10 Cheapest California Cities for Buying a Home in 2023-24

property-records-of-california-cheapest-california-cities-buying-home - Property Records of California

Looking to buy an affordable house in California? Want to know what are the safest places to have a family in CA? You came to the right place. Low-cost housing in California is almost unheard of but they are definitely out there if you look closely.

Families are searching for the right California city to live in but they’re also mindful of how high the prices of homes and condos have become in recent years. According to the Property Records of California Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego are the most expensive cities in the state of California.

What is the most affordable city to live in California in 2023 and 2024? How much does it really cost to live in California? Can I afford to live in CA if I reduce my housing costs? How does California compare to living in other states like Washington, Nevada, and Arizona? Is 2024 a good time for my family and me to move?

1. Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield, California is a city located between Los Angeles, CA, and Fresno, CA in Kern County with a population of over 403,000 residents. With a median home price of $380,000, the small town of Bakersfield, CA is an exceptionally affordable city to live in when compared to major surrounding cities.

2. Stockton, CA

Stockton, CA (not to get confused with Stanton, CA) is a city in San Joaquin County with a population of over 320,000 residents. The city of Stockton is located in the central part of California and is a few miles from San Francisco and Sacramento. The median local home value is around $446,000 as of 2022. Stockton, CA is cheaper than other cities in CA but is still somewhat competitive.

3. Fresno, CA

With a population of over 540,000 residents Fresno, California is one of California’s underrated cities. Fresno, CA is known for its agricultural bounty and productive farmland, and it’s only an hour away from Yosemite National Park. This city has a population of over 55.44% of Hispanics and 44.56% of non-Hispanic. The median price of over $380,000 in 2022 makes it an economical California city.

4. Clovis, CA

Clovis, California is located in the middle of CA in Fresno County with a population of only 122,000 residents as of 2021. The city is more suburban with a good amount of parks for kids. This city is a bit pricier but has low competition with a median of $450,000. Compared to other California Counties Fresno County is considered to be a buyer’s market more frequently. Clovis, CA is popular for people that enjoy nature and like to grow their own food. This is a great place for families that want a low population and crime rate.

5. Sacramento, CA

Sacramento, California is one of the most famous cities on this list for being the capital of CA. The home prices in Sacramento are similar to Clovis, CA but with a bigger population. The median home price falls to $475,000 as of 2022. With a population of 500,000 residents, Sacramento is one of California’s best cities to live in. One of the reasons people move to Sacramento is because it’s only an hour or two from San Francisco and San Jose.

6. Fontana, CA

Fontana, California is located in San Bernardino County which is the largest county in the United States. It’s surrounded by numerous counties including Los Angeles County, Kerns County, Riverside County, and Orange County. With a population of over 210,000 residents, Fontana, CA sits next to San Bernandino and Riverside. The house price in Fontana is $577,000 as of 2022.

7. Chico, CA

Chico, California is north of Sacramento and three hours away from San Francisco. This city is the cultural, and economic center of the Sacramento Valley and is surrounded by two national forests. As of 2022 Chico, CA has a population of over 102,000 residents with an average sale price of a home of $460,000. Chico is known for its cool weather, history, and museums.

8. Eureka, CA

Eureka, California is a small city in northern CA a few miles from the Oregon coast. This city is known for its Victorian architecture, unique shops, and food. With a population of over 26,500 residents and the homes selling for an average of $477,000 in 2022. Even though the city is small it doesn’t have a good reputation for safety. The good news is that there has been a recent decline in crime in the past few years.

9. Modesto, CA

Modesto, California is a city between San Jose and Sacramento with a population of over 218,000 residents. Just like the surrounding cities, Modesto is known for agriculture and is one of California’s top farm producers. The average house price is around $399,950 as of 2022. Compared to other cities in CAModesto is a great and affordable small city just hours away from the biggest cities in CA.

10. Apple Valley, CA

Apple Valley, California is a city in San Bernardino County that sits more on the desert of the state. The city is located between San Bernadino and Barstow. The city has high traffic due to being next to the 15 highway which is one of the only highways in CA that goes to Las Vegas, Nevada. A two-bedroom house sells for an average of $400,000.

Affordable Cities in the Golden State

The cheapest cities in the Golden State come with different lifestyles, you have to choose which one works for your family and you. San Diego, SoCal, and San Francisco are not the only locations where homebuyers are buying property. There are a lot of great upcoming towns that can fit your budget. There is no doubt that the cool weather attracts people who live in states that are too hot and or too cold.

How to Live in California for Cheap?

It is possible to live in California on a budget, although the cost of living in CA is generally higher than the national average due to factors such as high housing costs and a high cost of living in general. However, there are ways to minimize expenses and live in California for less. Some tips for living in California on a budget include:

  1. Renting a room or sharing a rental property with roommates to split living expenses
  2. Looking for areas with a lower cost of living, such as smaller towns and cities
  3. Negotiating lower rent with your landlord
  4. Taking advantage of public transportation
  5. Looking for discounts and deals on groceries, entertainment, and other necessities.
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By following these tips and being mindful of your spending, it is possible to live in California for less. However, it is important to note that the cost of living in CA can vary widely depending on factors such as location and lifestyle, so it may be more challenging to live on a budget in some areas compared to others.