It is said that Southern California has everything: fantastic weather year-round, natural splendor, world-class entertainment, and Moreno Valley. Read Guide >
MoVal itself is pretty fresh from the oven; 'twas a wee muffin of a town until it integrated into Riverside Country in the 1980s and exploded into a gigantic and delicious cake of Awesome City now grown to a population of 200,000 people. Based on its central location, MoVal is one of the most lucrative locations in the Inland Empire. To the east you'll find Coachella Valley, San Bernardino Valley and the San Bernardino Mountain Range are to the north, and head south to San Diego. MoVal is about one hour east of LA, so commuting to downtown Los Angeles, Orange County, or Palm Springs is no sweat.
Moreno Valley has obvious pluses in the location department, Moreno Valley also has other things going for it.
The city is surrounded by national parks on three sides, and word has it that during winter you can see snow-topped mountains in the nearby San Bernardino range. The city is just north of watery recreation and outdoorsy fun at Lake Perris, which is lined with walking trails.
Also, because a good deal of the communities in Moreno Valley were built during the 1990s, most stuff looks pretty shiny and new. Many neighborhoods got to skip the aesthetic missteps in the 1960s and 1970s when salmon-colored stucco and green formica seemed like a really good idea.
Moreno Valley was built for more affordable housing. The city essentially consists of clusters of planned communities that are usually located in close proximity to a large retail presence, and as stated above, almost everything in the city was built after the 1990s.
It's true that you'll find a lot of strip-mall shopping in Moreno Valley; national retail and dining chains will meet most of your needs. And as is The American Way, the presence of an Olive Garden is a testament to suburban imminence and prestige.
Considering where to live, take into account that most of the neighborhoods are newer developments close to shopping destinations. Expect the ranch-style tract homes typical of Southern California's newer developments, only at a much lower price tag. Generally you can find a one-bedroom apartment in a pretty fancy planned community for as low as $800, and a three-bedroom home can go for as cheap as $1400.
The neighborhood of Sunnymead has a more urban feeling, with multiple business strips.
The east side of town has more of a rural, remote feeling. North and south of Ironwood Avenue, you'll find single-family homes with a lot of acreage. These areas contain some of Moreno Valley's older residential styles from ye olde days of the 1970s before the city integrated, when it was just a twinkle in the Inland Empire's eye.
Many apartments will be found in the neighborhood of Towngate, one of the most popular neighborhoods due to its proximity to shopping including the Moreno Valley Mall, which has a large selection of popular department stores, restaurants, and a movie theater. A one-bedroom in Towngate will run you about $1000 per month plus utilities, a two-bedroom will run you $1200, and a three-bedroom around $1500. Most of these apartments are no more than ten years old, which means modern amenities for you! Mission Grove is another popular neighborhood with lots of pleasant and well-landscaped apartment communities to choose from, and is close to Mission Grove Town Center (the one anchored by K-Mart).
So if you're looking for a nice, inexpensive place to hang your hat in pricey Southern California, or if you're commuting and searching for the shortest possible time spent in LA gridlock, or you just can't get enough of those Olive Garden breadsticks -- look no further than Moreno Valley, where super smart cookies who want all that SoCal has to offer (but don't want to shell out for the sky-high west coast rent) set up camp.
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