15 Cheapest Places to Live in California in 2021

cheapest places to live in california

California is the land of dreams. A lot of people move to California to fulfil their dreams and become successful. People dream of living in the state because of its forgiving, cool climate, laid back lifestyle, and enormous, beautiful coastlines. California is one of the expensive places to live in the United States of America. If you are on a budget but still like to live in California, you have to look for cheap places to live in California. Hence, to help you out, we have made a list of the cheapest place to live in California.

Most Affordable Place to Live in California

You cannot just go to live in the absolute cheapest place in the state. Those places have the highest crime rate, highest unemployment rate, high temperature, or all the three conditions. So, we have not listed the absolute cheapest places to live in California. On the other hand, we have listed just the most affordable places to live in California. These places are safe and secured. Hence, when you look at the list, you will want to move into the places. Therefore, go through the list and select the best cheapest place to live in California.

1. Eureka

Eureka is the chief city in California’s Redwood Empire. It is located on Humboldt Bay’s shores. Moreover, it is just 100 miles south of the Oregon Border. The city is the largest coastal city between Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco. The very close proximity to the sea allows Eureka to have a maritime climate. The city mostly has dry summers and rainy winters. Eureka has some great universities to continue higher education. Hence, if you are a student looking for a good education and an excellent place to live, Eureka is a great choice.

Eureka oozes with small-town charms. All credits to the Old Town Eureka, the sidewalks lined with Queen Anne’s homes, and some tremendous entertaining family activities. If you are moving to Eureka, then you will surely love the Victorian buildings. Moreover, nature’s beauty is abundant in Eureka as well.

The city’s economic base was founded on fishing, timber, and supplying gold mining. Today, the major industries include timber, tourism, services, and healthcare. Hence, you will easily find a job in the timber, health care, and tourism industries. Eureka is undoubtedly one of the best and cheapest places to live in California, with great weather and income opportunities.

2. Redlands

Redland is one of the most beautiful and cheapest places to live in California. Redlands is situated in San Bernardino County, California. In 2019, the estimated population was 71,513. It is closer to Los Angeles. Los Angeles is just 55 miles away from Redlands. Hence, if you want to have a quick weekend gateway, you can quickly drive to Los Angeles.

Redlands was the biggest orange production hub once upon a time. It earlier had 15,000 acres of citrus groves. If you want to check out the 120 years old trees, then head to Prospect Park. If you love nature, you will love looking at the beautiful bees and butterflies flocking to the sweetest flowers.

Redlands Orange groves grew Navels. These oranges were one of the best and were packed and sent to different parts of the world. Hence, you can easily spot the town’s growth and history in the citrus trade.

If you want to check out the beautiful historical locations, head to Kimberley Crest, Edwards Mansion, and Morey Mansion. Those places are lovely and Instagram worthy pictures. Moreover, Redlands also holds other charms like an outdoor amphitheatre, weekly farmers’ market, and beautiful parks and mountains. Furthermore, it also has antique malls and restaurants to keep you entertained and hooked. Hence, if you are thinking of moving to the cheapest place to live in California, Redlands can be your best fit.

3. Chico

Chico is a charming city. It is also one of the fastest-growing cities in California state. It is situated in Butte County. Moreover, it is one of the most populous cities in the county as well. In 2019, Chico’s population was 103,301. Chico is the economic, cultural, and educational centre of the Sacramento valley.

Moreover, it also the home to California State University. The closest cities to Chico include Oroville and Paradise. And, the nearest villages and towns include Dayton, Durham, Forest Ranch, and Nord.

Chico has some great educational opportunities. The California State University is one of the best educational institutions one can enrol into. Chico is rich in culture. You can quickly check out the museums and art theatre. You will also find a Word War I exhibit in the Chico Museum. Hence, if you love history, then you must check out the museum.

Moreover, Chico also has excellent affordable housing options. You can enjoy both sea and the forest in Chico. Hence, you will have a lot to explore on your weekends. You can also enjoy fashion-forward boutiques, foodie hotspots, ample outdoor recreations. Also, Lasses Volcanic National Park is very close as well. Therefore, while you live in one of the cheapest California cities, you can enjoy exploring the city as well.

4. Temecula

Temecula is in Riverside County, California. The city is famous for wineries and golf courses. Hence, if you love wine, then you must check out Temecula. Temecula is a resort and tourist destination with Old Town Temecula, Temecula Valley Wine Country, Temecula Valley International Film Festival, and other attention-worthy attractions. Moreover, all these add to the city’s economic profile as well.

