The 8 Most Affordable Cities To Live In California

Are you looking for the cheapest place to live in California without breaking the bank? California’s high cost of living and sky-high median property prices of about $683,996 might be depressing as the third most expensive state in the US. 

But you’ll be happy to learn that some affordable communities in California cater to individuals on a tight budget by providing excellent amenities and secure neighborhoods. In this post, our team at SecureSpace Self Storage will introduce you to the 8 California locations with the lowest cost of living. We will provide helpful tips and knowledge to aid in your search for the ideal residence in the Golden State.

1. Bakersfield, CA

Population: 367,555

Home Price: $214,600 median purchase price; $1,005 median monthly rent

Crime Rate: Safer than 14% of cities in the U.S.

Unemployment Rate: 7%

Distance from Beach: About 126 miles (Channel Islands Beach)

With a population of 367,555, Bakersfield is the ninth-largest city in California and one of the affordable places to live in California. The median price for a home is $214,600, and the average rent is $1,005. Bakersfield boasts a 7% unemployment rate and a crime rate lower than 14% of American cities. Despite being around 126 miles from the closest beach, Bakersfield still has many amenities and attractions for its inhabitants.

Living in Bakersfield

Affordable housing is available in Bakersfield, a quickly expanding city with employment opportunities in the agriculture and oil industries. Families migrating to California will discover a community that values family and takes pride in its contributions to the country music genre known as the “Bakersfield sound,” which was made well-known by Merle Haggard and Buck Owens.

Things to Do in Bakersfield

Residents may enjoy a wide range of attractions and activities in Bakersfield. The Fox Theater is a well-liked venue for seeing cult classic movies, country music performances, and ballet performances worldwide. 

The California Living Museum (CALM), which houses non-releasable natural wildlife like black bears, raptors, and more, is a must-see for anybody interested in conservation and study. For antique and vintage discoveries, Timeless Antique Gallery is ideal. 

2. Chico, CA

Population: 89,377

Home Price: $270,900 median purchase price; $955 median monthly rent

Crime Rate: Safer than 14% of cities in the U.S.

Unemployment Rate: 6%

Distance from Beach: About 191 miles (Muir Beach)

Are you looking for a town on the West Coast that is reasonably priced? Consider Chico, California, which is close to Sacramento and less than two hours away. Chico, also known as the City of Trees, is a lovely village covered in blossoming almond trees. 

Chico is a center for higher education due to the existence of California State University, especially for students drawn to the esteemed arts and nursing schools. Beer lovers will like the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. headquarters and the nearby independent craft beer culture. Chico is a great place to live because it has all these conveniences.

Living in Chico

Chico, California, is an excellent option if you’re searching for inexpensive West Coast living. Chico, California, is a thriving city with a median home price of $369,900 and a population of 103,377. It is an excellent area to settle down because it has a crime rate that is 14% lower than that of US cities and a 6% unemployment rate.

Things to Do in Chico

Despite being small, Chico has much to offer in entertainment and outdoor pursuits. The 3,670-acre Bidwell Park, where visitors may go hiking, horseback riding, or stargazing, will appeal to nature lovers. History enthusiasts may tour the Victorian home of California pioneers John and Annie Bidwell at Bidwell Mansion State Park. 

You may find the most comprehensive and distinctive collection of yo-yo memorabilia at the National Yo-Yo Museum, a quirky tourist destination. At Halo Hawaiian BBQ & Poke Bar, eat enormous amounts of chicken katsu or shop for locally manufactured things in Chico.

3. Clovis, CA

Population: 102,148

Home Price: $263,500 median purchase price; $1,093 median monthly rent

Crime Rate: Safer than 44% of cities in the U.S.

Unemployment Rate: 5%

Distance from Beach: About 160 miles (Del Monte Beach)

Clovis should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a cheap area to reside in California. The Fresno metro area’s Clovis, which is in Central California and is a comfortable size with a growing young family community, is conveniently situated just a few hours between San Jose and Yosemite National Park. The San Joaquin Valley is the best place for agricultural work and fresh fruit due to its fertile soil and year-round growing season.

Living in Clovis

Families, students, and young professionals will love Clovis because of its top-notch schools, excellent climate, and cheap housing alternatives. This  most affordable places to live in California  community will capture your heart with its low cost of living and amenities.

Things to Do in Clovis

Despite its tiny size, Clovis boasts entertaining activities and attractions for people of all ages. Visit Wild Water Adventure Park, California’s largest water park, for a fun day with the family. Alternately, stroll around the Clovis Botanical Garden’s volunteer-tended flowers or experience high-speed go-karting at MB2 Raceway to get your heart racing.

ClovisFest, an annual festival with hot air balloons, food and craft vendors, and cultural dance performances, is for anybody interested in local culture and celebrations. You may also take a trip through Old Town Clovis, home to vintage shops, antique shops, a year-round farmers market, and special occasions like Glorious Junk Days.

