Although there are many factors to consider when choosing a location in which to live, affordability is at the top of many people's lists. For some people, the main concern is the median house prices, while those who plan to rent want to look for rental rates that are lower than the national average.
However, affordability is not just about the cost of buying or renting a property, as it is also about the general cost of living. It is important not to just choose a location based on affordability, as an area must meet your needs in terms of the lifestyle you desire.
Some other factors you may consider are the job opportunities, the standard of the schools, the community's diversity, and the amenities and leisure activities there are in the area. Here are the 20 most affordable places to live on the West Coast of the United States.
20. San Jose, California
Almost two million people live in San Jose, California, and the metro area's affordability is possibly one of the reasons for this decision. On the face of it, the property prices are high at over a million dollars for the average home price, says US News.
However, this is offset by the higher household income average, which is more than $77 thousand. Therefore, a typical resident of San Jose will spend a little more than 26 percent of their income on living expenses.
19. Irvine, California
There are employment opportunities in multiple industries in Irvine, California, and the unemployment rate is low. The median household income is almost $112 thousand, while the median home price is $725 thousand.
Therefore, the income to property price ratio is good. It is also worth noting that it is considered one of the safest places to live in the United States. Irvine has a population of 250 thousand, and it has easy beach access.
18. San Francisco, California
On the one hand, San Francisco is an expensive place to live as there is a high median home price of almost $679 thousand. Renting is equally expensive as the average cost of renting is almost $1,700.
On the other hand, it makes it into the seventh position of the most affordable places to live on the West Coast due to the higher median household income, which is just short of $70,000. It is worth noting that the housing market in San Francisco is notoriously competitive.
17. Santa Rosa, California
In Santa Rosa, California, the average person spends 28.22 percent of their income on their living expenses, and the median house value is just under $623 thousand. Although Santa Rosa is an affordable place to live in California and elsewhere along the West Coast, it is not considered affordable compared to other cities in the United States.
In a list of the 125 most populous metro areas in the United States, Santa Rosa ranks in the ninth position. However, it is more affordable than the other metro areas listed on the West Coast, including Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
16. Eastvale, California
Eastvale does not make it onto many lists as this community was only incorporated in 2013, and it has a population of just 64 thousand residents. It is located just east of Los Angeles, so it is ideal for those who want to live close to the city but in a quieter and more affordable area.
The median home price in Eastvale is $497,500. Even better, the median household income in this area is in excess of $107 thousand. It is an excellent area for families as it has several high-ranking public schools.
15. Seattle, Washington
There are many employment opportunities in the tech industry in Seattle, and these are often well-paid positions. Therefore, the median household income is around $63 thousand, which makes the median home price of $442 thousand affordable.
Residents spend just under 25 percent of their income on living expenses. The metro population is 3,735,216, so clearly, many people agree that it is a fantastic place to live. For even more information on Seattle, make sure to check out our list of Best Places to Live in Washington State.
14. Sacramento, California
One of the main reasons that Sacramento makes it onto the list of the most affordable places to live on the West Coast is that the median household income is around $5,000 more than the national average at just over $55 thousand.
However, the house prices are still higher than the national average at almost $390 thousand. Net migration has led to steady population growth, and the population of this metro area is around 2.27 million people.
13. Portland, Oregon
If you move outside California, then you will start to find some more affordable places to live. One such area is Portland, and the metro area has a population of more than 2.38 million residents.
People are drawn to the area because of the strong job market and the low unemployment rate. The affordability of Portland is another reason why people choose to live in this metro area.
Of the 125 most populous metro areas in the United States, Portland is the third most affordable. The median property price in this metro area is a little over $375 thousand.
12. Vancouver, Washington
The median home price in Vancouver, Washington, is just over $359 thousand. It has a population of around 183 thousand, and it is just a short drive to Portland. Vancouver is surrounded by the stunning landscape of the Cascades Range.
People who live in this city enjoy a good work-life balance. According to Niche, Vancouver appeals to both young professionals and families, and it has an urban-suburban mix fell. Some of its appealing features include the community's diversity, the vibrant nightlife, and good job opportunities.
11. Stockton, California
Narrowly missing out on a place in the list of the top ten cheapest places to live on the West Coast is Stockton in California. Stockton is a metro area of California with a population of almost 725 thousand residents.
Although the median household income is below the national average in this area, the median house price is reasonable for the West Coast at just over $352 thousand. Residents spend approximately 27.42 percent of their income on living expenses.
