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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I recently graduated college and have been searching around for a job. I found a good entry level position at the University of California at Riverside. The issue is, I live just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, so it would be a cross country move. Naturally, I'm worried about a few things.

The job pays about 40,000- what kind of standard of living can that buy?

How is the town? High crime? Pollution? I've read through a few threads and people have said Corona is pretty good about pollution- is Riverside far enough away from Ontario?

How is the weather? In another thread I saw it got up past 100 degrees. Here in Georgia the upper 80's combined with our humidity start to make riding uncomfortable. I was once stupid enough to ride in 95 degree heat....never doing that again around here. :nono: On the flip side, we just had a week with the highest temperature of 28 degrees (though that's a bit lower than usual).

Anything else to know about the town? I'm just try to do as much research as possible.
 

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OK - I will probably get blasted by this - not probably - but I am sure I will

Moving to Riverside and Corona are pretty similar. Lots of smog in the summer, lots of heat in the summer. Nicer Winters though.

You will fit in though if you have multiple tats, big ass nose rings, and those huge ear pugs and if you listen to loud rap and wear No Fear tank tops to show off your never seen the sun white guns:) Yes thats a joke and a generalization but sooooo true to riverside.

Is there a lot of crime and drug use? yes but not as bad as LA.

40k wont get you that much but its enough to rent and live there- but a decent job now with the bad economy is great - good for you

there is a lot of riding, lots of motocross and good snowboarding nearby though. The beach is about a 2 hour drive from Riverside. Living in riverside is much cheaper than living near the coast. If I was you, I would take a trip out before you commit - but since your young its a great time to see and live in other places.
 

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I live in Beaumont. It's about 20 minutes from Riverside and it is much cheaper... It has it's bad areas like most cities, but overall it is decent. There are also a LOT of bank repo's and people trying to rent out their upside-down properties because there was a LOT of new home building going on when the housing market crashed (I bought one of those houses just before the market crashed... doh!)

We are up higher in the desert, so in the summer it gets over 100, but what we don't typically have is the humidity. It's pretty dry around here.

Even cheaper than that is Hemet. There is also Moreno Valley. A bit more pricey than either Hemet or Beaumont, but much closer to UCR.

I guess the point is there are a lot of cities all within easy commute distance to UCR... of course if you want to bike to work, then that limits it a bit. Good Luck in your dicisions! I would second surftime's advice to visit and check things out.

FYI, great record shop across from UCR called The Mad Platter. I haven't been there in a while, but it used to be a great place for used CDs.
 

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Now that I live here, If were to move to the UCR area, I would look at Loma Linda and Grand Terrace too, crime is probably the lowest in the area. UCR is only five miles away from Grand Terrace and Loma Linda is just a great place to live, is what I call an "athlete friendly" community. You can see hundreds of people running and biking on the streets and of course, in Hulda Crooks!

Weather is great, I do early morning rides/runs during summer time, or I just drive 45' to get to the mountains.Is pretty much year round riding. Winter is great too, last weekend was 86 by my house.

BTW I don't have tats or any of the items described by the surfer, but I must admit he's right. If I could only get rid of the 80% of the people here in the IE, the place would be so much better... I'm kidding, of course. You got to find your way around.


Good luck!
 

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Where is that last picture?

There is a ****-ton of mt biking in the area. In Beaumont there's a cold-war era research facility on 50k acres of pretty nice double. Trails go every which way and there's some bizarre stuff down there. Big Bear ski area does summer mtb, although I don't know how good it is, never tried it.

Rent in RS is higher than Moron Valley (Moreno V) or Beaumont, but traffic between 7-10am blows donkeys here, so closer is generally better. I commute from Beaumont to UCR (doing a PhD there). It generally takes ~25-30 mins, but it has taken as much as an hour with the rubbernecking factor.
 

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I live in Corona and there are a ton of places to ride BMX. I just bought a MTB last week, so I haven't had a chance to find/ride those trails yet.

As for the weather, it's hot in the summer, but decent the rest of the year. The heat is dry, so I would say it is no worse than the upper 80s with high humidity that you see. The air seems decent enough (doesn't affect me when riding).