The Gastro Grill in Clovis serves braised pork belly sliders and filet mignon tacos. The Athena gourmet trademark burger from House of Juju and roasted potatoes are also a must-try. 

4. Eureka, CA

Population: 27,002

Home Price: $241,700 median purchase price; $844 median monthly rent

Crime Rate: Safer than 4% of cities in the U.S.

Unemployment Rate: 6%

Distance from Beach: About 5 miles (Samoa Beach)

Eureka is a must-see if you’re seeking a cheap California city on the West Coast that doesn’t forgo charm or beauty. A year-round average temperature of 50 degrees, rolling ocean fog, and fresh air from Redwood National & State Parks are all features of this port community. Eureka, a gorgeous seaside town with stunning Victorian architecture, is one of the most affordable locations to live in Northern California.

Living in Eureka

Eureka, California, is a lively city with a thriving arts scene, a busy waterfront, and a strong sense of community despite its comparatively small size.

Things to Do in Eureka

Samoa Beach is a great place for surfers and other outdoor enthusiasts, while Humboldt Bay’s harbor cruises are ideal for those looking for a more relaxing experience. A tour of the Carson Mansion, a premier example of Queen Anne-style architecture, will be appreciated by history buffs. Red pandas, gibbons, and peccaries may be found in the Sequoia Park Zoo, an excellent destination for a pleasant family outing.

Attend the Kinetic Grand Championship, where racers create beautiful land- and water-based vehicles to truly experience Eureka’s distinctive character. For foodies, there are several options, such as Humboldt Bay Provisions, which provides wonderful raw oyster samplers made with local seafood, and Samoa Cookhouse, where you can have a breakfast prepared in the style of a lumber camp. 

Don’t forget to visit the Lost Coast Brewery to sample their Great White Belgian, Sharkinator White IPA, Tangerine Wheat, and craft chocolatier Dick Taylor Chocolate for some tasty delights. It’s hardly surprising that Eureka is among the most economical and delightful locations to live in California, given the abundance of exciting things to do there.

5. Fontana, CA

Population: 205,228

Home Price: $289,400 median purchase price; $1,167 median monthly rent

Crime Rate: Safer than 37% of cities in the U.S.

Unemployment Rate: 6.7%

Distance from Beach: About 55 miles (Newport Beach)

San Bernardino County, California, contains the city of Fontana. It is the second most populated city in the county, with about 214,000 inhabitants. Fontana is an excellent place for people who desire quick access to the large town while enjoying a more suburban lifestyle because it is located just outside the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

History is one of its distinctive features. The Auto Club Speedway in Fontana regularly holds NASCAR and IndyCar races. The Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center is among the parks and outdoor spaces.

Living in Fontana

Just outside the Greater Los Angeles Area sits the cheap, fast-paced city of Fontana. IndyCar and NASCAR races at Auto Club Speedway are only a few of Fontana’s events today. The city’s long history of drag racing dates back to the 1950s. 

Despite its hectic pace, Fontana provides a high standard of living and has employment in the healthcare and trucking sectors. Fontana is an excellent option for individuals seeking a cheap California city with a lot to offer because it is close to the ocean, has fantastic food, and has unlimited entertainment.

Things to Do in Fontana

Fontana has numerous events and attractions. Visitors to the Art Depot Gallery can explore photographs, paintings, and other works of art. Golfers can play a round at Sierra Lakes Golf Club and then grab a meal at The Lakes Bar & Grill. Visitors can experience an adrenaline rush by driving a NASCAR-style racing car at Rusty Wallace Racing Experience.

Dinnertime murder-mystery performances are available at the Center Stage Theater if you want entertainment and food. For a taste of hot and distinctive flavors, try the Shrimp Micheladas at The Hot Spot or go to Spice Jar for genuine Punjabi delicacies like Chicken Vindaloo and Fish Curry. 

Alternatively, you can find the best pupusas north of El Salvador at Salvi’s Pupuseria & Restaurant. Fontana, a reasonably priced city in California, is an excellent option for locals and tourists because it offers much to see and do.

6. Oxnard, CA

Population: 204,752

Home Price: $362,900 median purchase price; $1,396 median monthly rent

Crime Rate: Safer than 33% of cities in the U.S.

Unemployment Rate: 5.7%

Distance from Beach: About 5 miles (Mandalay Beach)

Oxnard is a hidden treasure among the inexpensive California communities, situated just northwest of Los Angeles along the stunning, uncrowded California coastline. This coastal community offers a superb quality of life with miles of immaculate beaches, inexpensive beachfront residences, and a low cost of living. 

