Put the River Back in Riverside

Riverside’s proximity to the Santa Ana River is the reason for its namesake. The impressive gateway to the city, originally built in 1923, is the Mission Bridge which extends over the river and up into the city through the Buena Vista Bridge. The significance of the Santa Ana River Watershed, which extends from the Pacific Coast to the San Bernardino Mountains, is sometimes lost to the residents of Riverside. Our city is blessed with a 10 mile stretch of land encompassing 250 acres of city-owned property along the Santa Ana River’s natural habitat.

Riverside’s Gateway Bridge circa 1935

Long before the city of Riverside was established, the watershed sustained regional indigenous tribes as well as diverse flora and fauna along its banks. Over the years, the beauty of the river has been lost and neglected as dams and channels changed its shape. It also became exploited for industrial and undesirable uses such as landfills. The city has lost touch with the river and is now actively looking to bring the river back into Riverside.

The Riverside Gateway Project Suite is a proposal to “recover, re-conceive, and re-engage” with the Santa Ana River. According to the City’s site analysis for the project, this presents “a phenomenal opportunity to resuscitate older interactional patterns between the city and river, while adapting those resources to modern life.” The project, which is funded in part by the State Coastal Conservancy, will focus on 8 locations which include current parks such as Martha Mclean Anza Narrows, Loring Park, Camp Evans at Fairmount Park, and Carlson Dog Park. These areas will incorporate existing structures such as the historic Saint Francis Falls at Carlson Park and augment them with new features such as research stations, sensitive area walkways, water play areas, and even reserved camping sites.

If you are interested in finding out more about what is being planned for the Riverside Gateway Parks system along the Santa Ana Riverbottom, Tune in tomorrow evening to participate in this virtual workshop. They will be presenting plans that are in the works and will be asking for community input. Here are the details.

park pic

PRCSD and the Riverside Gateway Parks Team have been working hard since our last virtual workshop in October, and we are excited to share Project updates with you and hear your feedback! The Riverside Gateway Parks project will develop Park Master Plans for sites along the Santa Ana River Trail in Riverside. Once complete, these sites will contribute to the Santa Ana River Parkway and Open Space system, a regional vision for a trail and greenway along the Santa Ana River.

We invite you to connect on the second virtual workshop on Wednesday, February 2 from 6 – 7 p.m. 
If you would like to attend, please use the information below:

Zoom Meeting https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84627232103
Meeting ID: 846 2723 2103
Passcode: 894995

The upcoming workshop will focus on two of the park sites, Martha McLean-Anza Narrows Park and the trailhead property at Van Buren Blvd. and Jurupa Ave. In addition to this workshop, we invite you to visit our website RiversideGatewayParks.com to learn more, fill out our survey, and provide comments on our interactive map.
Please note the deadline for providing feedback for Martha McLean-Anza Narrows Park and the Jurupa Avenue Trailhead is Saturday, February 5 at 8 p.m.
Help put the “river” back in Riverside!

The Riverside Gateway Project Suite is part of a comprehensive effort by cities and counties along the Santa Ana River Watershed, orchestrated by the California State Coastal Conservancy. It is exciting to know that Riverside is an integral part of this revitalization, creating a string of parks along the river. This will be a “citywide park that provides places to find the peace and harmony of nature within or on the edges of the City’s urban fabric.”

Shop, Eat, Enjoy Local

The Riverside Chamber of Commerce has created a local shopping group on Facebook to feature businesses that are open for business during this time of sheltering in place.

As we all struggle with the reality of business not as usual, this is a good resource to help local businesses that are finding creative ways to still offer their product to consumers. Be sure to check this page when you’re shopping so we can keep our local businesses up and running.

Think Local FB Page

Another great resource is from the City of Riverside. They have created a map that shows businesses that are remaining open during this time. The map is interactive and includes businesses that qualify in Governor Newsom’s essential business list.  The map includes businesses throughout the city. Check it out!

Open for Business Map

The Ransom-McKenzie Team truly believes that we are best served by supporting our local community. Be sure to check these resources first so we can keep Riverside’s economy going in these trying times.


Inventory Shortage = Inventory Mismatch

Real Estate Blog Header

The inventory of existing homes for sale in today’s market was recently reported to be at a 3.6 month supply according to the National Association of Realtors latest Existing Home Sales Report. Inventory is now 7.1% lower than this time last year, marking the 20th consecutive month of year-over-year drops.

Historically, inventory must reach a 6 month supply for a normal market where home prices appreciate with inflation. Anything less than a 6 month supply is a sellers’ market, where the demand for houses outpaces supply and prices go up. As you can see from the chart below, the United States has been in a sellers’ market since August 2012, but last month’s numbers reached a new low.

