16 Pros and Cons of Living in Santa Ana, CA

Updated On November 7, 2023

If Orange County is on your list of places to consider moving to, you may be happy to know that Santa Ana is one of the most popular.

Not only is it considered a historic city, but it’s a town that has rather humid summers and mild winters.

If you aren’t sure whether Santa Ana would be the best fit for you, this guide discusses several pros and cons to help you make a wise decision.

Santa Ana, CA
Santa Ana, CA

Pros of Living in Santa Ana, CA

Wonderful Weather

If you are tired of dealing with snowy and cold weather, or just don’t do well with freezing temperatures, Santa Ana is the perfect place to move.

You won’t have to worry about too much cold weather in Santa Ana.

Instead, you will get a nice boost of warm weather all year round.

If you are an outdoor type of person, the consistent warm weather allows you to enjoy more of your favorite outdoor hobbies including boating, camping, and water sports.

Historic Town

Santa Ana is a historic town and is home to several historic buildings.

The historic district is located in downtown Santa Ana.

It is known as the largest historic district in the entire state of California.

The historic district is 21 blocks long and made up of 100 buildings.

These buildings were all designed between the years of 1877 and 1934.

Some of the buildings included in the historic district are the Old County Courthouse, Old City Hall, and Fox West Coast Theater.

Great Dining Experience

There are a variety of restaurants and shopping stores available in Santa Ana.

One of the most popular shopping locations is the South Coast Plaza Village.

There are a variety of cuisines to match your taste buds.

You can choose from Mexican, Italian, American, and Asian dishes.

One of the most popular and frequently visited restaurants in Santa Ana is Antonello Ristorante and Playground.

Full of Culture & Art

Santa Ana has a magnificent arts and culture scene.

It is home to more than 900 cultural organizations.

Some of these organizations include symphony orchestras, modern folk and dance troupes, and theater groups.

There are also several museums for you to enjoy including Heritage Museum.

If you love art, you won’t get bored here in Santa Ana.

The arts and culture scene also makes it perfect for a date night.

Several Opportunities for Sporting

Santa Ana has many opportunities for sports in town.

Whether you play sports or want to watch a game, you can easily catch them by hopping on a train or bus.

It’s an easy commute to make it right to Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

Additionally, Las Alamitos is a 20-minute drive from Santa Ana and allows you to watch horse racing shows.

Home to a Variety of Plants & Animals

If you have an interest in fauna and flora, Santa Ana is home to Fairhaven Memorial Park.

The Park sits on 73 acres of land and is home to hundreds of plants and trees.

Additionally, Santa Ana is home to the Santa Ana Zoo.

There are more than 29 different animal species here.

The zoo houses both endangered and rare animals including a ring-tailed lemur, golden lion tamarin, and the Margay cat.

Excellent Schools & Colleges

There are a number of excellent public schools and colleges in Santa Ana.

For example, Orange County School of the Arts is a popular arts college in town.

Santa Ana is also home to Santa Ana Unified School District, one of the largest in the state.

More than 41,000 students attend schools within this district.

Santa Ana is also home to Taft Law School, CNI College, Santa Ana College, and Santa Ana Beauty College.

Close to the Coast

If you love relaxing on the beach, you’ll be happy to know that Santa Ana is not far from the coast.

Nearly all the beaches located within close distance of Santa Ana have been rated relatively high.

Some of the closest beaches you can enjoy are Newport Beach, Crystal Cove State Beach, Corona del Mar State Beach, Huntington Beach Pier, and Pirate’s Cove Beach.

Cons of Living in Santa Ana, CA

Expensive Homes  

Orange County for the most part is expensive to live in, and unfortunately, this does include Santa Ana.

The majority of people who work in Santa Ana, commute from local areas, that are relatively cheaper.

This can seem like a huge disadvantage for some who are looking to relocate to Santa Ana.

Additionally, there’s a lot of traffic congestion in Santa Ana due to the large number of people commuting for work, etc.

High Crime Rate

Another disadvantage of living in Santa Ana is that there is a high crime rate.

While the city has a low property crime rate compared to the national average, the violent crime rate is high.

Matter of fact, the violent crime index is higher than in both the U.S. and California.

Violent crime consists of robbery, murder, rape, aggravated assault, and manslaughter.

Property crime includes car theft, arson, and burglary.

The violent crime index in Santa Ana is 29.3/100.


Homelessness is definitely a problem in Santa Ana.

