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.
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.
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
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.”
We Love our Four Legged Friends!
You all know we love our dudes Natsu (#StoicNatsu) and Fuyu (#Fubear). It turns out, we are not alone. You might be surprised by how much of our lives are dictated by our pets’ wants and “needs”. Check out the infographic below from Keeping Current Matters to learn how they affect our home-buying decisions.
- It’s no secret that we love our furry friends – about 70% of U.S. households have pets. What may come as a surprise is how large a role they play in the homebuying process.
- Americans spend $1,163 a year on their pets, and nearly half of pet owners say they would move for better accommodations and amenities for their pets.
- If you’re thinking of adding a furry friend, or if you already have, give the Ransom-McKenzie Team a call to discuss how you can find a home that meets all your pet’s needs.
Many people have questions about home prices right now. How much have prices risen over the past 12 months? What’s happening with home values right now? What’s projected for next year? Here’s a look at the answers to all three of these questions.
How much have home values appreciated over the last 12 months?
According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, national home values have increased by 18.1% compared to this time last year. In Riverside, we’ve seen a 20% increase YOY with our median sales price for October 2021 peaking at $575,000. Additionally, prices have gone up at an accelerated pace for each of the last eight months (see graph below). The increase in the rate of appreciation that’s shown by CoreLogic coincides with data from the other two main home price indices: the FHFA Home Price Index and the S&P Case Shiller Index.
The last year has shown tremendous home price appreciation, which is resulting in a major gain in wealth for homeowners through rising equity.
What’s happening with home prices right now?
All three indices mentioned above also show that while appreciation is in the high double digits right now, that price acceleration is beginning to level off (see graph below). Year-over-year appreciation is still close to 20%, but it’s clearly plateauing at that rate. Many experts believe it will drop below 15% by the end of the year.
Keep in mind, that doesn’t mean home values will depreciate. It means the rate of appreciation will slow, yet stay well above the 25-year average of 5.1%.
What about next year?
The recent surge in prices is the result of heavy buyer demand and a shortage of homes available for sale. Most experts believe that as more housing inventory comes to market (both new construction and existing homes), the supply and demand for housing will come more into balance. That balance will bring a lower rate of appreciation in 2022. Here’s a look at home price forecasts from six major entities, and they all project future appreciation:
- Fannie Mae
- Freddie Mac
- Mortgage Bankers Association
- Home Price Expectation Survey
- Zelman & Associates
- National Association of Realtors
While the projected rate of appreciation varies among the experts, due to things like supply chain challenges, virus variants, and more, it’s clear that home values will continue to appreciate next year.
There have been historic levels of home price appreciation over the last year. That pace will slow as we finish 2021 and enter into 2022. Prices will still rise in value, just at a much more moderate pace, which is good news for the housing market. If you’re considering buying or selling a home, give the Ransom-McKenzie Team a call today to discuss what our local market is doing. We can help you understand at a local level what we’re experiencing in Riverside.
The Hays-Pattee Home
3611 Mount Rubidoux Drive
In November of 1903, It was discovered that Tom Hays had embezzled over $95,000 from the organization he worked with, the Orange Growers National Bank. He was swiftly arrested, but before his arrest, he spent a portion of what today would be 2.8 Million dollars, on the construction of a home for him and his family, the first home to be built on the slopes of Little Mt. Rubidoux. Like years past, this neighborhood was one of the most prestigious and sought-after neighborhoods in the City of Riverside. Tom and his family never lived in the home, and the scandal that rocked the City of Riverside was all the rage in the social circles for years to come.
Today, the majestic Hays-Pattee house is for sale with The Ransom-McKenzie Team at Coldwell Banker Realty.
Comfortably nestled into the Little Mount Rubidoux hills close to the heart of Riverside with a wonderful view of both the sprawling city of Riverside and the Nature found within the Santa Ana riverbed, this home is still an attention grabber. The scandalous history of the home’s original owner has faded but is not forgotten. Tom Hays was a tall, handsome young man who impressed everyone with his graciousness and friendly manner. He and his family moved to Riverside in 1890. At that time he had little money in his pockets and no name for himself. Over the next 13 years, he managed to move from a small bookkeeping job at the city’s only bank, to become the manager of the city’s biggest bank, owner of important real estate and oil property, and the political boss of Riverside’s Republican party. He was a mover and a shaker in town and no one questioned how he had the means to live his lavish lifestyle on his $200 a month bank salary.
