A City of Villages


The city that bears the namesake of the man who once owned a huge swath what is now Orange County - James Irvine - is now home to over of 250,000 residents. Over the course of the past fifty years, the orchards of citrus & avocado, the fields of lima beans & cotton have been carefully transformed into master-planned residential communities.

The land was populated by Gabrielino Indians until the arrival of Spaniards in the 1700’s, at which point the King of Spain began to parcel out land to private parties. 

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Irvine Real Estate Statistics

Average Price $853K
Lowest Price $1.4K
Highest Price $30M
Total Listings 630
Avg. Days On Market 44
Avg. Price/SQFT $331

Property Types (active listings)

The Mexican War of Independence in 1821 brought about new land owners and revisions of the Spanish land grants. James Irvine – a wealthy sheep rancher from San Francisco - and three partners began acquiring large parcels throughout the 1860’s into the 1870’s – namely, Rancho San Joaquin, Rancho Lomas de Santiago and a portion of Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. In 1878, Irvine acquired his partners’ interests for $150,000; at that point, his land holdings totaled 110,000 acres, reaching from the Pacific to the San Bernardino County line.1

The history of the city of Irvine is a rich one and is worth exploring; satisfying histories on Irvine can be found in “The Irvine Ranch of Orange County”, by Robert Glass Cleland; Joan Irvine Smith’s “A California Woman’s Story”; “The Irvine Ranch: A Time for People: A 50-Year Overview of the Development of the Irvine Ranch in Orange County, California” by Martin Brower; “Irvine” by Ellen Baker Bell; and “Irvine Ranch” produced by Donald Bren with sumptuous photographs by noted photographer, Stephen Francis.

An article in the Daily Pilot in 1969 cites an upcoming presentation by Irvine Company executives to the Council of the Building Industry Association “Their reports will trace the background of the property, the largest planned development of its kind in the nation. Due to its size, single ownership and strategic location, this vast complex is viewed by many as the prototype of future urban developments.” 1

From a full page ad in 1974 - “The Irvine Company and the developers listed on this page are partners in a major effort – the creation of a city of villages. Your house and your village are designed to improve and mature with age.”2

1“Daily Pilot” 06/02/1974

2“Daily Pilot” 06/02/1974

Irvine’s official motto is “City of Innovation”, but maybe like that vintage 70’s ad says, it should be “A City of Villages”, which is really what the place is about – a cohesive series of interconnected residential communities with housing, dining, shopping, schools, parks, pools, and seemingly-endless amenities woven together with sensible transportation corridors, myriad bike lanes and pathways, all designed with the resident in mind.

If you know Irvine already, then dive into the listings below. If you don’t know the villages and neighborhoods and want more info on where you should land, give Jesse a call today at (949) 292-9786. He grew up in Woodbridge, met his wife in Turtle Rock and bought his first condo in Northwood – he knows Irvine.

Irvine Listings

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Irvine Living

  • Centrally located in the County, Irvine is at the heart of the area, in more ways than one.
  • Seemingly endless parks, community pools, hiking & biking trails, some of the nations top-ranked public schools, this is master planning at its best.
  • Coastal-close and centrally located with a focus on housing, Irvine has so many options for homeowners, ranging from small studios to massive gated estates.

Irvine Spectrum

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