Los Angeles is one of the most iconic cities in the world; people flock to this sunny city from around the globe to pursue their dreams and find new adventures. While the City of Angels is famous for offering endless opportunities, creative spaces, renowned cultural attractions, and exciting experiences, it also has a reputation for being pricey—and for a good reason.
There is undoubtedly an abundance of expensive neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area, and the city itself is one of the most expensive places to live in California. However, with a bit of perseverance, you can find plenty of affordable houses in Los Angeles in neighborhoods with a distinct character. These more reasonably priced locations include perks such as excellent recreational activities, plenty of trendy restaurants, good access to public transportation, and quality schools.
MOST AFFORDABLE PLACES TO LIVE IN L.A.
Moving to California can often come with a high price tag, but it is nevertheless still possible to find neighborhoods that are both affordable and offer a high quality of life. So, prospective Angelenos and admirers of La La Land: take a tour with us to the best and cheapest places to live in Los Angeles.
Median home price: $386,970
As one of the most affordable and safe places to live in Los Angeles, Lancaster displays a cozy small town setting in the Antelope Valley but isn’t too far away for quick trips to D.T.L.A. With a population of roughly 159,000, Lancaster is a mid-sized area ideal for those seeking the amenities of a larger city but with a small-town vibe.
Aside from prominent public schools, there are many private schools in this cheap place to live near L.A., with at least 12 campuses to choose from. In addition, Lancaster residents can easily visit the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve—one of the best California state parks—to enjoy more than 1,700 acres of poppy fields and unplug from the hustle and bustle. You can also shop 'til you drop at the Lancaster Marketplace, spend the day with the family at Round 1 Bowling and Amusement, and indulge in a delicious dinner at a local restaurant such as the old-fashioned Italian eatery Gino’s Italian Restaurant.
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Median home price: $418,060
Palmdale—located north of Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert—is Lancaster's twin city and one of the cheapest areas to live near Los Angeles. Within an area of 106 square miles, Palmdale is home to almost 40 neighborhoods. Leona Valley and Quartz Hill are the most upscale subdivisions in the area. The most popular schools in the area are located just off Rancho Vista Boulevard, Elizabeth Lake Road, and Angeles Forest Highway.
Exciting living is a pivotal part of the Palmdale lifestyle. When you aren't shopping at Antelope Valley Mall, savor a picnic at the Little Rock Recreation Area or ski down the slopes at Mountain High Ski Resort. Indulge in specialty Thai dishes at The Jasmine Thai Restaurant on your next dinner date and feast on their Pineapple Curry and stir-fried Tangerine Shrimp.
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Median home price: $564,840
Approximately 20 miles east of downtown L.A. lies the city of La Puente (meaning "the bridge" in Spanish). It is one of the smaller suburbs in the region and is a great place to raise a family; La Puente's population is approximately 40,000, creating a close-knit environment with plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.
If you enjoy golf, join the nearby Industry Hills Golf Club and get your golf game on par with the PGA Tour talents. Or, take the kids to the 22-acre La Puente Park, a lush open space perfect for picnics and outdoor fun. Head to the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum for an educational visit. And when hunger strikes, one of the cheapest places to live in Los Angeles county doesn't disappoint, especially in the good ol' barbecue department. Stop by Domestic for mind-blowing smoked pork rinds, tri-tip, and bacon mac 'n' cheese.
Median home price: $549,060
You’re bound to find this charming city in southeastern L.A. County quite appealing. With a population of approximately 24,000, Cudahy is the second smallest city in the county but has one of the highest population densities of any incorporated city in the country. As one of the cheapest places to live in L.A., the city is steeped in small-town charm and boasts an excellent school system. In addition, the average cost of living in Cudahy is much lower than the statewide average, making this one of the best affordable places to live in Los Angeles.
The town's art scene has grown rapidly in recent years, attracting a larger crowd than its neighboring towns. Stop by the Parrasch Heijnen Gallery or the Roofless Painters for a cultural experience, then check out the up-and-coming food scene. For those who love Italian cuisine, take advantage of visiting La Pasta, a local favorite known for specialty traditional pizzas and pasta.
Median home price: $530,170
The city of Paramount, located by Long Beach and South Gate, is vibrant, diverse, and one of the cheapest areas to live in Los Angeles. Paramount has a public library that is currently undergoing some exciting renovations, and more than ten public parks, including Ralph C. Dills Park and All-American Park.
