Why Invest in Inland Empire Real Estate?
The Inland Empire, or IE, is about 60 miles east of Los Angeles and comprises Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. The IE stretches over a large area of Southern California, spanning more than 27,000 square miles. About 4.5 million residents live in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area, which has a median household income of just under $62,000. Most of the people living in the region use a car as their main mode of transportation.
The region is surrounded by many hills and mountain ranges (San Bernardino Mountains to the north) and has many recreational attractions, including Joshua Tree National Park, Temecula and its many wineries, and Big Bear to name a few. For music fans, Coachella takes place annually near Indio in Riverside County.
Its central location with easy access to Los Angeles and Orange Counties to the west and San Diego County to the South make it a popular location to settle down. Even as home prices rise in the Greater Los Angeles Metro area, homes in the Inland Empire are still relatively affordable. With the IE’s median home values at almost half of the cost of homes in Los Angeles, it’s not surprising that the region added more than 50,000 residents in 2018.
- The Inland Empire is the 13th largest metropolitan area in the US, with nearly 4.5 million residents
- In Riverside County, median home sales increased by 2.1%; sales rose 11.5% (2018–2019)
- In San Bernardino County, median home sales increased by 5.7%; sales rose by 6.5% (2018–2019)
- Median rent in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area is $2,150, compared to median rent in Los Angeles County of $3,200
- Unemployment rate in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario is 3.6%, compared to Los Angeles’ 3.9% and the national rate of 3.5% (November 2019)
- Median home value is just over $390,000 in Riverside County and $358,000 in San Bernardino County, compared to LA County’s $625,000 and the national average of approximately $243,000
Northwest Inland Empire
The Inland Empire is almost the shape of a square, with San Bernardino County directly north of Riverside County. The western section of San Bernardino County is concentrated with many popular real estate investment opportunities, particularly in cities such as: Loma Linda, Redlands, Chino Hills, Rancho Cucamonga, and Victorville. This area is known for great schools, serene mountain landscapes with many popular ski resorts, and endless outdoor activities.
Median housing prices in this area have a large range from the lower end: $306,000 in San Bernardino and $263,000 in Victorville (near Apple Valley, 44 miles north of San Bernardino); to middle-range: $424,000 in Redlands, $503,500 in Chino, and $537,000 in Rancho Cucamonga; to the higher end of $687,000 in Chino Hills.
- San Bernardino National Forest - home to Big Bear and Silverwood Lake
- Site of the original McDonald’s, an unofficial museum of the franchise (San Bernardino)
- San Manuel Stadium - home of the Inland Empire 66ers Minor League baseball team
- Deep Creek Hot Springs in the San Bernardino National Forest
- Glen Helen Raceway - 256 acres, hosts many motocross competitions
- Glen Helen Amphitheater - 65,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, the largest in the US
- Norton Air Force Base Museum
Northeast Inland Empire
With the Mojave National Desert Reserve to the north and Nevada and Arizona to the east, the northeastern section of the Inland Empire is mostly uninhabited desertland. Twentynine Palms is one of the last populated cities heading east; its median home value is $141,000.
- Air Ground Combat Center, the largest Marine Corps training base in the world (Twentynine Palms)
- Joshua Tree National Park headquarters and main entrance (Twentynine Palms)
Southwest Inland Empire
This section of Riverside County includes Corona, Jurupa Valley, Riverside, Temecula, and Palm Springs/Palm Desert, (the latter two of which are among some of the top tourist destinations in Southern California). Corona is the westernmost city in Riverside, with a population of about 167,000 people. Home values in Corona are on average $497,000.
Riverside and Jurupa Valley are close neighbors, and homes in these family-friendly cities are very similar in value (median for Riverside is $418,000 and Jurupa Valley is $426,000).
Temecula is widely known as being the Napa Valley of Southern California, but it’s also a great choice for families, boasting an average home value just over $480,000, as well as top-rated schools, great weather, and a well-maintained city with historical appeal.
Although Palm Springs is a popular tourist destination, especially in the summer, it’s also a great place to live, boasting its own hot springs, great hotels and spas, and many golf courses to choose from. On average, homes in the city are listed at $489,000.
- Temecula has 40-plus wineries - great entertainment options for individual and families
- Corona Heritage Park and Museum (Corona)
- Dos Lagos Golf Course (Corona)
- Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
- Palm Springs Art Museum
- Mount San Jacinto - highest peak of the mountain range at 10,833 feet (near Idyllwild)
- California Citrus State Historic Park (Riverside)
- Fairmount Park (Riverside) - playgrounds, boathouse, small waterfall
Southeast Inland Empire
Past the San Bernardino National Forest but before reaching Joshua Tree National Park is the city of Indio, where the median home value is $324,500 and the population is around 87,000 residents. Past Indio is mostly uninhabited desert until you cross the California- Arizona border.
- Indio is about 4 miles from the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which draws in 99,000 attendees each spring
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