10. Eugene, Oregon
With a median home value of just over $335 thousand, Eugene in Oregon sits easily within the top ten affordable places to live on the West Coast. In the heart of the city, there are plenty of historical and cultural attractions, and the city is surrounded by nature.
Eugene is also known for its craft breweries. Residents living in Eugene enjoy the diverse community, the above-average schools, the family-oriented activities, the lively nightlife, the good transport links, and the range of outdoor activities.
9. Beaverton, California
The median home price for properties in Beaverton, California, is just under $320 thousand. Earning potential is also high in this town, as the median household income is more than $70 thousand.
The ratio of property prices and income means that Beaverton is an affordable place to live. However, affordability is not the only thing that this town has going for it. It has a low unemployment rate, top-ranking schools, and a diverse food scene, says Sunset.
8. San Bernardino, California
The location of San Bernardino is what appeals to many of its residents. It is located in the Coachella Valley, and it is just an hour's drive to Los Angeles. The landscape surrounding the city is stunning, as there is the San Bernardino Mountains and the San Bernardino National Forest, and the desert is nearby.
It is the perfect setting for those who enjoy the outdoors. However, the affordability of the city is another of its appealing features. The median house price in this lively city is under $309 thousand. There are almost 216 thousand people living in San Bernardino.
7. Medford, Oregon
Medford is a small city with a population of more than 82 thousand people, and it is situated between two mountain ranges in the Rogue Valley close to the border of California. In this city, the median home price is less than $296 thousand.
Medford boasts a small-town feel that many people prefer but also has all the amenities that people need. It is a pretty place to live, as it boasts waterfalls, parks, and vineyards.
This city also has good transport links, a diverse community, and a range of activities to suit people of all ages. It has a dense suburban feel that appeals to both families and young professionals.
6. Salem, Oregon
Full of history and quirky features, Salem has a different vibe to many of the cities on the West Coast. It is a unique city with a population of under 174 thousand residents, and there is a strong sense of community.
Outdoor activities are plentiful, as there are gardens, orchards, and parks to explore. There are also multiple historical attractions and landmarks. Furthermore, there are activities and attractions for families to enjoy, including the Enchanted Forest Theme Park.
Despite its many fantastic features, it remains one of the most affordable places to live on the West Coast, and the median home price is just short of $293 thousand.
5. Modesto, California
The median home price for a property in Modesto, California, is just under $290 thousand, and the general cost of living is lower than the California state average.
On the other hand, the median household income is lower than the national average, and the unemployment rate is around seven percent. Modesto is the county seat and largest city in Stanislaus County, and it has a population of more than 803 thousand people.
4. Anchorage, Alaska
The most northern location on this list is Anchorage in Alaska. The median house price in this city, which has a population of almost 400 thousand, is just short of $260 thousand.
As the median annual salary is slightly under $59 thousand, residents spend approximately 23 percent of their income on living expenses. The easy access to the wilderness means that Anchorage is a popular city for those who enjoy outdoor pursuits.
3. Spokane, Washington
If you prefer a place with a lower population and a greater sense of community, then you might consider Spokane in Washington. It is an affordable city with a population of under 22 thousand people, and a median home value of $253,276.
It is considered an excellent place to live for families, as it has excellent public schools, many family-oriented recreational activities, and a lovely downtown area that hosts multiple community activities and events throughout the year. There is something for people of all ages, from beautiful parks to nearby wineries.
2. Bakersfield, California
Those looking for affordable properties to buy on the West Coast should consider Bakersfield in California, as the median home value in this city is just over $252 thousand. Known as the Country Music Capital of the West Coast, Bakersfield is just a few hours from Los Angeles.
The Sierra Nevada Mountains are in view of the city, and it is a fantastic place for those who enjoy spending time outdoors in the California climate. It has many of the benefits of Los Angeles without the high price tag.
1. Fresno California
In terms of property prices, the most affordable place to live on the West Coast is Fresno, California, says Apartment Living. The median price of properties in Fresno is $25,405. This city sits in the San Joaquin Valley, and it is home to more than 530 thousand people.
In addition to the affordability, residents of Fresno love the wide range of activities and attractions. These include the Forestiere Underground Gardens, Fresno zoo, and multiple museums. It is also close to the Yosemite National Park, which is a natural playground for a variety of outdoor pursuits.
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Written by Liz Flynn
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