For the perfect Sunday Funday with the fam, plan a bike ride on the Los Angeles River Bicycle Path; the 7.4-mile stretch through the Glendale Narrows will surely liven up your weekend. You can even ride down to Long beach, one of the best beaches in Los Angeles. Take a trip to Spane Park, too, where your kids can admire the fish, ducks, and water turtles. Round out the day by feasting on Mediterranean cuisine as you casually lounge on the spacious outdoor patio at Olive RestoBar.
Median home price: $680,390
For an easy commute to and from D.T.L.A., make your move to Carson, which is located about 20 miles outside of the city. This suburban neighborhood is one of the best affordable places to live in Los Angeles. Carson is also home to the Dignity Health Sports Park, where the L.A. Galaxy soccer team plays, so purchase season tickets and support your team. The city even offers bus connections to the Los Angeles Metro, ideal for those who use mass transit.
Carson has flourished in recent years and even features duplex and triplex gated communities. There are 19 schools, with the majority being elementary, and two renowned high schools: Banning and Carson High. Spend your Saturday shopping at the South Bay Galleria and Del Amo Fashion Center, then head to Darrow’s New Orleans Grill for fantastic Cajun and Creole specials.
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Median home price: $753,844
Encino is in the San Fernando Valley, not far from famous neighborhoods such as Bel Air and Beverly Hills. Encino not only has some of the most affordable houses in Los Angeles, but it is also one of the best places to live in the region, thanks to its high quality of life. For one, it is one of the safest neighborhoods in the area, making it a great place to raise kids.
Encino’s combination of trendy restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and good shopping options makes this neighborhood quite attractive to younger residents. Because of its more suburban nature, Encino is far from a concrete jungle and is, in fact, quite close to some lovely green spaces, such as The Japanese Garden and the Westbridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park, perfect for a scenic drive. All these qualities come together to make Encino one of the best safe and affordable places to live in Los Angeles, ideal for those on a budget.
Median home price: $681,550
Despite its name, Porter Ranch is a pretty urbanized town with lots of incredible amenities to offer families thanks to its spacious single-family homes, high-quality schools, and plenty of excellent green spaces, such as Rocky Peak Park. In addition to being one the cheapest places to live in Los Angeles, Porter Ranch is also one of the safest neighborhoods in the region, thanks to a very low crime rate.
Nature lovers will love the many Los Angeles getaway opportunities all a stone’s throw away, as well as excellent opportunities for boating, fishing, and lakeside picnics at the nearby Castaic Lake State Recreation Area. Porter Ranch also has plenty of fun spots for the kids, making it a perfect place to raise a family.
Trying to decide if L. A is your scene? Compare the cost of living in SoCal vs. NorCal to see if you vibe more with the cities in the northern part of the state. If so, check out the most affordable places to live in the Bay Area now.
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- Los Feliz.
- Mar Vista.
- Playa Vista.
- Porter Ranch.
The best places to live in Los Angeles include Beverly Hills for its high-end real estate and amenities, Los Feliz for its high walkability score, and Santa Monica for its beaches and top-rated schools. People love Los Angeles for its sunny weather, diverse culture, and beautiful real estate.How much money do you need to live in Los Angeles? ›
According to the study, a Los Angeles resident without children would need to make $76,710 after taxes to live comfortably. The study is based on the MIT Living Wage Calculator, which uses the cost of housing, food, transportation, medical care and more.Where is the most affordable housing in California? ›
The ninth largest city in the state and one of the most affordable cities in California, Bakersfield is a rapidly-growing place to live about two hours north of Los Angeles. Families relocating to California can find affordable housing and job opportunities in top industries like oil and agriculture in Bakersfield.Which part of LA is cheapest? ›
- Central Alameda. The cheapest place to live in Los Angeles is Central Alameda. ...
- South Park. The second cheapest place to live in Los Angeles is South Park. ...
- Pico-Union. Pico Union is another one of the cheapest places to live in Los Angeles. ...
- Pico Rivera. ...
- Boyle Heights. ...
- Lakeview Terrace. ...
- North Valley. ...
