Cheapest Places In California To Live You Can Shift To Today
Looking to call California home without breaking the bank? You're in luck! While the Golden State is known for its high cost of living, there are still pockets of affordability to be found.
Whether you're dreaming of a beachside escape at Long Beach, a charming small town at Arvin, or the vibrant city of Sacramento, California has something for everyone. So, let's dive in and discover the most budget-friendly spots in the Golden State!
1. California City
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $800
California City, situated in northern Antelope Valley in Kern County, California, stands out as one of the most affordable cities in the state with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment sitting at just $800. With a vast land area spanning over 200 square miles, it offers ample space for residential living.
Despite its size, its population remains relatively modest at just a little over 15,000, contributing to its affordability. The city's average household income of $44,733 reflects its cost-effectiveness. While its rural charm may lack urban amenities, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, off-roading, and birdwatching in nearby Red Rock Canyon State Park.
2. Twentynine Palms
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,100
Twentynine Palms boasts the allure of being one of California's most affordable cities with a median rent of $1,100 for a 1-bedroom apartment. This desert town of roughly 25,000 residents offers an average household income of $62,000, but the desert landscape may not suit everyone's preferences.
However, outdoor enthusiasts can rejoice in the proximity to Joshua Tree National Park and hiking trails on the Fort Irwin Military Reservation. Remember, the cost of living is just one piece of the puzzle; consider your lifestyle and preferences when making your choice.
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,100
Chico charms with affordability, boasting a median one-bedroom rent of only $1,100! This city of over 100,000 residents offers a friendly, small-town vibe despite ranking among California's fastest-growing. While the average household income sits around $60,500, your dollars stretch further here.
Nature lovers rejoice - explore Bidwell Park's 3,600 acres or hike nearby Lassen Volcanic National Park. Foodies delight in the diverse restaurants, and history buffs wander through the walkable downtown. Chico might be unassuming, but its affordability opens doors to a fulfilling California lifestyle.
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,194
Eureka, perched on California's north coast, boasts a high rank on the list of cheapest cities in the state, offering charming Victorian architecture and stunning natural beauty without the hefty price tag. Littered with cheap apartment rentals with a median rent of only $1,194 for a one-bedroom, it's a budget-friendly haven.
Home to around 26,000 residents, this historic port city of just 15 square miles exudes small-town vibes. Despite the affordability, the average household income sits at $46,926. While opportunities might be limited compared to larger hubs, outdoor enthusiasts rejoice! Explore redwood forests, kayak Humboldt Bay, or hike majestic trails – all within this coastal gem's reach.
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,295
Hesperia, nestled in the Mojave Desert, boasts the title of one of California's most affordable cities. With a median rent for a one-bedroom apartment at a mere $1,295, it's a haven for budget-conscious renters. Located in San Bernardino County, Hesperia sprawls across 72 square miles, encompassing a population of around 100,000 residents.
The average household income sits at $68,000, making it an attractive option for families seeking a comfortable lifestyle. Beyond its affordability, Hesperia offers a plethora of outdoor activities, from exploring the Mojave National Preserve to soaking up the sun at Hesperia Lake. For history buffs, the Hesperia Museum showcases the city's rich past, while art enthusiasts can delve into the vibrant local art scene.
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,298
Stockton is one of the most affordable places to live in California for budget-minded residents with a median rent of only $1,298 for a one-bedroom apartment. This city of over 324,000 boasts a diverse cultural scene and a strong sense of community.
With an average household income of $71,612, Stockton offers a variety of recreational activities, including museums, parks, and waterfront adventures along the scenic Stockton Delta. While the cost of living is lower than in many parts of California, it's important to note that Stockton also faces challenges like crime and higher unemployment rates than the national average.
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,517
Located between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, the capital city of the state is among California's most budget-friendly cities, offering one-bedroom apartments at a median rent of only $1,517. Perhaps, Sacramento is among the least expensive places to live in California.
