This former citrus capital, incorporated in 1888, has blocks and blocks of stately Victorians, Spanish bungalows and Craftsman-style homes with views of the San Bernardino Mountains. Its pedestrian-friendly downtown business district is the site of a year-round Thursday night farmers market. The Redlands Bowl offers free outdoor summer concert series, with nearly two dozen programs each year. And the Redlands Bicycle Classic draws world-class cyclists to its six-day event each spring.
Good news, bad news
The city's growth-control regulations, which limit the construction of new housing units to 400 per year, have preserved Redlands' character, but some residents blame slow growth for a dearth of shopping and dining options, a situation that is improving with new commercial projects.
Historic homes are concentrated south of Redlands Boulevard, and while homes built from the 1890s to 1930 are in highest demand, there is also a large stock of well-kept mid-century homes. Prices in this area of Redlands average $200 per square foot, slightly less if the homes haven't been restored and somewhat more if they have been. A three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,300-square-foot turnkey vintage home was just listed for $289,000.
"Most communities change dramatically over the years; Redlands has pretty much preserved what they have," said Jim Ballard of Ballard Real Estate. "It's one of the few cities left outside of Pasadena that have historic homes in areas you want to raise your family."
This city of 63,600 residents is home of the A.K. Smiley Public Library, a Moorish landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. The adjacent Lincoln Memorial Shrine holds a major collection of Civil War and Lincoln artifacts and documents.
The University of Redlands and Environmental Systems Research Institute, a leading developer of geographic information system software, is among the city's major employers. While some residents work in nearby cities, others commute to Orange and Los Angeles counties. Traffic has become a problem on Interstate 10, which bisects the city, as has smog.
Redlands Unified School District's 2002 Academic Performance Index scores range from 599 to 790, with all but two of the elementary schools and all of the secondary schools scoring in the 700s.
Redlands has 17,392 single-family residences, 7,327 multiple-family dwellings and 895 mobile homes.
On the market
The housing inventory is low, with 133 homes on the market in mid-April, ranging from $95,000 to $1.37 million, according to Karen Riddick of Century 21 Lois Lauer Realty.
Single-family detached resales (excludes new homes):
*year to date
Sources: DataQuick Information Services, www.redlandsbowl.org, www.Redlandsclassic.com, www.akspl.org, www.ci.redlands.ca.us, Century 21 Lois Lauer Realty, Ballard Real Estate, Redlands Community Development Department.