Temecula is closer to both Los Angeles and San Diego. Though, it is considered a part of the greater Los Angeles. In 2019, the estimated Temecula population was 114,761. Temecula is mostly crowded because of its various festivals and winery.

Moreover, Temecula is quite famous for the state’s largest casino. Therefore, if you love to gamble, then you must check out the casino. Temecula is excellent for first-time property buyers. The property here is cheap compared to the state average. Hence, it is relatively inexpensive to buy a home and live.

There are various unique things to do in Temecula. You can get a great view of the city while enjoying a ride on the Hot Air Balloon. When you are bored of your home’s atmosphere, then you can enjoy the idea of the Santa Ana Mountains while staying at the Temecula Creek Inn. If you are a foodie, you can enjoy the homemade coconut milk and farm-fresh sandwiches at the E.A.T. marketplace. Also, Temecula offers you two weekly farmers’ markets where you can enjoy fresh farm products.

5. Oxnard

Oxnard is situated in Ventura County, California. It is located on the Southern California coast. It is one of the most populous cities in California. Moreover, it is relatively closer to Los Angeles as well. Oxnard has recorded a population of 200 thousand people. Therefore, it is undoubtedly one of the most populous cities in the state.

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You can enjoy beachfront living without the expensive price tag. Oxnard is very affordable for people who want to enjoy beachside life, kayaking, surfing, eating seafood, and walking on the beach. Oxnard’s cost of living makes it the most affordable place to live in.

Oxnard has some of the best recreation places. You can go to Oxnard State Beach and Park and enjoy the white sand and blooming wildflowers. If you love automobiles, then you must visit the Mullin Automotive Museum. You will find classic cars dating back to the 20th Century.

If you want to enjoy the world of history, then visit Heritage Square. The Square is a cluster of beautiful historic buildings. You can start exploring the city from Square. Moreover, while you enjoy looking and exploring the historic buildings, you can head to wine tasting places and excellent restaurants nearby and locate in the Square. You will also find waterfalls, hills, buffets, wineries, and public parks to explore on the weekends.

6. Vacaville

Vacaville is in Solano County, California. It is closer to both San Francisco and Sacramento. Vacaville’s population is 92,428, making it the third populous city in Solano. Vacaville is a small community and is a great place to raise your family. It has a very comfortable environment, perfect for raising families. As San Francisco is just nearby, people even enjoy great employment opportunities. You can enjoy outdoor activities, dining out, and even have fun shopping with your family. It is a very affordable place to live while staying closer to the bay.

If you want to escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, then Vacaville is just the right place. It had a fascinating past as the agriculture heartland. Moreover, it also has a vibrant and rich culture. You can enjoy the historic downtowns, pretty parks, diverse restaurants, premium shops and outlets, and famous U-pick farms.

Vacaville is the electric car capital of the country. Throughout the place, you will find at least 45 electric car charging points. Hence, you can help the environment by buying an electric car and charge it quickly as well. The Solano county officials also provide electric car buyers with $6,000 credit. Hence, driving an electric car is not only profitable for nature but also for you. Therefore, a cool and quiet environment makes Vacaville a great place to live in.

7. Camarillo

Camarillo is in Ventura County, California. Adolfo and Juan Camarillo founded the city. And, the city is named after them as well. Camarillo is home to California State University.

Camarillo has a premium outlet mall. Hence, making it the best shopping hotspots in the Southern California region. Therefore, if you are a shopaholic and love trying new outfits and fashion blogging, Camarillo can be a great place. Moreover, with affordable living spaces, you can spend bucks on shopping. So, check out the premium outlet mall once you start living in Camarillo.

Camarillo is the safest place to live in California. Moreover, you can enjoy the beautiful weather while taking a morning stroll. You can even pick up some beautiful flowers on your way. Camarillo has a summer Mediterranean climate. And, the city receives at least 300 days of sunshine. You are making it great for people who love to sit and soak some Vitamin D.

If you are getting married and then plan to move to Camarillo, you can even hold your wedding in one of the most beautiful and aesthetic Camarillo wedding venues. You can book the Camarillo Ranch House for your wedding day. Moreover, you can also check out the other 33 wedding venues. It’s the city of love, and this makes it the ideal place for weddings. So, get married and enjoy your family life is the cheapest place to live in California.

