Irvine's Oak Creek

IrvineRenterThe Oak Creek Community in Irvine is bounded by Jeffrey Road and Woodbridge to the northwest, the 405 and open space to the southwest, Sand Canyon Road and a commercial district dominated by hospitals to the southeast, and Barranca Parkway and Orangetree to the northeast. Alton Parkway is the main arterial moving traffic through the area. Due to its proximity to the 405, the 5 and 133, it has great access to the surrounding area. Plus, it is 5 minutes from the Irvine Spectrum. Oak Creek is a newer community built in the late 90’s and early 00’s.

Oak Creek Map

One of the features that makes Oak Creek a successful neighborhood is the vibrant “third places” you will find there. A “third place” is a place of public gathering for social and recreational activities. This contrasts with the home and work environments and special purpose public places like grocery stores, restaurants and other businesses. Third places create the sense of place which makes a community identifiable, unique and special to the inhabitants.

Oak Creek Suburban Plaza

The suburban plaza at the shopping complex at Alton and Jeffrey is truly a special “third place.” It is one of the most functional suburban plazas I have ever encountered. It is rarely empty, and the variety of people provides a glimpse into the lives of those who call Oak Creek home.

Oak Creek Suburban Plaza 2

The central feature of Oak Creek is its elementary School.

Oak Creek Elementary

The park and ball fields are generally abuzz with activity.

Oak Creek Elementary Park

One very nice feature of the Oak Creek plan is the pedestrian crossing over Alton Parkway. It provides a safe link for children walking to the elementary school in the morning.

Oak Creek Crossing

There are several community parks in Oak Creek. They are all well designed and well maintained.

Oak Creek Park 1

The community pools are also first rate. Unfortunately, this pool is not heated. It doesn’t seem to bother the duck though (left side of picture).

Oak Creek Pool

The parks all have great play areas, shade structures and clean bathrooms.

Oak Creek Park 2

One of the unique features of Oak Creek is the multi-use trails built along both sides of the large drainage feature. This trail is great for bicycling, rollerblading, jogging, or walking.

Oak Creek Trails

Apparently, there is some available inventory in Oak Creek 🙂

Notice the random BMW?

Oak Creek Inventory

In many of the comments on the last community profile, people expressed concern over the lack of children in Irvine. Based on the pictures above, I think it is safe to say, Irvine is still for families.

Irvine’s Oak Creek: a great place to live.

25 thoughts on “Irvine's Oak Creek

  1. sportsfan8

    i’ve lived in oak creek for 5 years now. as mentioned, close to everything (freeways, shopping, work) so it’s convenient. i plan on keeping my home as a rental in the future.

  2. Sue

    What’s the air pollution like in Oak Creek with the wind from the ocean blowing the 405 freeway smog there? Is it noticeable at all? Or does it seem the same as, say, Quail Hill?

  3. IrvineRenter


    I never noticed an air quality problem — at least not any more serious than the rest of Orange County…

  4. bum

    sue, what flavor of haterade do you drink?

    come to think of it, since all of irvine is surrounded by freeways and is close to the ocean, i would think all of irvine has air pollution. chalk up another reason for prices to fall.

  5. Melissa

    Wow. I never realized this was there. This seems like a good place to consider for young couples. What are the prices like in this area right now. What are projections for 1-2 years from now? Do the homes here have decent yards (I have two bulldogs and won’t consider anything without grass in the back!). The different neighborhood features are enough to make me consider moving east of the 405.

    On another note, Countrywide is currently advertising positions in its legal department. The ad says it is the #1 Home Lender and #122 on Forbes Fortune 500. Wonder if these stats are accurate anymore… Doesn’t seem like great job security right now, although there is probably an inverse correlation to how well it is doing on the lending side and how much legal work it is generating! As says: “No one can do what Countrywide can.” hah.

  6. IrvineRenter


    Prices in Oak Creek are very high, just slightly under Quail Hill, Turtle Ridge and Woodbury. There are some homes with large yards, but they are currently priced over $900,000. Obviously, my opinion is that prices will be lower in the future.

    As for Countrywide, I think your assessment is right on.

  7. Melissa

    Is there a sense of a difference in the communities on either side of Alton? I just looked at some pics on Zip in these neighboorhoods and one thing I really liked were the arches in the hallways in many of the homes. That is a nice touch.

  8. GrewUpInIrvine

    Where was the Countrywide job listing? I wonder if you can get preference on purchasing a foreclosure if you are an employee…

  9. lee in irvine

    I think it is safe to say, Irvine is still for families.

    Sure it is … still for families were mommy and daddy are willing to sign a mortgage linking them to years of financial distress and likely divorce. As for me, my wife, my son, and one in the oven, we’ll continue to live a comfortable life renting a nice roomy, older home in Turtle Rock for half the cost to buy.

    I keep telling mom, we’ve finally turned the corner.

  10. IrvineRenter

    “still for families were mommy and daddy are willing to sign a mortgage linking them to years of financial distress and likely divorce.”

    Sometimes that same thought goes through my mind when I am at the park, and for a moment, I feel bad for them. Then I remember the conversations with some of these people where they smugly characterize me as a foolish bitter renter, and then I no longer feel bad for them.

  11. ezy money

    oak creek is like West Park, except newer. And as for the freeways, you can hear the roar of the 405 a good half mile inland. can’t imagine what life is like for the Oak Creekers and West Parkers right on the 405, must be hellish.

  12. lee in irvine

    Sometimes that same thought goes through my mind when I am at the park, and for a moment, I feel bad for them.


    I hope I’m not becoming sadistic … but my sympathy for these people is now completely gone.