Approximately 1,769 people were reported living in Santa Ana homeless in 2019.

While this may sound huge, it doesn’t seem as bad when you compare it to the 39,000 homeless people in Los Angeles.

Homelessness is an issue in Santa Ana, but it isn’t something you will really have to dwell on.

Rentals Are not Affordable

Property prices aren’t the only thing that is high in Santa Ana.

Additionally, you will have to worry about rentals being high.

They just aren’t affordable for the average paid person living in Santa Ana.

People are running out of ways to make a decent living and purchase everyday necessities.

Before you take the leap, make sure you do some research to see what rental property works for you and your budget.

Unfriendly People

No matter where you live, you will run into some unfriendly people.

However, Santa Ana is known for having many rude and unfriendly people living among them.

Many of the residents are considered shallow.

Unless you have a lot of money, you may want to stand clear of making any real friends in Santa Ana.

This may not seem as big of a deal to those who tend to stay to themselves anyway.

Poor Air Quality

Santa Ana has overall, poor air quality.

Not only will this reduce your quality of life, but you are at a higher risk of developing respiratory or pulmonary issues in the future.

This is true compared to other locations that have better air quality.

If you already have respiratory issues, you may want to avoid moving here at all costs.

A lot of Financial Pressure

As mentioned earlier, Santa Ana has a high cost of living.

As a result, many residents here suffer from an increase in financial pressure.

Constant financial pressure could put your mental and emotional health at risk.

Additionally, it could reduce your quality of life.

Again, if you can’t keep up with the costs of living and aren’t making a decent salary, you may want to skip past Santa Ana.

Poor Tasting Tap Water

Santa Ana’s tap water is safe to drink, most of the time.

However, it doesn’t have the best taste.

As a result, you may have to rely on purchasing bottled water.

This may mean that you end up spending more money than what’s in your budget.

If you already rely on bottled water, this may not be an issue for you.

Santa Ana, CA
Santa Ana, CA

Pros and Cons of Living in Santa Ana, CA – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Santa Ana, CACons of Living in Santa Ana, CA
1. Wonderful Weather1. Expensive Homes  
2. Historic Town2. High Crime Rate
3. Great Dining Experience3. Homelessness
4. Full of Culture & Art4. Rentals Are not Affordable
5. Several Opportunities for Sporting5. Unfriendly People
6. Home to a Variety of Plants & Animals6. Poor Air Quality
7. Excellent Schools & Colleges7. A lot of Financial Pressure
8. Close to the Coast8. Poor Tasting Tap Water

Santa Ana Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Santa Ana Safety Review

Safety Index:
Santa Ana

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the rental price of the average house in Santa Ana, CA?

Overall, houses in Santa Ana are pretty affordable.

If you are thinking about renting an apartment or home following your move to Santa Ana, here is a list of the average rental prices:

  • The studio apartment’s average rent is $1,526
  • The 1-bedroom home or apartment average rent $1,695
  • The 2-bedroom home or apartment average rent $2,067
  • The 3-bedroom home or apartment average rent $2,827
  • The 4-bedroom home or apartment average rent $3,268

What is a decent salary to make in Santa Ana, CA?

If you’re moving to Santa Ana, this could mean you must get a new job.

However, you may be wondering exactly how much you can earn while working in Santa Ana.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Annual pay on average in Santa Ana is $55,177
  • Average hourly pay in Santa Ana is $26.53
  • The average weekly pay in Santa Ana is $1,061
  • The average monthly pay in Santa Ana is $4,598
  • The minimum wage in Santa Ana is $13 per hour

What type of people reside in Santa Ana, CA?

Santa Ana is considered diverse.

It is full of different types of people.

Santa Ana makes up 44.6% of Hispanics, 26.7% Whites, 12% Asian, and 9.98% Non-Hispanic.

The majority of households in Santa Ana do not speak English as their primary language.

Is Santa Ana considered a small city?

As of 2020, the population in Santa Ana was 310,227, according to a census.

This means that Santa Ana is the second largest, in terms of population, in Orange County.

It is the 13th most populated city in the state.

Is Santa Ana, CA  a good place to live?

Overall, Santa Ana is a great community, filled with a lot of culture.

Santa Ana has a variety of schools, neighborhoods, and food options.

Sports teams, beaches, and bustling nightlife are all located within 20 minutes of Santa Ana.

1 Comment on 16 Pros and Cons of Living in Santa Ana, CA

  1. It has expensive housing costs, high crime rates and unfriendly residents.

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