The 5 Best Places to Live in Riverside County
After living in Riverside County for over 40 years combined, we feel it is our responsibility to help people locate the best communities in Riverside County. In this blog post, we are going to go through the five best cities in Riverside County to live in. We will talk about safety, the cost of homes, schools, amenities, and employment. This blog post is very important for anybody thinking of relocating or moving to Southern California. Riverside County can be a wonderful place to live, but there are certain cities and areas we would stay away from. As always, at the end of the blog post, we will have a home search for all 5 of the best cities in Riverside County to live in.
Before we get into the blog post, I want to make something very clear. Many cities throughout Southern California are nice, but within these cities are areas you should skip over. We will do our best to explain the city and the neighborhoods within each city that you should look for and avoid.
Living in Corona
Corona is Riverside County’s westernmost city. Corona’s home prices are among the highest in Riverside County in terms of price per square foot because it is the closest to Orange County and Los Angeles. When comparing all five cities, the price per square foot in Corona is $337, with Riverside coming in second at $328.
Traffic along the 91 and 15 freeways in this area is a nightmare. This is why many people choose to live in Corona, especially if they are working west. Living in Riverside, which is only 10 miles east, could add anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes every day to your drive.
I would advise people to avoid living in the areas just west of the 91 freeway and Home Gardens along the 91 Fwy, just past the 15 Fwy going east.
There are some very nice areas in Corona, similar to many cities in southern California. It has some very nice areas as well as some not-so-nice areas.Corona has many restaurants and shopping, and it’s overall a nice city to live in. If you travel down the 15 Freeway South, homes get a little less expensive and there is less traffic within the communities. The problem with living south on the 15 FWY is that it adds time to your commute every day. The 15 and 91 interchanges will be the busiest in the Inland Empire.
If you do like Corona and work west, my suggestion would be to get as close to the Green River exit as possible. This will cut way down on your commute time.
Two other cities that are very close to Corona are Norco and Eastvale, which are north on the 15 Freeway. Norco is a horse community and is well-known for properties zoned for livestock. Eastvale is also a nice city and, compared to Riverside and Corona, very new, built within the last 20 to 25 years. If you’re working off the 10 freeway, check out both of these cities.
As mentioned earlier, Riverside is just east of the 91 freeway. Some of the communities that we suggest looking at are Orange Crest, Canyon Crest, Sierra Heights, and some areas of downtown. Riverside does have a lot of history and is one of the older cities in all of Riverside County and Southern California. The Wood Streets are very popular for people who like Craftsman-style homes with a ton of character. The downtown area of Riverside has many restaurants, which include the Mission Inn and Mario’s.
The population of Riverside is around 350,000 people, and it has a great deal to offer its residents and families depending on their needs and lifestyles.
Do your research, as there are some areas of Riverside you need to stay away from. If you would like more information or insight on the city of Riverside, please reach out. We lived in Riverside for over 20 years and know the city very well.
Menifee is one of the fastest-growing cities in all of America. It is also the least expensive out of these five cities highlighted for housing. Menifee is located just off the 215 freeway. Menifee’s growth has started to really span farther east and farther west of that 215 freeway. As of today, some new home construction takes anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes to reach from the main freeway. There are also a few lake communities that are very beautiful and offer many amenities for the residents.
One of the downsides to Menifee is the school district or school ratings. If you have children and schools are important to you, Menifee is not going to be at the top of the list. Even though Menifee is a safe city and relatively new, the schools have not followed that lead.
Another negative is the restaurant scene, which isn’t the greatest. If you’re a foodie or enjoy going out to dinner from time to time, there isn’t a whole lot of choice in Menifee. One of the restaurants we love and go to from time to time is Texas Roadhouse. The food is good, has a great atmosphere, wonderful service, and is always consistent in the way of food quality and preparation.
There is a nice 55+ community in Menifee called The Oasis. This is right off the 215 freeway and the Newport exit. The Oasis is close to pretty much everything in regard to shopping, grocery stores, and restaurants.
Menifee also has a nice golf course called Menifee Lakes. Menifee Lakes has a total of 27 holes and is always in fairly good condition. The cost to play 18 holes will run anywhere from $40 to $50, depending on when you are playing. If you would like more information on Menifee Lakes Golf Course, here is a direct link to their website. Learn more here.
Temecula definitely makes the list of the five best cities in Riverside County to live in. Great schools, beautiful neighborhoods, wineries, Old Town, great weather, and lots of golf Temecula is truly a gem in Southern California, all while being one of the least expensive areas to purchase a home. (That has changed a little over the past year.)
Temecula has a variety of communities. If you like horses We have that. If you want land for agriculture, yes, we have that. If you want to live on or near a golf course, yes, we have that.
Most communities in Temecula do have HOA fees, but you get a lot for your money. For around $100 a month, almost every single community has its own pool, hot tub, basketball court, volleyball court, walking paths, etc.
If you are looking for a family-friendly city with great schools, look no further than Temecula. A simple Google search will show that Temecula has high ratings not only in Riverside County but throughout California.
As of the date of this article, the average home price is going to be around $650,000. Yes, there are opportunities in the high five hundred, and that will get you a home that’s around 2,000 square feet.
If you would like to read about different neighborhoods in Temecula, you can learn more here.
In all honesty, if you put somebody in the middle of Murrieta or Temecula, they wouldn’t really be able to tell the two cities apart. They are very similar in so many ways. Above I talked about schools, and Murrieta is right up there with Temecula in terms of overall ratings.
In terms of housing, Murrieta will have 15 to 20% lower end-of-way housing costs than Temecula. People frequently choose Murrieta because of the low cost. Don’t think that Murrieta costs less and is not as nice a city as Temecula; that’s simply not true. Both Temecula and Murrieta easily make the top five best cities in Riverside County to live in.
Murrieta has an Old Town area as well; it’s just not as big or as full of restaurants and bars as Old Town Temecula.I also think Murrieta is growing a little faster than Temecula, simply because there is more land.
A few unique areas of Murrieta include Bear Creek Golf Course, which is a beautiful private gated golf community. If you would like more information and a video about the community, you can go here.
Murrieta also has La Cresta, which is a horse community with huge parcels of land similar to De Luz in Temecula. Many of these parcels have beautiful views and estate-style homes.
So there you have it, the 5 best cities in Riverside County to live in, in our opinion. When choosing a city in Riverside County, the two most important things we would look at are how close it is to work and how safe the area is. People from other states don’t always understand how a city in Southern California can have beautiful areas while being dumpy five blocks away. That’s the reality, and you just need to be aware and plan accordingly.
Thank you for reading our blog, if you have any interest in moving to Temecula or the surrounding area, please read the Google reviews here for Greenleaf Real Estate & Appraisal.
We are licensed as both real estate brokers and certified residential appraisers. We love what we do and will bring a great deal of passion, experience, and expertise to the table for you.
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