California is known for its high-priced housing, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the median price of a home is $900,000. In San Francisco, it’s over $1.6 million, which means you’d need to make at least $333,270 to afford it, according to Business Insider. While San Diego real estate prices have been rising, San Diego County is still a lot more budget-friendly than what you’d find up north, with the median price at $575,000.
Of course, what’s affordable is all relative.
There are some quite livable cities in the Golden State that are affordable for many.
Eureka has more of a Pacific Northwest feel, with its rugged coastline and endless forests nearby. Just a few hours south of the Oregon border, it boasts a picturesque Old Town with hundreds of Victorian-era buildings. As a port city, it’s a hub for trading, though most jobs here are in healthcare and tourism, with the timber and fishing industry declining. If you work online, it may be ideal as you can reap the benefits of a higher income, while taking advantage of more affordable housing prices.
If you’re thinking Southern California and those beautiful golden beaches but don’t want to pay SoCal prices, Oxnard may be ideal. It’s right along the Pacific and boasts 20 miles of more tranquil, often empty stretches of sand for whale watching, surfing, kayaking and beach strolls. With Los Angeles less than 70 miles south, you’ll enjoy the best of the worlds, with the big city a relatively short drive away.
Redlands is just an hour and 20 minutes east of L.A., in the heart of the Inland Empire. Residents here enjoy a close-knit community and a great downtown area for shopping and dining, including some great coffee shops. It also has a weekly farmers market, an outstanding brewery and an outdoor amphitheater. You’ll have lots of opportunities for water sports within a relatively short drive, including Big Bear Lake and Lake Arrowhead, while the Pacific Ocean and L.A. beaches are an easy day trip too.
The small town of Auburn is located in Placer County, just over 30 miles northeast of the capital city of Sacramento. It has a charming downtown area and a beautiful historic Old Town, fun shops to browse, galleries, museums and all sorts of eateries. It’s also the spot for many special events throughout the year, including a weekly farmers market, antique street fairs, a wine and food festival, art walks and holiday festivities. Just a short drive away you can be hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking or wine tasting.