Temecula vs Murrieta vs Menifee Where should you live?

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Temecula vs Murrieta vs Menifee 

This is probably one of the most important blog posts you will read if you plan on moving to these three cities. Temecula, Murrieta, and Menifee are growing rapidly and in our opinion three of the best places to live in the Inland Empire or even Southern California. In this blog post & video, we will go over in detail the pros and cons of each city. By the end of this blog post, you will have a very good idea of home prices, population density, schools, amenities, and safety.

If you’re comparing traffic to many other cities throughout America, these cities will be nightmarish. When it compared to Southern California in general, it’s not that bad.

In Menifee, the Newport exit is the worst area for traffic in all three cities. Mornings, evenings, and lunch hour are horrific on this exit LOL. In my opinion oh, the city did not do a great job with infrastructure. They need another exit.

Traffic also gets bad in Temecula on the 15 freeways depending on which way you were traveling, and what time of day it is. When the 15 splits with the 215 freeway, this is where traffic is backed up. The worst time to travel on the 15 freeway is at night after work going north and traffic starts getting heavy before the south end of Temecula. If you can stay away from this area during this time, your life will be a lot happier.

Putting it all in perspective, all three of these cities are not horrible when compared to other places in Southern California. Menifee, Murrieta, and Temecula have a landmass of about 130 square miles in a population of around 300000 people. To put that into perspective, Riverside, the most well-known city in the Inland Empire has a population of over 320,000 and land is only 80 sq miles.


We do not have kids in any of these schools but past clients, internet reviews, and ratings point towards a really good school system in both Murrieta and Temecula. Many of my blog posts about specific communities in Temecula point out ratings of the local schools. One of the great things about Temecula is how close both elementary and middle schools are to many of these communities. You can expect no more than a five-minute drive for both elementary and middle schools regardless of what community you live in.

Menifee is going to be a different story. This is strictly going off overall ratings and test score ratings but they are not very high throughout Menifee. If you do have kids and schooling is important, you might want to look into Murrieta or Temecula. If not, I’m sure there are some private options in Menifee.

Future Growth


As of right now in 2021 there is one major housing project called Somers Bend being built. if you would like more information, check it out here. When it comes to Temecula, one positive is that population growth will be put in check to some degree in the future. Many parts of Temecula are zoned or have lots of 1 to 20 acres. This keeps the population down and builders away from stacking homes upon homes in a small area. 

On the west side of the 15 freeways you have to De Luz, this is an agricultural area and I think the minimum lot size is 5 Acres. We also have Meadowview and Los Ranchitos, which is more of a horse area. for Temecula to grow in way of population and more homes, they are going to have to go far east, past the wineries. There will be a point where people won’t want to be that far from the freeway or civilization. 


As I mentioned earlier, both Temecula and Murrieta have very similar populations and landmass sizes. In regards to future growth, I think Murrieta might have a little more room for homes and population growth. Murrieta does have a renowned horse area called La Cresta. This is on the west side of the 15 freeway. They also have a very nice private golf course called Bear Creek.

For the new home developments in Murrieta, click here

 Murrieta is a city that I would invest in. It’s very beautiful, great schools and safe. I do think that Temecula will always be more valuable in a way of Real Estate. The biggest factor being the wineries. As wine country grows, home prices in Temecula will follow.


Menifee probably has the most growth in regards to new home developments. As you will find out, the building is getting farther and farther away from the 15 freeway. Yes, some of these home communities are very nice with a ton of amenities but it will take you 15-20 minutes to get to the 15 freeway. You need to keep that in mind if you are driving every day. Driving in Southern California can get old very quickly so I do suggest limiting time in your car whenever possible. 

For new home developments in Menifee, click here


All three of these cities have a lot of amenities, it comes down to what you like doing.

Starting in Temecula, we have the wineries, Old Town, the casino, and hiking trails. I don’t know if this is accurate but I believe Temecula and Murrieta have more things to do outside. It feels a little less crowded. I also think that Temecula has a prettier landscape when you are out doing things. Lots of hills and beautiful views.

One of the huge benefits of Temecula is most of the communities have HOA’s which include pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, basketball courts Etc. I have done countless videos on different communities throughout Temecula and some of the facilities are beautiful and resort-like. During the hot summers and beautiful spring and fall, these facilities give families so many options to be outside and enjoy the beautiful Southern California weather.