This vibrant state capital, with a population of around 529,000, enjoys a relaxed atmosphere despite being the center of California's government. Though the average household income sits at $66,603, residents can stretch their dollars further thanks to the lower cost of living. From exploring the bustling Old Town to soaking up the sun by the waterfront, Sacramento charms with its rich Gold Rush history, thriving arts scene, and proximity to outdoor adventures.
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,550
Arvin, nestled in California's Central Valley, boasts a remarkably low cost of living, with median rent for a one-bedroom apartment at a budget-friendly $1,550. This small city of around 19,000 residents enjoys a warm, dry climate and offers a laid-back atmosphere. The good news, Arvin offers every type of housing to suit your needs.
While job opportunities may be limited compared to larger urban centers, the average household income of $54,075 reflects its affordability. Though options are more modest, outdoor enthusiasts can explore nearby rivers and parks, and the city hosts cultural events throughout the year. If you're seeking a California lifestyle without breaking the bank, Arvin might just be your hidden gem.
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,571
Clovis is a gem for budget-minded Californians located in California's Central Valley, near Fresno. With a median rent of $1,571 for a one-bedroom apartment, it's significantly cheaper than the state average.
This family-friendly city of around 130,000 boasts a laid-back atmosphere and a diverse community. With an average household income of $89,769, Clovis attracts families and young professionals alike. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore Clovis Community Park, while history buffs can immerse themselves in the Clovis Rodeo. Whether you seek cultural experiences or outdoor adventures, Clovis offers something for everyone at an affordable price.
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,625
Vallejo might not be the absolute cheapest city in California, but it does offer a significantly lower cost of living compared to many other parts of the state. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment sits at $1,625, which is lower than the California average.
Located in the Bay Area with a population of around 125,000, Vallejo boasts a mix of affordability and things to do. While the exact average household income varies depending on the source, it falls around $78,243. For entertainment, you can explore the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom amusement park, hike along the scenic Mare Island shoreline, or visit historical sites like the USS Iowa battleship museum.
11. San Pablo
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,750
San Pablo offers a glimmer of affordability in California, boasting a median one-bedroom rent of $1,750 compared to the state's sky-high prices. Tucked in the East Bay, just 18 miles from San Francisco, it charms with a small-town vibe and a population of around 30,000.
While the median household income of about $67,000 might be lower than its pricier neighbors, residents enjoy easy access to the Bay Area's vibrant scene. Outdoor enthusiasts relish hiking trails and water activities, while history buffs delve into the city's rich past. From exploring the unique Alvarado Adobe to catching live music at The El Cerrito Playhouse, San Pablo offers a taste of California living without breaking the bank.
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,795
Redlands is a charming and affordable city located in San Bernardino County with a median rent for a one-bedroom apartment sitting at $1,795, significantly lower than California's average.
This city of roughly 75,000 residents offers a blend of urban convenience and suburban tranquility, with an average household income of around $87,000. Whether you're seeking outdoor adventures on scenic trails, cultural immersion at local events, or simply a relaxing escape, Redlands has something for everyone. So, if you're searching for an easy-on-the-wallet haven in California, be sure to consider Redlands!
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,800
Vacaville, nestled about 35 miles northwest of Sacramento, stands out as a haven for Californians seeking budget-friendly living. Compared to pricier parts of the state, its median rent for a one-bedroom apartment sits at an attractive $1,800.
This city of roughly 100,000 residents boasts an average household income of $119,258, painting a picture of relative affordability. While primarily serving as a bedroom community for the Bay Area, Vacaville itself offers a range of activities. From thrilling rides at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom to serene hikes in Lagoon Valley Park, and historical insights at the Vacaville Museum, there's something for everyone. Whether you crave outdoor adventures, family fun, or a laid-back lifestyle, Vacaville's charm and affordability are worth exploring.
14. Long Beach
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,850
Located in Southern California, Long Beach boasts a relaxed atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and a relatively affordable price tag compared to other parts of the state. This coastal city of roughly 462,000 residents offers a median rent of $1,850 for a one-bedroom apartment, making it attractive for young professionals and families alike.
