By Ali Sahabi of Optimum Group, LLC
President, Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter
Homebuyers were in for some good news earlier this month when the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index: Regional Listing by Affordability Rank again listed San Bernardino County as one of the most affordable areas in the most desirable destination in the world’s fifth-largest economy: Southern California. According to the report, the median home price in the Riverside-San Bernardino County-Ontario statistical region is $335,000 – making our region one of the two most affordable housing markets in Southern California.
The biggest reason San Bernardino County’s home values are the most affordable is because we have room to grow. San Bernardino County checks in at over 20,000 square miles and is larger than many major industrialized nations such as Holland, Switzerland, Israel, Jamaica or Kuwait. It is larger than nine American states (we are just slightly smaller than West Virginia) and because of its size and diversity, the region’s natural wonders account for a half dozen of the nation’s best known natural tourist attractions. While many of our neighboring counties have population densities measured in thousands per square mile, San Bernardino County’s population density is closer to 104 people per square mile.
Another key reason San Bernardino County is one of the most desirable destinations for homebuyers is because it offers three unique and distinct living environments: scenic valleys, towering mountain ranges and spacious deserts. Our scenic deserts such as the Victor and Morongo Valleys began as resort areas and their rich beauty and towering Joshua Trees served as backdrops for hundreds of Hollywood westerns for stars such as legendary Apple Valley resident Roy Rogers. From the peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains on our west side to the snow-capped ridges of our San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountain ranges in the east; our world-famous mountains offer the widest range of outdoor activities in Southern California.
In addition to offering some of the finest weather and recreational opportunities in the nation, our region is also one of the state’s richest regions in terms of education. Our region boasts one of the most impressive educational complexes in the nation with The University of Redlands, the Claremont Colleges (known as the “Harvard of the West”), Chaffey Community College and California State University San Bernardino.
Even with all of the potential our region has to offer, there are many other reasons why so many people want to live here. Because our region was once the nation’s breadbasket offering the greatest agricultural acreage in the nation, most of the growth we have experienced in the region has occurred over the past few decades. That means most of the housing stock in our region has been built to the highest possible standards and today’s state-of-the-art new homes are the safest and most environmentally–friendly homes ever built.
While many Americans see the holiday season as a time when they’ll awake to landscapes blanketed with snow, Southern California residents experience much of the holiday season as a host of recreational opportunities. Those lucky enough to live here can choose between loading the skis and snowboards for a day in mountains or the boogie boards and wetsuits for a day at the beach. Where else can one make a quick drive to Hollywood for a movie premiere or a night of live music after an afternoon off-roading or hiking in the desert?
It all adds up to the quality of life you can enjoy when you purchase a home in our region. It makes one wonder why anybody would want to live anywhere else because San Bernardino County is one of the best places in Southern California to make what may be the biggest and best investment of your life.
The BIA Baldy View Chapter seeks to advance the opportunity to attain the American Dream of home ownership. For additional information on homebuying, home improvements or the benefits of homeownership, go to www.biabuild.com on the web.
Have a great holiday season.