8 cities in the Inland Empire Where should you live?
These eight cities in the Inland Empire have both good and bad aspects. I thought it would be a great blog post and video to share my experiences of working and living in this area for many years. In this blog post, I am going to focus on Corona, Riverside, Perris, Moreno Valley, Menifee, Temecula, and Murrieta. At the end of this blog post, there will be a home search to look into these areas. This home search comes directly from the local MLS and is updated daily.
Corona is going to be the most expensive in regard to home prices and rents on our list. Reason being? Probably because it is the closest to Orange County and Los Angeles. There are some areas of Corona that are beautiful, and I would definitely have no problem living there. The opinions on what is a good area in Corona might differ from mine, so I’m not going to talk about specific communities, just Corona as a whole. One thing is for sure: There are places where I would live in Corona, and there are definitely places I wouldn’t. One thing I will caution you on, and I talked a lot about this in my videos, is being strategic about where you live in comparison to where you work. The 91 and 15 freeways can be frustrating at times, to say the least. Homes in South Corona off the 15 are going to be less expensive, but you will have to deal with that traffic, both getting on the 91 in the mornings and coming down the 15 in the evenings.
Personally, I like the area south of the 15 in Corona. It’s less congested in regard to homes and communities. There are some nice views, lots of hills, and, in my opinion, a more relaxing vibe.
Eastvale and Norco are two additional cities north of that have Corona or almost all of Corona. Eastvale is a newer community, really grown in the last 20 years, and home prices have gone up in value substantially. Norco is well-known in Southern California for being a horse area mainstay. If you need to live in the Inland Empire and have a love for horses, Norco is a great option. Many people who work in Chino, Ontario, or Rancho Cucamonga choose these areas as they are much more convenient, and you will spend way less time on the freeway.
I spent eight years living in Riverside and, for the most part, enjoyed it very much. If you like history and older homes, Riverside might be a good choice for you. Areas like the wood streets have homes built over 120 years ago. Similar to Corona, there are areas of Riverside where I would not live. Make sure you do your research before purchasing a home, especially if you have kids. I lived in Orangecrest, which is a good family community with a lot to offer. The only downside of Orangecrest is that it’s a little frustrating to get to if you have to work off the 91. It’s a good 20-minute drive in the morning to get down to the freeway. Downtown Riverside has some fun things to do. We would often go to dinner at the Mission Inn or Mario’s, which is just across the street. The Mission Inn has two or three restaurants, one of which is outdoors. They have a presidential lounge for drinks beforehand. There is a lot of history in this area, and it was a staple for us in regard to a place to hang out.
Another area that I like in Riverside is Canyon Crest. It basically butts up to Orangecrest but is a much older community. Canyon Crest has two private golf courses in Victoria and Canyon Crest. The landscape in this area is very mature, with a great deal of one-story homes, and for the most part, people take pride in their ownership of this area.
If I had to live in Moreno Valley, my choice would be north of the 60 Freeway or far east on the 60 Freeway. North of the 60 Freeway has many homes with larger properties, and most have pride in ownership. Further east on the 60 Freeway, there are homes that are newer when compared to the rest of the city. Traffic is going to get worse when you enter the 215 freeway and drive down towards the 91 freeway. There are many restaurants and grocery stores right off the 60 Freeway, which makes it convenient for people working long hours. In regards to home prices, the average is definitely going to be lower than both Riverside and Corona. If you have kids, make sure you do research on the school district and specific schools in the city.
Perris has a little bit of everything. The 92571 ZIP code has many homes that border Orangecrest that are very nice. Many of these are half-acre to 1-acre parcels, have nice views, and are relatively new compared to the rest of the area.
Gavilan Hills in Perris, in the 92570 area code, has some gorgeous homes and horse property, and you can expect to spend three-quarters of a million dollars or higher in this area. As beautiful as this area is, the cell service is terrible, and the convenience is that grocery stores are going to be a 15- to 20-minute drive away. If you are retired or have no need for people, this might be an option for you.
