PROS AND CONS OF LIVING IN RIVERSIDE CALIFORNIA

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Pros and cons of living in Riverside, California

Riverside California has a lot to offer and is centrally located within Southern California. In this blog post, we are going to discuss all of the pros and the cons of living in this city. Whether you are new to California or just relocating, this blog post will hopefully give you an idea of how life in Riverside would be. If you are considering moving to California, or if you’re searching for more information about Riverside, then you’ve come to the right place! 

PROSCONS
Centrally located
Weather
Some very nice communities
Lots of history
Variety of restaurants
Parks and hiking
Close to airports
Weekend getaways nearby
Lots of golf
Crime in some areas
Traffic
Cost of living
Air quality
Some Schools
pros and cons of riverside california

This is a brief overview of the different pros and cons I’ve seen with living in Riverside. Below we will dive deeper into each subject to give you a better idea of what it’s really like to live here.

Pros

Centrally located

For many people, especially commuters, location is a big deciding factor when it comes to choosing a new home. Living in Riverside gives you direct access to many freeways including the 91, 215, and the 60. Depending on what area you live in Riverside it usually takes between 5-15 minutes to get to a freeway. This is very important to factor in if you have to commute to another city regularly.

Weather

Riverside has some of the best weather in the country in my opinion. While it does get fairly hot during summer, it does not get too cold or rainy during the winter months. On average the warmest months of the year are July and August when the typical high is about 94 degrees. The coldest months of the year are January and December when the low is around 44. Riverside does not get too much rain either, during the 5-month ‘rainy season’ you will normally only see between 4 to 5 days of rain per month maximum. 

Some very nice communities

Riverside has a wide array of different types of communities and areas. This allows for families to pick and choose what is important to them and what type of community would suit their lifestyle the best. Orangecrest, Mission Grove, and Canyon Crest are three of the best and nicest communities to live in. These nicer areas also tend to have very low rates of crime. 

Lots of history

Riverside was first settled around 1870 and has many different historical buildings and museums with tons of interesting artifacts. One big attraction in this city is the Mission Inn, which was founded in 1876 by Eastern settlers. Over the following 60 years it was transformed into a large Hotel which is now a cornerstone of downtown Riverside. Many locals frequent this hotel and all that it offers, especially around the holidays when it is all lit up.

Variety of restaurants

The city has grown quite a bit since it was established and is home to people of many different cultures. It is a very diverse city when it comes to types of restaurants, so no matter what you are in the mood for you will almost always find something nearby. I was always impressed by the amount of unique family-owned restaurants that could be found throught the city.

Parks and hiking

You will find a number of small parks in many of the medium and larger-sized neighborhoods. Almost every neighborhood in Riverside has a designated community Park, with many larger public parks scattered throughout the city. Many of these parks accommodate sports such as; football, baseball, soccer, and tennis. Riverside also has over 50 scenic trails and hikes located within its bounds, making it a great place for nature lovers!

pros and cons of riverside california 2

Close to airports

The closest airport to this city would be Ontario International Airport which is about 30 to 45 minutes away. San Diego and Los Angeles International airports are also within an hour and a half to 2-hour drive. This gives you many options when booking a flight and can be helpful for those who like to travel often.

Weekend getaways nearby

This central location is great for weekend getaways or quick day trips. Making your way up to the mountains to see Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead is only about an hour and a half drive. You can also get to the beach cities in under an hour to soak up the California sun and have a fun day on the sand. The closest getaway is the beautiful Temecula Wine Country, which is only about a 45-minute drive from most areas in Riverside. 

Lots of golf

There are 8 different golf courses located in Riverside, with another 30 courses within an hour’s drive. Some of the most popular golf courses are Van Buren Golf Center, Victoria club, and Canyon Crest Country Club. With so many different options this city is great for golf lovers and allows you to explore many different types of courses.

Cons

Crime in some areas

Some areas of this large city have spots with fairly high crime rates. On average Riverside is a safe city, however, some neighborhoods such as downtown and east side have seen a large jump in the crime rate. If you are looking into moving to this city I suggest doing a bit of research to ensure you avoid these areas.

Traffic

Over the course of the last 10 years, traffic has gotten substantially worse in this area. In big part, this is due to the centralized location and the rise in population. For commuters making their way to Orange County or San Diego you can expect traffic during the peak hours (about 7 am-9 am and 3 pm-7 pm). Keep in mind peak hours affect freeways as well as street traffic, especially on major streets like Van Buren Blvd., Arlington st., and Magnolia Ave..

Cost of living

Compared to California as a whole, Riverside is still slightly lower in regard to the cost of living. The median home price is roughly $490,000 and the median home price in all of California is at $684,000. There are many grocery stores, restaurants, and activities that you can find very cheap here. However, the cost of living in Riverside is going to be slightly higher than in some of the smaller cities nearby. 

Air quality

Due to the geographic location, Riverside endures more pollutants than it generates. Pollution from the Los Angeles area funnels into the Inland Empire and the City of Riverside. This has caused Riverside to have quite a bit of smog and ground-level ozone. The pollution level is typically rated as ‘fair’ and should not interfere with most people’s day-to-day activities. However, it is something to keep in mind if you are sensitive to air pollution as this can affect some groups more. 

Some Schools

There are a number of schools in Riverside that have very high ratings, these are typically located in the nicer neighborhoods. However, Riverside has more than 150 schools with less than a 5 out of 10 rating on greatschools.org. This does bring up many concerns for families with school-age children and I highly recommend researching the school district prior to purchasing a home here. 

Thank you for reading our blog, if you have any interest in moving to Riverside or the surrounding area please read the Google Reviews here for Greenleaf Real Estate & Appraisal.

We are licensed as both Real Estate Brokers & a Certified Residential Appraiser. 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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