It would seem that Tom’s move to Riverside happened at just the right time. The citrus industry was just beginning to grow, as was the city. This provided the perfect atmosphere for an industrious and charismatic Tom Hays to move up the ranks of the social ladder of Riverside. Over the years he was a leader with the Riverside County Republican Party, was president of the Riverside Chamber of Commerce, Lead the first Elks Club in Riverside, and was known for his singing and musical talent.
Tom’s real estate transactions included 24 acres purchased in the spring of 1902 which was soon graded for grand homes sitting on large lots. As a prominent player in Riverside’s politics, Hays played a major role in the planning of Riverside’s new county courthouse and the first library in town. As a result, he became well acquainted with architects Burnham and Bleisner. It was no surprise when Hays announced his intention to build a house at the top of Little Mount Rubidoux in the local paper in August of 1903, that the architect of choice was Franklin Burnham. Burnham designed a bungalow that would conform to the rocky hillside of the site. The foundations, wide verandas, and fireplace all featured blue and white marble stone from a local quarry. Just as Tom and his family were preparing to move into the home, the local paper announced Tom had resigned as cashier of the bank.
On November 16, 1903, it was discovered that Tom had been skimming money from the Salt Lake Railway with crooked land deals. Then, four months later the discovery of the nearly $100,000 embezzlement from the Orange Growers National Bank became public through a surprise audit of the bank’s records, Tom was arrested for the crime.
Ultimately, the Citizens Bank absorbed the defunct Orange Growers National Bank and few depositors lost their deposits. But what of the magnificent home on the hill? The Hays home, which had completed construction in November of 1904 at a cost of $8,000, was acquired by the bank while Tom was in jail. The bank sold the home to W.P. Lett who was on the board of directors of the defunct bank. In 1908, Lett’s daughter, Lela, and her husband Harry Pattee moved into the home and the home would stay in the Pattee family until Lela’s death in 1968.
Because Tom Hays was so socially prominent when he went about building the house, it is quite welcoming to guests and was designed to entertain. The front door features an original Stickley screen door, a precursor to the feelings of warmth and style Hays likely originally desired the home to have. This “openness” in the center of the house extends from the front of the home well into the back and shows off the natural hardwood floors. In the living room, the stone and clinker brick fireplace is a focal point and the natural hardwood floors, custom wainscoting, continuous plate rails, and iconic egg and dart molding throughout the living space transports you back to a bygone era. The “music” room off of the living room has original wall sconces and ceiling light fixtures, as well as a view looking towards downtown Riverside. The formal dining room has a custom built-in china cabinet and views facing the Santa Ana River and Mount Baldy. The kitchen, which was redesigned when the home was featured as a Riverside Art Alliance “Designer” home, has updated cabinetry, custom tile, and a built-in refrigerator. The large circular bedroom downstairs that was probably the original master bedroom is currently being used as an office.
The second floor was added after the birth of the Patee’s family’s son, William, in 1912 as they needed more space for their growing family. Designed by architect Garrett Van Pelt of Pasadena, this portion of the home blends seamlessly with the original structure and includes antique roof tiles imported from Italy. Today, this floor features leaded glass windows which are in all of the upstairs rooms, and offer views from both sides of the home. A spacious primary bedroom runs the entire width of the home front to back. It also has a ductless mini HVAC unit, which can be expanded to the entire second floor. The walk-in closet of the main second story bedroom is amazing in its sheer size! There are two additional bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs as well.
The grounds of the home conform to the mountainside with boulders, fountains, grassy knolls, and trees melding together to create a private retreat in the heart of the city. Sitting on the veranda you can hear the water features of the front landscape and relax while enjoying the view of the stately palm trees which lead up the long driveway with the city of Riverside in the background. The back side of the home has a second driveway off of Ladera Lane and a large parking area that could be used for RV storage. You’ll love living in the heart of Riverside’s Downtown Historic neighborhood. Being close to entertainment, shopping, transportation, and Universities is a plus.
Give The Ransom-McKenzie Team a call today if you are interested in this home, or if you’re interested in finding a new place to live in Riverside. For more details regarding this home online, view 3611 Mount Rubidoux Drive on our website.
The city of Riverside has had International Connections since we established our first sister city relationship with Sendai, Japan over 60 years ago. Riverside has been a leader in Sister City programs ever since. Sister Cities are not unique to Riverside, cities throughout the world have been partnering together since President Eisenhower created the Sister Cities International organization in 1956 which he envisioned being a “hub of peace and prosperity by creating bonds between people from different cities around the world.”
Riverside was one of the first cities to participate with our relationship with Sendai which started in 1957and is the second longest sister city relationship in the United States. Since then, we have established relationships with 8 additional cities which are Cuautla, Mexico (1968), Ensenada, Mexico (1976), Jiangmen, People’s Republic of China (1997), Gangnam, Republic of Korea (1998), Hyderabad, India (2000), Obuasi, Ghana (2008), Erlangen, Germany (2011), and Can Tho, Vietnam (2015).
