There won’t be any chasing the clouds away in Rubidoux, in the scorching SoCal desert with imposing mountains, dust scattered valleys, and plenty of those wiggly visual tricks you see on the horizon on super hot days. While the summers leap past 100 on the regular, the winters offer a deep chill, as you might expect from a desert. Closer to Orange County are a number of ranches boasting cattle, horses, goats, and stuff. It's like Old MacDonald's property, or something. But deep into Rubidoux you’ll find typical quarries and dairy farms. Perfect for rock collectors and the lactose-tolerant. However, that’s changing. More and more folks are taking advantage of the low-cost housing and wide-open spaces that come with the territory. Rubidoux is making its way on the map.
Moving to Rubidoux requires some insider knowledge. It’s a youthful city--even young families. But they don’t hang around inside the town’s limits too often. That’s what Riverside and the surrounding areas are for. The nice thing is, there’s plenty around, and not too far either. But it does take a car to get there. A GPS system will be your best friend. Carpooling is popular in some neighborhoods, but everyone needs a car regardless (plus the pollution is dishearteningly, and lung-blackeningly, bad, so you may as well skip the walk). It’s also a fairly evenly mixed combination of owner-occupied pads and rentals, so you can count on plenty of like-minded folks wherever you end up.
Vacancy rates, on the other hand, can vary wildly, with the standard being almost nil. So plan ahead and give yourself a couple months to seek out something special or head straight to downtown Riverside, preferably in the summer, when vacancies skyrocket as college kids leave for home. However, make sure your chosen retreat has ample security and do some research on the area before committing.
It’s a stretch to call them neighborhoods, because unlike Los Angeles or San Diego, these are more like small, unincorporated nearby towns than neighborhoods; but they’ll do in a pinch. There are some really great options and sometimes the price difference isnt much, but it can mean an exhausting wait with vacancy rates the way they are. It’s up to you whether speed of movement or quality of location is more important.
Rubidoux Proper: You’d think downtown Rubidoux would have a high vacancy rate based on the youthful, transient residents. Not so—it’s below 3%. But the rents are pretty low, which is great. Consider this area knowing you'll get what you pay for in quality.
Wood Streets: Butting up against Rubidoux and closer to Riverside is this cute neighborhood. Plus, it has an even lower cost of living than ole' Ruby. If you love historic home rentals, this is the spot. But with a vacancy rate of, holy cow, 0.7%, you’ll be waiting awhile. But, patience is a virtue, so, if you have the time to wait, you could score huge.
Downtown Riverside: You may as well just head into town, because this is where you’ll spend your free time anyway. It has loads of character and walkable streets, plus there are buckets of entertaining college students milling about. Like, for reals. If youre looking for studios and one-bedroom apartments, and a high vacancy rate (especially in the summer, when its up to 25 percent), youre home.
Magnolia Center: This is another cute neighborhood, but the bonus of Magnolia is the pedestrian-friendly streets with adorable shops and accessible conveniences. It’s also extremely diverse and has better than decent grad rates. So, naturally, its the priciest place to settle.
Rubidoux isn’t completely bereft of entertainment options. Theres an old-school drive-in theater, a number of chain fast-food spots, and even a nearby country club. But the outdoor excursions are more appealing. The mountains have plenty of trails and other IE cities have trails for ATV-ing and horseback riding. Better invest in some spurs and some cowboy hats. Rubidoux just hasn’t been given a chance yet, and with more and more students and families moving in, its definitely crawling its way to the big times.