With an average household income of $78,000, residents enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. From exploring the iconic Queen Mary ocean liner to strolling along the scenic waterfront or catching a concert at the Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach keeps you entertained with its diverse offerings. Whether you seek relaxation or adventure, this city has something for everyone.
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,875
Murrieta, situated in California's southwestern Riverside County, boasts affordability with a median rent of only $1,875 for a one-bedroom apartment. This city of roughly 110,000 residents enjoys an average household income exceeding $98,000. Although $1875 sounds expensive, it's peanuts compared to most expensive places in the US.
While its location is about an hour from both Los Angeles and San Diego, Murrieta offers its own set of attractions in its area of nearly 40 square miles. These include the award-winning Murrieta Valley Unified School District, the scenic Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, and the lively Old Town Murrieta with its shops and restaurants.
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $2,000
Inland Empire gem Temecula offers a breath of fresh air for California renters with a median one-bedroom rent of $2,000. This city of around 110,000 residents sits about 80 miles southeast of Los Angeles, boasting an average household income of around $111,881.
While affordability is a major draw, Temecula's charm lies in its vineyards, outdoor adventures, and historic Old Town. Wine enthusiasts can indulge in tastings at sprawling wineries, while nature lovers can hike scenic trails or explore nearby lakes. History buffs will appreciate strolling through Old Town's antique stores and Wild West saloons, soaking up the city's rich past. So, if you're looking for an affordable California city with something for everyone, Temecula might be your perfect match.
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $2,000
Anaheim, situated in Orange County, is a Southern California city known for its affordability compared to its neighbors. While the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment sits at $2,000, it's significantly lower than coastal Orange County areas.
This city of over 350,000 residents boasts an average household income exceeding $80,000, contributing to a comfortable lifestyle. Beyond its budget-friendly appeal, Anaheim offers a vibrant atmosphere. The world-famous Disneyland Resort anchors the city's tourism industry, but there's more to Anaheim than just Mickey Mouse. From exciting sporting events and live concerts to outdoor adventures at Peralta Canyon Regional Park, Anaheim keeps residents and visitors entertained year-round.
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $2,173
Placentia, another city situated in Orange County, California, offers a breath of fresh air for apartment hunters seeking a budget-friendly haven in the Golden State. With a median rent for a one-bedroom apartment sitting at $2,173, it boasts affordability significantly lower than the state's average.
This charming city of roughly 50,000 residents enjoys a comfortable average household income exceeding $90,000, making it an attractive option for those seeking a balance between affordability and quality of life. Beyond its economic appeal, Placentia is enticed with a variety of activities. Explore its historic downtown, dotted with charming shops and restaurants, or indulge in outdoor recreation at its numerous parks and trails. Whether you're seeking cultural immersion or outdoor adventure, Placentia offers something for everyone.
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $2,200
Oxnard, a coastal city in Ventura County, stands out for its affordability in California. With a median rent of $2,200 for a one-bedroom apartment, it's a budget-friendly option compared to many other parts of the state. This city of around 200,000 residents boasts an average household income of $78,000.
Whether you seek relaxation by the beach, exploration of the harbor, or adventures in Channel Islands National Park, Oxnard offers something for everyone. Add to that a vibrant arts and culture scene with museums, theaters, and art galleries, and you've got a well-rounded and accessible California city.
20. Simi Valley
Median Rent Of 1-Bedroom Apartment: $2,200
Simi Valley, positioned in Ventura County, California, blends suburban charm with city convenience. Its population of roughly 126,000 enjoys a median household income exceeding $90,000, making it attractive for budget-conscious Californians seeking an affordable lifestyle.
One-bedroom apartments here have a median rent of just $2,200, significantly lower than the statewide average. Beyond affordability, Simi Valley offers various experiences. Explore the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, delve into outdoor adventures at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, or discover hidden gems within the city itself.
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