Rancho Mission Viejo

The Ranch Journal

Say “Hello” to the Hardy Crew

Framily. It’s when good “friends” become part of your “family.”

That’s what Brice and Ashley Hardy have found in the new Rancho Mission Viejo community, where a full range of homes within the hillside village of Esencia are now selling at prices that range from the high $300,000s to over $1 million.



“Since moving into our new home by Shea Homes, our neighbors have become our best friends,” said Ashely Hardy. “And now, we’re just like family – we’re framily. We depend on each other. We celebrate with each other. We’ve established a sense of belonging unlike any other place we’ve ever lived in South Orange County. We are home – and it’s a great place.”

Along with their two children, Brice and Ashley relocated to Rancho Mission Viejo (The Ranch) from the City of Mission Viejo. Prior to that, the Hardy family lived in Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel, both situated about 30 minutes from Brice’s job as a local police officer.

“We wanted to stay within 30 minutes of Brice’s job and we really wanted to live in a place with a real downtown and a deep sense of community,” said Ashley. “Fortunately, we met all those needs here on The Ranch. This is a place where people wave to each other. We bike to downtown San Juan Capistrano for lunch and the movies. We picnic in the park, kids play in the neighborhoods, friends meet-up for dinner, and everyone gathers together to enjoy all the events and activities.”

Raised in the Central Valley community of Coalinga, the Hardys also appreciate the natural environment of The Ranch where its wide open protected spaces are part of The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo, a protected open space and habitat preserve encompassing about 75% of the Rancho Mission Viejo community.

“Growing up, we were surrounded by hills, ranches, cotton farms, and fields of wheat,” said Ashley. “We never dreamed we’d find this same setting in Orange County – much less the same sense of neighborliness. Yet we did. We’ve already been on several hikes and attended some cool events conducted on The Reserve. Plus, we can see the ridgelines and rolling hills of The Reserve from our windows and front door. In fact, the joke in our neighborhood is that our front door is always open — and while everyone is welcomed in – the door and windows are open so we can take in the incredible views that help define this place.”

Life At Esencia

Currently, the Village of Esencia offers a limited number of spacious single family detached homes within its Canyon House Neighborhoods with final phases of primarily single-level homes remaining in its four Gavilán® 55-plus neighborhoods. And, now selling is a brand new collection of “all age” and Gavilán®’s 55-plus homes in Esencia’s Hilltop Neighborhoods — proximate to The Hilltop Club opening this Spring.

From its location atop the highest elevations at Esencia, The Hilltop Club will include fitness and group spaces, a swimming pool and spa, children’s wading pool, a bar for seasonal and special event use, an arcade, fire pits, bocce ball courts, barbecue pavilion, and a large event lawn. Click here to explore!

“We’ve already committed the schedule of Hilltop Club happy hours to our calendar,” said Ashely. “In our very tech-focused world, it seems that we hunger for a way of life where kids are safe to stay out until they’re called in for dinner, there are sleepovers, block parties, and people know each other by their first names. That’s what we found here on The Ranch – and we celebrate our good fortune every day.”

Now open on The Ranch are numerous amenities for residents of all ages including two clubhouses, three swimming pools and spas, three community farms, water splash zones, picnic/grilling pavilions and event rooms with kitchens, a fully equipped fitness center, seasonal/special event bars, sports fields, an adventure play park, miles of pathways and multi-use trails, tot lots, bocce ball and pickle ball courts, fire pits, a putting green, gardens and patio gathering places, a scenic oak canyon preserve to traverse, and even a coffeehouse, Canyon Coffee, serving Peet’s Coffees and Teas in addition to freshly baked muffins and prepackaged foods.

Gavilán® 55-plus residents enjoy exclusive access to their own resort-style recreational amenities which include several outdoor parks, The Hacienda clubhouse with indoor lounge, fitness center and resort-style pool/spa as well as The Outlook swim and social retreat.

Coming Soon

Additional amenities opening soon at Esencia include The Campout (a small scenic camping area with a casting pond), a village green with a stage for concerts in the park, movie nights, and all sorts of community events, a dog park, additional trails and pathways, and even more parks and small retreats with picnic pavilions, fire pits, and a range of recreational amenities.

Also coming to Esencia is The Pavilion, a multi-purpose building which will include a gymnasium, tot lot, outdoor gathering space, and open play area with soccer field and softball backstop. Next to The Pavilion is the site for the Esencia K-8 school, part of the Capistrano Unified School District and slated to open for the start of school in 2018. And, opening early this year is the Sendero Marketplace retail center anchored by a Gelson’s grocery store, Rite Aid and several specialty and professional shops and services including restaurants and boutiques.

To learn more about Esencia and life on The Ranch, click here and then download driving directions to the Esencia Visitor’s Center, open daily.