8. Blythe

Blythe is in Riverside County, California. If you are looking for a Californian lifestyle along with a low cost of living, then Blythe is a great choice. It is a less populated city. It has only twenty thousand people. Therefore, it is a beautiful, small community to live in. Blythe is a calm and quiet city located in the Colorado River.

The most critical component of this local community is tourism. Blythe is a significant stopover between cities like Phoenix and Los Angeles. The colder months bring in more tourists. Hence, adding economically to the community.

Blythe has 24 churches, two museums, seven campgrounds, and six parks. Blythe is quite popular among hikers and campers as well. Moreover, people in Blythe also love hunting. And the hunting season starts in September. So, if you love hunting and enjoy affordable living, Blythe is a great place to live.

9. Clearlake

Clearlake is in Lake County, California. As its name suggests, it is situated on Clear Lake’s shores. This small city is beautiful and perfect for nature lovers. Moreover, it is also home to flourishing wine scenes. It is also one of the cheapest places to live in Northern California.

Clearlake is a hidden gem. It has a population as low as fifteen thousand. Moreover, it is also surrounded by beautiful countryside. As it is situated on the shores of Clear Lake, it has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. With such a beautiful environment, people mostly enjoy their time doing outdoor activities.

You can either kayak or swim in the beautiful tranquil waters, or you can even fish for crappie, bluegill, or largemouth bass. Moreover, you can also wander through the lanes and enjoy the beautiful historic downtown, either shopping or gourmet dining or wine tasting.

It has some great wineries. With clear weather, you can enjoy outdoor wine tasting as well. Moreover, you can swim and even enjoy hike-and-bike sites. With less population and clear weather, Clearlake is a beautiful place to raise a family. You can enjoy the activities in Clear Lake and live in a safe and quiet environment simultaneously. So, if you are looking for the cheapest place to live in California, you must consider Clearlake an option.

10. Bakersfield

Bakersfield is in Kern County, California. It is another one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. Bakersfield’s population is 380,000, and it is growing each day. Bakersfield has a low cost of living. Hence, making it a great place to live in. Therefore, leading people to move to Bakersfield.

One of the most appealing of Bakersfield’s features is job opportunities. People can quickly get jobs in the agriculture and manufacturing industries. Moreover, if you love outdoor activities, you can enjoy the hiking trails in the Kern River. So, you can easily enjoy the outdoor air and atmosphere while you live in one of the fastest-growing and affordable, and cheapest cities.

You can enjoy looking at the wildlife; then you can go to CALM, California Living Museum. So, you can take a closer look at the area’s wildlife at CALM. Bakersfield has the greatest concentration of cultural attractions, Basque restaurants, and antique shops. So, you can get a taste of history at Bakersfield and its several attractions.

Wind Wolves Preserve one of the largest non-profit nature preserves. So, you can indeed find nirvana at that preserve. Moreover, Bakersfield also has excellent national parks and serene lakeside campgrounds to spend your time. So, Bakersfield offers more than it meets the eyes. Hence, you must consider moving to Bakersfield.

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11. Clovis

Clovis is in Fresno County, California. The city is closer to the mountains, beaches, forests, and other cities. So, you can head to anywhere you want to on your weekends. You can soak in some sunshine or hike in the mountains on your weekends. Therefore, living in Clovis has more advantages than it seems.

It has affordable housing rates. So, you can rent houses at a very cheap rate, or you can buy one as well. Moreover, the overall cost of living is low as well. Hence, people love living in Clovis. Also, there are many job opportunities in different sectors, including the manufacturing, education, and retail sectors.

Clovis’ education opportunities are great as well. Along with affordable living, people love the educational and job opportunities in the city. Residents pick up activities like jogging, cycling, and trailing along the Yosemite National Park. People are just a drive away from Sequoia National Parks and Kings Canyon as well. So, you can head to anywhere you feel like, and enjoy your holidays.

Clovis offers various recreation and entertainment opportunities for its people. It has multiple parks, museums, theatres, and many other family-friendly attractions. When you are bored of the small community, you can drive to San Jose and enjoy the hustle-bustle. Travelling to San Jose can also be a great weekend gateway.

12. Sacramento

Forbes lists Sacramento as one of the cheapest places to live in California. But, remember that property prices vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. So, you have to find out the right neighbourhood to live in. Nonetheless, Sacramento is a great and affordable place to live in. Moreover, who will not love living in the State capital?