Through our sister city relationships, the City of Riverside has shared ideas, experiences, and exchanges. Everything from Art Exchange programs with Ensenada, Student exchanges with Erlangen, and marathon runner exchanges with Sendai have been offered through the sister city program. In fact, one of our popular downtown festivals, The Long Night of Arts and Innovation was inspired by a similar festival in Erlangen.
One of our favorite sister city projects is the Yuishin Tei Japanese garden in White Park. This traditional Japanese garden was designed and installed by Japanese master gardeners from Sendai with help of local volunteers from Riverside.
The garden is a wonderful reminder of the strong ties our city has with other countries around the world. The International Relations Council of Riverside, which oversees our sister city relationships, is a great way to get involved and be a part of Riverside’s international connections. For more details, check out ircriverside.org where you can join the IRC as an individual member, or become a corporate sponsor of the programs.
THE STEPHEN MAGEE HOUSE
4529 Sunnyside Drive
PALM HEIGHTS HISTORIC DISTRICT
In 1888 the Inland Empire was a sprawling region laid out with groves of Washington Navel orange trees. The newly connected Santa Fe Railroad was delivering boxcars full of fruit all over the nation. Acres of orange groves were creating a citrus boom that would soon make Riverside the richest per capita region in the country. The groves were peppered with Queen Ann Victorians, stately California Craftsman Bungalows, and grand Farmhouses, the residences of the grove owners. Times have changed since 1888, the groves have faded away but many of the grand old homes still stand. What were once homes nestled within rows of navel oranges are now celebrated reminders of our region’s history.
Period details make this home a unique example of Victorian architectural style.
One of these grand old ladies is currently listed for sale by The Ransom-McKenzie Team with Coldwell Banker Realty. The Stephen Magee House, built in 1888 by Riverside pioneer Dr. Stephen Magee, sits in the Palm Heights Historic District of Riverside. It is one of the two remaining original Victorian homes in the neighborhood. When the Magee family built the home, it was situated on a 20-acre orange grove and faced Palm Avenue. The surrounding groves were owned by prominent Riverside founders including the Tibbets family who introduced the Washington navel orange to the region. In fact, the Parent Navel Orange Tree still stands just blocks away from the home. In the late 1920’s the post war population boom hit Riverside and the city experienced large scale residential development as a result. It was during this time that the Magee House was aligned with a new streetscape on Sunnyside Drive. The development of this neighborhood continued over the 1930’s & 40’s as Tudor, Spanish Colonial, Craftsman, Classical Revival, and Minimal Traditional homes filled in to create a typical Southern California suburban neighborhood. Today this neighborhood has been designated as the Palm Heights Historic District.
THE HOME’S RESTORATION
In the heart of this historic district the Magee House stands proud as a lovely reminder of days gone by. Since purchasing it in 2007, the current owners have taken care to lovingly restore every inch of this beautiful home. Over the years they have found period hardware, wallpaper, fixtures, and paint colors to bring this lovely Queen Ann back to its original glory. As you approach the home, take a moment to appreciate the intricate spindle work, and design detail of the home’s exterior from the ship wheel corner brackets on the front porch to the rising sun above the second story balcony.
Original interior features abound, including ceramic tiles, balustrade work on the staircase, multiple pocket doors, and hardwood flooring.
Upon entering the home, you will be presented with true Victorian style and décor. The high ceilings and prominent baseboards, together with white oak hardwood floors and multiple pocket doors dividing each room are all features that have not changed over time. Even the pocket doors’ push button hardware has been painstakingly restored so that each set of doors works perfectly. Looking up, you’ll notice several original Edison light fixtures, (converted to electric, of course) as well as period balustrade work on the staircase. Multiple fireplaces in the home feature incredibly detailed surrounds which incorporate custom glazed tile and detailed carved wood mantels. The downstairs fireplaces have been converted to gas for convenience of use.
There are six bedrooms and three bathrooms in the Magee home including a full bathroom and bedroom downstairs. The second-floor features four spacious bedrooms and a large common bathroom. The main bedroom boasts, oversized sash windows and a full walk-in closet. All the other bedrooms on this floor are large with high ceilings and oversized windows. The front bedroom has a fireplace and access to the second-floor balcony through a unique sash window style door. The third floor has been converted to a complete en-suite apartment / studio (Many Victorians do not have a finished 3rd floors). This is the perfect attic retreat for your office, art studio, teenager hang out or whatever else you can dream of. There is a whole house fan in this space, as well as supplemental air conditioning to keep the space comfortable in the summer.