Other areas of Perris are going to be south of the 215 freeway. There is a mix of everything: mobile homes, larger lots, and track home communities. One thing I will caution you on is that if you decide to move to Perris, do a great deal of research. To be completely honest, there are some areas of Per where I would not live. Perris is going to have a similar price point to Moreno Valley, with the exceptions being Gavilan Hills and parts of 92571.
Moving south on the 215 brings us into the area that I enjoy the most. Menifee is a great option in regard to price, future growth, and investment. People talk all the time about how much Menifee has grown over the last 20 years. It’s pretty crazy to see some of the off-ramps during lunch hour or rush hour in Menifee. I would say that might be the one downside. It’s almost like they built tons of homes and forgot about some of the infrastructure that they needed to go along with that. Homes are going to be more affordable than many places; there is a golf course and many amenities that include restaurants, grocery stores, etc. If you’re looking for an affordable community that has real growth potential and is safe, check out Menifee.
We are getting closer to where I personally live. Murrieta is a beautiful town that is safe and has a massive upside. Homes are affordable, there is really no area in Murrieta where I would not live, schools are good, and the city has a great deal to offer its residents.
Whether you want to live on a golf course, have horse property, or live in a tract home, Community Murrieta has everything. In regards to golf, there’s a private course called Bear Creek. If you’re into horses, the horse community in Murrieta is called La Cresta. We have sold and appraised many homes in these areas, and they are both beautiful.
The growth of Murrieta rivals that of Menifee or Temecula over the past 20 years. The homes are going to be on the newer side, which will keep your repair costs down. In my opinion, traffic within the city of Murrieta is probably the best in regards to volume in every city that I have talked about in this blog post. Murrieta is the city where people want to keep quiet. They don’t want to see blog posts like this. It has grown over 100% in the last 20 years, and I see the same type of growth in the future. This would be my second choice out of every city that I’ve talked about in this blog post.
Finally, where I live and the city I love After relocating from the inland to the beaches of Southern California, After weekend getaways that included almost every city across Southern California, and after traveling the world for a year, we decided to move to Temecula. Temecula was the city that always got away from us while living in Southern California. We would often visit Temecula to go to the wineries, one of our favorite things to do. Five years ago, when we had a choice between Temecula and the beach, we chose the beach. It wasn’t a mistake; we still had a great time at the beach, but Temecula has by far been our favorite.
Temecula has so much to offer. Just to name a few: wineries, RV resorts, Pechanga Casino, multiple golf courses, hundreds of restaurants, and Old Town Temecula. Yes, growth has been substantial over the last 20 years. Temecula locals don’t really like being totally honest but don’t let that stop you.
The variety of housing options in Temecula is one of its distinguishing features. Temecula has horse property, agricultural land, golf course living, wine country estates, and track home communities. It makes no difference where you live; amenities are nearby and convenient.
Traffic can be annoying, especially during morning and evening rush hours. My suggestion is for people who want to relocate or move to Temecula: Figure out where your job is and locate yourself in the proper area of Temecula. If you’re working north, look into the area off Murrieta Hot Springs Road in the community of Harveston. This will shave off a good 20 minutes of drive time both in the morning and at night. If you’re working south, toward San Diego, definitely look into South Temecula. In my opinion, even though we live in the north, I prefer the southern area of Temecula. It seems to have more properties with larger lots and is a little less congested in regard to traffic.
So there you have it, eight cities in the Inland Empire. Just like anywhere, you need to do your research and understand where you are moving, but I feel it is especially important here in Southern California. If you want an honest opinion from somebody who has lived and sold homes here for over 12 years, just give me a call. I have a great deal of knowledge about the Inland Empire or Riverside County. Not only have I sold homes in cities in the Inland Empire, but my wife has appraised thousands of homes as well. We have a great deal of in-depth knowledge not only of each area of the Inland Empire but also of home values, amenities, safety, and the school system. I have included a home search below for you to use at your convenience.
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