11 Cheapest Places to Live in California

California, with its moderate climate, scenic beauty and famous attractions, is often regarded as a particularly expensive place to live. Many people dream of living in the Golden State, and may think it’s unattainable. There are, however, some cities and towns within the state that offer reasonably priced and comfortable options. California has more choices than you may think. While affordability was the main factor in selecting the places on this list, we also put the importance on desirable and safe communities. With that in mind, here are 11 of the cheapest places to live in California.

1) Avenal

Avenal is a particularly affordable city in Kings County, California. Considering that California’s average cost of living is 135 compared to the national average of 100, it is perhaps remarkable that Avenal scores in at 95, while still having many amenities available to residents. Housing cost index is lower than the national average. Residents of the city can enjoy a variety of activities, including passing time at several parks and the local sport complex. Avenal also has a senior center for its older citizens. The ages of residents vary widely, encompassing everyone from children to seniors. Many of the people in Avenal have jobs in the agriculture industry, as well as at the state prison and the Reef-Sunset Unified School District.


2) Oxnard

Oxnard is located in Southern California, along the coast. The cost of living index in this city, 129, although higher than the national average, is lower than California’s average of 135. The primary area of high expenses here is housing, with the median house or condo value sitting at over $400,000. The median household income, meanwhile, falls just under $60,000. This city is a particularly attractive spot for beach lovers, as the coast offers several sandy stretches complete with wildlife and a rich flora. There are also several museums to capture the attention of people with different interests. Additionally, there are various shopping venues where you can buy whatever you may need.


3) Yuba City

Yuba City is a relatively cheap place to live in the state of California, especially in terms of housing prices. The median house or condo value in Yuba is $234,000, which is much lower than California’s overall median of almost $450,000. The median household income in this city falls a little under $50,000. Overall, including aspects such as goods, health care, utilities, and more, Yuba City has a cost of living index of 120 compared to the national standard of 100 and California’s overall score of 135. The population here is about 65,000 residents. The city has attractions such as its annual California Swan Festival and a community memorial museum. This city houses the Sunsweet Growers Headquarters, which is the largest dried fruit processing plant globally, and also one of the top employers in the area.


4) Murrieta

Murrieta is a city located about 100 miles away from the major city of Los Angeles. The city has an overall cost of living index of 126 compared to California’s 135, so it is reasonably affordable. The median home value is lower than that of California overall, at $372,300. Interestingly, however, the median household income exceeds that of the state overall, at almost $75,000. Unemployment in Murrieta is also at a lower rate than California’s average rate. The most common industries in this city are retail and manufacturing. Some of the significant attractions here include parks and ranches. The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, for instance, is a fantastic place to spend some time surrounded by natural flora and fauna. Additionally, there are several places to go out to eat and hang out with friends and family.


5) Loma Linda

Loma Linda is a great living option for people who want to have access to California’s natural scenery without having to spend a fortune. The cost of living index sits at a comfortable 120, which, although higher than the national average, is lower than California’s average, particularly in areas such as housing, health care, and grocery expenses. The median home value is just over $330,500, and the median household income is over $56,000. Loma Linda is a great place to spend time outdoors and be active while taking in the environment around you. There are many people in the area who regularly jog outside, and there are hilly areas to hike. There is also a nature preserve where you can observe animals in their natural habitat. Due to this city being home to a university, there are several places to go out to eat, as well as grocery stores packed with healthy foods.


6) San Bernardino

The city of San Bernardino is a smart option for people who really want to live in California but cannot afford the typical high prices. The cost of living index here is much lower than California’s 135, at 104. In fact, housing costs are lower than even the national average, with the median house or condo value sitting just over $200,000. The median household income is accordingly lower than in California overall, at just under $36,000. The city is home to many attractions, both natural and manmade. For instance, if you are a nature lover, you can go fishing by the mountains and visit some hot springs. If you are more interested in the city atmosphere, there are areas downtown that are great for walking around and passing time with friends. San Bernardino is also home to many annual festivals, including hip hop performances, electronic music events, and Ozzfest. Furthermore, there are so many different restaurants in the city serving up a variety of types of cuisine.


7) Clovis

People looking to live in California without spending all their money should consider moving to Clovis. This city has a relatively low cost of living index for California, at 114. One of the great things about finances here is that although the cost of housing is low, with a median house or condo valued at $276,400, the median household income is not much lower than California’s median, at over $62,000. Some of the biggest industries in this city are manufacturing, retail, and educational services. Crime rates in Clovis have generally tended to fall near or below national averages. There are many different ways to spend your time in Clovis, ranging over highly varied areas of interest. For example, there are places to engage in sports, botanical gardens to observe beautiful plants, a nighttime farmers market, adventure parks, and more.


8) Redlands

Redlands is a city near San Bernardino in California with affordable living options. The cost of living index is lower than California’s by 12 points, at 123. The median home value in this city is $344,000, and the median household income, at over $66,000, is higher than that of California as a state overall. The median age of residents matches California’s median of 36.2 years old. Redlands is an attractive city in terms of more than just affordability. There are many different places for people of various interests to pass the time. There are places to shop, including antiques malls and markets, theatres, a variety of restaurants, and more. There are also annual events that take place throughout the year, such as the Redlands Bowl, which is a summer concert series.


9) Roseville

Roseville, although not the cheapest option on this list, with a cost of living index of 129, is still a pretty affordable city by California standards. The median house or condo value is just under $381,000 and the median household income is over $72,000, which is several thousand dollars over California’s general median household income. The residents of Roseville are relatively well educated, with over 92% having graduated high school and over 37% having a college degree. The two biggest industries in this city are retail and construction, and the unemployment rate is lower than California’s overall rate. There are many different attractions in Roseville, including museums, arts centers and theatres, specialty shops, nature trails, and more. Regardless of your interests, you are likely to find a place where you can enjoy yourself here.


10) Eureka

Eureka, an affordable city in a coastline bay, is a good option for people seeking to live in California. The city has a cost of living index of 120, with utilities and housing costing less than in the state overall. The median home price is particularly low, at under $240,000, and thus the median household income is also fairly low, at just under $35,600. However, despite relatively low income, Eureka has many attractions that draw people to it. For example, the city is home to many historic buildings and parks where you can go to learn about the history of the area. Additionally, for people who are less history-oriented, there are other types of museums and areas ripe with natural scenery, including giant redwood trees. The city is also the site of a popular camping trail if you like spending lots of time up close to nature.


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