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The 11 Most Expensive Cities in the U.S.
Real Estate

The 11 Most Expensive Cities in the U.S.

While some metropolises are more affordable than others, living in these areas still end up draining your wallet. But, a girl can dream.

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5 min read

October 28, 2021

There’s something about city life that attracts people. Is it the hustle and bustle or is it the force of something greater? The vibrant neighborhoods? The diversity? Well, whatever it is, the answer is definitely not the cost of living. While some metropolises are more affordable than others, living in these areas still end up draining your wallet. Nevertheless, a girl can dream.

It’s no secret that the most expensive cities in the U.S. are concentrated in a few states—California, New York, and Washington being the top three—and owning a house in these places means living like the rich and famous. 

These Are The Most Expensive Places To Live In The U.S.

Atherton is an idyllic town located on the San Francisco Peninsula, where even modest homes go for millions of dollars.

1. Atherton, California

Median home price: $7,241,530

Atherton has held the title of the most expensive city in America for years now. Home to Silicon Valley heavyweights like Eric Schmidt and Nick Clegg and Golden State Warriors shooting guard Stephen Curry, the city is ranked as the richest zip code in the U.S. When in Atherton, you’ll see gorgeous mansions lining the streets, ultra-high-end properties standing proud, and opulent residences that look like private gated communities. The wealthy suburban town is just a short drive from San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and Santa Cruz. 

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2. Hunts Point, Washington 

Median home price: $6,768,580

One of the smallest municipalities in Western Washington is Hunts Point. What makes this small community so desirable is its bucolic feel, as well as its proximity to Seattle and the Eastside, making it one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.A. Privacy here is guaranteed—the forests create the perfect hiding spots for family homes. The rustic views, outdoor activities, and tight-knit community are all reasons why people choose to call Hunts Point home. 

Some of the wealthiest people in the United States live in Jupiter Island; t has the highest per capita income of any place in the U.S.

3. Jupiter Island, Florida 

Median home price: $6,144,070

Have you ever wondered where golf pros like Tiger Woods and Rory Mcllroy settle down? The answer is in the exclusive beachside community of Jupiter Island, Florida’s best-kept secret. This secluded area for the elite has no restaurants or shopping centers; just world-class golf courses. Basically, the island life of the wealthy revolves around their homes and the exclusive Jupiter Island Club—a club so private that even certain A-listers have been denied access. Want to live the high life on Florida's luxurious island? We do, too.

4. Hillsborough, California 

Median home price: $5,056,030

We’ve established that California is the most expensive state to live in the U.S., so don’t be surprised to see Hillsborough on the list. Located in San Mateo County, this city boasts magnificent San Francisco Bay views and an enviable rural feel. The Hillsborough school district is voted number one in California; a factor many families take into consideration when moving. Want to send your kids to top-notch schools? Hillsborough is your answer. 

Once a pastoral retreat on the outskirts of L.A., Hidden Hills has been the neighborhood Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, and more.

5. Hidden Hills, California

Median home price: $4,054,289

When it comes to the rich and famous, hiding from the paparazzi is a requirement. That’s why celebrities like the Kardashian/Jenners choose to call Hidden Hills home. The bustling D.T.L.A. lifestyle takes a break at the gated community’s doorstep; instead, life takes a more relaxed turn in Hidden Hills. Here, you’ll see residents riding their horses rather than their cars. If you ask us, life in one of the most expensive places to live in Southern California is well worth the price.

6. Los Altos Hills, California

Median home price: $3,867,680

Do you enjoy the finer things in life? Los Altos Hills in Silicon Valley is the way to go—Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Marcus and Millichap chairman George M. Marcus attest to that. Los Altos Hills’ tree-lined streets create a park-like environment, where residents stroll during the day and bike in the afternoon. Like many of the other expensive places to live in NorCal, commercial zones are banned in Los Altos Hills. With a great schooling system, abundant natural beauty, and friendly neighbors, this city promises a high quality of life. Despite the high housing prices, properties here don’t stay in the market for long. 

Originally a Mexican ranch where lima beans were grown, Beverly Hills is home to many celebrities, luxury hotels, and Rodeo Drive.

7. Beverly Hills, California

Median home price: $3,860,990

As one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S., Beverly Hills is an oasis for the rich and famous. The luxurious California city is home to celebrities like Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence, and Mark Wahlberg. Several factors make Beverly Hills a coveted area—the best beaches and mountains are easily accessible from here, and every world-class restaurant and shopping center is a stone’s throw away. With some of the most expensive neighborhoods in the U.S., life in Beverly Hills is as glamorous as it gets. 

While some associate Malibu with mansions on the cliffs and surfers riding the waves, the city is tied to L.A.’s most stunning natural wonders.

8. Malibu, California

Median home price: $3,777,820

Out of all the cities on this list, Malibu is perhaps the best. Featuring a variety of outdoor recreations—surfing, rock climbing, hiking, and more—Malibu is all about living the good life. It’s no wonder that Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith have chosen this place for their happily ever after. The ‘Bu’s epic coastal hills that open up to views of sandy beaches create the perfect location to buy a vacation home. But if you can’t afford an oceanside home, apartments near the Santa Monica Mountains are relatively cheaper.

9. Rolling Hills, California

Median home price: $3,651,490

Having the most breathtaking views of Southern California comes with a high price tag. Rolling Hills is a city that has one of the highest costs of living in the U.S. Privacy in this gated community is a huge deal—all purchased lots should be at least an acre in size. Moreover, homes here are required by law to have a white exterior. There are no traffic lights in Rolling Hills; you’ll find wide equestrian paths along streets and property lines. Care to experience life in one of the safest suburbs in California? Only a few development lots are available for purchase in Rolling Hills. 

Yarrow Point occupies a peninsula near the eastern edge of Lake Washington, lying between the lake's Cozy Cove and Yarrow Bay.

10. Yarrow Point, Washington 

Median home price: $3,585,330

If you’ve ever dreamed of living on one of the most beautiful lakes in the country, Yarrow Point in Washington is a place to consider. A 15-minute drive from Downtown Seattle, the town offers some of the most valuable, exclusive property in the region. One-fourth of the houses have waterfront views overlooking the grand Lake Washington. And even though it’s pretty close to Seattle, Yarrow Point provides a respite from the modern world and a peaceful retreat. 

11. Sands Point, New York 

Median home price: $2,540,180

Sands Point has been immortalized in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”—just like the book, the town boasts a lavish lifestyle coveted by many. The picturesque and luxurious village has no stores, schools, or even libraries; it’s as rural as it gets. But that’s not a problem; Manhattan and New York are less than an hour away. Sands Point is ideal for retirees, homeschooling families, and those dreaming of that rustic-chic aesthetic.

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