Sendero opened its doors to the public Saturday morning, marking the official launch of Rancho Mission Viejo, the largest housing development Orange County has seen in more than a decade.
Sendero is the first village to be built and will most likely see its first homebuyers move in by the end of August. The total community of 14,000 planned homes could take up to 20 years to complete, however.
"The Ranch," located just off the Ortega highway, lies on top of 23,000 acres on the last working cattle ranch in Orange County, said Diane Gaynor, executive vice president at Roni Hicks & Associates.
Gaynor said the people coming through as prospective buyers generally fit in one of three demographics: active 55-year-olds and older, couples in their late 20s and 30s, and growing or grown families.
“It will be really interesting to see who moves in here," Gaynor said of The Outpost, the first neighborhood of the tour. "I have a feeling it’s going to go mostly to those first two groups I mentioned. They have a lot in common—they are unencumbered by kids and usually debt-free.”
Just across San Antonio Parkway from the main concentration of Sendero neighborhoods, The Outpost is made up of town homes, open to all ages, and includes an outdoor pool, bar and hammocks.
Across the way, people had the chance to check out four other neighborhoods, two for all ages and families, the others for people 55 and older. There will be a total of 11 neighborhoods in Sendero, four for 55 and older.
"It's kind of the anti-Sun City or Leisure World model," Gaynor said of the community's inter-generational plan. Only about 40 percent of the 14,000 new homes will be for sale exclusively to people age 55 and older.
"Those homes are integrated into all-age villages," said Gaynor. "They are telling us they are interested in a real social environment and they want more open space, trails and hills.”
The grand opening ceremony will continue Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.