California affordable real estate markets

10 Affordable Housing Markets in California

It is a widely known fact that San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego have high costs of living. And according to recent reports, this has many longtime California residents choosing to leave the state altogether. And a recent study showed that 34 percent are considering calling it quits on California (up to 40% in the “unaffordable” Bay Area) due to the high cost of living and heavy traffic.

California offers an abundance of job opportunities, entertainment, and beautiful weather year round. And while some parts of California are expensive, there are also many affordable housing markets within the state. If you are looking to settle down in California there are many affordable options available to you.

To guide you in the right direction, here are ten affordable housing markets in California:

1. Modesto

Affordable Real Estate in Modesto California

Historically an agricultural town, Modesto is much more affordable than most of California. Just 1.5 hours from San Francisco, Modesto is home to some major businesses like Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery. Modesto offers a lot in the way of activities with its wide variety of state parks, shopping, bike trails, and a local Farmer’s Market.

The median home price in Modesto is $145,000 after bottoming out after the housing bubble. They do appear to be on the rise, though, so if you are looking to move this is a great time to buy in this area.

2. Riverside

California affordable real estate markets

Riverside is located in the Inland Empire metropolitan area. Riverside offers a variety of entertainment, including several local museums like the Riverside Art Museum and the UCR California Museum of Photography.

The housing market in Riverside is looking strong as more and more people realize what an affordable alternative it is. The median price for a home in Riverside is $357,500 which is fairly low compared to many coastal cities.

3. Tracy

Affordable Real Estate in Modesto California

Just a short drive away from San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento, Tracy is in an ideal location. The median home price in Tracy, California is $429,400 which is higher than other areas in the United States but fairly affordable for California.

Tracy’s low cost of doing business and strategic location make it very friendly to local businesses. And because of Tracy’s prime location, businesses have access to major markets in areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

4. Palm Springs

Affordable Real Estate in Modesto California

Palm Springs is well-known for its hot springs, spas, and beautiful hotels. It is located in southern California and offers numerous hiking and horseback riding trails.

Palm Springs is an incredible place to live with its stunning neighborhoods, historic museums, and a huge variety of entertainment. Not to mention the median home price is $307,500 which makes it a more affordable place to live.

5. Livermore

Affordable Real Estate in Modesto California

Livermore, California is located on the eastern edge of the San Francisco Bay Area. Livermore has a strong blue-collar population and the south side of Livermore is home to many wine vineyards. Over the summer there are numerous wine tastings available. The median home price in Livermore is $720,000, mostly due to its close proximity to San Francisco.

6. Morgan Hill

Affordable Real Estate in Modesto California

Morgan Hill is a nice community located just south of Silicon Valley. It offers exceptional dining and entertainment as well as numerous parks and wineries. The median home price in Morgan Hill is $850,700. Though high, this gets you a large new house as opposed to an older two bedroom home in Palo Alto.

7. Gilroy

Affordable Real Estate in California - Gilroy

Gilroy, California is a beautiful northern California community. It is known for its plentiful production of mushrooms and wine. It is famous for its yearly Gilroy Garlic Festival, which began as a small event 30 years ago. It has since grown to become a huge event that attracts visitors from all around the world. Only 45 minutes from San Jose, the median home price in Gilroy is $458,500.

8. Paso Robles

Affordable Real Estate in California - Paso Robles

Paso Robles is located about halfway between L.A. and San Francisco. It is known for its hot springs and its climate is ideal for producing premium wines. Many visitors love to visit the plentiful wineries in Paso Robles.

The median home price in Paso Robles is $440,700. The job growth in Paso Robles has also continued to increase over the past few years and the unemployment rate is lower than the U.S. average.

9. Folsom

Affordable Real Estate in California - Folsom

Folsom is a city in Sacramento County and it is also home to the company Intel. Folsom is known for its warm, hot summers and it offers a good school system.

It also is home to the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, which has 95 miles of trail and offers many opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, and horseback riding. The median home price in Folsom is $486,500 which is lower than the cost of living in the Bay Area.

10. South San Jose

Affordable Real Estate in California - San Jose

Well ok, this may be a bit of a stretch. We all know the Bay Area is the most expensive housing market in the whole country. But if you MUST live in the Bay Area, South San Jose is a relatively more affordable option than the rest of the region. South San Jose is the area south of downtown and is a largely suburban area. San Jose prides itself on its cultural diversity and has a large middle-class population.

The weather is San Jose is also much milder than other parts of California and the city offers plenty of entertainment and recreation. The median home price in South San Jose is $870,700.

We know that for every person who is considering leaving California, there are just as many who consider it home and want to stay. If you are looking for a slightly lower cost of living, hopefully, this article has opened your eyes to the many affordable housing markets in California.

Want to explore one of these markets? Our mortgage advisors can help: Schedule a no-cost 15-min consultation.

Image courtesy of Chris Leipelt

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