Months of Inventory

We’ve seen this trend in the Riverside market as we continue to hope that more homes will come on the market each month. One of the unusual things about this market though is that home prices are not skyrocketing. They are increasing, yes, but not the way the economic tables tell us they should be. Why is this? We found this interesting explanation in today’s Keeping Current Matters blog offering.

Recently Trulia revealed that not only is there a shortage of homes on the market in general, but the homes that are available for sale are not meeting the needs of the buyers that are searching.

Homes are generally bucketed into three groups by price range: Starter, Trade-Up, and Premium.

Trulia’s market mismatch score measures the search interest of buyers against the category of homes that are available on the market. For example: “if 60% of buyers are searching for starter homes but only 40% of listings are starter homes, [the] market mismatch score for starter homes would be 20.”

The results of their latest analysis are detailed in the chart below.

Inventory Mismatch

Nationally, buyers are searching for starter and trade-up homes and are coming up short with the listings available, leading to a highly competitive seller’s market in these categories. Ninety-two of the top 100 metros have a shortage in trade-up inventory. Riverside is one of these areas as well. Trade-up inventory, especially if the buyer is looking for a single story home, is very hard to come by.

Premium home buyers have the best chance of less competition and a surplus of listings in their price range with an 11-point surplus, leading to more of a buyer’s market.

“It leaves Americans who are in the market for a home increasingly chasing too fewer options in lower price ranges, and sellers of premium homes more likely to be left waiting longer for a buyer.”

 Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist doesn’t see an end to this coming any time soon: 

“Competition is likely to heat up even more heading into the spring for house hunters looking for homes in the lower- and mid-market price range.”

What Should You Do?

Real estate is local. If you are thinking about buying OR selling this spring in Riverside, sit with a local real estate professional who can share with you the exact market conditions in your area. The Ransom-McKenzie Team lives and works in Riverside. We can help you to understand the local market, and advise you on how to move forward with your selling or buying plans.  Give us a call today at 951-237-2044.

The Civic Side of Homeownership

Are you involved in your community? As Realtors, Charlotte and Connie believe in the value of participating in events and organizations in your home town.  The Ransom-McKenzie Team would like to take a moment to share with you this current data which relates to home ownership and civic involvement.

The Impact of Homeownership on Civic Involvement | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors recently released a study titled ‘Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.’ The study confirmed a long-standing belief of most Americans:

“Owning a home embodies the promise of individual autonomy and is the aspiration of most American households. Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth and social status, and is the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes.”

Today, we want to cover the section of the report that quoted several studies concentrating on the impact homeownership has on the civic participation of family members. Here are some of the major findings on this issue revealed in the report:

  • Homeowners have a much greater financial stake in their neighborhoods than renters. With the median national home price in 2015 at $223,900, even a 5% decline in home values will translate into a loss of more than $11,195 for a typical homeowner.
  • Because owners tend to remain in their homes longer, they add a degree of stability to their neighborhood.
  • Homeowners also reap the financial gains of any appreciation in the value of their home, so they also tend to spend more time and money maintaining their residence, which also contributes to the overall quality of the surrounding community.
  • Homeowners were found to be more politically active than renters with 77% of homeowners saying they had at some point voted in local elections compared with 52% of renters.
  • There seems to be a greater awareness of the political process among homeowners. About 38% of homeowners knew the name of their local school board representative, compared with only 20% of renters.
  • There is a higher incidence of membership in voluntary organizations and church attendance among homeowners.
  • Homeownership does create social capital and provide residents with a platform from which to connect and interact with neighbors.
  • Owning a home means owning part of a neighborhood, and a homeowner’s feelings of commitment to the home can arouse feelings of commitment to the neighborhood, which, in turn, can produce interactions with neighbors.

Bottom Line

People often talk about the financial benefits of homeownership. As we can see, there are also social benefits of owning your own home. The City of Riverside is a great place to get out and get involved. Charlotte & Connie are involved in a number of organizations and would be happy to help you find the right group to help you get involved.  Give us a call today to discuss your civic involvement at 951-237-2044.

Become a lasting part of the Home Front at Camp Anza project!
As a member of the 2011 Riverside Leadership Class (Best Class Ever) Charlotte is helping to spread the word about this fabulous opportunity to participate in an historic event.  Literally, history in the making.
As you may know, the Officers Club of the WWII Army staging base, Camp Anza, is being lovingly restored to be used as the community center at Home Front at Camp Anza, a new residential community of 30 affordable homes geared to veterans and their families in Riverside. You can help bring a piece of history forward when Home Front at Camp Anza welcomes its first residents by buying a customized engraved brick for the commemorative courtyard at Home Front at Camp Anza.
Funds from your brick purchase will be used to create an artwork inspired by the mural that once hung in the Officers Club. Your tax-deductible* donation will also fund programs and services that will be held inside the former Officers Club, helping veterans achieve their personal and professional goals as they transition to civilian life.
Make your mark on the former Camp Anza and/or honor a loved one or friend who served bravely for their country. Click the link below to purchase your personalized brick online by October 1, 2015 
If you have any questions give Charlotte a call at 951-237-2044 or send over an e-mail to mckenzie.cr@gmail.com .  Thank you again for your continued support of this new community!

