When it comes to California, real estate prices can be sky-high, but there are still many cities and towns in the state where you can live affordably. The most budget-friendly places to live in California are Eureka, Stockton, and Clovis. If you are interested in finding out more about affordable cities in California, keep reading to discover the top fifteen.
15 Affordable Places to Live in California (2023)
Eureka, a historic port city located in Northern California, is the most affordable place to live in the Golden State. This charming city boasts of a pleasant climate and a unique appeal, with its old town featuring Victorian mansions and other historic landmarks. In Eureka, the median property value is $332,000, making it the cheapest city in California to live in. Moreover, Eureka has consistently been rated as one of the best places to live in California, making it an ideal destination for those seeking affordability and quality of life.
Stockton, located in the San Joaquin Valley, is a charming Northern California city that offers an affordable cost of living. With a median property value of only $335,000, it’s one of the cheapest cities to live in California. Although Stockton has social problems like crime and homelessness, there are plenty of good areas in addition to the rougher parts. While it may not be the best city for families, it’s an excellent choice for young or single adults looking to save money and still live in a city with opportunities and a suburban ambiance.
Located just outside of Fresno, Clovis is a charming, medium-sized city nestled in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. With its picturesque setting at the foot of the Sierra Mountains, Clovis is often referred to as the gateway to the Sierras. The city boasts stunning natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. Despite its proximity to California’s major metropolitan areas, Clovis is an affordable residential area, with median property values of just over $375,000. Families and working professionals alike appreciate the city’s tranquil atmosphere and slow pace of life. For outdoor enthusiasts, Yosemite and Death Valley are both just a short drive away, making Clovis an excellent choice for those seeking a balance between urban convenience and natural beauty.
In California, Sacramento stands out as the most affordable large city to live in. Being the capital, it offers a unique blend of diverse cultures and a quirky local vibe. Additionally, it provides convenient access to popular tourist destinations such as San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. Sacramento is a city that offers the best of both worlds, making it an ideal place to call home.
Sacramento offers a more affordable lifestyle compared to some of California’s other major cities. The median home value in Sacramento is approximately $399,000, making it a great option for young adults and families who want to save money. Although it may not have the glitz and glam of other cities, Sacramento’s authentic local culture and high quality of life make it an overlooked gem of California.
Vallejo, located in the San Francisco Bay area, is known for being one of the most affordable cities to live in California. This waterfront city is home to many tourist attractions, including Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and the historic 1911 Empress Theatre. With median property values around $440,000, Vallejo offers a much lower cost of living compared to other parts of the Bay area. It’s an ideal place to raise a family and provides convenient access to San Francisco and other nearby attractions.
Located in the heart of San Bernardino County’s Inland Empire, Redlands is a charming and affordable city in California. Known for its low-key suburban vibe, this quaint area offers a safe and comfortable living environment for those seeking a peaceful lifestyle. With property values averaging around $458,000, Redlands is an excellent choice for those looking for affordable housing within easy reach of Los Angeles.
Murrieta, located in California’s Inland Empire, is a budget-friendly city to reside in. Despite being one of the fastest-growing cities in the state, it maintains a peaceful and quiet atmosphere. The city offers top-notch public schools, a suburban vibe, and a low crime rate, making it ideal for families. The median property value is approximately $484,000, and the cost of living is relatively low. Although it’s not near the beaches or tourist attractions, it’s still an excellent option for those who don’t mind being a bit removed from the hustle and bustle.
Vacaville is a mid-sized city located in Solano County, Northern California. Positioned halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento, residents have easy access to either city. The city’s historic downtown offers plenty of shopping and entertainment options. With median property values around $496,000 and a laid-back semi-urban atmosphere, Vacaville is an excellent choice for those looking to save money without compromising their quality of life.
San Pablo, located in the suburbs of San Francisco, is a budget-friendly oasis in the midst of an expensive city. This area is ideal for people seeking affordable housing while moving to San Francisco for work or other prospects. With a median property value of just $520,000, San Pablo is a hidden gem that boasts excellent schools and a low crime rate. It’s a tranquil suburb that offers convenient access to both Berkeley and San Francisco without breaking the bank.
Oxnard, located in Ventura County, is another one of the affordable places to live in California. This serene seaside community has an agricultural background, which provides its residents with a peaceful and calm environment without breaking the bank. The median property value in Oxnard is approximately $530,000, making it one of the most affordable places to live near the beach in California. The small-town charm of Oxnard is also something that many residents adore.
Temecula, a charming city in Riverside County, California, nestled in the heart of wine country, is another affordable place to live in the Golden State. Surrounded by picturesque rolling hills and vineyards, it is a popular tourist spot due to its stunning scenery and mild climate. Despite being a coveted location, with property values averaging around $540,000, Temecula is much more budget-friendly than other Southern California towns. It’s an ideal choice for young families seeking a secure, inexpensive city with a high standard of living in SoCal.
Long Beach, located in the Southern part of Los Angeles County, is one of the most affordable cities in Southern California. This coastal city is the seventh-largest city in California and is about 30 minutes away from downtown LA. Long Beach is a serene beach town that is perfect for people who want to be near the city but avoid high city prices. The median property value in Long Beach is around $640,000, and while there is expensive real estate near the beach, the inland neighborhoods are more suburban, and the cost of living is low. This makes it an excellent city for those who want to be close to the action but don’t want to be in the center of the town.
Anaheim, California is a great option for those who want to experience an urban feel while living in an affordable area. Known for being the home to popular attractions such as Disneyland, the Honda Center, and Angel Stadium, Anaheim has a lot to offer. The median property value in Anaheim is approximately $672,000, which is significantly lower than other areas in Orange County, making it one of the cheapest places to live in California.
Placentia, located in Orange County, is known for its affordability and peaceful atmosphere. Situated inland from Costa Mesa, Placentia is a serene town nestled between Anaheim and Yorba Linda. With a low crime rate and affordable cost of living, it’s an ideal place to call home. The median property value is approximately $765,000, making it an affordable option for those seeking a place to settle in California. Although it’s not located directly on the beach, Placentia boasts a plethora of entertainment and shopping options, and the ocean is just a short drive away, making it a perfect weekend getaway spot.
Located in Orange County, California, Costa Mesa is a peaceful suburb that sits between Santa Ana, Irvine, and the Pacific Ocean. Despite being surrounded by affluent areas, Costa Mesa is considered one of the most affordable places to live in Orange County, with a median property value of $890,000. This quiet suburban area is a hub for retail and manufacturing, making it an ideal location for families and young professionals who want to enjoy the amenities of a Southern California suburb without the high costs. Costa Mesa is particularly attractive to those who want to be close to the beach while still enjoying a peaceful and affordable lifestyle.
Is Northern or Southern California More Expensive? – A Comparison of Living Costs
In general, Northern California is a more affordable option compared to Southern California, provided you steer clear of San Francisco and the Bay Area. Southern California, on the other hand, is known for being one of the priciest regions in the United States. Despite this, there are still some reasonably priced neighborhoods to be found if you know where to look.
Cheapest Places to Live in California Bottom Line
When it comes to finding affordable places to live in California, your best bet is the northern region of the state. The cost of living in Northern California is significantly lower than its Southern counterpart. Surprisingly, some of the cheapest places to live in California, such as Eureka, offer an excellent quality of life.
While California may not be known for being budget-friendly, there are still some affordable cities to live in if you know where to look. Despite high living costs in cities like LA and SF, there are other cities in the state that offer a lower cost of living and great value for residents. By doing your research, you can find a place to call home in California without breaking the bank.
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