A Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Madera, CA

A Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Madera, CA

Sunshine, green spaces, and a tranquil lifestyle—this is Madera, CA. Situated just 23 miles north of Fresno, this agricultural city, known for its vineyards, is quickly positioning itself as the next great Californian location that mixes the quiet comforts of suburbia with the convenience of city living.

Residents here enjoy all the benefits of being close to nature, with Yosemite National Park just an hour away and sprawling parks and hike trails located close to home. However, they also have easy access to the amenities of a large metropolitan area.

If you’re looking for a quiet, family-friendly community in proximity to nature, this could be the place for you.

A Brief History of Madera, CA

Madera was overlooked in the early stages of the California Gold Rush, as prospectors opted to try their luck in more popular prospecting towns like Coarsegold and Grub Gulch. However, this would change when plots of state land went up for auction in 1875. These patches of land near the California Lumber Company’s flume would be part of a new town called Madera, the Spanish word for “wood.”

Construction sped up as more people moved into the county; and, in less than a year, a church and school were constructed to become an integral part of the community. The town continued to grow into the 20th Century, fed mainly by a competitive lumber industry led by the Madera Flume and Trading Company, which was succeeded by the Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company. It was during this time that Madera became an incorporated community on March 27, 1907.

Today, Madera is a growing city of over 68,000 people. The seat of Madera County is famous for its farms, produce, and natural landscapes. Manufacturing has also gained a foothold in the area, contributing to the city’s expanding job market.

Real Estate in Madera, CA

Madera’s competitive real estate market continues to attract eager homebuyers drawn in by the area’s sunny weather and affordable cost of living.

Here you’ll find single-family detached homes in the Ranch or Spanish Colonial architectural style. Usually, these houses are large and have three to four bedrooms, while some may even have five or more. While a chunk of Madera’s real estate inventory was built in the latter quarter of the 20th Century, the number of newer developments has been growing in the area.

These newer properties have been gaining popularity among home buyers looking for spacious two-story homes with an open floor plan, at least three bathrooms, and enough room for a home office and family area.

Energy-efficient designs also accentuate the hottest properties, while a lanai with a pool and scenic view is the finishing touch for a winning Madera home.

With these popular features, homes in the best neighborhoods in Madera, CA stay on the market for less than a month and sell at their asking prices while the most in-demand properties can sell above their list price in as little as 10 days.

The 6 Best Neighborhoods in Madera, CA

New developments are springing up in Madera County providing home buyers plenty of choice of where to live and what type of property they wish to buy. However, while Madera has 22 neighborhoods, some outshine others because of their amenities, proximity to nature, and potential.

With these considerations in mind, here are some of the best neighborhoods in Madera, CA.

Rolling Hills

Once a sleepy remote neighborhood off Highway 41, Rolling Hills has been brought to life by two master-planned communities in the area: Tesoro Viejo and Riverstone.

1. Tesoro Viejo

This walkable master-planned community has over 5,000 newly constructed homes built in beautiful natural surroundings. Depending on where you are in the neighborhood, a homeowner can look out and see the hills or enjoy a view of the Sierra Mountains. They are also assured of boundless green space, with 400 acres of preserved landscapes.

There’s a strong sense of community here and residents can visit Tesoro Viejo’s town center for drinks and snacks at a café or farmer’s market.

The community already has a working health center and its own elementary school under the Chawanakee Unified School District, with plans to build a high school in the near future.

2. Riverstone

Located south of Avenue 12 and west of Highway 41, this 2,000-acre master-planned community will soon hold over 6,000 homes spread out among eight districts.

It is envisioned to be a walkable community close to 115 acres of sprawling parks and open green spaces. Here, Riverstone residents can walk along calming tree-lined vistas or look out the window to see the San Joaquin River.

Riverstone has opened Stone Creek Elementary within walking distance of the community. Under the Golden Valley Unified School District (GVUSD), the school began operations in 2021 and has students from transitional kindergarten to the sixth grade.

Riverstone’s Market District has Riverwalk, the neighborhood’s premiere lifestyle destination, with 1 million square feet allotted for shops, businesses, and offices.

Storey/Community College

Storey is a prosperous rural community, with most residents working as executives or managers in the agricultural industry. Homes in the area are on the larger side and have three to four bedrooms. You’ll also find homes that have five bedrooms or more. While most homes in Storey were built within the ‘70s and ‘90s, newer homes are also available in the area.

Here you’ll find Madera Community College (MCC). Once a satellite campus for Reedley College, MCC was formally recognized by the California Community College System Board of Governors in 2020. With its newly acquired status, the school is now eligible for more funding, allowing it to open additional jobs and academic programs that may bring in more people and turn Storey into one of the best neighborhoods in Madera, CA.

MCC still has plans to grow. Recently, it opened Academic Village 2, a two-story building designed for both learning and mingling through well-designed interiors, including classrooms, a library, nursing labs, and a courtyard.

Bonadelle Ranchos

Bonadelle Ranchos is a suburban neighborhood composed of single-family homes that have three to four bedrooms. Larger homes in the area have five or more bedrooms. While homes here usually date back to the 1970s to 1990s, newer homes are also part of the Bonadelle Ranchos’ inventory.

Apart from its spacious homes, buyers choose this neighborhood because of its safety and family-friendly atmosphere. In fact, it is ranked among Neighborhood Scout’s top seven family-friendly neighborhoods in all of California partly due to the number of good schools in the community. Its proximity to the Lost Lake Campgrounds and Millerton Lake State Recreation Area provides opportunities for camping, hiking, boating, and fishing.