ART on Tap @ RAM

The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) is hosting a creative and exciting fundraiser next Saturday, August 8th at the museum.  Art on Tap: Late Night Arts Bash for Arts Education is an evening of beer tasting and art sampling where you’ll be able to view and/or participate in demonstrations from numerous artists and enjoy fun brews, food, and music.  More importantly though, this event helps to raise funds for RAM’s extensive mission to “engage, inspire, and build community through the arts”.

RAM KidsAs we face more and more cuts to arts programs in our schools, supplemental programs have an even greater importance in getting art into the lives of our youth.  The RAM Art Education program reaches over 10,000 youths through school and museum based programs.  These include programs such as First Sundays, Art-To-Go, Museum Tours, and Art Education Classes & Workshops.  The programs do not happen for free, art supplies are not falling from the sky.  The museum needs funds for the programs to continue and to grow. It is important because exposure to art is important.  To quote the museum’s website,

“Exposure to art can have profound influence on a young person’s life. Beyond what art teaches, like respect for diverse viewpoints, courage to experiment, and problem-solving skills, some of the greatest rewards come from the intrinsic value of art and the personal joy one experiences through the creative process.”

Art on TapJoin the Ransom-McKenzie Team, (the Artists Disguised as Realtors), as we support arts education and enjoy some late night art fun too! The event is on Saturday, August 8th from 9pm – 1am… (We know it’s late, but it will be fun!)  All three floors of RAM will be filled with interactive and collaborative art stations, music, food, and beer from breweries like Hangar 24 and Wicks Brewing Co.

Paint with Greg Adamson, doodle or color with Rina Gonzales, try art journaling or printmaking with Laura Ryan, get creative with some fun Weathered Feather projects with Jill Rowden, relax with some creative doodling/coloring for adults with Rina Gonzales, get a henna tattoo by Jenny Montenegro, learn about nuno felting with Charlotte Ransom McKenzie, and more!  Yes, you read that correctly, Charlotte will be one of the artists demonstrating the art at this event.  We hope you’ll come see what we’re up to and support arts education at RAM.  Tickets are only $20, and that includes a free brew! Click here to get your tickets today!  Then come visit Charlotte as she felts the night away.

Summer Explorations: SART

In the Inland Empire we are fortunate to have one of the best kept secrets flowing right through our entire region.  The Santa Anna River Trail (SART).

The Santa Ana River starts in the San Bernardino Mountains and runs for 100 miles all the way to the coast at Huntington CAL0812BatMaryWalkHi (1)Beach.  Trails along the river which merge together to create the SART system meander down through Redlands, Riverside, Corona and multiple locations in Orange County as it heads out to the Pacific Ocean.

The trails feature bikeways, paths for walking and equestrian riding. There are places to stop and SARRiverside1enjoy nature, views, and even a few local historic sites all along the trail and bikeway. Some of the parks that you’ll pass as you travel the trail include Riverside’s Fairmount Park, Carlson Dog Park, and Martha McLean/Anza Narrows park.  You’ll also pass right by the Hidden Valley Wildlife area where you can stop and catch spectacular views looking out over the river bottom towards Mount Baldy.  If you’re lucky, you’ll even see a few red shoulder hawks riding the thermals above the river.

Thanks to the recent efforts of the SART Trust, awareness of this urban oasis has been increasing. The Trust just recently turned the reigns over to the Santa Ana River Conservancy.  The conservancy brings together entities from 3 counties, 17 cities, and multiple special jurisdictions through which this contiguous trail system CAL0812TrailCyclistHitravels.  Having this green, forested artery travel through and along our urban sprawl adds value to our region.

Studies have shown that open space and trails increase property values and quality of life. A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 57% of those polled would choose a home close to parks and open space over one that was not.  Bottom line, green, open spaces make us healthier and happier so let’s get out and enjoy this hidden gem.

Open House Today!

We’re holding an open house at our new listing at 2940 Floral Avenue in Riverside.  Join us from 1-4pm TODAY, Sunday, June 14th to see this beautiful home.

This home is located in a secluded neighborhood surrounded by nature & Box Springs Mountains views and yet you’re close to UCR, shopping, freeways, downtown and more. As you enter the home you’ll notice the warm hardwood flooring in the living and dining rooms.  The open feel of the floor plan allows for great entertainment options.


This view of the entry from the dining room shows the open floor plan.