Living in Oxnard

The annual California Strawberry Festival, which honors the city’s agricultural background and draws thousands of visitors yearly, is just one of the oddball local events that make Oxnard famous. Oxnard is an excellent option for individuals looking for a cheap and relaxed California lifestyle because of its welcoming community, pleasant climate, and simple access to outdoor activities.

Things to Do in Oxnard

Despite its tiny size, Oxnard has much to offer residents and visitors. Hook’s Landing provides chances for sport fishing, swimming, whale viewing, surfing, and other outdoor activities. Go to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary to learn about marine life and its ecosystems.

The Carnegie Art Cornerstones include changing exhibits and installations for people interested in the arts and culture. At the same time, Historic Heritage Square presents themed, costumed activities like Spring Tea and tours of lovely Victorian-style homes.

The Masala Twist is a local favorite for dining in Oxnard because of its delectable Lamb Curry and Mushroom Masala. The Best Breakfast Cafe also offers cinnamon apple pancakes and omelets made in the tradition of the South.

7. Redlands, CA

Population: 70,442

Home Price: $326,800 median purchase price; $1,177 median monthly rent

Crime Rate: Safer than 25% of cities in the U.S.

Unemployment Rate: 4.1%

Distance from Beach: About 63 miles (Laguna Beach)

Redlands, just outside the Los Angeles metropolitan area, is an excellent option for people looking for a cheap place to live in Southern California. Redlands offers a distinctive and fulfilling lifestyle with easy access to outdoor sports in the neighboring San Bernardino Mountains and an abundance of gorgeous Victorian-style homes.

Living in Redlands

Redlands is home to the University of Redlands, which draws students and others working in the education sector with its lovely houses and picturesque environs. Redlands is an excellent option for people looking for a cheap but luxurious lifestyle in California because it has a low cost of living and many attractions.

Things to Do in Redlands

Redlands is a bustling city with many things to do and see for people of all ages. The largest glass museum in the West, the Lincoln Memorial Shrine and Historical Glass Museum, will appeal to history buffs. Visit some of the city’s spooky locations, like Morey Mansion and Mariposa Elementary School, if you’re looking for a thrill.

Music fans will enjoy the widely known Redlands Symphony and the free Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival, the longest-running music festival in the country. The year-round farmers market, Downtown Market Night, will appeal to those looking for a distinctive shopping and dining experience. Visit Sugarbee for a sweet treat renowned for its delectable butter cakes and cookie tarts.

Another must-see location is Cheesewalla, famous for its inventive grilled cheese sandwiches such as the Pepperoni Pizza and PBC & J. Redlands is a lovely area to call home and explore everything Southern California offers with so many fascinating alternatives.

8. Vacaville, CA

Population: 95,607

Home Price: $322,600 median purchase price; $1,416 median monthly rent

Crime Rate: Safer than 31% of cities in the U.S.

Unemployment Rate: 4%

Distance from Beach: About 65 miles (Baker Beach)

Vacaville should be high on your list if you’re looking for a cheap and welcoming city in California. This sunny city, positioned between the Sacramento Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, is well-known for its abundant greenery. It includes numerous parks and trails to observe rare and endangered plant species like the dwarf cauliflower and Contra Costa goldfields.

Living in Vacaville

Vacaville is a great spot to raise a family because of its natural beauty, outstanding schools, and secure neighborhood. Young professionals and families are swarming to this hidden treasure because of its excellent quality of life and low cost of living.

Things to Do in Vacaville

Vacaville has a lot of things to do and attractions to keep you entertained despite its modest size. Visit Morningsun Herb Farm or go on the beautiful trails of Lagoon Valley to learn more about nature and botany. Check out Fiesta Days, a Vacaville tradition with parades, costumes, and street vendors, if you want a cultural experience.

Vacaville provides various shopping possibilities, from designer goods at Vacaville Premium Outlets to antique finds at Vacaville Vintage Market. Don’t miss The Nut Tree, a famous landmark in California that offers kid-friendly rides, dining, shopping, and attractions.

The Buddha Thai Bistro in Vacaville is a must-go-to restaurant for its delectable Pad Thai and drunken noodles. Vacaville offers something enjoyable for everyone at a reasonable price, whether looking for outdoor adventures or distinctive shopping and culinary experiences.

Make your move to California stress-free with SecureSpace Self Storage – our convenient storage facilities across the state are here to help you transition to an affordable city. Find a storage unit near you and get packing!

Storage Facilities In California

Now that you’re up to date on what you should know before moving to California, it’s time to think about what comes next. If you find yourself in need of self-storage in California, SecureSpace Self Storage is the way to go. We have facilities located conveniently nearby and each one is constantly monitored for your safety and peace of mind. Plus, we know the area like no other storage facility can – which makes us perfect guides for keeping your items secure. If you are looking for more local information checkout some more of our guides. Thanks For Reading!

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