As stated, there are good parts and bad parts to every city. The area I live in is nice and quite. As for making 40k, that should get you a decent apartment, but probably not in Riverside. I'm not 100% positive, but I think that Riverside is more expensive than surrounding areas. My lady commutes to Riverside everyday and the drive takes roughly 30 minutes.
 

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Not far south you will find Menifee, Murrietta and Temecula. Nice places to live; the farther south you go from Riverside the nicer it gets after you pass Perris. The French Valley area has the easiest access to the UCR area of all the SW riverside county communities and gives you easy access to Temecula, which is considered by some to be the nicest city in the SW area but Murrieta and Temecula are basically the same. French Valley is where all the kids who grew up in Temecula and Murrieta in the 90's now live. Corona is to the west and a mixed bag of Orange County wannabe's and transplants or meth lab infested high crime neighborhoods with pockets of high end neighborhoods developments to the south. The best weather by far is in Southwest County.

Beaumont is affordable and the newer parts are pretty decent but there is absolutely nothing to do.

There are several excellent areas to mtb within the areas mentioned above, including Idlwild/Hurky Creek, Simpson Park, Vail Lake, Sant Rosa Plateau, Big Bear, Santa Mountains, which include the San Juan Trail. San Diego is an hour from French Valley and there are a dozen or more excellent mtbing opportunities down that way as well. If you have a good job offer in Riverside and enjoy mtbing what are you waiting for, get out here. Oh I forgot to mention Temecula has a very cool wine country area with a few dozen or more wineries which makes fro some nice mixed riding or road riding opportunities. So check out South West Riverside County as well; probably your best choice of places to live if you are going to work at UCR. Temecula also has some decent night life now and an abundant supply of good churches. FYI French Valley is about a 40 minute commute to UCR Temecula about 55 minutes, Corona about 30 minutes. All mild commutes by SoCal standards. From anywhere in Southwest County you can be at a north San Diego county beach in an hour or less. If you are into racing there are 4 endurance races each year in the area; 3 at Vail Lake just outside Temecula and 24 hour race in Idlwild. XC races are held in Fontana, San Dimas, Riverside and Big Bear. If you road ride there is excellent road riding available just over the San Diego county line, you can easily put together several 100 miles courses with plenty of climbing and wide bike lanes. Good luck with your search for a nice place to live should you decide to take the position at UCR. PM me if you have questions, also check out mountainbikebill.com for SoCal riding info.

Good luck,

John
 

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prsman27,

Like any other area in country, Riverside has its good and bad. Geographically it is situated right in the middle of Southern Cal. An hour (or less) drive from the beach, mountains, and desert. About 60 miles from LA and 90 miles from San Diego.

Riverside is a sprawling suburb town of over 300,000 people (and the Inland Empire is a large area of 1 million +) There are nice areas and a few not-so-nice areas. Riverside has multi-million dollar mansions, "depressed" neighborhoods, classic 100 year old homes, and brand new communities. Real estate in CA is higher than most of the country, but Riverside offers better value than many other areas in So Cal so it has seen a lot of growth in the past decade.

The weather in Riverside is great for about 10 months of the year. It does get hot in the summer. Every year you can count on a couple of weeks with high temps of 100+, but the humidity is low. Its pretty dry compared to other areas of the country - we only get about 12-15 inches of rain per year. Air quality is ok much of the year, but the smog does get noticeable in the summer. The inland empire is a large geographic area and pollution is worse in some areas (typically getting better as you go west.) Traffic can be an issue at certain times of the day, and depending where you decide to live, it can impact your commute. I live on the SW side of town and work near UCR, it typically takes 20 - 30 minutes each way.

Standard of living in Riverside is pretty good. Crime rates aren't bad (some areas better than others), about average for CA. Making $40k per year in Southern California is not the same as the mid-west or south, but you can live on it, and if you choose, you could probably afford an "average" house. (Check out realtor.com to see homes in your budget, and city-data.net for demographics and other details). As a few others have noted, there are numerous biking opportunities in the region, and Sycamore Canyon and Box Springs Mtn are within a couple of miles from UCR. Overall, Riverside is a big area and has a lot to offer. If you decide to make the move, find some people to help you get to know the region. PM me if you have any questions.
 

