10 Most Affordable Cities to Live in California

Many people interested in these ten most affordable cities to live in California, which is one of the richest states in the USA, and for different reasons. The summer sun, the beautiful beaches and the majestic mountains are rich natural resources that offer spectacular living conditions.

In addition to all that, the Golden State has a lot of attractions, with something for everybody: national parks, beachside cities, lakeside towns, food spots, entertainment and more. It’s a highly desirable place to live—and that means high prices for housing.

San Francisco now outranks Manhattan as the most expensive real estate market in the U.S.; with a $1 million budget you may be limited to homes under 1,000 square feet.

But if we look beyond the best-known cities, we will find many communities where you can own a piece of the Sunshine State and stay within our budget. Many of these offer not only affordability, but also low crime rates, good employment opportunities, housing availability, recreational opportunities and educational facilities.

Here’re the 10 most affordable cities in California.

1. Imperial

Imperial, California

The vibrant community of Imperial is home to more than 17,000 people in a desert valley near the Salton Sea. A mere two hours away from San Diego, this city is quaint, quiet and comfortable, with low humidity and fresh air. It is also popular among bird watchers, as there are a variety of species that inhabit the city.

Residents of Imperial spend their free time engaged with outdoor activities such as camping, riding dune buggies, and golfing on three local courses.

Imperial offers the warm, sunny weather that attracts so many people to California, but the cost of living is much lower than in most metro areas. The median home value is $270,384, and the median household income is $85,163. Homeownership may offer good value; the population is growing, and buying compares favorably to renting, with an average rental rate of $1,837 per month.

Related article

What is it Like Living in Los Angeles, California: 12 Key Factors You Should Know

No matter your reason for considering relocating to Los Angeles, you will find a lot to love in this sunny, warm, sprawling, diverse city. In this article, we will give you a feel for L.A.’s standard of living, climate, housing, education and more. Here’re 12 Key factors you must know before moving to Los Angeles, CA…

2. Vacaville

Vacaville, California

Nestled between the Sacramento Valley and the Bay Area, Vacaville is a quiet community of over 110,000 people who celebrate many festivities all year ’round. Residents are particularly proud of Fiesta Days, a family-friendly holiday of fun, food and leisure. Locals enjoy strolling in the hills of Lagoon Valley or shopping at the premium outlet mall.

Because of the short driving distance to San Francisco, Vacaville makes for a great private retreat from urban life. In the beautiful setting of the Vacaville hills, residents can enjoy more spacious neighborhoods without sacrificing access to Bay Area’s amenities.

The median home value in Vacaville is about $354,600, and the median household income is $77,807. Renting an apartment in Vacaville may cost you around $1,868 per month.

10 Most Affordable Cities to Live in California

Related article

12 Key Factors You Should Know When Living in Houston Texas

Houston, Texas is a vibrant city with much to offer. U.S. News & World Report ranks Houston #30 in its Best Places to Live assessment and #26 in Best Places to Retire. There’s much to love about this southern city, nicknamed Space City in the days of the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center (now known as the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center)…

3. Clovis

Clovis, California

Considered one of the best sources for local produce in the area, Clovis is a largely agricultural city near the Fresno metropolitan area. It is one of the least expensive cities in the state. Its location makes it convenient for visiting Yosemite National Park and the city of San José.

While smaller cities around the metro area struggle with high crime rates, Clovis, with its population of 102,000 people, has comparatively little crime. The schools in the vicinity are well regarded and rank among the best in the Fresno area.

The median home value in Clovis is $284,200, and the median household income is $68,682. Apartments rent for around $1,177 monthly.

10 Most Affordable Cities to Live in California

Related article

10 Most Affordable Places to Live in Florida

With year-round warm weather and over 8,000 miles of coastline, it’s no wonder Florida is a prime vacation destination. Filled with wildlife, beaches, lakes, rivers, amusement parks, diverse entertainment options and much more, the population of Florida is growing with people that want to call Florida “home,” soak up the sun, and enjoy everything the state has to offer…

4. Livingston

Livingston, California

At the heart of the Central Valley in California, Livingston is a small and safe town with a population of around 14,000 residents. Its festivities include the annual Sweet Potato Festival, which celebrates the success of the annual ground crop harvest.

Livingston residents enjoy a quieter lifestyle than nearby urban areas, and can travel to nearby towns for a wider range of shopping and entertainment possibilities.

The median home value here is about $167,400, with the median household income estimated at $51,538. Rents are also low, with an average rate of around $883 per month.

10 Most Affordable Cities to Live in California

Related article

10 Most Affordable Places to Live in Colorado

Given the outdoors benefits – the cost of living in Colorado is still one of the best values in the country. Here’re the ten most affordable places to live in Colorado, taking into account the cost of living, median housing price, average crime rate and other factors which make a place unique…

5. Perris

Perris, California

An hour away from Disneyland, but far enough from the theme park not to feel like a tourist town, Perris is a city of 70,000 residents with a comfortable standard of living. It offers plentiful shopping and affordable homes.

Perris is located between San Diego and Los Angeles, in one of the fastest growing parts of Southern California. Its central location—the city, beach, mountains and desert can all be reached within an hour or two—means access to a vast array of business and recreational opportunities.

