Orange County
  • $860   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $1518   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $2377   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  southwest US)

45% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Some errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
beaches, volleyball, temperate climate 6

SO, roomiematch.com's Orange County roommate rundown:

Orange County is a bit unusual for this list, because it's not one city, but about 34 smaller ones clustered together? Also, their cluster is still a part of the extended Los Angeles area. But Orange County and L.A. are both sufficiently populated, including many roommates with a preference for one or the other, that it makes sense to match them separately.

(But many moving roommates consider both, normal too if it works for you!)

Orange Countians are diverse except for how they're all entirely about enjoying warm weather year round. On a beach. Preferably in a beachside community.

O.C. also loves surfing, sunbathing, sand volleyball, sailing, skateboarding, swimming, fishing, outdoor shopping, outdoor dining, outdoor bars, and theme parks that are also beach-y.

There's Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and Seal Beach.

And those aren't all the beaches. There are other beaches in other O.C. towns that aren't even named (Something) Beach. But they have a beach anyway!

So it's a popular tourist destination. Or a collection of many. Disneyland is here, along with Knott's Berry Farm. You can also whale watch or take a ferry to Catalina Island. Or Balboa Island.

Not much public transport if you're going anywhere other than back to Los Angeles, an airport, or Disneyland. This means O.C. is sporting an abundance of beachside bars that are unfortunately not near bus stops, subways, or rail stations. If you and your roommates want to get your drink on beachside, please consider picking a bar near home, then walking safely together, round trip.

Also don't forget your hat with brim, sunglasses, sunscreen, and reflective muumuu.

The rest of the Orange County roommate lowdown:

  • along the southern California coast, about 30 miles south of Los Angeles
  • about 3 million residents
  • very mild climate, warm year round, some smog
  • commuting to Los Angeles to work is common
  • home to California State University, Chapman University, Christ College Irvine, Pacific Christian College, Southern California College, and the University of California, Irvine
  • Lots of restaurants with different cuisine (like any geographic area with 3 million people), but O.C. is particularly known for Fatburger, In-N-Out, and Original Tommy's. (Those are 3 popular burger chains not found in most of the rest of the country, but huge here.)

After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Orange County's:

  • Orange County Museum of Art: 53,000 square feet, with a focus on living artists and economically stable design. Admission is free for everyone, at least for the first 10 years, no reservations required. We're still within that window, yes.
  • Sherman Library & Gardens: Extensive botanical garden and research collection on everything Pacific Southwest. There's a Bromeliad Garden, a Fern Grotto, and a Koi Pond. You and your roommates could watch the koi ravage a bunch of bananas.

Here's Orange County's official .gov for residents, with a long list of community resources.


1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.

2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.

3.   From zumper.com.

4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.

5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.

6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.