With Hollywood glam and sunny beaches, California’s appeal calls to many of us! California is known for its high cost of living, but don’t worry; NewHomeSource has compiled a list of the top 10 most affordable cities so you can live your California dream without breaking the bank.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 4.80
Average Property Tax: $1,984
Median Household Income: $50,432
Fresno tops the list of most affordable cities in California. This San Joaquin Valley city is home to several must-see sights, including Forestiere Underground Gardens, which features passages and gardens inspired by Roman catacombs. Other attractions include Fresno Art Museum, Fresno Chaffee Zoo, and Fresno County Blossom Trail.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 4.95
Average Property Tax: $1,869
Median Household Income: $39,276
Located in San Jacinto Valley, Hemet is a thriving city of over 85,000 residents. From a science museum to a fingerprints museum, Hemet hosts a variety of unique learning opportunities. If you’re looking for a beautiful hiking trail for your morning runs, look no farther than Wildflower Trail, featuring – you guessed it – a mesmerizing sea of wildflowers. The trail snakes around to Diamond Valley Lake, which is an idyllic place to cool down after a hearty workout.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 5.25
Average Property Tax: $2,550
Median Household Income: $45,232
Another San Joaquin Valley city, Merced is the seat of Merced County. From its inviting parks to Applegate Park Zoo, there’s always something interesting to do and see in this city. Need some ideas? Step back in time and visit the Leggett House, catch a show at the Mainzer Theater, or admire the newest gallery at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 4.79
Average Property Tax: $2,185
Median Household Income: $59,287
With a population of over 220,000, there’s very little modest about Modesto! Roughly 85 miles east of San Jose, Modesto is full of activities, including trampoline parks, a science museum, and art galleries. Looking for a unique museum experience? Check out the McHenry Museum and Historical Society to learn more about the city’s origins.
Home Price to Income Ratio:4.31
Average Property Tax: $2,320
Median Household Income: $45,380
Welcome to “the city with unlimited possibilities.” Adelanto is situated in the Mojave Desert, so you can expect warm days and cold nights. Feeling adventurous? Check out the mountain trails just south of the city, where you can admire spectacular sights such as Lone Pine Canyon.
6. San Bernardino
Home Price to Income Ratio: 5.44
Average Property Tax: $2,020
Median Household Income: $45,934
With rolling hills and rich forests, San Bernardino is truly a city to behold. Visit famous attractions like the First Original McDonald’s Museum, Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art, and all the exciting events at National Orange Show Event Center. For fresh air, look no further than the city’s northern borders for hiking and driving trails into the mountains.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 4.10
Average Property Tax: $1,792
Median Household Income: $53,957
Eight miles east of Adelanto, Victorville boasts a population of over 115,000. Much of the landscape consists of rugged desert land, but you can find an oasis at Mojave Narrows Regional Park. Further into the city, enjoy local parks, golf courses, and the California Route 66 Museum.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 4.40
Average Property Tax: $1,909
Median Household Income: $53,561
Drive directly south from Victorville and you’ll find Hesperia, the next city on our list. This desert city features parks, a zoo, and Harrison Exhibit Center, a local history museum. If you need a change in scenery, check out Mojave River Forks Regional Park and the mountains located at the city’s southern limits; notable landmarks include Pilot Rock and Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 5.01
Average Property Tax: $2,324
Median Household Income: $54,614
Stockton is located along the San Joaquin River, offering folks waterside parks and trails to explore on sunny days. Indulge in your shopping cravings at Webster Mall, or take your kids to Children’s Museum of Stockton for hands-on fun. From performance theaters to amusement centers, Stockton’s avenues for entertainment are endless!
Home Price to Income Ratio: 4.73
Average Property Tax: $1,882
Median Household Income: $55,237
Our last city, Lancaster, is located in northern Los Angeles County. The city’s position in the Mojave Desert allows for ample opportunities to explore nature; check out the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve and the ravines of Antelope Valley.
Cities with the Best Home Price to Income Ratio
While the list above is sorted by the lowest overall cost of living index, the following cities have the lowest home price to income ratio, meaning you can get more home for your money.
Other California Resources
Sarah graduated from Trinity University in 2012 with a degree in International Relations and Political Science. She writes blogs on new homes, decor, communities, and more for NewHomeSource. When she’s not writing, you can find her spending time with her three cats.