MODERN UPGRADES ABOUND
While the home has been restored to reflect its rich history, there are modern amenities that have been added to bring this home into the twenty-first century. The kitchen has a 6 burner Viking cook top & hood, a Bosch dishwasher, refrigerator, and an oversized farmhouse double sink, and custom cabinetry with soft close hinges.
There are 2 separate HVAC systems, one for the first floor of the home and an additional system to control the upper two floors. The entire HVAC system, including the ducting, has been updated in the past 10 years. A whole house fan on the top floor works to help cool the entire house down on summer evenings. The electrical panel was updated to accommodate an electric car charging station as well. The home got a new roof in 2018, which included reflective insulation over the attic room. The exterior paint was also completed in 2018.
Situated on a double lot, this home offers multiple amenities for outdoor enjoyment.
The exterior of the home offers room for numerous activities from patio dining to swimming, and gardening. The back yard has multiple sitting areas, including an outdoor living room shaded by a wood gazebo. An above ground pool offers relief from the warm summer days and a custom spa on the west side of the house is the perfect place to enjoy evening sunsets. The long side driveway offers room for multiple cars, and the carriage garage has been enhanced with interior features such as updated electrical, and lighting.
CALL US TODAY TO VIEW THIS BEAUTIFUL HOME
Located close to all that the lovely city of Riverside has to offer, you’ll be able to enjoy easy access to the Riverside Plaza, as well as Downtown Riverside’s museums, entertainment, and restaurants. Come see all Riverside and the Stephen Magee house has to offer by giving The Ransom-McKenzie Team a call today. We live in Riverside, We love Riverside, and we sell Riverside.
THE RANSOM-MCKENZIE TEAM | 951.237.2044 |CalBRE #01721257
You should have already received your 2020 United States Census notification paperwork in the mail. They were sent out in mid-January and all households have been asked to report in so that we have an accurate count for your community.
Our Congressman, Mark Takano, who represents the 41st District which includes the City of Riverside, recently met with Italia Garcia from the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice to discuss the importance of an accurate Census count. Here is the video, in case you missed it. Garcia brings up some important issues, that are directly affected by our Census numbers.
The Census results will help the government determine how much funding our community will receive to improve services and infrastructure. This includes everything from schools and hospitals to roads and transportation. In Southern California, and the Inland Empire especially, population numbers are increasing annually. Since the last Census 10 years ago, our region has experienced a lot of change. Because of this, we need to do everything we can to make sure we are all counted.
Our level of participation in the 2020 Census is vital to assuring that we have fair representation for the next 10 years for our community. Participating is easy, you can fill out the forms online. If you have questions or issues filling out your census, call 844-330-2020 for more details or to complete the Census survey via phone.
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.
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!
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.
For the second year, the Ransom-McKenzie Team has supported Habitat for Humanity Riverside’s Over the Edge fundraiser. Last year, all three team members went Over the Edge and we raised $5,000. This year, we shot for the same goal with just Connie going over the edge.
We once again raised $5,000 to support Habitat’s great efforts in the Inland Empire to provide affordable housing to at-risk families here. This event is a fun opportunity to raise awareness for a dire need in our community while having a good time experiencing the thrill of rappelling off of one of Downtown Riverside’s tallest buildings, Regency Tower on Orange Street. This year’s thrill was even more exciting because Connie, at 82 years old, was the oldest participant to go Over the Edge in Riverside. She made it look incredibly easy too!
Selling real estate in Riverside, The Ransom-McKenzie Team knows what it takes to be able to afford a home. Connie, together with her team members Charlotte and Bob McKenzie, (who are also her daughter and son-in-law), welcome the opportunity to help people find affordable, safe housing in the community. Habitat for Humanity’s mission statement clearly states that they “believe that everyone should have a safe, decent and affordable place to call home”. This is why we feel it is so important to not only raise money for Habitat for Humanity but to also raise awareness of the need for affordable housing in our region.
Through the fundraising efforts of the Over the Edge event, Habitat for Humanity Riverside raises funds to help bring their mission to fruition. Prospective homeowners put in sweat equity, and go through extensive life skills training in order to qualify for the Habitat for Humanity’s housing programs. This investment of time and effort gives the new homeowners a feeling of accomplishment as well as pride as they turn the key to open the door of their new home for the first time.
The Ransom-McKenzie Team is proud to be able to be part of this community-building organization. Working together with community partners like Habitat for Humanity helps to make Riverside a great place to live.