Irvine, California, began largely as a planned community originally developed by the Irvine Company beginning in the 1960s. Today, this thriving city is home to about 225,000 residents. The University of California - Irvine is the second-newest of the ten campuses in the university system.
The area was inhabited by the indigenous people called the Gabrieleño approximately 2,000 years ago. In 1769, a Spanish explorer named Gaspar de Portolà arrived here. Missions, forts and ranches were established in the following decades. Once Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, the Mexican government took control of much of the land. Three large land grants received from the government eventually became Irvine Ranch.
In 1878, James Irvine acquired various land parcels to the point that he controlled 110,000 acres stretching from the Santa Ana River to the Pacific. A decade later his son developed the Irvine Company that focused on field crops, olives and citrus.
Parks and Recreation
Irvine Regional Park includes many unique opportunities for recreation and accumulating family memories. The eight-acre Orange County Zoo
is nestled amidst sprawling coastal live oaks and mature sycamores. You'll see many animals native tomthe southwestern U.S., including bald eagles, mountain lions, island foxes, red-tailed hawks and black bears. There's also a barnyard featuring a wide range of domestic animals. The kids can feed the animals in the barnyard area. The park also includes its own recreational railroad. Those that own Irvine real estate can bring their kids here to pony rides as well. There are paddleboats, volleyball sets and horseshoes all available for rent at Irvine Regional Park.
Attractions and Activities
The Irvine Museum
holds an excellent collection of impressionist paintings that depict life in southern California in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The work is uniquely housed in a building put up by McDonnell Douglas.
Irvine is a community that hosts a rich array of festivals throughout the year. The Irving International Film Festival
brings some of the world's most creative and important new movies to the area every January. The IIFF presents important awards during each year's festival. The Irvine Global Village Festival
is an annual event that celebrates cultural diversity through diverse musical and dance performances. Artisans and craftsmen display their creations in dozens of booths. The festival is now in its 12th year.
Among the thousand or so Irvine CA homes that will be on the market at any one time there will be affordable Irvine homes for sale that speak to the young family in search of a nice starter home. Irvine homes with 800 to 1,500 sq-ft of living space may be priced under $200,000. At the same time, the discriminating Irvine home buyer in search of ultra-exclusive Irvine properties will find homes for sale in Irvine with more than 12,000 sq-ft of living space. Some of these Irvine homes for sale will be priced in the high seven-figures to low eight-figures.
A capable Irvine real estate agent can help you to focus on the real estate in Irvine that meets your needs and your budget. A good Irvine realtor will be able to help you identify Irvine CA real estate that is both well-maintained and priced right.