In the tiled-floor kitchen/great room area you can appreciate the views of the landscaped back yard & mountains beyond. The south wing of the home is part of the original floor plan featuring a bedroom large enough for two full size beds, a hallway bathroom, and the master suite (expanded and updated in the 90’s). The master bedroom has sliding door to the back deck, perfect for nightcaps under the stars before bed. The master bath has been updated with a lovely tile shower.


This is the view from the master bedroom sliding doors.

The North wing, beyond the spacious family room, has two more bedrooms (one being used as office) & the second bath. These rooms are part of the 1991addition and upgrade. They feature hardwood floors & vaulted ceilings.


The kitchen eating area opens out to the lovely back yard.


Vaulted Ceilings & recessed lighting

Energy efficient features of the home include dual pane windows, a whole house fan, & newer A/C units. The yard has abundant fruit trees, flowering plants attracting birds & butterflies, & views of the mountains.


The spacious back yard deck

Rose garden

The back yard rose garden. There are also multiple citrus & fruit trees.

The large cactus garden has numerous, mature specimen plants. A rose garden & wildflower garden add color. Close to UCR & the trails of the mountains for hiking. Easy access to freeways and shopping.

Top by today to see this home, or check out our listing online for more information at http://mrmlsmatrix.com/matrix/shared/J4bnKx8SYsFd/2940FLORALAvenue

Open House Saturday

Join us Saturday, June 6th for our Open House from Noon till 2:00 pm  at 1260 San Cristobal Drive where you’ll experience tasteful updates and incredible views.

The many updates include state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances, refinished kitchen cabinetry with new hardware, recessed lighting, granite counters, tile flooring, upgraded window coverings, renovated bathrooms, and newer HVAC systems.

Updated kitchen

Updated kitchen

This Hicks Bedreaun built family home features a unique, open floor plan where one of the first things you will notice are the stunning views from nearly every room facing the back side of the lot. The entry is at ground level & leads to a downstairs bed/bath suite as well as the open family room with sliding doors going to the back yard.


The Family Room Looks Up to Kitchen Area

The next level includes the living room, dining room, and kitchen, with access to the yard from both the kitchen and the living room. Also in the living room is the fireplace and wonderful vaulted ceilings where you can view the upper floors.


The Living Room & Fireplace

Upstairs are four more bedrooms, including the large master suite. The upstairs “hallway” is more like a balcony looking down over the living & dining rooms. In the master bedrooms there is also a sliding door that goes to the front balcony. Add to all of this a three car garage with plenty of storage & indoor laundry and you’ve got your dream home.

Beautiful Back Yard Decck & Patio

Beautiful Back Yard Deck & Patio


On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.  If you can’t make it on Saturday, give us a call for a private showing.  For more pictures and details click here.

Gluck Summer Arts Program

Are your children interested in Theater, Music, Dance, Writing or ….. Super Heroes?  This year’s Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts Summer Camp might be something of interest to you.  The theme this summer is SuperHumanities: When Art Powers Collide. Sounds like fun, right?


The Gluck Program of the Arts is a FREE summer camp for mature 14-18 year olds.  The one week camp takes place on the UCR campus from June 15-19, 2015. The goal of the Gluck Summer Camp of the Arts is to provide mature teenagers with an intensive educational experience in the arts and to expand their understanding of the history, theory and application of the various arts disciplines that emphasize individual growth. Students participate in workshops which are led by an energetic crew of UCR Gluck Fellows.

This year’s program features four workshop sessions which run from 9:00am until 3:30pm.  The workshops are as follows:

Monday, June 15th – Thursday, June 18th :

9:00 – 10:00      MorningMixer games and icebreakers for all camp members with a Morning Workshop
10:00-12:00    Morning Workshops (choose Spoken Word Creative Writing OR Physical Dance Theatre S.P.L.A.T.)
12:00-12:30    Lunch break (bring your packed lunch or buy lunch at the HUB)
12:30-1:30       HomeRoom – Art, music and dance activities for all participants on ARTS Lawn near Gluck Office
1:30-3:30      Afternoon Workshops (choose Hip Hop Hooray OR Karaoke Kamp)

The entire program culminates with a performance event on the last day of camp where the students participate in a final performance event. (Friday, June 19th)

Here is a snippet of activities from a past Summer Camp showing just  a few of the fun activities that took place during the “HomeRoom” sessions:

This year’s HomeRoom sessions will feature workshops where the students will be creating superhero costumes using a “rags to rad” philosophy. The “costumes” might be used for the final performance event or they just might become the next fad on campus, who knows?

This program offers a fabulous opportunity for mature teens who are interested in the arts to participate in college level workshops with like minded peers.  Being on campus at UCR also offers the college experience to the participants encouraging and preparing them for attending college or University.  For information on this program, visit the Gluck Summer Camp website.  Detailed information about the classes and application forms are available there.  The deadline for applications is Friday, May 20th.

The Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts at UCR is made possible through the generosity of the Max H. Gluck Foundation