    I actually drove over to Columbus Grove two weeks ago after I read the story by Irvine Single Mom. I didn’t go to look at houses, but rather to see and talk to the angry picketers. What a gratifying moment as I stood there in a mirage of sympathy, listening to the bitter bag holder talk about his loss, only to tell him I was sorry, then walk away with a smile ear to ear. I know it’s wrong to take joy in another’s pain, however I can’t help it. I cannot rationalize their stupidity, nor do I “feel their pain”!

    When I read stories like the one in Bloomberg two weeks ago about Irvine, I have mixed emotions. Though the story was pleasing to read, I find myself cursing at the computer monitor as I smile and shake my head in disgust.

    Reading blogs like this one are my outlet, because if I talk about this ponzi scheme with others, I find myself becoming angry. At this point, I am in no mood to hear somebody tell me that the real estate market is going to get hot again this summer.

    I’m just thrilled that the market has turned the corner … that way I can silently curse and cheer it all the way down.

  13. Irvine Soul Brother

    Hey Irvine Renter– Great write up on Oak Creek. I was just out there today. . . doing the final walk though. What do you do right now (a month ago) with half a mil in Irvine? I decided Oak Creek was the way to go. . .

  14. longtimereader

    Let me tell ya, I have lived in this complex for over 3 years. Renting a 2/2 for 1550.00 a month. Buying it when we moved in would have cost a bundle and we have been happy to rent while we save and wait. I can’t understand how these boxes are still goiing for half a mil. Will wait and watch some more

  15. Bkshopr

    The amenities in the Oakcreek community are indeed very good. The Irvine Company did an excellent job in its design execution, The man-made stones on the entry monuments and walls look very real just like the ones that were out of Montecito and Santa Barbara. Community play spaces and infrastrutures are understated and timeless. The placement of trees are there for the screening of the really bland rear part of the houses.

    The houses in Oakcreek compared to other similar communities lack style and quality of contruction. I think the builders saw this community as a value community because it is so close to freeway and auto pollution. They have cheapen on all the exterior elevations. I remembered the stylistic terms described in many of the brochures were Tuscany, Spanish, and Santa Barbara just to name a few. I could not relate these boxes the styles. I think the differences were the window trims and different paints on the shutters. The houses here look like West Irvine.

    Little did the builders knew that the proximity to the freeways is a positive premium rather than a negative premium. Another similar site but a much smaller neighborhood is the Culver and Fwy 5 . The traffic congestion in Irvine really made these Fwy close communities the desireable places to live.

    Both the Irvine Company and the builders should have calculated better architecture here. Despite of the cheap specification for these houses Oakcreek’s excellent location hold an excellent value ratio. The simple straight forward ammenities are done just right.

    Lets be realistic, the so call “honeymoon resort style” recreation centers in the newer communities will get dated very soon. No honeymoon last forever!

    Portola Spring should have been designated as a value community and not Oakcreek in my opinion.

  16. Concerned

    can someone get lee in irvine some help? sounds like he’s going to go postal if the market doesn’t crash. why so much contempt lee?

  17. lee in irvine

    “can someone get lee in irvine some help? sounds like he’s going to go postal if the market doesn’t crash. why so much contempt lee?”

    LoL! You’re right … that’s the exact reason why it’s our little secret. (Shhhhhh) The truth is I don’t discuss real estate in public with anyone anymore. However I do love to patronize dumb-dumbs like the one’s picketing William Lyons Homes.

    Don’t worry, I’m really not a ticking time bomb, just a very “bitter renter”. 🙂

  18. Live And Work In Irvine

    I live on the street where some of your pictures were taken. I lived in Northwood for 10+ years and moved to Oak Creek last year.

    I’m a bit of a research fanatic and looked at 40+ SFR rentals in Irvine before I chose this one the day it posted on the MLS.

    I had pasted together a grid of Thomas Bros map and knew virtually every tract (how pathetic!)

    The center across the way has an excellent mix of stores (market, food, crafts, hardware, etc.) Not too many centers have their own mini Office Depots. My guess, is there must be a lot of self-employed to warrant that.

    I pay $2900 for a 3/2.5 SFR. I’ve seen a couple rentals within a block or two over the last year.

    The owner purchased in 2002 for $325,000. I think they go for $600-650K.

    The only bad thing, is the sound from the traffic on the 405 (at nighttime you really notice.)

    I live across from the school (with open fields) and the first night my wive freaked out about the noise. I noticed the other streets are quieter.

  19. ninja88

    I am new to this site and am thinking about moving to Irvine. Can you let me know what you think of the air quality at oak creek and the rest of irvine? I thought by being close to the beach, the air would be better with the breeze. yes, being next to 405 is obviously bad. I used to live near the pasadena area which was not that great either.

    also, is there some part of oak creek where you cant hear the freeway?

    and what is the story with the angry picketers?

  20. Live And Work In Irvine

    I’m a technology consultant and most of my customers are in South County.

    I’m not sure what to say about the air quality. It is not as cool as the beach areas, but there is no visible haze or smog like there can be in Ranch Santa Margarita or Coto de Caza.

    I like being really close to the 405 fwy entrances at Sand Canyon and Jeffrey, but the trade off is the noise sometimes in the middle of the night.

    Since I live across an open field, I’m sure the noise is louder and if your bedroom is on the second floor, you’ll hear more.

    There is a breeze coming of the hills in the afternoon sometimes and I never noticed an air quality issue.

    Before renting, I usually try and see what the traffic is like in the morning and evening in a tract. Since I am not backed up to a street, I didn’t even think noise from the freeway would be noticed.

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