What Are the Cheapest Places to Live in Orange County?


Orange County occupies the Los Angeles metropolitan area in Southern California. The county is the third most populous part of the state, with over 3 million residents. The three most populous cities in Orange County are Irvine, Santa Ana, and Anaheim, each with over 250,000 residents. Six towns in the county lie on the Pacific coast, offering beachfront access and beautiful views. Much of the county includes single-family homes in the neighborhoods, although the northern and central parts are more urbanized and densely populated. When moving on a budget, think about the cheapest places to live in Orange County.

Median income in Orange County

The cost of living in California is above the national average, and Southern California is one of the most expensive areas in the state. According to the latest US Census data, Orange County has a median household income of $ 90,234, which is significantly higher than the national median income of $ 68,703.

The overall cost of living in California is nearly 150% of the national average, while the cost of living in Orange County is higher at 167.7% of the national average. Utilities and health care are slightly more affordable in Orange State and County, helping to offset the full cost of living. With the housing market expensive, tenants have to pay more to live in the county. Some areas of Orange County are more expensive, especially those near the coastline. Below is our pick of the most affordable towns in Orange County.

Cheap living spaces in Orange County

Although it’s a more expensive place to live in the country, you can find inexpensive places near Irvine, CA, and more affordable places to live in Orange County.

Santa Ana

Santa Ana, which is one of the cheapest towns in Orange County, has an eclectic mix of established residents and newcomers, as well as a rich mix of cultures. Some of its more historic neighborhoods include Washington Square, French Park, and Floral Park, while the downtown area offers more urban development and places to eat and shop. The city continues to change and expand, creating an attractive and welcoming oasis for people of all walks of life.

Buena Park

Buena Park is another inexpensive place to live in Orange County. You’ll find Buena Park, with over 80,000 residents, in northwest Orange County. This town is also home to Knott’s Berry Farm, an amusement park that attracts many visitors to the area each year. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the 105-acre Ralph B. Clark Regional Park at the foot of the West Coyote Hills, and it offers a stocked fishing pond, small museum, and nature trails.


Anaheim, a well-known city in Orange County, is home to Disneyland Resort. Anaheim is the most populous city in the county with over 330,000 residents and was previously a farming community until Disneyland opened in the mid-20th century. The city’s economy now relies heavily on tourism and the manufacturing of electronics, canned fruit, and aircraft parts. Downtown Anaheim is the heart of the city’s historic district, with a library, police headquarters, town hall, and restaurant housed in a century-old packing house.

Wooded garden

Garden Grove, with its rugged boundaries and multiple beggars, offers another affordable town in Orange County. Garden Grove borders Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Westminster, Cypress, Orange, Seal Beach, Anaheim, and Los Alamitos. If you visit during Memorial Day weekend, you will experience the annual Community Strawberry Festival, one of the largest community festivals on the West Coast of the United States. The event pays homage to the start of the city’s agricultural production period, which included crops of strawberries, nuts, oranges and chili peppers.


Brea is located in the north of Orange County and has a bustling city center with its shopping center. The city’s name means “tar” or “oil” in Spanish, a term that refers to its beginnings as a center of crude oil production. Over the years, Brea has also served as a center of citrus production. Today the community is now a major trading center for the residents of the county. If you’re a fan of community art, you’ll love the more than 140 pieces of art placed across town for public viewing. Many public art programs across the country have followed Brea’s public art program as an example.

The most affordable rent in Orange County

According to an article in the Orange County Register, the average cost of rent in Orange County is $ 2,004 per month, almost $ 100 more than the average rent in neighboring Los Angeles County. Among the 82 major metropolitan areas tracked in the study, Orange and Los Angeles counties ranked 10th and 11th on the list for highest apartment rents. Rents in Orange County rose more than 2% between 2018 and 2019, with parts of the county seeing larger price increases.

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Santa Ana is $ 1,695 per month. In Buena Park, residents pay an average of $ 1,658 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, while Anaheim rental rates are around $ 1,675 per month. Living in Garden Grove will cost an average of $ 1,585 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. Brea’s average rental prices for the same unit size are approximately $ 2,227 per month, which is a 4% increase over the previous year.

For many people, the higher cost of living in Orange County is well worth the access to the Pacific coast, world-famous attractions, and the year-round pleasant climate. If you want to live in this beautiful part of California, start your search on Zumper where you will find thousands of apartments and houses for rent.

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