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Why move to Upland, CA?

What if you took the best parts of California’s lifestyle and dispensed with all the downsides? What you get is Upland, CA, a place where you can enjoy stunning natural views, a colorful culture, and a laidback lifestyle but at a more affordable cost.

The city is located in San Bernardino County and is part of the so-called Inland Empire region. The city is home to 77,000 people according to information from Census.gov.

Upland is bordered by the San Gabriel Mountains to the north, Rancho Cucamonga to the east, Montclair to the south, and Claremont to the west. Thanks to its proximity to key state highways and the presence of an efficient train line, Los Angeles is less than an hour away by commute.

The city is home to a historic downtown area and several pocket parks. As Upland is located at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, residents can also enjoy various outdoor activities.

If Upland has piqued your interest, here’s our comprehensive guide to this wonderful Southern California city:


Places are shaped by history and this is especially true of Upland. From its humble beginnings as ranchland, it has become one of the most attractive suburbs in Southern California. Below is a quick overview of how that came to be:

  • 1774: The Spanish Explorer Juan Bautista de Anza discovers a land route from Arizona to California, parts of which intersect with the area that would become Upland.
  • 1848: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed, marking the end of the Mexican-American War. As part of the concord, Mexico cedes California to the United States. For most of the mid-1800s, Upland was uninhabited ranchland.
  • 1882: Canadian shipbuilders George and William Chaffey of Ontario, Canada purchases 8,000 acres of land in Rancho Cucamonga. They rename the area Ontario and build a model colony there, the northern part of which is now present-day Upland. Because of the irrigation system the brothers installed, the colony soon becomes a thriving citrus orchard.
  • 1906: The name Upland had been used to describe the area as early as 1902, but the city would only be formally incorporated under that name in 1906. During this period, the citrus industry becomes the top agricultural sector in California.
  • 1940s: World War II disrupts the citrus industry and growers begin selling their orchards to land developers. This signals Upland’s shift from an agricultural to a residential area.
  • 1954: The San Bernardino Freeway is completed, forging a vital link to Los Angeles. This development accelerates Upland’s growth and cements its transition into a modern suburb.
  • Present Day: Today, Upland is an ideal suburban community where residents enjoy a peaceful lifestyle, easy access to nature, and a fascinating historic district.


While Upland is considered a bedroom community, it is far from sleepy. There’s a strong skateboarding scene here and the city is famed for its “vertical” skate tracks. As a nod to its citrus-growing days, the city holds the Upland Lemon Festival every April. You can also visit the Grove Theater in the historic district to catch plays and musical performances. History and art buffs are sure to love the Upland Fire Department Museum, Cooper Regional History Museum, and the Inland Empire Museum of Art.

Homes in Upland, CA

Niche.com classifies Upland as dense suburban, giving the area a distinctly tight-knit feel. This city is a place where people put down their roots, as a majority of residents own their homes.

Houses in Upland command a premium without being exorbitantly priced. Information from Zillow.com shows that a typical home here fetches around $639,000 on the market. This is almost triple the national average of $269,000, but is significantly lower than the Los Angeles County average of $809,000. A home in Upland is an attractive investment, too, as property prices have grown by 11% year-on-year.

Whatever your needs and budget may be, there’s a dream home in Upland for you. Those looking for starter homes should consider condominiums, affordable and centrally located properties that are ideal for young families. If you want to live downtown but need more space than a condo provides, a townhouse is the perfect choice. Want a slice of suburbia? A single-family home in a peaceful community provides just that. And those who want the crème de la crème of real estate should invest in sprawling luxury homes.

With a variety of architectural styles on offer, you’re sure to find a listing that suits your design sensibilities. These range from rustic ranch-style properties, to sleek contemporary homes, to palatial mansions. And since the city is home to a historic district, you’ll also find houses in the Victorian and Colonial styles. The typical Upland home has about three bedrooms and two baths, and measures about 1,500 square feet.

Likewise, different neighborhoods cater to different lifestyles. The most in-demand properties are often found in:

  • Historic Downtown Upland

    The historic district lies between 8th Street and Arrow Highway, and puts you in the center of a bustling downtown area. Here you’ll find exquisitely restored properties that now house an eclectic mix of boutique stores, watering holes, restaurants, and more. The downtown area is also the venue for the Upland Farmers Market, which is held every Saturday.

  • Euclid Avenue

    Not far from downtown is Euclid Avenue, where most of the city’s historic homes are located. These beautiful houses date back to the 1900s, but many of them have been renovated to provide modern conveniences. Of course, historical prestige comes at a premium and many of the listings here command seven figures. But if you buy a property here, you’ll be living in a neighborhood that’s part of the National Register of Historic Places.

  • North Mountain Avenue

    If you want to live closer to nature, take a look at listings on North Mountain Avenue, which lies near the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. A majority of listings here have stunning mountainside views that make their seven-figure asking price more than worth it. Several of the listings are luxury homes that feature deluxe amenities like resort-style pools and spa-like baths. Further adding to the neighborhood’s appeal is its proximity to Tulip, Beverly, San Antonio, and McCarthy Parks.

