Homes for Sale in Riverside, CA: What You Need to Know
Riverside is a city in southern California known as the Inland Empire. “Inland” describes the city’s location, about 55 miles inland from Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean while “empire” refers to the abundance of citrus groves in the area.
Riverside’s Local History
The Serrano, Chemehuevi, and the Cahuilla Native Americans were among the people who originally lived in the area. Spain began colonizing the area in the late 18th century, when it claimed all of California and Mexico. In the 19th century, possession of California shifted to Mexico (early 1820s) to the U.S. (1848) and it finally became a state in 1850.
Riverside was established in 1870 on a section of Rancho Jurupa. It was initially called Jurupa but later renamed Riverside. California’s first navel orange trees were planted in Riverside in 1873. The cuttings came from Washington, but they thrived better in southern California’s warm climate. It was the beginning of the state’s successful citrus industry.
Riverside Real Estate: The Cost of Living
Riverside’s cost of living is 13.2% higher than the national average, but it’s not as high as nearby Los Angeles (42.6%). Food and transportation costs in Riverside are 3.3% and 2.5% higher than the national average, respectively. California’s progressive tax system has nine income-tax brackets. The state levies 1% to 13.3% in state income tax depending on one’s bracket. Sales tax in California ranges from 7.25% to 10.50%.
Know Your Neighborhoods
If you like being close to downtown without actually living there, the Wood Streets neighborhood is ideal. You’ll find homes mostly built prior to World War II. For more contemporary houses, Mission Grove is a newer neighborhood with single-family homes, apartments, and condos. If you prefer the suburbs, Orangecrest and Eastvale are within commuting distance. Families favor Orangecrest for its top-notch schools, and residents love the parks, library, and smooth traffic. Eastvale is known for its big-city amenities, diversity, and excellent schools.
Getting Around in Riverside
Residents rely primarily on cars to get around, so you can expect traffic congestion. The Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) provides local and regional services with 39 fixed routes, eight CommuterLink express routes, and Dial-A-Ride services using 334 vehicles. RTA coordinates with the Riverside Special Services to complement ADA services. In addition, Amtrak trains and three lines of the Metrolink commuter rail system also service Riverside. To travel by plane, Riverside is accessible through the Ontario International Airport, 20 miles away from Riverside, Los Angeles International Airport, and John Wayne Orange County Airport.
The Local Population
Riverside is a thriving mid-size city with a population of 336,285. The city is predominantly white (60.89%) with a median age of 31.4. There are 12,269 military veterans living in the city, representing 4% of the city’s population.