide range of restaurants and food stalls. While they are just as tasty and trendy as those in LA, they come at a fraction of the price.

Weekend Activities

As mentioned above, Orange County is filled with things to do throughout the week. From outdoor yoga to sunrise hikes, there is something for everyone. While some of these activities are free, some require a ticket or booking in advance.

These prices are fairly standard, relative to the rest of the country. This means that you won’t notice any major differences in the cost of going to the movies, to an art gallery, or go karting. 

Contact Move Central Today

While Orange County is not the most affordable area to live in, it’s much more affordable than other parts of California. When you compare the cost of housing and utilities in Orange County compared to Los Angeles and San Francisco, Orange County is a much better option.

Are you thinking about making a move to Orange County? Let us help you move! If you have any questions about the cost of living, or want to know how much it would cost to have us help you move, feel free to contact us for a free quote today!

Stan Caramalac

Stan Caramalac started his moving company because he truly believed that moving could be simple as long as it was done efficiently. He wanted to help people make their moves smoother and less stressful. Stan and his team proudly serve San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. If you are looking for professional commercial or residential movers then Move Central is the perfect company for you.