  • North Campus Avenue

    Living on North Avenue Campus means being in good company. After all, you’ll be neighbors with the Upland Hills Country Club, which boasts an immaculately maintained 18-hole range. Up the road is the trailhead for Upland Trails, where residents love to jog, run, and bike.

To find the best property for your family, be sure to work with trusted real estate agents. With deep knowledge of the local property market, they can help you find your dream home in no time.

Living in Upland, CA

Upland dubs itself as the “City of Gracious Living” and rightly so. It’s a fairly small city, but it offers a high quality of life that doesn’t require you to break the bank. To help you better understand what it’s like to live here, we prepared this comprehensive guide:

  • Cost of Living

    If you pulled out a cost of living calculator, you’ll see that the typical home here commands about $639,000 —almost $170,000 less than in L.A. Houses aren’t the only thing that comes cheaper in Upland, however. You’ll also find that everyday necessities like groceries, healthcare, and transportation are markedly lower than the state average. If you want the California experience without the steep costs, Upland is the city for you.

  • Schools

    The city’s 11,000 students are served by the Upland Unified School District, which operates 14 public schools in the area. These schools are broken down into one pre-school, 10 elementary schools, two junior high schools, one high school, and one adult education school. Its curriculum is designed to help learners maximize their potential and become ready for an increasingly globalized world. Niche.com cites Pepper Tree Elementary, Pioneer Junior High, and Upland High among the best schools in the district, thanks to their strong curriculum, attentive teachers, and college preparedness. Class sizes are kept fairly small at 26 students per classroom to ensure an optimal learning environment.

  • Job Market

    Living in Upland comes at a premium, but it does have a considerably higher median household income at over $72,000. PayScale.net notes that the average hourly wage in the city is $18 per hour—much higher than the state-mandated minimum wage of $14. The city’s diverse job market offers plenty of opportunities to professionals, especially in the healthcare, education, retail, real estate, and construction industries. According to Zippia.com, AppleOne Employment Services, VCI Construction, and San Antonio Community Hospital are among the top-rated companies in the area.

  • Weather

    It’s no secret that Southern California has one of the best climates in the country. But have you ever wondered why that’s so? The answer is a meteorological event called the Pacific High, whose counterclockwise winds keep high-pressure systems away from California, keeping it dry for the vast majority of the year. Coupled with the state’s naturally warm weather—it gets over 280 balmy days in a year—California offers a sun-soaked lifestyle that’s hard to resist. The city of Upland benefits from these ideal weather conditions, too, which is why BestPlaces.net gives it an 8.8/10 Comfort Index rating.

  • Transportation

    Upland’s proximity to the San Bernardino Freeway and State Route 210 makes getting around a breeze. It also means you can work in bigger cities like Los Angeles by day and come home to Upland’s suburban comfort at night. Upland is also part of the Metrolink train line, which connects the city to key areas like L.A., West Covina, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, and San Bernardino. And with a walkability score of 86 and a bike-ability rating of 75, you don’t even need cars or public transit to get to your destination.

  • Shopping

    Whether you’re looking to buy essentials or treat yourself to some retail therapy, Upland’s shopping centers have you covered. Colonies Crossroads is one of the city’s premier retail destinations, offering a diverse mix of stores that includes Kohl’s, Nordstrom, TJ Maxx, and Target. Upland Village Center, meanwhile, is one of the area’s oldest shopping centers and has some 150,000 square feet of retail space. The city is also home to major big-box stores such as Walmart, so everything you need is right within the city limits.

  • Dining

    Despite being a smaller city, Upland boasts a surprisingly rich food scene. If you want a bite of comfort, there’s no better place to visit than Molly’s Souper, which serves excellent soups, sandwiches, pancakes, and salads. Those craving for bold flavors should drop by Elvira’s Mexican Grill and order the Tostada, a towering creation that’s chock-full of refried beans, meat, lettuce, cheese, and guacamole. For an elevated dining experience, book a table at Allegro, which serves Italian-inspired dishes using only the freshest ingredients.

  • Attractions

    Upland is a place where history comes alive and this is apparent in attractions. If you’re exploring the city, check out the Madonna of the Trail Statue at the corner of Foothill Boulevard, which honors the women who helped settle the frontier. The city’s historic district, meanwhile, features over 200 merchants whose stores, breweries, and restaurants are housed in renovated century-old structures. Take a trip down memory lane by hitting Route 66 and explore the old-school diners, quirky attractions, and ghost towns that dot America’s Main Street.

Come home to Upland, CA

You, too, can enjoy elevated suburban living in Upland, CA. And Sell Smart Real Estate will be there to help you make the right call every step of the way.

Our company is headed by Julian Lopez, one of the most respected real estate agents in the Inland Empire region. With over 20 years of experience in this market, he has helped countless clients find the best properties for the best price.

Our commitment to excellence is best captured by our motto: “Save Money, Sell Smart”. For his outstanding efforts, Julian has been a Top 1% producer in the area since 2010.

With access to an expansive real estate portfolio, he can help you find the ideal property in Upland’s most in-demand neighborhoods. We can also arrange for remote property viewing via Zoom if you cannot visit Upland in person.

Our team provides end-to-end services, from helping you shortlist properties to linking you to reputable mortgage lenders. To get your home search started, just call 909.996.4470 or send an email to soldbyjulianlopez(at)gmail(dotted)com.

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