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These are the Most Affordable Places to Live on the West Coast
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These are the Most Affordable Places to Live on the West Coast

Dreaming about your move to the West Coast? Discover the most affordable places to live on the West (ahem best) Coast now.


4 min read

August 23, 2021

When it comes to affordable living, the West Coast likes to break typical conventions. The land of dreams, with its massive coastlines, stacks of dream homes, and seductive climate seems like it would cost a pretty penny. But in reality, there are so many options for families or those on a budget to choose from; and each place is more scenic than the other. So the question remains—where do you start with your search?

First, to choose a place you’d soon call home, should always be a priority; but never the only priority. Many of the places you’ll find on our list share a similar median home bracket, but not much more than that. So it’s on you to look further at the quality of life, job opportunities, or even things like whether or not the city you’re moving to has your favorite coffee shop. And we get it, this could be overwhelming to do on your own. To help, we’ve rounded up a list of the most affordable places to live on the West Coast—happy searching!

Bakersfield, California 

Median home price: $321,500

Tucked conveniently in the Golden State's Central Valley, Bakersfield has many surprises up its sleeve. Formerly known only for oil and agriculture, Bakersfield today is a hub for arts, culture, and career opportunities. And on top of that, the city is one of the cheapest places to live on the West Coast accommodating diverse personality types. Outdoor enthusiasts can choose between a handful of lakeside campgrounds and national park experiences, foodies can retreat to Basque restaurants, and art-lovers find nirvana in the museum-filled Arts District.

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Modesto, California 

Median home price: $398,300

Another Central Valley gem, Modesto is renowned among the most affordable West Coast cities. The cost of living here is actually much lower than the state average, which means you can enjoy all the small-town charm you crave without breaking the bank. From historic museums and wholesome family-friendly air to a bunch of hiking trails and lush natural bounty, this Stanislaus County staple is where you need to be.

Wondering where to move next? Head to Portland, Oregon where earthen fairytale meets city life.

Portland, Oregon

Median home price: $552,000

Despite being among the most populous metro areas in the United States, Portland remains extremely sought-ought for by families on a budget. For many, Portland's biggest draw is how green it is, and we mean this in two ways. One, the city has a huge collection of green spaces (more than 279 city parks and growing). And two, Portland is considered among the most environmentally-conscious cities on the entirety of the West Coast. Its home state, Oregon, was actually the first to introduce the concept of bottle deposits in order to reduce litter.

Sacramento, California 

Median home price: $449,790

On top of being one of the cheapest West Coast cities, the state capital is a fun destination packed with a variety of things to do, no matter your preference, age group, or birth chart. Whether you want a slice of that riverside fun, famous farm-to-fork tableware, or an exploration into the creature comforts of Old Town, Sacramento is the place for you. Living here also puts you at a stone's throw of luxurious ski resorts, the bustling Bay Area, and Lake Tahoe's wilderness—talk about freedom of choice.

The glistening waters and gorgeous architecture make Stockton quite the up and coming place to be.

Stockton, California 

Median home price: $410,650

Nestled 70 miles from the coastline, Stockton is all about those waterfront vibes. The city is connected to San Francisco—the closest metropolitan city about half an hour away—via a channel that winds inland, ending at the state's largest water port. This is also one of Stockton's attractions; the marina makes it possible to explore the intricate maze of inlets and bays by way of riverboats. And aside from scenic waterways, people move here for the lively farmers markets, live entertainment, and the incomparable Oak Grove Regional Park.

Spokane, Washington

Median home price: $352,490

Not too far from the Canadian Border, Spokane is a winter vacation spot you secretly don't want to leave. The city is a paradise for nature lovers, with towering mountains and majestic forests watching over you no matter what you're doing. It can be mountain biking, perfecting your swing at one of Spokane's parks and golf courses, or spending hours perusing libraries and bookstores—your options for entertainment are plenty.

Refresh and recharge with a move to Fresno.The sunny skies and downtown skyline offers quite the warm welcome.

Fresno, California 

Median home price: $326,550

When it comes to living in Fresno, all you have to do is picture waking up in the agricultural heart of California, where old-school Spanish charm reigns and outdoor adventure never ends. By just looking at its gorgeous features and farm-to-fork cuisine, it might be hard to believe that this is one of the most affordable cities on the West Coast, but Fresno lives to surprise. It's so surprising, in fact, that one of its hidden gems is an underground garden you won't find anywhere else in the state. 

Anchorage, Alaska 

Median home price: $348,140

If you're a fan of all things wintery, Anchorage in Alaska is tailor-fit for you. Every day in this West Coast city begins with a backdrop of rugged wide-open spaces and the freshest water in the whole wide world. Living here means having unmatched access to nature's bounty, wildlife, and sports you've likely never heard of before (ice golfing, anyone?). Come summer months and you'll join Alaskans on their busy calendar of festivals—a list including but not limited to Salmonfest, Sitka WhaleFest, the Alyeska Resort Blueberry Festival, and the not-to-be-missed Alaska State Fair.

Who doesn't dream of living by the bay? One of the best places to move, you'll be enjoying the beach town vibes all day, everyday.

San Simeon, California

Median home price:  $743,500

A quintessential Golden State beach town, San Simeon is renowned for its spectacular terraces, pools of pure turquoise, lush gardens, and museums brimming with elaborate art installations. And we know what you're thinking—all of this sounds like it needs a hefty wallet. Well, think again. San Simeon might sound straight out of a book on luxe living, but visitors are actually often surprised at how affordable things are here. For every Hearst Castle, there is a housing choice fit for your income bracket; for every upscale restaurant, there's an affordable eatery placed right at the coastline (you get the picture). But above all, the best thing about living in San Simeon is having the Pacific right at your doorstep, there’s no topping that.

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