8 Cheap Places to Live in California


California has the third highest cost of living in the United States, behind only Hawaii and the District of Columbia. However, you can still find surprisingly affordable options around the state. If you know where to look, you can find moderately priced apartments in everything from a quiet little town to a bustling metropolis. Explore the following inexpensive places to live in California.

Median household income: $ 64,139

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $ 984

Bakersfield is home to over 384,000 residents, ensuring you’ll have access to all of your favorite urban amenities, including museums, concert halls, shopping, dining and nightlife, in one of the cheapest neighborhoods from California. Fun fact: Bakersfield offers the largest concentration of Basque restaurants in the United States. Basque is a country in the Pyrenees between Spain and France.

Bakersfield is at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley. Average highs are in the 90s from June to September. In December and January, the average high is 59, with lows in the upper 30.

Median household income: $ 53,324

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $ 950

Chico, California is home to around 103,300 residents and is one of the good, inexpensive places to live in California. A Mecca for public art, Chico is a magnificent city to explore. See massive building murals, dancing fountains, and an abundance of mosaic tiles, including arches, benches, and seats. Known as the ‘City of Trees’, Chico also offers lush natural scenery. The city’s culinary delights include Mexican, Sicilian, Chinese, Thai, Mediterranean, Indian, and more. Theaters, museums, art galleries and antique shops offer many places to explore in downtown Chico.

Chico is home to California State University-Chico, which brings the distinctive atmosphere of a college town. It is also home to the original Sierra Nevada brewery. Chico is approximately 90 miles north of Sacramento in the northern Sacramento Valley. Between July and September, the summer peaks rise in the 90s. Between December and February, the lows plunge into the mid-1930s.

Median household income: $ 31,551

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $ 1,100

Clearlake is home to 15,267 residents and offers low cost California living. San Francisco, about 4 km, is the nearest metropolitan city. Clear Lake State Park offers hiking, kayaking and fishing opportunities. Clearlake is part of Lake County, California with over 9,000 acres of vineyards and over 30 wineries. This city experiences a diverse range of seasons. Average highs are in the 90s in July and August, and lows in the 30s from November to March.

Median household income: $ 77,904

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $ 1,212

The 114,584 residents of Clovis enjoy the rich soil of the San Joaquin Valley, which creates first-rate agricultural opportunities throughout the year. Clovis is one of the nice and inexpensive places to live in California, offering access to the Clovis Botanical Garden, the Wild Water Adventure Park and the MB2 Raceway. If you are an antiques lover, you will appreciate the old town of Clovis. The city center is also home to cafes, art galleries and restaurants.

The average high temperatures in Clovis range from the upper 50s in winter to the upper 90s in summer. Depressions do not plunge until the 60s in summer and reach the upper 30s in December and January.

Median household income: $ 42,890

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $ 750

Eureka, California has about 26,710 residents, giving it a friendly, small town feel with a low cost of living. California’s rich geography is present in Eureka’s natural highlights with access to the Redwood Highway and Humboldt Redwoods State Park, home to the Avenue of the Giants. Other nearby highlights include Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, Azalea State Nature Reserve, and Little River State Beach. If you’re an outdoors enthusiast, you’ll love the hiking, camping, and picnic opportunities here. With average highs between 50 and 60 degrees and lows between 40 and 50 throughout the year, you won’t find a bad time to be outdoors.

Median household income: $ 50,432

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $ 1,225

If you’re looking for a large metropolis that offers cheap California living, Fresno is an attractive option. The city has more than 531,570 inhabitants and offers a variety of diverse neighborhoods. This important agricultural hub serves up to 90% of the produce grown in the United States. However, the location is not just farmland. Fresno has a vibrant nightlife centered in the Tower District. With access to Fashion Fair Mall, River Park Mall, and Sierra Vista Mall, you can easily find almost anything you are looking for here.

Fresno has long, hot summers with average highs in the 90s from June through September. In winter, average highs are in the 50s and 60s, with lows in the upper 30s.

Median household income: $ 72,843

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $ 1,875

Compared to other cities in Southern California, Oxnard is an affordable option. This city has a thriving population of over 208,880 inhabitants. Residents have access to over 7 miles of stunning white sand beaches ranging from famous Hollywood Beach to Kiddie Beach Family Park. Mandalay Beach from Oxnard hosted Sonny and Cher and Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters and Nirvana. You can find live music events taking place in the city throughout the year.

Los Angeles is just 70 minutes away, making Oxnard a fabulous destination whether you’re in the entertainment business or hoping to catch a glimpse of the rich and famous.

Median household income: $ 63,829

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $ 995

Perris is a medium-sized town of 79,291 inhabitants. When you explore Perris, you will find a peaceful community with entertaining outdoor recreation available at destinations such as the Perris Lake Recreation Area and Mr. Joe’s Farm. Perris is only an hour from Disneyland. Families can easily justify an annual pass without having to have this tourist mecca in their backyard. Temperatures are warm all year round. The peaks reach the upper 60s in winter and the upper 90s in summer.

If you are planning to relocate to the West Coast, these cities can offer attractive and profitable starting points. Browse thousands of California apartments for rent on Zumper and find the one that’s right for you.

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