All this makes Bonadelle Ranchos one of the best places for children and their families to make lifelong friends and lasting memories.

Madera Ranchos

A peaceful suburban neighborhood close to great schools, Madera Ranchos ranks among Neighborhood Scout’s top six family-friendly neighborhoods in California. Like Bonadelle Ranchos, homes here have three to four bedrooms, while larger properties have at least five bedrooms. Townhouses are also part of the real estate inventory. Most Madera Ranchos homes were built in the late 20th Century, but recently constructed houses are also part of the landscape.

Found along the Madera Wine Trail, Madera Ranchos’ community of executives and professionals have the chance to sample some of the best selections from the best vintners in the county, including Birdstone and Toca Madera.

Both wineries are a mere six minutes from the neighborhood. Toca Madera even lets visitors enjoy their wine right on vineyard grounds; and if you’re lucky, live music may be playing in the background.

Downtown Madera

Downtown Madera is perfect for home buyers looking to live close to the heart of the city. Here you’ll find three- to four-bedroom single-family homes as well as smaller apartments. You’ll be within walking distance of Madera City’s shopping and hospitality district, so you’ll never want for entertainment or a great night out.

There is also a new development in the neighborhood: Esperanza Village. Composed of 48 apartments divided between two buildings, this development gives priority to veterans seeking affordable housing. Prospective residents can choose between studios and one-bedroom units in the first building or larger two to three-bedroom apartments in the second building. There are also plans to develop a bike-share program for Esperanza’s residents before expanding it to the rest of Downtown Madera.

Parkwood West

A notable feature in the area is Sugar Pine Village on 203 East Lewis Street, a recently completed affordable housing complex made up of 52 apartments measuring between 600 to 1,000 sq ft. Here, each Sugar Pine resident has their own energy-efficient kitchen and laundry area and can enjoy the shared computer lab and picnic areas at the development’s community center.

Only a mile away from Parkwood West’s Sugar Pine Village is the newly opened Almond Park, which features a rock climbing wall along with the usual picnic areas and playgrounds, perfect for some time out in the fresh air.

Living in Madera, CA

Living in one of the best neighborhoods in Madera, CA puts you close to areas where you can work and grow professionally but also enjoy rest and recreation in the great outdoors. On the road to becoming California’s next big city, Madera’s winning features include its great location, pleasant weather, thriving industry, and affordable cost of living.


Madera lies at the center of California, nestled between the San Joaquin Valley and Central Sierras. The city is bordered by Mariposa and Merced to the north, Mono County to the east, and Fresno down south.

With its central location, Madera is only 20 miles away from the Fresno Metropolitan Area, while a three-hour drive separates the city from Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Those looking to take a break from the city only need to drive 88 miles to reach Yosemite camping grounds.


With its pleasant Mediterranean climate, Madera enjoys 264 days of sunshine, with the most comfortable days falling in the spring and fall. Expect mild winters and hot summers with little to no snowfall. Rainy days are also few and far between, with only 13 inches of rain a year.


People in Madera most travel by car and house at least two vehicles in their garage. By car, a trip to work usually takes 30 minutes. For intercity travel, drivers take Highway 99. Some residents opt to join a carpool service like CalVans and hop onto a rented van from the California Vanpool Authority to head to work or school. If they need transport but don’t have a car available on the day, they can also schedule personal transportation through Madera’s Dial-A-Ride program.

Those without a car can still take a fixed-route bus on the Madera Metro to get around the city.


While 24% of Madera’s workforce are employed in government jobs, the county’s agricultural industry is also a massive part of the local economy and brings in more than a billion dollars every year. The property and income taxes from Madera’s agricultural industry contribute to public funding for the county’s schools and roads.

There has also been an expansion in the county’s manufacturing, with more than 100 plants working in the area. Here are just some of the products that come out of these manufacturing and processing plants:

  • Wine

  • Dairy products

  • Glass bottles

  • Cardboard boxes

  • Fiberglass insulation

  • Food processing equipment

  • Air cooling units

Cost of living

While prices here may be slightly higher than national averages (this is California after all), the cost of living in Madera is cheaper compared to other cities in the state.

According to BestPlaces.net, buying a home in Madera would cost 52.1% less than buying a house elsewhere in California. Note that the price of groceries, healthcare, and transportation are considerably lower than the cost of these goods and services nationwide and throughout most of California.

Choosing the Right Neighborhood

There are still more communities in the county to explore, so before you select the best neighborhood in Madera, CA for you, keep in mind these considerations:

  • Will my children live close to good schools?

  • Will I live close to work, parks, stores, gyms, or other amenities that will improve my quality of life?

  • Is this community a good fit for me and my family?

  • What are the appreciation rates in the area?

Cierge Real Estate Services with John and Sherri DuBeau

With over 35 years of experience in sales and negotiation, we know what it takes to make home buying a stress-free experience—a great part of which is by being present and transparent throughout the entire home-buying process.

With our concierge real estate service, we’ll help you explore your options and narrow them down to the best fit for you. We’ll be with you every step of the way as you go through your initial home search, make your first offer, negotiate a deal, and close the sale.

Call us today at 559.694.1036 or send an email here to get started. You can also leave a message here. We’d love to hear from you.

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One cannot be trustworthy without being transparent, Jack and Sherri are open books. They don’t look at the transaction as just closing a sale; it is ensuring the client is happy with their experience. They look to have friendships with their clients for a lifetime!

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