Tijeras CreekWhen I first moved to Rancho Santa Margarita in 1995, I was immediately impressed by the good old-fashioned appeal of family neighborhoods. On move-in day I was welcomed with a platter of brownies and several of the neighbors came by to introduce themselves and volunteer their assistance.  It was heart-warming to feel so welcomed and I knew without a doubt that my family would enjoy living in this community.

People are friendly in Rancho Santa Margarita and enjoy interacting with their neighbors.  This week as I was walking a section of the Arroyo Vista Trail near Tijeras Creek Golf Club, I had the opportunity to meet one such person.  He is a robust gentleman, in his mid-fifties who was being taken for a walk by his two Australian Shepherds.

He told me that he had moved to Rancho Santa Margarita from Minnesota shortly after a company merger resulted in his transfer to the company’s Irvine office.  He initially rented in Irvine to allow himself time to get familiar with the Orange County area and while looking fell in love with Rancho Santa Margarita.He purchased a home in Rancho Santa Margarita six months later.  In Rancho Santa Margarita he found a relatively newer home with all the upgrades for considerably less what he was finding in
Irvine – and his commute was only fifteen minutes longer.  One of the things he said he enjoys the most about Rancho Santa Margarita is the convenience of shopping and restaurants. He and his wife enjoy dining at Opah’s  and El Torito Grill  which are both located in
Center. His two daughters are involved in Girl Scouts of America and are enrolled in gymnastics classes at California Elite .

The entire family settled into their new home and their new life in RSM fairly quickly and each of them is grateful for the job transfer that landed them here.  Even the dogs, who enjoy spending more time outside in the moderate Southern California climate. 

Although I spent less than five minutes of my walk speaking with this gentleman, he, and people like him, are part of what makes Rancho Santa Margarita so special.  I may not see him as I’m walking down the trail next week, but I have no doubt that someone will be there, and that I will have the opportunity to meet yet another member of this awesome urban village.


The weather was beautiful yesterday and I decided to take a walk along the arroyo that runs up the east side of Antonio Parkway. Rancho Santa Margarita has some of the best walking trails around and the community was out in full measure enjoying them. Young couples with strollers, the usual group of iPod-immersed joggers, a couple of adolescent skaters, an elderly woman with her basset hound, and me – all out taking advantage of the ideal Southern California spring weather.


Rancho Santa Margarita is a successful master-planned community with the structure of an urban village. Take a look at one of my previous posts: Rancho Santa Margarita At A Glance . RSM was designed in such a way to encourage residents to interact socially – and they do! Friendly – that’s how people are here in Rancho Santa Margarita – and it makes one’s outside exercise regime fun.

At this time of the year, before the spring rains, plant-life is water-starved. The native shrubbery carpeting the steep sides of the arroyo is a dingy tannish-brown and is dry and brittle. Yet it still holds a certain appeal. Wildlife is abundant in the arroyo and it is advised that residents stay on the trails at all times. This time out I see only birds – but I do hear a rustle or two in the bushes.

As the shadows lengthen and the sun makes it’s slow decent into the Pacific I take one final glance at the arroyo. In a few more weeks it will have an entirely different look. Springtime will have officially arrived and the arroyo, like most other things in nature, will be renewed. Grass will grow, wild flowers will bloom and the indigenous shrubs will get a much needed boost from mother nature – and RSM residents will be there to enjoy it.

For more information about Rancho Santa Margarita or if you would like to shop the MLS for a home in Rancho Santa Margarita please visit my website.

Kelly Kilpatrick, REALTOR®, ABR®, e-PRO®
Gold Coast Realty/Rancho Santa Margarita CA
Cell: (949) 903-0030 Fax: (949) 209-4511