California offers much more than just iconic beaches, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood celebrities. It hosts theme parks, mountains, agricultural fields, deserts, vineyards, and much more. Many buyers love the idea of living in the state but are deterred by the skyrocketing prices. However, there are many pockets in California that are much more affordable if you’re willing to venture outside of the big cities. In the era of Working From Home, this has become a stronger possibility than ever before.
If you are looking to relocate to, or within, the Golden State and don’t want to break your budget, check out this list of the most affordable cities:
Median home value: $288,010
Median household income: $59,911
Visalia is the oldest San Joaquin Valley town known for its agriculture and historical ties to the gold rush along the Kern River. It is a quiet town with not much commotion, and everything is within walking distance. Fresno and Bakersfield are also great options for affordable living in roughly the same area of central California.
Median home value: $554,471
Median household income: $64,837
Oxnard, or the “Gateway to the Channel Islands,” is a city in Ventura County along California’s South Coast. It is located at the western edge of the Oxnard Plain, known for its agricultural fields with strawberries, lima beans, and other vegetable crops. It also boasts a beautiful warm-summer Mediterranean climate with mild and relatively wet winters, and warm, dry summers.
3. Rancho Cucamonga
Median home value: $614,671
Median household income: $108,525
Rancho Cucamonga is located just south of the San Gabriel Mountains in San Bernardino County. It is slightly pricier on the list, but is close to major transportation hubs and attractions as well as Los Angeles and Big Bear Mountain. The city has an agricultural history including winemaking and experiences an average of 287 sunny days per year.
Median home value: $186,004
Median household income: $31,551
Clearlake is a small city in Lake County with an elevation of 1,417 feet. Located at the south end of Mendocino National Forest, it experiences a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. Lake County is an ultra-premium wine grape-growing area and is also famous for its pears and walnuts.
Median home value: $634,495
Median household income: $77,226
Oceanside is a coastal city located in North County San Diego. It hosts the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and is known for its iconic wooden pier, wide sandy beaches, beautiful harbor, and a growing reputation for beer lovers and foodies. It is a great option for those who want to stay within San Diego County.
Median home value: $410,061
Median household income: $69,134
Sacramento is more than just California’s state capitol. It is centrally located to hot spots such as Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Napa, Sonoma, Monterey, Yosemite, Mammoth, and more! It has rich gold rush history with museums to explore, as well as Folsom Lake, hiking trails, and two rivers! It is a great place to consider for those who love the outdoors or are growing a family.
Median home value: $558,532
Median household income: $90,964
Temecula is nestled between Los Angeles and San Diego and is a paradise for wine lovers, family raisers, and leisure seekers. It boasts more than 40 wineries, multiple golf courses and of course Pechanga Casino. With great safety ratings and highly rated public schools, it’s a great place for those wanting to start a family and don’t mind a commute to work.
Median home value: $329,525
Median household income: $39,720
Eureka is a relatively small city located within Humboldt County – 270 miles north of San Francisco, 100 miles south of the Oregon border, and adjacent to abundant redwood forests. Being in such close proximity to the sea, it renders an extremely maritime climate with the seasons being defined by the rainy winters and dry summers. The city is known for its major commercial fishing port and the headquarters of the Six Rivers National Forest and California State Parks System. The entire city is a state historic landmark and contains hundreds of noteworthy Victorian homes.
Median home value: $499,105
Median household income: $68,956
The city of Redlands was originally established for the burgeoning citrus industry. Early settlers saw the area, with its hot, dry climate and ready access to water as an ideal center for citrus production. They named their city “Redlands” after the color of the adobe soil. Located at the base of the San Bernardino mountains, 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles and 45 miles west of Palm Springs, Redlands now offers easy access to hiking and biking trails, an eclectic array of quaint shops, historic architecture, and a variety of local restaurants.
Honorable Mentions: Fresno, Bakersfield, Clovis, Ventura, Simi Valley, Vacaville, Camarillo
If you are looking to move to a new city within California, please reach out to Bluefire Mortgage at (760) 930-0569 with any questions you may have. We specialize in all California counties, and are extremely knowledgeable about the market and lifestyle surrounding each area.