Pros and cons of living in Fontana, California

Are you planning to move to Fontana? This city is a fantastic place with an industrial heritage and could be great for you. But you need to know what it’s like to live there. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in Fontana?

Living in Fontana can be lovely. This isn’t surprising for a city with qualities such as safety, educational opportunities, affordable housing, low living costs, and low tax rates. But there are negatives. The negatives include hot summers, car dependency, and the high poverty and unemployment rate.

Located near the Santa Ana River, which plays a role in its name, Fontana as a city blossomed during World War II. It started as an industrial city but is now an economic hub in the region with various sectors. This article is discussing what it means to live in Fontana.

Pros of Living in Fontana

There are several benefits to living in Fontana. This city of over 200,000 has several qualities that make it an ideal residential community for residents. They include:

1. Safety

A safe and secure city is always a good thing. In picking where to live, most individuals and families prioritize safety. In Fontana, there’s an assurance of safety. Its crime rate is 36% below the California average and 29% lower than the national average. Property crime is also 32% below the national average. This means crimes such as burglary, vandalism, arson, etc., are less common here than in several parts of the country.

Violent crimes are also less common here. The rate of occurrence is 10% lower compared to the national average. Fontana is safer than 37% of the cities in the US. Here, the chance of being a crime victim is only 1 in 57. So not only is Fontana safe, but the crime rate is also reducing.

2. Low Cost of Living

The cost of living is low in Fontana compared to several cities in California. In California, the cost of living is 49.9% above the national average. But for Fontana, it’s only 25.5% lower. While some might still see this as high, things here are cheaper than several other places in California. So, it’s one of the affordable places to live in the state.

Healthcare here is incredibly cheap, even cheaper than the national average. This might be due to the presence of the Kaiser Permanente Hospital facility in the city. Other basic expenses such as grocery, transportation, and miscellaneous are also more affordable than the average for California.

3. Educational Opportunities

Another significant benefit of living here is the access to educational opportunities that are present. In Fontana, there are several schools and many good ones. This makes it a family-friendly city where your kids can easily go to some of the best schools in the region. 

Apart from the K-12 schools, there are also several higher institutions. Residents can enroll in Degree programs in schools like Westech College, Chaffey College, California State University, Loma Linda University, University of Redlands, etc.

4. Low Tax Rates

Taxes are unavoidable, and the best you can do is to make sure you pay fewer taxes. In California, this can be difficult, considering that the average state income tax is 9.3%. But there are places in California where the tax rate is lower. For example, the sales tax rate in the city is 7.75% which is low considering how some cities charge as much as 9.5%.

However, the property tax rate in San Bernardino County is a little high at 1.15%. This is higher than the tax rate of 48 other counties in California.

5. Relatively Affordable Houses

Similar to the cost of living, housing in the city is also somewhat affordable compared with other cities in California. The average price of a home here is $530,713. That is very expensive compared to the national average price. But compared to the California standards, houses are cheap. So, if you are moving to California and want a safe city with affordable houses, you should consider Fontana before many other cities.

Cons of Living in Fontana

When it comes to living in Fontana, residents have to take the good with the bad. Living in this city comes with disadvantages. They include

1. Extremely Hot Summers

Everybody loves a sunny day, and California has one of the best sunny weather in the country. But no one likes heat. In Fontana, the warm sunshine can become a scorching heat in the summer. Temperature goes above 100 degrees F on several occasions. This weather can get very uncomfortable if you don’t stay in an air-conditioned area.  However, the other four seasons are much cooler. In the winters, there’s usually rain in the city, but there’s no snow.

2. High Unemployment and Poverty

Although Fontana isn’t necessarily a poor city, the city’s economy isn’t exactly the strongest. The unemployment rate is a little high. In June 2021, it was 8.1% higher than the national rate of 5.9. So, if you live in the city, job opportunities may be a little scarce. The poverty rate is also a little high at 13.9%, which means a sizable portion of the population is poor.

Despite all this, you can still get a good job in the city. Fontana has a robust trucking industry, and you’ll find many truck dealerships, industrial equipment sales centers, and several other manufacturers. So, the economy isn’t so bad, and with a good resume, you can be sure to find a job that pays higher than the average income above the poverty line. Moreover, since the city is quite affordable, you can easily live a good quality of life.

3. Car Dependency

The city is car-dependent so if you’re planning to live here, you need a car. According to WalkScore, it has a walkability score of 36, transit score of 29, and bike score of 41. All these points to the fact that you’ll need a car for most errands in the city.

However, there are some public transport options to help you find your way around the city. The Omnitrans bus service is best for intra-city movement. Of course, you can walk in some neighborhoods, and there’s minimal bike infrastructure present here.

In Conclusion 

There are several benefits to living in Fontana. This suburban city in San Bernardino County has several positive qualities for you to enjoy. But it’s not all glamorous. There are challenges you have to deal with when living here too. It’s for you to decide whether to move to Fontana or not.