Placentia City Overview
Placentia’s City Slogan is “A Pleasant Place to Live.” Geographically, Placentia is situated between Fullerton and Yorba Linda with Anaheim to the south and Brea to the North. Looking at a map, one will notice immediately Placentia’s proximity to the 91 and 57 Freeways making it an attractive location for commuters to work (which, incidentally, is one of the main reasons visitors to my open houses say they are considering Placentia for buying a home and settling down).
Placentia Schools: Ratings and Programs
Award-Winning, Top Rated schools are a huge draw for this city. Although often overlooked due to its smaller size, Placentia is a “hidden jewel” of Orange County. Many visitors are unaware of the quality of its schools. Elementary Schools include George Key School (for Special Ed.), Brookhaven Elementary, Golden Elementary, Melrose Elementary, Morse Elementary, Parkview (a Home School for K-8), Ruby Drive Elementary, Rio Vista Elementary, Topaz Elementary, Tynes Elementary, Van Buren Elementary, and Wagner Elementary. Golden and Sierra Vista have a GreatSchools.com rating of 10, while Brookhaven, Wagner and Parview score a 9. On school-ratings.com, Golden and Brookhaven score a 10, with Sierra Vista, Van Buren and Wagner scoring a 9. * This is a 1 to 10 rating based on a number of criteria with 10 being the highest *
Middle Schools for Placentia are as follows: Kraemer Middle, Tuffree and Valadez Middle School Academy. On school-ratings.com, Tuffree scores a 10, Kraemer scores a 9 and Valadez a 4. On GreatSchools.com, Tuffree scores a 9, Kraemer scores a 9, Parkview (considered middle as well) scores a 9, and Valadez scores a 6.
High Schools for Placentia are as follows: Valencia, El Dorado, and Parkview (which has a 9-12 Home School branch). According to school-ratings.com, Valencia and El Dorado High both score a 9. Greatschools.com has Parkview Home School for High School. On Greatschools, all 3 high schools score a 9. API Scores are in the 840s for Valencia and El Dorado, and both have tremendous athletic programs. Valencia High School, besides for boasting an excellent AP/IB program, also has the nationally-recognized “Val-Tech” program for students with an interest and aptitude for technology. The “Val Tech” program contains 3 different pathways: Arts & Communication, Business, and Computer Science, and Science & Technology (Engineering). Many Valencia Tiger graduates have gone on to top schools with some even garnering scholarships from Ivy League schools. El Dorado High School is known for being a very well-rounded school. It boasts a recognized Visual & Performing Arts program for students who take interest in acting, photography, and the film industry. Both have incredible administration and teaching staff that are committed to the development, well-being, and futures of their students as attested by testimonials from students and parents alike.
Placentia Dining: Restaurants and “Fast Food”
Due to the wide demographics and ethnicities represented in the city, Placentia offers authentic cuisines ranging from tapas and enchiladas at highly popular El Farolito in Downtown Placentia to Pizza and Microbrew Beers at Craftsman Wood Fired Pizza. The massive El Torito restaurant at the corner of Kraemer and Yorba Linda Blvd. is one of the few restaurants with a full bar, TVs for sports and excellent mexican faire. Small pop-in and take-out or dine-in restaurants are plentiful e.g. Pick-Up-Stix, Subway, Avalon Bagels & Burgers and Salt & Ash for more of a fine dining experience with red or white wine.
Placentia Parks and Recreation
Placentia also has a variety of parks and recreation sites including Tri-City Park, aptly named as it is situated at the coming together of 3 cities: Placentia, Fullerton, and Brea. Tri-City Park hosts live music on Thursday nights in the Summer with an free open air picnic and music atmosphere for the whole family. Tri-City Park has it all – playground for the kids, huge areas for recreational sports, a man-made lake for fishing, and picturesque sunsets for walks around the lake.
Placentia City Events
Placentia is a proud city, and a patriotic city. Each year Placentia residents and local schools, non-profit organizations and businesses put on the Heritage Festival with the epicenter usually at Tri-City Park. Local restaurants, businesses represent on this day as well as school bands in the once-a-year parade. Streets are closed off for the parade and the streets are lined with on-lookers who often make a day of it, with the whole family camping out on the street to watch.
Placentia Homes and Real Estate
As a Placentia Realtor and Resident, I have a very expansive knowledge base for neighborhoods, schools, and pricing. I know that it isn’t just the price that matters: home buyers want to know where their kids will go to school, how close the community is to the freeways, history on the neighborhoods, the builder, and more. Placentia is very diverse in terms of home choices: from small 1000 Square Feet condos to the larger newer-built luxury homes over 3500 Square Feet. Favorite condo / townhome communities include: Altura (near Champions Sports Complex), Bella Vista (with super-quick access to the 91 Freeway), Mariposa (located on Van Buren and border of Yorba Linda), Crescent Heights (off Richfield and butting up against Yorba Linda), Granada Park (late 70s early 80s Spanish Style townhomes in a gated community near the police station and city hall), and Founders Park (newer built “townhome” feel with larger square footage). Also, Alta Vista South.
Altura is personally one of my favorite communities due to the fact that the Homeowner’s Association has done a tremendous job with the landscape (tropical feel with huge palm trees upon entrance), relatively low HOA dues, no Mello Roos, and mixture of the smaller 2 and 3 bed true condos with the larger townhomes (some are approximately 1800 square feet with views!) Altura is gated for security and privacy and is located just a short walk to Champions Sports Park on Alta Vista and Van Buren.
Granada Park is another personal favorite. I lived in Granada Park for 7 years and served on the Homeowners Association Board. This community has their act together – the dues are $310 as of this writing, but the Board has ensured that those dues go a LONG way – 2 lighted tennis courts, a huge community pool and spa, clubhouse use for parties, roof coverage, free basic cable and internet, a master insurance policy for the entire community. Streets are repaved when needed, homes are painted every 10 or so years (yes all approx 180 units) and they’ve even installed a satellite-sensored watering system to conserve water and save money that way. The floor plans range from the single story 2 bedroom model up to the large 4 bedroom 2,335 Square Feet “San Juan” model with indoor laundry and formal dining. All units have 2 car attached garages, and All units are considered detached single family residences. For what you get and the phenomenal architecture of S&S Construction (well ahead of their time back then) with high ceilings and large bedrooms – the price for these homes is very reasonable. As of this writing, most homes are ranging from the mid-$500,000s to the low $600,000s.
Crescent Heights is a very new gated community located on Richfield close to Orangethorpe. These are built in the early 2000s and have very good square footage. One benefit is the size of the community – relatively small for a newer home tract and the builder did a great job with the wider open feel “great room” kitchens and family rooms. The bedrooms are good size and the high ceilings compliment a tasteful and attractive attention to detail and architecture. Homes as of this writing are in the low-to-mid $700,000s.
Founders Park is a relatively newer tract built in the late 1990s (approx 1998). This gated community is located just across to aforementioned Granada Park at the corner of Alta Vista and Kraemer. These homes are HQT-built and are divided into two communities: The Oaks in range of 2,502 square feet to 2,985 square feet; and the Maples ranging in square footage of 1,935 square feet to 2,342 square feet. HQT built 128 homes combined in this development.
Alta Vista South
According to the official Alta Vista South HOA website, Alta Vista South is comprised of 214 upscale single family homes. Among other things, the community website offers a calender of community events, information regarding the property management company (South Coast Property Management in Costa Mesa), and the CC&R’s, By-Laws, and other legal documents available for download.
The Alta Vista South Homeowner’s Association is made up of 5 tracts of homes: HQT, Bel Maison, William Lyon Homes, Biscayne, and Highpoint.