September 22, 2020
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Los Angeles is one of the most sought-after spots in the world; people flock to the sunny city from around the globe to pursue their dreams and find new adventures. While the City of Angeles is famous for offering endless opportunities, creative spaces, renowned cultural attractions, and exciting experiences, it also has a reputation for being pricey—and for good reason. There are certainly expensive neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area, and the city itself is one of the most expensive places to live in California. But with a little bit of research and perseverance, you can still find affordable places to live in L.A. So, prospective Angelenos and admirers of La La Land: Take a tour with us to the cheapest places to live in Los Angeles.
The 6 Cheapest Areas to Live in L.A.
Median home price: $314,000
The cheapest place to live near L.A., Lancaster is found in the Antelope Valley, in the northern end of Los Angeles County. The town offers the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city but isn't too far away for quick trips to DTLA. With a population of roughly 159,000, Lancaster is a mid-sized area ideal for those seeking the amenities of a larger city but a small-town vibe.
Aside from prominent public schools, there are many private schools in the largely middle-class area, with at least 12 campuses to choose from. Lancaster residents can frequently visit the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve—one of the best California state parks—and enjoy more than 1,700 acres of poppy fields, admire wildlife, and disconnect from the world. You can also shop 'til you drop at the Lancaster Marketplace, spend the day with the family at Round 1 Bowling and Amusement Park, and indulge in a delicious dinner at a local restaurant such as the old-fashioned Italian eatery Gino’s Italian Restaurant.
Median price: $340,320
Palmdale, located north of Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert, is Lancaster's twin city and one of the cheapest places to live near Los Angeles. Enjoy the majestic desert landscape while still feeling connected to the city. Within an area of 106 square miles, Palmdale is home to almost 40 neighborhoods. Leona Valley and Quartz Hill are the most upscale subdivisions in the area, while the most popular schools are located off of Rancho Vista Boulevard, Elizabeth Lake Road, and Angeles Forest Highway.
Exciting living is a pivotal part of the Palmdale lifestyle. When you aren't shopping at Antelope Valley Mall, savor a picnic at the Little Rock Recreation Area or ski down the slopes at Mountain High Ski Resort. Indulge in specialty Thai dishes at The Jasmine Thai Restaurant on your next dinner date and feast on curry and stir-fry.
Median home price: $464,896
The city of Paramount, located by Long Beach and South Gate, is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood. Paramount has a public library and more than 10 public parks, including Ralph C. Dills Park and All-American Park. The city's population is approximately 54,000, making the area ideal for those who desire a quiet and secluded neighborhood with suburban vibes.
For the perfect Sunday Funday with the fam, plan a bike ride on the Los Angeles River Bicycle Path; the 7.4-mile stretch through the Glendale Narrows will surely liven up your weekend. Take a trip to Spane Park, too, where your kids can admire the fish, ducks, and water turtles. Round out the day by feasting on Mediterranean cuisine as you casually lounge on the spacious outdoor patio at Olive RestoBar.
Median home price: $472,423
You're bound to find this charming city in southeastern L.A. County quite appealing. With a population of approximately 24,000, Cudahy is the second smallest city in the county but has one of the highest population densities of any incorporated city in the country. The area is steeped in small-town charm and boasts an excellent school system, too. Best of all, the average cost of living in Cudahy is much lower than the statewide average, making it one of the most affordable places to live in California.
The town's art scene has also grown rapidly in recent years, attracting a larger crowd than its neighboring towns. Stop by the Parrasch Heijnen Gallery or the Roofless Painters for a cultural experience, then check out the up-and-coming food scene. For those who love Italian fare, don't miss La Pasta, a local favorite known for specialty traditional pizzas and pasta.
5. La Puente
Median home price: $498,690
Approximately 20 miles east of downtown L.A. lies the city of La Puente (meaning "the bridge" in Spanish). It is one of the smaller suburbs in the region and is a great place to raise a family; La Puente's population is approximately 40,000, creating a close-knit environment with plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.
If you enjoy golf, join the nearby Industry Hills Golf Club and get your golf game on par with the PGA Tour talents. Or, take the kids to the 22-acre La Puente Park, a lush open space perfect for picnics and outdoor fun. For an educational visit, head to the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum. And when hunger strikes, La Puente doesn't disappoint when it comes to food, especially when it comes to good ol' barbecue: Stop by Domestic for mind-blowing smoked pork rinds, tri-tip, and bacon mac 'n' cheese.
Median home price: $587,909
For an easy commute to and from DTLA, make your move to Carson, which is situated about 20 miles outside of the city. This suburban neighborhood is one of the best affordable places to live in Los Angeles. It's home to the Dignity Health Sports Park, where the L.A. Galaxy soccer team plays, so purchase season tickets and support your team. The city even has its own public transportation system—the Carson Circuit—so it's definitely on the map.
Carson has flourished in recent years and even features duplex and triplex gated communities. There are 19 schools, with the majority being elementary, and two renowned high schools: Banning and Carson High. Spend your Saturday shopping at the South Bay Galleria and Del Amo Fashion Center, then head to Darrow’s New Orleans Grill for fantastic Cajun and Creole specials.
Not sure if L.A. is your scene? Compare the cost of living in SoCal vs. NorCal to see if you vibe more with the cites in the northern part of the state. If so, check out the most affordable places to live in the Bay Area now.