Located in the heart of Greater Los Angeles, Chino is a family-friendly community with fantastic access to some of the best things that Southern California has to offer. The city is part of the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area, better known as the Inland Empire, one of the fastest-growing regions in Greater LA. Chino makes up Chino Valley with neighboring Chino Hills, and the two communities share attractions, amenities, events, and more.
The fertile Chino Valley lies just below the San Gabriel Mountains, toward the western edge of San Bernardino County. Downtown LA is only 35 miles to the east and Anaheim is a mere 25 miles northeast. Chino is bounded by Highway 60 (Pomona Highway) and Highway 71 (Chino Valley Highway), making driving to the rest of the region easy and convenient. About 20 colleges and universities lie within 30 minutes of the city’s borders.
Chino offers a rare brand of suburban living that combines modern conveniences with hints of a rural lifestyle. Once the center of dairy production in the country, the city has a rich agricultural tradition that has been preserved to this day. Farms and ranches can still be found amid new residential developments, big-box retailers, and manufacturing and industrial businesses that define a self-sufficient suburban community.
Entertainment and recreation in Chino are widely varied. The city is close to regional and city parks where you can do a host of outdoor activities, or simply escape from the everyday hustle amid lush natural surroundings. In recent years, modern shopping centers have been built in the area, providing residents with a wide array of retail, dining, and entertainment options.
Chino has a highly diverse population of around 78,000, as of the latest Census estimates. The community is a close-knit one, with residents gathering at the city’s parks and community centers, as well as in the many local events staged all year round.
All these contribute to creating a flavor that’s unique to Chino. It is a welcoming community with a small-town vibe, which persists through rapid suburbanization in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country.
A brief history of Chino, CA
Chino’s earliest inhabitants were the Tongva Native Americans, who built the Wapijanga settlement in the Santa Ana River watershed. In the late 1700s, the Mission San Gabriel was established in the area, and the land was claimed by the Spanish, who then ceded it to the Mexicans after the latter gained their independence.
A few decades later, Rancho Santa Ana del Chino was granted to Antonio Maria Lugo of the influential Lugo family. After California was admitted to the union in 1850, ownership of the rancho stayed with the family until the late 1880s. In 1887, the land was subdivided and the Town of Chino was laid out. In 1910, the town incorporated into a city. At that time, it was mostly an agricultural community that grew sugar beets, alfalfa, and corn.
From the 1950s to the 1980s, Chino’s dairy industry flourished, and the city became the largest milk producer in the country. In the 1970s, the city’s transformation into a suburban community began, and many farmlands gave way to residential developments.
Homes for sale in Chino, CA
Single-family homes make up the majority of the housing stock in Chino, but there’s also a fairly large collection of condos and townhomes. The average home is around 1,907 square feet with three to four bedrooms. Neighborhoods in the city are widely varied, offering something for everyone.
There has been a recent flurry of new developments in Chino as more and more people move to the area for the convenience and tranquility it offers. These include a number of master-planned communities featuring single-family homes, townhomes, or condos. Some of the top new neighborhoods here are University Park, The Preserve at Chino, Turnleaf, and McKenna Park.
The city’s older neighborhoods are located close to schools, offices, and shopping centers. You can still find farmland and houses built in the early 1900s, some with barns and other farming structures. Investors and buyers looking for great value real estate properties will also find excellent opportunities for fixer-uppers in various prices and sizes.
Architectural styles in the city are also widely varied, from the ranch, Farmhouse, and Spanish colonial to contemporary and Mediterranean. Common home features include modern kitchens, open floor plans, and large, spacious yards.
- Luxury homes
Chino has no shortage of luxury properties, but most of these are far from the extravagant estates and mansions that you can find in other communities. Upscale, million-dollar homes in Chino exude the same laidback appeal that you’ll find throughout the city, with green landscaped yards contributing greatly to their beauty. These properties feature custom architecture, spacious rooms, and top of the line finishes. Many have private swimming pools, while others are found in gated neighborhoods with top-notch community amenities, including pools, tennis courts, and clubhouses.
Condominiums provide great value to homebuyers in Chino, with spacious floor areas that rival those of single-family homes. Mostly found in recently built gated neighborhoods, they range from one-bedroom units of around 600 square feet to two bedrooms with 2,000 square feet and up. The most upscale condos come with such luxurious features as great rooms, walk-in closets, and hardwood floors, as well as community amenities like swimming pools, spas, and private parks.
Similar to condos, townhomes in Chino provide great value to home buyers and investors. Ranging from around 1,200 square feet with two bedrooms to over 2,000 square feet with three or more bedrooms, these properties make excellent choices for individuals and small families looking for more affordable but no less desirable housing options. As with condos, most townhomes in China are found in new developments with fantastic community amenities.
- Single-family homes
Homebuyers will find highly diverse options for single-family homes in the city, from sprawling luxury properties to modest bungalows perfect for first-time buyers. There’s also great variety in architectural styles and home ages. Whether you’re looking for an acreage property in one of the city’s mature neighborhoods or a new construction home in a recently developed master-planned community, you’ll surely find the property that fits your needs and preferences.
There are quite a few military bases and facilities around Chino, including the US Army National Guard in Riverside, the United States Army Reserve Center in Upland and El Monte, the US Air Force Reserve in Tustin, and more. Members of the Armed Forces looking for off base housing will find plenty of real estate options for sale or for rent in Chino. With a wide variety of housing stock in various price points, the city is an ideal choice for personnel assigned to these facilities.
