10 Most Affordable Places to Live in California

California is thought by many to be the land of dreams! With its massive beautiful coastlines, laid back lifestyle and cool, forgiving climate, people dream of living in California. But following this dream can set you back a pretty penny. California is actually the third most expensive place to live in the entire country. So if you’re on a budget or like to watch your pennies, it’s wise to look at some of the more affordable places to live in California.

Eureka

Eureka is a small town located just south of the border of Oregon. Located on the coast, Eureka is also surrounded by national forests making it a quaint and naturally beautiful place to live. The center of the town boasts a historical district known as “Old Town” with hundreds of old, Victorian buildings and homes. Jobs are generally in the tourism, health care and timber industries.

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Redlands

A slightly larger town is Redlands which is less than two hours from Los Angeles. It also has a small-town charm with a weekly farmers market, an outdoor amphitheater for entertainment, and easy access to beautiful mountains and natural parks.

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Chico

Chico, population 91,000, is a college town (Chico State University) with all of the amenities that most college towns offer. Plenty of places to eat and beautiful scenery are just two of the perks. The weather is beautiful and there’s plenty to enjoy – the ocean isn’t far and the forests which surround the city have miles of hiking trails. Sierra Nevada, the second largest craft brewery in the country is also located here.

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Temecula

A unique and culture-filled town is Temecula which is located between Los Angeles and San Diego. This beautiful place has over 40 wineries, golf courses and the largest casino in the state. Downtown is also full of charm with a historic district and farmers markets weekly making Temecula the perfect place for leisure seekers.

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Oxnard

A beautiful city with a population of 200,000, Oxnard is located in Southern California and has over 20 miles of coastline. Oxnard offers beachfront living without the price tag. Located north of Los Angeles, Oxnard has tons of activities like surfing and kayaking as well as just walking on the beach.

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Vacaville

Vacaville is a quiet little community outside of San Francisco. A perfect place to raise a family, residents enjoy the mild climate as well as lots of outdoor adventures in Lagoon Valley. There’s also plenty of fine dining and shopping.

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Camarillo

Camarillo is known as one of the hottest shopping spots in Southern California because of a huge premium outlet mall. Another beautiful place with a historic downtown area, Camarillo has a weekly Farmer’s Market and other activities. The pride and joy of this town is the newly restored Queen-Anne style Camarillo Ranch House, built in 1892.

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Blythe

Blythe offers the perfect mix of California lifestyle and small-town living. With a population of only 20,000, the cost of living in Blythe is 33% lower than the rest of the state. Located on the Colorado River about 220 miles east of Los Angeles, residents enjoy cool dry temperatures for most of the year.

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Clearlake

A hidden gem, Clearlake is named for Clear Lake, which sits on the edge of. With a population of only 15,000, residents can enjoy fishing, beautiful views of the mountains, and several small wineries all within minutes.

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Bakersfield

Bakersfield is one of the largest and fastest growing cities in California with a population of 380,000. Jobs are plentiful in the agriculture and manufacturing industries and the cost of living is extremely affordable. It is located on the Kern River, just north of Los Angeles. There are museums, mountain trails for hiking, and plenty of nightlife and fine dining.

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So if you’re ‘California Dreamin’ on a budget, it is entirely possible to consider living in California without breaking the bank. The state’s economy is ranked as 5th in the entire world. The stunning beaches, the glamour of Hollywood, mountains and lakes, and the unique culture that is diverse and always changing, make California a truly understandable dream for anyone.

We put down roots in California so that you can too! Let us help you afford your dream California home. Visit the nearest On Q branch today to learn how we’re making Mortgages Simplified.

About the Author

Before opening On Q Financial in 2005, John Bergman originated and funded 450 units a year as a loan officer. He founded the company with just $1M of personal life savings—committed to his vision for building the best independent mortgage organization in the industry.

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