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11 Least Expensive Places To Live in Southern California
Real Estate

11 Least Expensive Places To Live in Southern California

Do you wonder if living in California can be affordable? Here's a list of 11 of the least expensive places to live in Southern California.


4 min read

February 08, 2024

Southern California has one of the most sought-after real estate markets in the country. Let’s face it, with all the amenities and perks it has to offer, it’s no secret that median home prices can go way up in the numbers. Moving to sunny SoCal doesn’t have to remain a dream. If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of location and convenience, you’ll have an array of the least expensive cities in Southern California to choose from. 

Give the cheapest places to live in Southern California a chance and see how your perception of the market can change. College towns, nature havens, and coastal cities—the least expensive places of SoCal are your gateway to fulfilling your dreams.  

These are the Cheapest Places to Live in Southern California

Bakersfield has natural gas, mining, petroleum refining, distribution, and food processing.

1. Bakersfield

Median home price: $375,733

No other city in California captures its oil-rich history, Basque food scene, and country music like Bakersfield. A rapidly growing gem and one of the most affordable cities in Southern California, Bakersfield is nowadays a great city on the rise—pretty impressive for a place that was once only known for oil and agriculture.

2. Lancaster

Median home price: $449,343

Lancaster is located on the northern end of Los Angeles County in the Antelope Valley. As one of the cheapest cities in SoCal, Lancaster is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the City of Angels but is still close enough for day trips from L.A. whenever you feel like it.

Fun fact: Mexican-American tattoo artist, model, entrepreneur, and recording artist Kat Von D is from Colton.

3. Colton

Median home price: $466,525

Colton is a wonderful place to both visit and relocate to. Fun, beautiful, diverse, and with plenty of outdoor activities to offer, this inexpensive place to live in Southern California is one you shouldn’t be quick to dismiss. You’ll never get bored in Colton, and if you do, you’ll have plenty of nearby destinations to discover just a quick SoCal road trip away!

4. Clovis

Median home price: $493,767

Clovis is way further up near Fresno but is still geographically classified as being more Southern than Northern California. Comfortably sized, a city for young couples raising families, and with plenty of growth potential, Clovis is commonly listed as one of the least expensive places to live in SoCal. With highly-rated schools, temperate weather, and relatively affordable housing, Clovis is a cheap city you’ll love.

Regional distribution hubs for Staples Inc. service locations on the West Coast from Rialto.

5. Rialto

Median home price: $540,661

Just 56 miles east of Los Angeles is Rialto, a charming suburban town with plenty to offer. Safe, diverse, and with a rich local culture, Rialto provides a pleasant atmosphere for all prospective inhabitants. This small town’s prices feel like a steal in comparison to its welcoming communities, outdoor activities, and strategic location.

6. Julian

Median home price: $554,111

Nestled in the breathtaking mountains of the affordable places to live in San Diego County, Julian is a historic gold mining town that’s unlike any other in the state. The charming California mountain town offers exactly what you need if you’re looking to get a break from bustling cities. You’ll find buildings from the 1870s, old-timey horse carriages, lush forests of oaks and pines, and amazing hiking trails at your disposal at this inexpensive place to live in Southern California.

Fontana hosts the Fontana Days Half Marathon and 5K run; this race is the fastest half-marathon course in the world.

7. Fontana

Median home price: $596,391

Not all of the cheapest places to live in Southern California are slow-paced small towns. In fact, Fontana is known as the city of speed! With a famous drag racing history and a love for fast cars that still prevails today, Fontana is a great spot to live for lower rates in California while still being in proximity to everything L.A. and O.C. have to offer. 

8. Redlands

Median home price: $600,066

The small-town vibe, stellar education, and reasonable housing prices make Redlands one of the least expensive places to live in Southern California. In Redlands, the amenities are favorable, the crime rates are low, and people work together to uphold the high standards of this impressive California up and coming city. With all these perks and more, we believe it won’t be too far down the road till Redlands spikes in popularity and is no longer classified as one of the cheapest places to live in SoCal.

Murrieta is bordered by Temecula to the south, Menifee and Wildomar to the north, and the unincorporated community of French Valley to the east.

9. Murrieta

Median home price: $662,109

Home to more than 110,000 residents, Murrieta is a cheap city in southwestern Riverside County. Not only is it an affordable place to live in Southern California, but it’s also a wonderful destination to engage in family-friendly outdoor activities. It’s important to note that the job market isn’t very active in Murrieta—it’s considered a commuter town since many of its residents have jobs in neighboring cities like Temecula.

10. Lemon Grove

Median home price: $705,741

One of the most affordable places to live in San Diego, Lemon Grove is a small suburban town highly favored by families. This inexpensive city in Southern California is close to great educational institutions, boasts a sheer abundance of community activities, and is generally a pleasant place to consider.

11. Oxnard

Median home price: $714, 206

Is being close to the beach a highly desirable perk for you? Consider relocating to Oxnard. One of the most affordable beach towns in California, this beautiful coastal enclave features magnificent beaches, a well-preserved historic downtown, and some of the cheapest real estate prices in SoCal. We have a hard time believing that Oxnard is still one of the cheapest places to live in Southern California.

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