Top 10 Reasons Why My Family Has Moved to Rancho Cucamonga
#1 Great schools.
My family of four, which includes my wife, seven-year-old son, and terrific two-year-old son, have moved to Southern California recently to take advantage of the great educational system, and yes, nice weather helps.
We had decided to settle in Upland after checking out Orange County & the San Diego area. A highly sought after school system in my area is the Etiwanda School District of Rancho Cucamonga, bordering Fontana (see my “Top 10 Schools” blog for the specific ratings). The local consensus is that the neighboring city of Claremont might have the best high school system in the area, but Claremont has only one high school in the city as opposed to many great high schools in Rancho.
A great elementary school, Pepper Tree Elementary in Upland gets the nod for being the top elementary school in the area. But after weighing all the options, such as availability of nearby parks for our kids, average age of the homes, median home prices, job outlook, etc., we have opted to move to Rancho Cucamonga after spending a year in Upland because we were spending so much more time in Rancho for shopping, restaurants, parks, etc. Upland did have some nice parks, but because RC is much newer and the average age of the residents is lower, we felt Rancho Cucamonga was much better suited for our family. We have tried two schools and have found a perfect school for my son in Victoria Groves Elementary. My son David has learned the phonics alphabet to being able to read most of the books for his grade. Becoming one of the top students academically is a pure joy to watch and the result of a good system & friendly environment. Being right next to a park and being surrounded by median price ranged homes is a dream come true. We walk 5 minutes to school, and on the way back from school, Davin often plays in the park with his friends. Because he speaks minimal English and has a late birthday, we have decided to hold him back one year, and now he is one of the oldest kids in his class. This concept is outlined in the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
Victoria Gardens & Ontario Mills Outlet Mall
Both venues are world class. We love the fun Victoria Gardens specialty shopping, where we can take out the baby stroller and go shop to shop, roaming around on a sunny day, but the Ontario Mills indoor outlet mall gets our vote for the top shopping destination in the area. Outlet stores like Polo Ralph Lauren are our family favorite, and Gucci & Coach handbags for the kids’ mom and the Lego store and baby stores for the kids. There’s also fun rides, numerous toy vending machines, and an awesome food court. Bourbon street spicy fire-grilled chicken is hands down our favorite from the food court, but sometimes New York Pizza or Japanese teppanyaki grilled chicken is a very good alternative. And yes, even Panda Express will make our list at times. Just like Seinfeld’s George Costanza, we do like our chicken spicy. We probably don’t have enough time for a food blog, so with that said, we’ll try to talk about something other than food and go more in depth about food in a future blog. The outlet offers numerous sales events and being close is definitely a plus and is one of the top reasons why we moved to Rancho.
We had thought about moving to Hawaii and went on to investigate the housing prices and educational system in Oahu. After our findings on the school system and housing prices in Hawaii, we decided to settle in Southern California instead. Diversity was a huge factor in deciding where to live, and California was the best place for my family hands down. In Rancho, as opposed to Claremont & Upland, there are younger families and definitely more kids, and it’s well-diversified with all types of ethnicities represented well. I found that the diversity of California is much better suited for my family than any other state we could think of.
#4 Housing Prices
The median housing price of Rancho Cucamonga is $521,800 and climbing. Compared to some parts of the country, it is still pretty high. But compared to most places in California, $500K for a 3 to 4 bedroom home is still a bargain. Even better, some of the luxury homes and golf course homes are priced well below comparable homes by the beach in Orange County. Being able to purchase a 2 to 3 bedroom golf course condo for about $500,000 is definitely a great bargain for Southern California. The current housing prices have settled and are leveling off, creating a more stable real estate market in my area.
#5 Jobs and Median income
Rancho Cucamonga has a median household income of $79,973 and climbing and a very stable job outlook. A lot of employers, especially real estate & financial sector employers, have migrated to Rancho Cucamonga. People complain that there is too much competition, but for me, having an auto-row, shopping mall effect by having a lot of similar businesses is mostly good. There’s an Amazon fulfillment warehouse very nearby, and companies like Amphastar Pharmaceutical (880 employees), Southern California Edison (800), Mercury Casualty (606), Big Lots (565), Frito-Lay (561), CMC Steel Fabricators (517), Bass Pro Shops (500), and Coca-Cola (450) to name a few have made RC their home.
This is a huge factor, personally. Compare to congested L.A. County or Orange County cities, Rancho Cucamonga streets are great. We can go out for a night or for a Sunday drive without worrying about getting caught in a traffic jam. There’s plenty of parking spaces everywhere we go.
#7 Activities for Kids
No, we are not next to our favorite Legoland, Disneyland, Universal Studios, Magic Mountain, Sea World, Knott’s Berry Farm or even Kidspace Children’s Museum of Pasadena, but we are so close to them and all are within driving distance from Rancho Cucamonga. Even going on a 3-day cruise to Mexico is fairly easy since most of the cruise ships depart from Long Beach, which is less than an hour drive away.
#8 Comic-Con, Ice Shows, Circuses, Etc.
Who needs shows like circuses, ice skating, Comic-Con or many other kids shows? We do! Sure, going to Disneyland, Sea World, or even Legoland can cover a lot of these things, but all of the coolest shows and the best shows on earth start or come through Southern California. After all, we are the entertainment capital of the world.
#9 Beaches and Mountains
World-famous beaches are all over Southern California. La Jolla is one of my most favorite beaches to go and play, and after a bike ride on Manhattan Beach, you must go to Martha's for some tofu scrambled eggs, even at lunchtime. The Strawberry Festival at Oxnard Beach in the spring and boogie board heaven at any time of the year since the water is only waist deep for a mile and a half. Tourist’s favorites like Huntington Beach Pier, Santa Monica Pier, and Venice Beach are a must visit. These beaches are so close to us. What is great about living here in Rancho? Have we mentioned all those horse trails and all of the equestrian homes in the area, hence the name Thoroughbred, which might be even more famous for Christmas lights, then the hundreds of equestrian homes? If you love horses, there is a whole section of town and all you see is horse properties. People drive all over the area to see the famous Thoroughbred Christmas lights for free. The hiking trails and mountain views are breathtaking, plus you can ski, and the resorts are very close by – Mt. Baldy Resort, Mountain High Resort of Wrightwood, and Bear Mountain Ski Resort of Big Bear Lake. Our favorite outdoor activity is Santa’s Village of Lake Arrowhead, home of Dick Clark, Doris Day, June Lockhart, Heather Locklear, Mark Harmon, Liberace, and even Roseanne Barr claimed home there in Lake Arrowhead. Over 5000 Ft above sea level, Lake Arrowhead certainly is a great private getaway over the canyon nearby Rancho.
There are so many great parks in Rancho Cucamonga – Day Creek Park, Milliken Park, Victoria Groves Park, and even the small but safe Ellena Park is great for kids. So many parks are everywhere in Rancho, and best of all, kids are always playing in these parks. I cannot believe this is number 10 on my list. This really was one of the biggest reasons why we moved to Rancho in the first place. All parks are maintained very well by the city and by the residents.
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