I also have to give Menifee credit, many of the new home tracks they are building have similar amenities to what Temecula has.


In Southern California convenience is something very important. Whether it’s your job, groceries, restaurants, activities, or even gas stations. Because of traffic, all of these things are very important to have close to your home. It does make a huge difference in regards to the time in your car.

The second part of convenience is where you are employed. In my opinion, even if you like Temecula more, but you work North, just say Riverside, I would personally live in Menifee. For me, I hate being in the car, I feel like it’s a waste of my life, and being strategic about work vs where you live will save hours per week.

We live in the North end of Temecula because we do commute more towards Riverside than we do South. If we were commuting for work to San Diego, which many people in Temecula do, I would live in the south part of Temecula.

Cost Of Living

I’m not going to spend too much time on cost-of-living when it comes to these three cities because they are all relatively the same except for housing costs. Where the cost of living does differ is when you compare Southern California to other parts of the United States. Taxes, gas, vehicle registration, and parking. All of these things add up, and when you compare it to other parts of the United States, is more expensive. Remember, you are paying a premium for being in the sunshine 340 days a year.


The Temecula area has a tremendous amount of golf courses within 20 to 30 miles, all affordable and usually not too crowded. One of the things that frustrated me living in Orange County was how expensive the golf was and how long it took to play a round.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of 15 golf courses within a 15-minute drive of my house in Temecula. During the week, you can usually play a round for $30-$40. on the weekends, the average cost might arise from $15-$20.


This has been a huge topic throughout the United States over the past year. Many people are moving from huge cities to the suburbs.

There are many places in Southern California where I simply wouldn’t live. The once loved beach cities of Southern California are not what they used to be. Before leaving San Clemente for Temecula, petty theft, drug use, and homelessness were out of control. Unfortunately, this is the case for many areas throughout Southern California in general.

It was a definite breath of fresh air moving to the southern Riverside County area. Of course, you’re still going to get the odd car break-in but Menifee, Murrieta, and Temecula are as safe as you’re going to get in Southern California. It’s crazy that you can have three cities in southern California with a median home price of around 500,000 still be safe.
Of course, you’re still going to get the negative nancys that have lived in Temecula for the past 30 years and have seen it change dramatically talk constantly about how crime is rampant. in my opinion, all three of these cities are great options and as long as you use your common sense you won’t have any issues.


Being in real estate you hear about retirement communities often. It seems every state talks about how their state is the best place to retire. I do agree that in many cases not one state fits all. Sometimes tax benefits are important, Healthcare, home prices and of course weather. if you are a retiree and want great weather, awesome golfing, state-of-the-art hospitals, and every amenity imaginable at your fingertips, this area is definitely when you need to check out. Yes, it is going to be more expensive but when I compare it to every place that we have ever traveled throughout America, it is still number one for us.

Arizona is crazy hot in the summer, Texas weather is humid and unpredictable. We just got back from Florida, it was February, and couldn’t believe how humid it was. I can’t imagine what Florida is like in the summer. In my opinion, the Temecula, Murrieta, and Menifee areas have some of the best weather in America. Yes, it does get a bit hot in the summer but it is not unbearable like many parts of Arizona. We have constant Sunshine, the average temperature is going to be 70 to 85 degrees and when it does get hot, hang out at your community pool if you don’t have one yourself.

Future investment

First, you need to be aware that in regards to the real estate market, California has Hills and Valleys. within 10 years, your house can be worth an astronomical number, and then poof, it’s gone. Everybody needs to understand that this can be both a huge upside or downside depending on how you look at it. For us? It’s a great opportunity when the market is down to buy a rental or start rehabbing homes. When the market is up, it’s always scary putting money into real estate in Southern California remembering what happened in 2008.

Having said that, I think because of all the factors we have discussed in this article Menifee, Murrieta and Temecula are going to be great investments in the long run. All three cities have so much to offer and continually grow. people are actively looking to move to these three areas and I don’t see it stopping for many years. As long as we have great schools, safety, weather, and affordability compared to other parts of Southern California it’s always going to be a destination where people want to relocate to.

To sum everything up, if you have any interest in moving to Southern California and want a truly great area to live in that is relatively stress-free, all three of these cities are great choices. Hopefully, this blog post brought some light to an area of Southern California that doesn’t have the notoriety or Prestige that many others have but is truly a Hidden Gem.

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.

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