Rancho Santa Margarita Homes for Sale

One of Orange County´s most recently incorporated cities, Rancho Santa Margarita is where most of ¨The Real Housewives of Orange County¨ television series stars do their shopping and other errands. The affluent city is a master planned community composed primarily of homeowners associations. Its population was nearly 48,000 during the 2010 census.

Rancho Santa Margarita Homes for Sale


A working ranch through the 1920s, Rancho Santa Margarita was divided for various purposes beginning in 1942, when the United States Navy annexed a portion of the land for use as Camp Joseph H. Pendleton. In 1948, owners of another portion of the property donated 278 acres of canyon bottom land to Orange County to be used as as public park. In 1963, the same family donated another 120 acres of the former ranch to be used as park land. That same year, the owners of the remainder of the land formed the Mission Viejo Company and drafted master plans for a community of the same name.

The first homes in the then-new master planned community of Rancho Santa Margarita were sold in 1986. The residents of Rancho Santa Margarita established a Community Civic Association to represent their community in 1989. In 1995, the Rancho Santa Margarita Cityhood Committee began promoting incorporation.

In November of 1999, area voters approved incorporation of Rancho Santa Margarita, as well as the nearby Robinson Ranch, Dove Canyon, Rancho Cielo, Trabuco Highlands and Walden communities. On January 1, 2000, Rancho Santa Margarita became the 33rd city in Orange County.

The city´s major homeowners associations are the Rancho Santa Margarita Landscape and Recreation Corporation, or SAMLARC; Dove Canyon; Robinson Ranch; and Rancho Cielo.

Frommer´s named Rancho Santa Margarita one of the Best Places to Raise a Family, based on the community´s standard of living, education, health and safety, lifestyle and population.


The city is served by the Saddleback Valley Unified School District and Capistrano Unified School District. Private schools include St. John’s Episcopal, Serra Catholic, Mission Hills Christian School, and Santa Margarita Catholic High School.

Real Estate

The median sale price for homes in Rancho Santa Margarita in 2012 was $364,500.

Latest Rancho Santa Margarita Homes for Sale:

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