The median home value is around $261,000, and the median household income is $59,141. Monthly apartment rentals are around $1,252.

6. Woodlake

Woodlake, California

Situated in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Woodlake is a picturesque place to raise a family. It’s a community of around 7,000, over a third of them children

The median home value in Woodlake is $154,300, while the median household income is $35,417. Single-bedroom apartments have an average monthly rental rate of $1,193.

Related article

10 Best Places in the USA to Retire on the Water for Less

The popularity of the waterfront can mean high housing costs and consumer prices. Luckily, for those willing to look past the likes of Malibu and Venice Beach, there are plenty of scenic spots along the country’s lakes and oceans where retirees can make a nice home even with a reduced income…

7. Fort Irwin

Fort Irwin, California

Fort Irwin is an army base located in a scenic area of San Bernardino County, surrounded by the Mojave Desert and the Calico Mountains. The base houses Fort Irwin National Training Center. For families living here, there are plenty of attractions close enough for day trips, including Sequoia National Forest, Death Valley National Park, Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park, as well as the cities of Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Fort Irwin has about 9,000 residents and offers a full complement of amenities for family life, including a shopping center, a theater, fitness centers, a golf course, and a bowling alley.

On-post housing within Fort Irwin is operated by a private company and provided by the military through the Basic Allowance for Housing. Off-post housing is limited due to the remote location, although there are several towns within an hour’s drive of the base.

10 Most Affordable Cities to Live in California

Related article

10 Most Affordable Places to Live in Oregon

Geographically, Oregon boasts dramatic Pacific coastlines as well as volcanic mountain ranges. Its climate spans from rainforests along the coast to semi-arid conditions in the central and southeastern regions. The Beaver State is home to both Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the U.S., and Mount Hood, the second-most-climbed mountain in the world (next to Japan’s Mount Fuji)…

8. Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes, California

Around 8,000 people inhabit the mountain resort town of Mammoth Lakes, situated in the Sierra Nevada mountains about 100 miles east of San Francisco.

With its impressive alpine scenery and proximity to Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes has an economy based on tourism. Skiers and snowboarders come to experience the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. The mountains also provide an ideal setting for cycling, hiking, climbing, fishing, rafting, kayaking, photography and more.

The local community consists largely of singles and couples, though there is a small public school system, including an elementary school, a middle school and a high school.

The median home value in Mammoth Lakes is $60,984, and the average household income is $334,000.

10 Most Affordable Cities to Live in California

Related article

10 Most Affordable Places You Should Consider for Living in Michigan

Michigan is the only state in the United States with two separate peninsulas and five surrounding Great Lakes. Its landscape is diverse, ranging from industrialized skylines to sweeping sand dunes to gorgeous waterfalls. Once home to Henry Ford, it’s also considered the epicenter of America’s automotive industry with the headquarters of The Big Three: Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler…

9. Oakdale

City of Oakdale, California

Oakdale, the self-proclaimed “Cowboy Capital of the World,” has a lot of personality. This SoCal-meets-Wild West suburb of Modesto draws tourists who come for the Cowboy Museum, rodeos, rafting and riding.

With a population of about 21,000, Oakdale offers a family-friendly community without the high costs of nearby cities. Its year-round warm climate supports plenty of outdoor activities.

Residents of Oakdale are within miles of the Woodward Reservoir, which covers nearly 3,000 acres and is a popular place for boating and water sports.

The median home value in Oakdale is $385,200, and the median household income is $53,785. Apartments rent for an average of $1,282 per month.

10. Rocklin

City of Rocklin, California

Rocklin is a suburb of around 60,000 people on the outskirts of the Sacramento metropolitan area. The city bills itself as “A Family Community,” and features recreational activities for all ages, including museums, parks and shopping centers. Golf clubs are abundant and popular.

Oracle is a major employer in the area, though many residents commute into Sacramento. The Bay Area is within easy driving distance for a weekend trip, and outdoor activities like hiking and camping are widely available nearby

Rocklin’s median home value is $381,000, with a median household income of $84,121. The average apartment rents for $1,698 a month.

10 Most Affordable Cities to Live in California

Related article

10 Cheapest States to Buy a House in 2021

If you have the flexibility to move anywhere in the U.S., where could you buy the cheapest home? After examining data from Zillow and World Population Review. Here’re 10 most affordable States in the South and the Midwest to consider when buying a house in 2021…

Conclusion

California—with its massive economy, warm weather and beautiful natural environment—draws a constant stream of new residents from around the country and the world, and this demand can send home prices in many areas sky-high. But people of average means can find a home here, too, by looking to out-of-the-way inland towns and suburbs. Which one will suit your needs?

74 Articles
HOMEiA.com is an educational platform that promotes thoroughly researched, well-written, and strongly presented content on topics related to real estate. We customize our content to be both search-engine-friendly and user-friendly with the ultimate goal of ranking at or near the top in searches and to make HOMEiA.com one of the best websites in the industry. We also empower real estate professionals to establish or strengthen their web presence by highlighting their experience, knowledge… Read more >>