Renter's Guide to Riverside
Part of the Greater Los Angeles area, Riverside offers great affordability and convenience, while still being very accessible to places like San Diego and Los Angeles.
That makes it a great place for families, young professionals, or anyone else who wants big city amenities without big city hassles and prices. Forbes even ranked it the 8th coolest city in the US.
Size-wise, Riverside is 98 square miles wide, which makes it roughly half the size of San Francisco and just 20% the size of Los Angeles.
Riverside features a semi-arid climate – summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild and rainy. With its distance from the coast, you don't get those nice ocean breezes you get in some of the other major cities in California.
Average temperatures in the summer usually fall in the 90s, but often get into the 100s. Winters have average lows in the low 40s and average highs in the upper 60s.
Riverside, CA Demographics
- Total Population316,335
Female 156,817Male 159,518
- Median Age31.1
Cost of Living in Riverside, CA
Is Riverside wallet friendly?
It definitely is compared to bigger and more expensive cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant will cost you about $50, and you can add a domestic beer to the tab for $3 a pop.
For utilities, you're looking at about $205 a month, which includes electric, water, and heating. That's quite a bit higher than the nationwide average of $147.
If you want to offset some of the damage to your budget, you can save money with Riverside's public transportation system. The Riverside Transit Agency offers bus services for $1.50 a ride, while Metrolink has a rail system that runs throughout Riverside, Los Angeles, and surrounding areas for $3 a ride.
Average Rent in Riverside, CA
- Riverside, CA Average Rental Price, November 2018$1,442/mo
- 1 Bedroom$1,232
- 2 Bedrooms$1,537
Riverside, CA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0005%
Riverside, CA Rent Trends
|All rentals||Studio||1 Bed||2 Beds||3 Beds|
|Nov / 2018||$1,442||$1,016||$1,232||$1,537|
|Jan / 2018||$1,441||$1,015||$1,232||$1,536|
|Sept / 2017||$1,449||$1,028||$1,255||$1,537|
|May / 2017||$1,419||$1,020||$1,214||$1,509|
|Jan / 2017||$1,380||$977||$1,182||$1,468|
|Sept / 2016||$1,375||$939||$1,178||$1,468|
|May / 2016||$1,354||$937||$1,160||$1,441|
|Jan / 2016||$1,288||$887||$1,091||$1,373|
|Sept / 2015||$1,285||$843||$1,086||$1,382|
|May / 2015||$1,249||$875||$1,056||$1,329|
Average rent is projected to grow by 5% in 2018 compared to 2017.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Average rent values on this page are aggregated from data from the following zip codes: 92501925039250492505925069250792508
Living in Riverside
An easy way to examine the pros and cons of living in Riverside is to compare it to some of the nearby big cities, like Los Angeles and San Francisco.
It's got the same warm, sunny weather, but it's further from the coast and beach – though still close enough for weekend beach trips.
What Riverside lacks in big city amenities, culture, and nightlife, it makes up for with less crowds, less traffic (and better parking), and lower prices.
In other words, it's close enough to the action, but far enough for you to enjoy a more affordable, laid back lifestyle.
Things to do in Riverside
Alright, so you're in Riverside. What exactly is there to do now?
It depends what you're looking for. Outdoorsmen and nature lovers will enjoy walking through Mount Rubidoux Park, taking in the sites at the California Citrus State Park, or – for the more adventurous – whitewater rafting.
The city has a few golf courses nearby too, if you want to get in a quick 9 or 18 holes.
Culture and history buffs will want to check out the Fox Performing Arts Center, March Field Air Museum, Mission Inn Museum, or Riverside National Cemetery.
And if you just want a little ol' fashioned family fun, there are a couple cool drive-in theatres in town, like Van Buren Drive-In Theatre. Or you and the kids can cool off at The Cove Waterpark.
If you're around town during the holiday season, Riverside's annual Festival of Lights is a must see. With over 5 million lights on display, it's ranked among the best of the best light shows in the whole country.
Of course, Riverside is also so close to the beach and other cities like San Diego and Los Angeles that you can take advantage of what they have to offer too, like their pro sports teams. Make sure you check out a Los Angeles Lakers, LA Dodgers, or San Diego Chargers game if you have the chance.
Employment and Economy in Riverside, CA
Why did Riverside see a population growth of over 30% between 2000 and today? Because it's a great place to live and build a career in.
Many people choose to commute to one of the various nearby cities, like Los Angeles. But Riverside itself has an abundance of employment options, particular in manufacturing, education, and government.
The city's also got a rich agricultural history. In fact, it was responsible for the birth of the citrus industry in the US, after the first seedless oranges were planted here way back in the late 1800s.
Riverside, CA Households
- Total Number of Households91,267
Family 65,729Non-family 25,538
Children 37,318No Children 53,949
- Average People Per Household3.34
- Median Household Income$57,196
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,306
Education in Riverside, CA
Looking to take a few classes?
There are two public school districts serving Riverside, along with more than half a dozen private schools. Riverside is also home to a high school for the deaf and another that caters to Native American students.
Riverside, CA Education Statistics
- No High School9%
- Some High School37%
- Some College29%
- Associate Degree7%
- Bachelor Degree12%
- Graduate Degree7%
Tips for Renting in Riverside
By now, you're either convinced Riverside is a great place for you – or you probably already stopped reading.
But what about renters rights in Riverside? What should you know about tenant laws before going in?
For starters, your landlord is not allowed to charge more than two times the rental price for a security deposit – unless the apartment is furnished. And they must return the deposit within 21 days after you move out.
There's no limit to how and when a landlord can raise rent in California, but they're required to give you 30 days’ notice if the increase is within 10 percent and 60 days’ notice if it's more than 10 percent.
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