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You can afford an average "house" on $40k a year? In So Cal? That's news to me. Hope you don't need a car, gas and insurance to get to work and your job.

Sales tax is 9 3/4% on everything except food in the market. That's after the Fed and the State take their bite out of your 40k annually. Gas for your vehicle is expensive too, most likely compared to where you live, and our roads are in terrible condition and eat up the suspension components and tires on your car quickly. You'd probably be surprise how much car insurance cost's in So Cal also.

http://www.riversidegasprices.com/

http://www.tennesseegasprices.com/
 

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RandyBoy said:
You can afford an average "house" on $40k a year? In So Cal? That's news to me. Hope you don't need a car, gas and insurance to get to work and your job.

http://www.riversidegasprices.com/

http://www.tennesseegasprices.com/
If you want to live in Orange, LA, or San Diego county yeah not possible. But I bought a 1,800 sq ft. one-story ranch style fixer-upper for $130,000 making 40K a year with 10% down payment in Riverside back when interest rates were higher (8.5 percent). Its a 4 bedroom, 2 bath, open-style floor plan with central air and heat on a half acre. Some of my neighbors are teachers, police officers, even my dentist lives down the street.

So now rates are what, 4-5%, the same house is probably now $175K to $190K, so I think it is still doable in Riverside if you look hard enough and are willing to do a little painting etc.
 

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I'd say make the move, rent for a yr. If you don't like the area, move to a different area with the commute in mind. Maybe buy something after you get to know where everything is at.

Lots of places to ride within 30min drive, 1hr away you can be up at Big bear riding those trails too.
 

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$40k a year in california doesn't get you very far unless you can find a place to rent for around $500 bucks a month. It is possible to find rent that cheap, but usually thats just for a room. Since your planning to work for UCR i'm assuming you want to live close to that area and should be able find several adds for students looking for roomates. As others have said its expensive to live in california. Riverside is more affordable than corona, and corona is more affordable than orange county, san diego, and LA. The inland emprie has got some good places to ride, as does all the other counties in socal.
 

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I just did a video just now on Sycamore Canyon. The trail is right where the freeway/highway meet and is fairly big, holds up to rain well, and popular. Promoting the video here in case some haven't seen it in the other I.E. post.

 

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monstertiki said:
$40k a year in california doesn't get you very far unless you can find a place to rent for around $500 bucks a month. It is possible to find rent that cheap, but usually thats just for a room. Since your planning to work for UCR i'm assuming you want to live close to that area and should be able find several adds for students looking for roomates. As others have said its expensive to live in california. Riverside is more affordable than corona, and corona is more affordable than orange county, san diego, and LA. The inland emprie has got some good places to ride, as does all the other counties in socal.
iduno depends how you spend it:thumbsup: Don't make much more then that and I own a townhome, drive a $35k EVO X, still have 4 bikes and change left to race & break parts:p

If he's gonna work for a university, his medical and 401k are prolly paid for too in that package.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the advice! I've been looking around a little at apartments. I've seen a couple of decent ones- not much more expensive than Atlanta.

I hate commuting with a passion. I used to commute 45 minutes to college, 45 minutes from college to work, and 30 minutes from work back to home. Never doing that again.

Just curious, how expensive are utilities?
 

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Yea. $40k is plenty for a single guy. I earned less in the military ($36k E-4, estimated with benefits considered). Married with Children or with a GF... that's a different story. You're probably not even going to get to ride then in the worst case scenario.

I'm a bit cheap... I got a $9k used Honda Fit and have a single bike ($2k 29er HT), but everything's paid off and I have a decent emergency savings fund. Not sure how jsigone does it.
 

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i cheated a bit, bought my house last yr and got $8k fed tax credit to help with the EVO i got in the summer:thumbsup: If I bought before July of 09' I would have gotten another 9k from CA state taxes but they ran the funding dry.
 
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