- New construction
There’s a host of new neighborhoods in Chino from some of the country’s top builders. Search local listings and you’ll find spacious new construction homes with charming architecture, large yards, customizable floor plans, and topnotch community amenities, such as swimming pools, clubhouses, tennis courts, and more. Property types include single-family homes, condos, townhomes, or a mix of these. These homes often come with the latest, most sought-after features in the market today, including state of the art kitchens, smart home features, and energy-efficient fixtures and appliances.
Living in Chino, CA
General cost of living
The cost of living in Chino is higher compared to the national index — something one can expect across the LA metropolitan area where housing costs are also generally higher. However, the cost of living in Chino is lower compared to that of LA and to the state of California as a whole. As in most of the state, healthcare costs in the city are lower compared to the national average.
An ideal bedroom community, Chino is home to a large number of people who work in nearby Los Angeles, Anaheim, and other business and employment centers. Around 24% of Chino residents also work within the city. The largest local employers are the Chino Valley Unified School District, Chino Valley Medical Center, the California Institution for Men, and the California Institution for Women.
Chino is home to manufacturing and retail businesses, which also provide significant employment in the city. Though local agricultural activities have been decreasing, the sector still employs about 1.3% of the population.
One of the best reasons to live in Chino is the glorious Southern California weather. The city gets an average of 288 sunny days a year, making every day a great day to enjoy the outdoors and pursue your interests. Temperatures can rise to a still comfortable 92 degrees in the summer, and winters are mild with lows of around 42 degrees.
Chino is served by the Chino Valley Unified School District, which includes 22 elementary schools, 7 middle schools, and 7 high schools. Many of these schools are highly rated and considered among the top schools in San Bernardino County.
Those seeking higher education can attend a satellite center of Chaffey College, which offers a wide range of courses in nursing, fashion and design, culinary arts, general education, and more.
While around 80% of Chino residents drive to get around, the city has a good public transportation system, with round the clock bus services provided by Omnitrans.
- Parks and recreational activities
Chino is home to regional and city parks featuring acres of open spaces, natural preserves, sports fields and facilities, miles of trails, picnic areas, and more.
A main attraction in the area is Prado Regional Park, a 2,000-acre regional park that offers a wide variety of activities, including hiking, biking, camping, bird watching, fishing, and more. It also features two golf courses, an Olympic shooting range, and archery field, and soccer and baseball fields. The park also hosts an annual Civil War reenactment, dog shows, and other events.
The city is home to El Prado Golf Courses, a public facility with two 18-hole golf courses, Chino Creek and Butterfield Stage.
City parks include:
There’s a wide array of restaurants in Chino and neighboring Chino Hills, and they’re as diverse as the city itself. You’ll find American, Italian, Basque, vegetarian, and a host of other cuisines, served in restaurants that range from casual to fine dining. Some of the top places to go include:
Shopping is one of the most fun things to do in Chino, as well as in neighboring Chino Hills. You’ll find everything, from specialty boutiques and supplies stores to big-box retailers and sprawling shopping centers with an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants.
The top shopping destinations in and around the Chino include:
In addition to numerous parks, Chino is home to family-friendly attractions, art and culture destinations, and so much more. The city also stages fun community events year-round.
Among the top things to do and places to visit in the area are:
Planes of Fame Museum
This attraction features all kinds of aircraft throughout history, including a replica of the Wright Brothers” Kitty Hawk Flyer; warplanes from WWI, WWII, and the Korean and Vietnam wars; aircraft from the 1920s and 1930s; and more.
Yanks Air Museum
Similar to the Planes of Fame Museum, Yanks Air Museum also features a collection of vintage aircraft, most of which are still airworthy, including legendary warplanes like the P-40 Warhawk and F-86 Sabre.
Chino Historical Walk
Downtown Chino encompasses Old Town Chino, a historical district that exudes a quaint Americana charm with its vintage homes and buildings, some dating back to the late 1800s. The Chino Historical Walk takes you on a guided tour of the district and the historic structures here, such as the Old Schoolhouse Museum, the Tebo Residence, the First Baptist Church of Chino, and others. The walk is a great way to get information about the city’s rich and vibrant history.
Chino Youth Museum
This children’s museum is housed in a historical building in Downtown Chino and features interactive exhibits where kids can get information on the city’s history, explore various science topics, do arts and crafts projects, and more. It’s also open to renting as a venue for private parties and events.
Community events and activities
Chino is an active community with year-round events and activities. The residents’ main hub is the Chino Community Center, aka the Carolyn Owens Community Center, located right across City Hall. The center hosts pottery lessons, after school activities for kids, dance lessons, and so much more.
The locals never run out of reasons to get together, with regular events like farmers’ markets, the Christmas parade and fair, 4th of July celebrations, and more.
Learn more about the City of Chino with Julian Lopez
Julian and his team are the perfect guides in exploring your real estate options in this highly desirable and fast-growing community. Representing buyers and sellers throughout the Inland Empire since 2000, the team is a top 1% producer in the area and continues to earn the trust of hundreds of clients with their dedication and hard work.
Contact the team if you’re looking for a home in the region. With their local expertise, they can guide you to the perfect property fast. If you’re selling a home, the team can connect you with the right buyer through aggressive online marketing campaigns to give your listing maximum exposure.
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