Cheapest Places to Live in California

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California––The Golden State–– is home to several iconic cities, 18 major professional sports teams, pristine beaches, gorgeous mountains and overall moderate temperatures. It’s no wonder California is a popular destination. However, “popular” oftentimes means more expensive. If you are looking to buy an affordable home in California, here are the 5  cheapest places to live in California.

Cheapest Places to Live in California

Eureka, CA

A small coastal town 200 miles north of San Francisco, Eureka is the heart of the U.S. Redwood coast. With iconic Redwoods and astonishingly beautiful ocean landscapes, Eureka isn't only one of the cheapest places to live in California, it is one of the most beautiful places. 

 

Eureka’s average home price is $261,000, which is below the national average and the median household income is $38,000, which creates a unique opportunity in California. Coastal towns usually see higher home prices, but in Eureka, you can live near the ocean at an affordable price. 


Chico, CA

 

89 miles north of California’s capital is Chico, CA––Butte County's most populated city. With 90,000 people calling Chico home, many have realized it is one of the cheapest places to live in California. 

 

The average home price in Chico is $348,000, which is still significantly cheaper than California’s median home price of over $700,000. The median household income in Chico is $42,000. And although that salary would not be enough to purchase a home in most California cities, in the quaint city of Chico, it gets the job done. 

 

Clearlake, CA

The well-kept secret of California is Clearlake. Although Clearlake is only 109 miles away from San Francisco, it is very different. Tucked away on the largest natural freshwater lake in California, Clearlake is truly a diamond in the rough and is one of the cheapest places to live in California. 

 

The average home price in Clearlake is $176,000. When compared to other places in California, this is extremely low and may even provide the opportunity for you to buy your first home and a second home or investment property. The median household income in Clearlake is just under 30,000, with business growth opportunities due to its tourist attractions. Clearlake provides a great opportunity to fish, kayak and swim for a discount when compared to the rest of California.

 

Sacramento, CA

Sacramento, the capital of California, is among the cheapest places to live in California. The average home price in Sacramento is around $400,000 and the median household income is $65,000. In nearby San Francisco, the average home price is over $1.2 million and the median household income is $112,000. Residents living in Sacramento have what appears to be a great opportunity: access to work in a city that pays its workers more yet buy a home in a city where the cost of living is much lower. That is if you are willing to tackle the daunting commute.

 

Clovis, CA

Agriculture is the name of the game in Clovis, CA, as almonds, grapes and pistachios are grown and harvested in this central city. Although it’s only a two-hour drive to the tech hub of America––San Francisco––Clovis moves at a much slower pace. 

 

The average home price in Clovis is $349,000 and the median household income is $69,000. The big green sign in downtown Clovis says “Clovis: Gateway to the Sierras,” but could easily say, “Clovis: Gateway to a Cheaper California.”

 

California offers a lot to its residents. There are not a lot of places on Earth where you can surf, snowboard and climb a 14,000 ft mountain on the same day, but California is one of them. If you are ready to purchase a home in one of the cheapest places to live in California, contact Wyndham Capital Mortgage today to get started. 

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Maggie Solomon
By: Maggie Solomon


Written by Wyndham Capital Mortgage professional content writers — Content reviewed by WCM's Content Strategist, Maggie Solomon.

Maggie joined the Wyndham Capital Mortgage team in November 2020 as a Content Strategist. She has more than five years of content creation experience, which includes launching WBTV’s digital brand Queen City Weekend (now QC Life) and garnering more than 1.1 million page views across her articles. With a love of storytelling, she hopes to bring that passion to WCM and the many families it serves. She resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, and can often be found at a coffee shop, latte in hand.