California is known for a dizzying number of things - beach bodies, movie stars, fast cars, and oranges. While Los Angeles might be responsible for the first three, the last was championed by a town known as Riverside in the southern region of the state. Riverside doesn’t get much fanfare in the media, but there’s a lot of history in this not so little town.

It's home to southern California's first golf course and can be credited for the birth of California's citrus industry. In fact, the first three Bahia orange trees in California can be traced back to Riverside. Besides the history of the area, it's still a lovely place to live in. Still, the housing market is a complex beast that requires a significant market if you expect to wrangle a deal successfully. What's the market like right now?

How Long Does It Take to Sell?

Let's look at some data from March 2016. In March, 228 homes were sold. Of these homes, nine sold in less than one month, 135 sold in one to three months, and 84 took over three months to sell. That's a desirable prospect for anyone choosing to sell a house in the area, as that means nearly 60% of homes sold in March 2016 in Riverside sold within three months of being listed.

The median sale time during that same period (half of the homes sold took more, half took less) is 70 days, just a pinch shy of the three-month mark.

It's a Seller's Market

Right now, due to high demand and a relatively low amount of houses on the market, it's considered a seller's market with homebuyers in Riverside snatching up anything they can as quickly as possible. The majority of these quick-selling homes are single-family domiciles, meaning a lot of people are choosing to settle down in Riverside and start a family.

Are People Overpaying?

Despite it being a seller's market, less than one-sixth of the 228 homes sold in March 2016 sold for above the asking price. Only 34 houses sold for above the asking price, with 93 going for asking price and 101 going for around $30,000 less than the asking price. This is because the area has a population of approximately 300,000 residents. While this is a large town by most standards, it isn't on the Los Angeles level of population density where there isn't much room for negotiation.

The median price for a home in Riverside was $360,000 in March of 2016. There's a diverse range of houses on offer, with most being average to above average single-family homes. There are a few big fish that go into the multimillion-dollar range. But then, these are a tiny fraction of the overall market.

Should You Buy in Riverside?

Riverside is currently very attractive to nearly any sort of homebuyers. Someone who's looking to make an investment purchase can expect property values to continue rising, as people escape packed urban centers in favor of a town like Riverside that's big enough to be developed, but small enough not to be bloated or hampered by urban sprawl. People who want to settle down and start a family would be wise to choose Riverside as the house prices are still affordable to the average American family.

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Author, Freelance writer