Planning to get a place of your own in California? It’s a beautiful state, with every amenity that one would need for a comfortable life, but starting out alone for the first time in your life requires a lot of planning. Where exactly is a convenient location for you? What would your immediate necessities be? How much can you afford to spend on your house? These are a few basic but essential questions that one must answer before making any decisions.

Considering that you’re going to live alone or with one more member, the average rent of such a place in California could be anywhere between $1500-$2000. Now, this might not be a very reasonable rental for a lot of us, considering that the standard of living would entail a lot of other overhead expenses as well. Keeping this in mind, the smartest thing to do would be to look for a home in a city that isn’t too expensive and also offers affordable housing.

7 Affordable Places to Live in California:

1. Oxnard

If you’re someone who loves to live close to the sea and spend the weekend playing adventure sports and relaxing on the beach, then Oxnard could be a great option for you. It has about 20 miles of coastline and is located maybe only an hour or so from Los Angeles. There are a bunch of beach activities that you can indulge in, like parasailing and kayaking so that you can tend to the active person in you. I’m terms of industries, the fishery industry along with agriculture and international trade run pretty rampantly here. Currently, the city has a population of about 210,000 people approximately, and the average one-bedroom rental is about $1500, which is not bad considering that this city is supposed to be safe but also not too expensive to live in.

2. Redlands

If you’re okay with swapping the beaches for mountains and farming plains, then Redlands could be a safe option for you. It’s a very small city of about 72,000 people, but just enough civilization to live a comfortable and contemporary life. It’s located roughly 2 hours from Los Angeles, which is not too far really, and there are also enough restaurants, breweries, parks, and theatres to keep you entertained when you’re not working. The interesting part is that the standard of living here is decent, but also much cheaper than LA. An average one bedroom home’s rental could come up to $1200, which is quite affordable too.

3. Eureka

If art and architecture are more suited to your liking, then Eureka is a beautiful little city to live in. It’s located a few hours south of the Oregon border, and also has a good enough coastline to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Towards the center of the city, there are buildings constructed with Victorian architecture and give a very vintage and retro feel. For someone who doesn’t like huge crowds and noisy places, this would be a great place to start off. With a population of barely 30,000 people, it definitely is one of the smaller offerings of California. An average one bedroom apartment would cost not more than $700, making it very much affordable and easy to move into.

4. Temecula

If you’re looking for an affordable but still leisurely life, then Temecula is a very viable option. This lovely city features California’s biggest Casio. It also has many golf courses, wineries, and a historic downtown area. If you’re a lover of all things country and natural, there are at least 2 farmer’s markets organized every week. The education and tourism industry do reasonably well, so job opportunities are not really a problem. It has a population of about 114,000 people, which is a decent amount, and an average one bedroom home’s rental is about $1400, which is okay, considering that the city has a lot to offer.

5. Rancho Cucamonga

This unusually named city is a quiet and peaceful place located at the foothills of the Saint Gabriel mountain, in the San Bernardino County. This is about 38 miles from Los Angeles. Rancho Cucamonga has a lot of parks, places for families to relax and picnic, and also small fairs and carnivals to keep the crowds entertained. It’s by no means a proper city because of the lack of hustle. There are about 170,000 people, but it still seems a lot calmer than most other places. An average one bedroom rental comes up to about $1200 for a decently located home.

6. Clovis

Clovis is a city located pretty much in the center of everything; entertainment centers, shopping, beaches, mountains and even farms. However, it still has a very old school and calm atmosphere, with a few good schools and a community that is pretty closely knit. Even healthcare and agricultural facilities are readily available, making it a small but fast-growing city to live it. It has a humble population of about 100,000 people, with a one bedroom house costing not more than $850-900.

7. Chico

The colorful little city of Chico is home to the Chico State University. It’s about 90 miles away from Sacramento and also has quite a few tourists coming by to enjoy the great weather and multiple hiking and camping spots. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway from the city, but also a pretty neat place to live in if you’re looking to be closer to nature. The brewing and hospitality industries have seen a boom here in recent times, and the city houses about 92,000 people at the moment. An average one bedroom apartment costs only about $800, making it a rather affordable place to move to.

So, if you’re on a budget and are looking for a place to move to in California, any of these cities would be a great choice, depending on what your checklist contains! A smart budget and enough research can help you pick the perfect new home and city too!