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Orange, CA Homes for Sale

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The City of Orange, situated just south of Anaheim, boasts award-winning schools, attractive neighborhoods, plus terrific shopping, dining, educational and entertainment experiences. The city’s low hills offer picturesque views of mountains, streams, parks and city lights — all within minutes of Disneyland and the beach.

This North Orange County city incorporated on April 6, 1871. The community is a balance between residential neighborhoods (single family houses and condos), parks, schools and business space.

The City of Orange is home to roughly 136,000 residents.

Historically, before Europeans settled the area, members of the Tongva and Juaneño/Luiseño ethnic groups inhabited the area. After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portolà, an expedition out of San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico, led by Fr Junípero Serra, named the area Vallejo de Santa Ana (Valley of Saint Anne). On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano became the area’s first permanent European settlement in Alta California, New Spain. In 1801, the Spanish Empire granted 62,500 acres to José Antonio Yorba, which he named Rancho San Antonio. Yorba’s great rancho included the lands where the cities of Costa Mesa, Orange, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Tustin, and Villa Park stand today. Smaller ranchos evolved from this large rancho, including the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana.
Don Juan Pablo Grijalva, a retired Spanish soldier and the area’s first landowner, was granted permission in 1809 by the Spanish colonial government to establish a rancho in “the place of the Arroyo de Santiago.”

After the Mexican–American War, Alta California was ceded to the United States by México with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, and though many Californios lost title to their lands in the aftermath, Grijalva’s descendants retained ownership through marriages to Anglo-Americans. Since at least 1864, Los Angeles attorneys Alfred Chapman and Andrew Glassell together and separately, held about 5,400 acres along both sides of the Santiago Creek. Water was the key factor for the location of their townsite. Glassell needed a spot he could irrigate, bringing water down from the Santa Ana Canyon and the quality of the soil may have influenced his choice. The small town was incorporated on April 6, 1871.

Orange was the only city in Orange County to be planned and built around a plaza. Orange was the first developed town site to be served by the California Southern Railroad when the nation’s second transcontinental rail line reached Orange County. The town experienced its first growth spurt during the last decade of the 19th century, due to ever-increasing demand for California-grown citrus, a period some refer to as the “Orange Era.” Southern California’s real estate “boom” of 1886-1888, fueled by railroad rate wars, also contributed to a marked increase in population.

Like most cities in Orange County, agriculture formed the backbone of the local economy, and growth was steady until the 1950s, when a second real estate boom hit. Inspired by the development of a region-wide freeway system which connected Los Angeles’ urban center with outlying areas like Orange, large tracts of housing were developed into the early 1970s. Development of Orange continues today, albeit at a much slower pace, at the eastern edge of the city.

Today, Orange boasts the Orange Historic District, a one square-mile around the original old town plaza. The area contains many of the original structures built in the period right after the city’s incorporation. It is a vibrant commercial district, containing Orange County’s oldest operating bank and the oldest operating soda fountain. The Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997, and is the largest National Register District in California. The Old Towne Preservation Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining the district.

Orange is also home to Chapman University, which has been growing by leaps and bounds since the turn of the 21st century.

The City of Orange lies within ZIP Codes 92856, 92857, 92858, 92859, 92860, 92861, 92862, 92863, 92864, 92865, 92866, 92867, 92868 and 92869.

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