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Learn About Buena Park, CA

Residents of Buena Park enjoy living in their community, as testified by this reviewer on http://www.streetadvisor.com/buena-park-orange-county-california: “Known globally for their Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park is a great town in the Orange County for a fun filled day or to call home. Buena Park is a great city to live in as they have very good schools, great activities for adults and children, and great parks for everyone to have some quality family fun together. This green and clean city is a great place to live in as everyone is part of a community that is safe and friendly. With a median household income of about $60,000, this community enjoys a comfortable lifestyle where they help each other create a great home for everyone to live and grow together in.” It is located in northwest Orange County 5 miles away from Disneyland and 10 miles from Huntington Beach. Downtown Los Angeles is not too far either – drive 20 miles and you are in the big city. It is home to about 81,000 people.

The area where Buena Park is located today was once ranches on land grants from the King of Spain. The original land grant was to Manuel Nieto in 1783 which he divided into 5 separate lots for his heirs in 1834. One of them, Rancho Los Coyotes, is modern day Buena Park. According to Wikipedia, “The area was transferred from Spanish authority to Mexican rule in 1822 and ceded to the United States in 1848 at the end of the Mexican-American War. California was granted statehood in 1850. Americanization further expanded in the area after completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 and its connection to Los Angeles in 1875. By then, Abel Stearns had acquired Rancho Los Coyotes in consideration for loans made to Pio and Andrés Pico. In 1885, James A. Whitaker, a wholesale grocer from Chicago, purchased 690 acres (2.8 km2) of this land from Stearns. In 1887, Whitaker founded the City of Buena Park in conjunction with the railway development of what we now know as Orange County. The exact derivation of the na
me Buena Park is uncertain. One theory is that Whitaker used the name of a Chicago suburb: Buena Park, Chicago, Illinois, although the community in Illinois was also named in 1887. Another theory relates to the artesian well and its park-like grounds once located at the current intersection of what are now Artesia and Beach Boulevards. Local settlers referred to the area as “Plaza Buena” which means “good park” in Spanish.”

The city relied mainly on agriculture for sustenance – farmers grew crops like grapes for wine and citrus as well as kept cows for milk and dairy products. Over time, however, it became a commercial and residential area that is best known as the home Knott’s Berry Farm, Knott’s Soak City, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, Teatro Martini. These are not the only attractions that are found in Buena Park – you will also find the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Show, a Medieval Times Dinner Show, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and the Japanese Village and Deer Park.

The population is about 45% white, 27% non-Hispanic white, 28% Hispanic and the rest is a mix of other races. Buena Park is a very family oriented city with almost half of all households having young children. It is served by 7 different school districts as explained on Wikipedia: “Buena Park School District covers nearly the entire northern half of the city, which feeds into the Fullerton Joint Union High School District, while the districts of Centralia, Cypress, Magnolia, and Savanna serve the remainder of the city, feeding into the Anaheim Union High School District. Buena Park High School is the only high school within city limits. Kennedy, Savanna, Sunny Hills and Western high schools also all serve the city’s students, but are in either Fullerton, La Palma or Anaheim.”

If you are moving to Buena Park you may be wondering what kinds of employment opportunities are available. Although the city doesn’t have as many employers as many other cities in California, there are significant opportunities for employment. Top employers include Knott’s Berry Farm, Prologis, Leach, Access Business Group, PepsiCo, J. C. Penney, ADP and Yamaha among others. The city is very livable, with a livability index of 72. The cost of living is 2$ higher than the California average while the median household income is 12% higher than the state average. Unfortunately, because of all the tourism the crime rate is 9% higher than the California average. That said, most neighborhoods are very safe. The high school graduation rate is 2% higher than the average across the state.

If you want to buy a home in Buena Park you should be prepared to pay around 8% higher median home value than the California average. If, for example, you want 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom medium-sized home it will cost you about $600,000 while a smaller 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home will cost you about $500,000.

According to Wikipedia, there have been 2 notable events in Buena Park in recent years. The first was the discovery of the body of a famous model: “In 2009, the body of swimsuit model and reality TV star Jasmine Fiore was found stuffed in a suitcase and dumped in an apartment building dumpster near the 7400 block of Franklin Street in Northern Buena Park by a resident searching for recyclables.” The other is a councilman who was indicted for perjury: “Buena Park City Councilman Sangjin Miller Oh-who campaigns and serves as Miller Oh-was charged with multiple felony perjury counts on DMV documents to avoid paying child support to his ex-wife. Oh is accused of committing perjury on six occasions between Sept. 23, 2004, and July 20, 2009 by signing official DMV documents using fraudulent information.”

These, however, are not very unusual events in mid-sized American cities so they should not dissuade you from moving to Buena Park. If you cannot you should at the very least make plans to visit their many attractions.