Winters are calm and great for residents. It hardly snows in Sacramento. Hence, making winter manageable for residents. Sacramento also goes through the dry heat phase. Dry heat is relatively easy to manage as well. Weather altogether is great in Sacramento. Hence, making it a desirable place to live in.

When you are living in Sacramento, you are close to freshwater lakes and rivers as well. There are some beautiful waterways to explore in Sacramento. You can enjoy visiting the American River Parkway, Sacramento River, and Folsom Lake.

Even though Sacramento has been through rough economic times, it is undoubtedly one of the most affordable places to live in. Single-family home starts from $300,000. This is relatively cheap than the rest of the places in California state. Moreover, it has excellent job opportunities as well. You can quickly get jobs in the healthcare, technology, and industrial sectors. Jobs are secured. Hence, letting people live a healthy and carefree life. So, moving to the state capital can be an excellent idea.

13. Oceanside

Oceanside is in San Diego County. It is a beautiful city with great scenic beauties. Oceanside’s property prices are low and below the state average as well. The cost of living is affordable. All thanks to the low-cost groceries, transport, and utilities. Hence, if you are looking for a beautiful place to live in California, you must check out Oceanside.

Oceanside has excellent attractions. When you move to Oceanside, you can start by checking out the California Surf Museum. So, if you love surfing and want to dig up some history on surfing, then head to the California Surf Museum. It is a visual treat as well.

Oceanside is home to great restaurants as well. So, you can check out the restaurants during your leisure time as well. Residents can enjoy multiple outdoor activities, including jazz, ethnic, art, and holiday fairs. So, you won’t be bored when you are living in beautiful Oceanside. To give its residents comfortable living, Oceanside is undergoing significant redevelopments as well.

Oceanside’s median household income is $60,00. Moreover, there are a lot of employment opportunities in the sales and manufacturing sectors. Oceanside also offers an excellent standard of living. All credits go to affordable rates, cultural, and natural attractions. So, you can quickly move to Oceanside and lead an inexpensive and straightforward life. Everything is cheap and readily available in the city. Therefore, you will hardly face any problem in Oceanside.

14. Stockton

Stockton is in San Joaquin County. It is 70 miles away from the coastline, but residents can easily enjoy the coast and waterfront vibes. Captain Charles Maria Weber founded Stockton in 1849. Stockton’s estimated population is 312,697. Stockton’s seaport is the gateway to the Central Valley. Hence, it provides easy trades in transportation to the Southern gold mines.

Stockton is sitting on a winding channel, winding its inland way from the San Francisco Bay. You can explore the intricated bays and inlets in the city. You can take a boat ride and enjoy listening to live music, wandering the waterfront. Stockton also has a weekly farmers’ market where you can grab some excellent olive oil.

Apart from beautiful waterways, Stockton has some other great scenic beauties as well. These include the Cambodian Buddhist Temple, Haggin Museum, and Oak Grove Regional Park. All these places are great to visit and act as great recreational activities.

The city has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. So, you will enjoy mild winters and hot and dry summers. The weather is calm, and it does not travel the city’s residents. Moreover, Stockton’s growing and improving economy is attracting more and more people. So, if you want to get a cheap place, then search for a house quickly in Stockton.

15. Fontana

Finally, we are featuring another excellent affordable, and cheapest place to live in California. Earlier, it was a rural town. After World War II, Fontana emerged as a beautiful affordable city in California state. It is in San Bernardino County. Owing to its cheap living, it is now home to 200,000 people. People love living in Fontana. All credits go to its affordable and beautiful scenic beauties.

Residents at Fontana engage themselves in go-kart racing, hiking, verdant parks, and waterfall hikes. Moreover, Fontana has proximity to Los Angeles. So, if you want to go to the big city and enjoy the activities over there, it’s not that hard. You can easily visit Los Angeles and enjoy beautiful beaches and splendid attractions.

Fontana is no less than Los Angeles in keeping its residents hooked. Residents can enjoy hiking and biking on the Smoke Stack Trail. You can get yourself exposed to different arts and various artists through the Artist Showcase at the City Hall. Therefore, Fontana is a cheap place to place in California state and gives an all-around and affordable living experience.

Summing Up!

I hope this article helped you to find out the cheapest place to live in California. While each place is unique in its way, you can easily pick one by looking at your preferences and tastes. Some cities have great outdoor activities and climate, while others have fantastic job opportunities. So, you can live a comfortable and affordable living and also build your future simultaneously. So, pick out the best and affordable city and start looking for a property.