LAHD offers the ability to search and apply online for accessible housing. In addition, in partnership with the County of Los Angeles, is offered an online affordable housing listing service. These free services provide lists and information about affordable and accessible residential rental properties.Which part of LA is good? ›
West of Downtown and Hollywood you'll find the upscale residential areas of West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and the beaches in Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu. West Hollywood is a safe, relatively central option for seeing the whole city, best known for nightlife and shopping with an abundance of bars and music venues.Is it a good idea to live in LA? ›
In conclusion, Los Angeles is a city that offers a warm and sunny climate, a diverse job market, a rich cultural scene, beautiful beaches, a thriving food scene, and unparalleled shopping and entertainment opportunities. However, it also faces challenges such as heavy traffic and a high cost of living.Is Living in LA better than New York? ›
LA has a stable and more comfortable climate, an affordable transport system, and a lower cost of living. Meanwhile, there are better job opportunities and a higher safety index in NYC, although with a higher cost of living. With these factors in mind, we can say that LA is better than New York City.Is $100 000 a good salary in Los Angeles? ›
According to a new study from SmartAsset, a $100,000 salary in Los Angeles leaves workers with what "feels like" just $44,623, ranking it among the lowest of nearly 80 cities analyzed by the financial advisory company.
Moving costs: $2,000. First apartment costs: $10,000. Startup costs: $4,000. Emergency costs: $4,000.How much should I save before moving to LA? ›
Before moving to Los Angeles, save up at least $10,000 before you arrive and an extra $5,000 to help cover initial costs and additional expenses. Since the cost of living is high, it is not recommended to be moving to Los Angeles without any money.Where is the cheapest nicest place to live? ›
- Wichita Falls, Texas.
- South Bend, Indiana.
- Erie, Pennsylvania.
- Fort Wayne, Indiana.
- Evansville, Indiana.
- Akron, Ohio.
If you're looking for affordable places to live in California, the northern part of the state is your best bet as the cost of living in Northern California is much lower than in SoCal. And some of the cheapest places to live in California, like Eureka, also offer some of the best quality of life.What is the most unaffordable city in California? ›
Marina del Rey, California
You can carve out a life there for $98,931.74, or $8,244.31 per month. Rent is crushingly high, though — a one-bedroom in Marina del Rey costs nearly $1,400 more than the next most expensive city.
Lower Cost of Everyday Expenses: San Diego typically has a lower cost of everyday expenses such as groceries, dining out, and transportation compared to Los Angeles. While prices can vary depending on specific locations and lifestyle choices, San Diego's overall cost of living tends to be slightly more manageable.What side of LA is expensive? ›
1. Bel-Air. The richest neighborhood in Los Angeles is Bel-Air. Making its claim to fame on the popular series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, this neighborhood is located directly across from Sunset Boulevard and is considered one of the most exclusive residential areas in Los Angeles.Is Vegas or LA cheaper? ›
The big difference comes in terms of rent prices. Rent prices in Los Angeles are substantially higher than they are in Las Vegas. In fact, rent prices are about 84-percent higher.Who can afford a house in Los Angeles? ›
According to the Redfin study, the income needed to buy a median-priced home in L.A. has soared by 40.7% in one year. In 2021, anyone looking to buy a home in the city of Angels needed to make $157,000 a year. However, now, that same person would need to make $64,000 more, or $221,000, to buy a median-priced home.How much of Los Angeles is low income? ›
In Los Angeles County, 14.2% of residents live below the federal poverty line, which in California is defined as having an annual income of $13,590 for a one-person household, $18,310 for two people and $27,750 for a family of four.
For a simplified look at Los Angeles rent control, look here. Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood have rent control, but Glendale, Burbank, Torrance, Pasadena, Downey, and other cities nearby have nothing like it.Which part of LA is safer? ›
The most popular and safe places for tourists include West Hollywood, Silverlake, and Santa Monica. These three cities are favorite spots for anyone looking to check out the Los Angeles scene and some of the best areas to look for a place to stay.Is West LA nicer than East LA? ›
While the Westside is more known for its beaches, restaurants with outdoor patios, high-end bars and lounges, and recreational activities, the Eastside is recognized for its shopping, concert and entertainment venues, and museums, as well as its speakeasies and dive bars.What is the prettiest neighborhood in LA? ›
Santa Monica is the most beautiful neighborhood in Los Angeles for many. The hills, West Hollywood, and Malibu are also gorgeous.Can you live without a car in Los Angeles? ›
Santa Monica. Home to the Big Blue bus, the Expo Line, and plenty of express bus lanes, Santa Monica is also a good choice for a car-free lifestyle. This area is especially good for bicycling which many miles of bike lanes, lockers and infrastructure, along with its own Breeze Bike Share system.What months are best to live in LA? ›
Move to LA During Your Favorite Season
For great weather, a little rain, and the fewest crowds (except around Spring Break), choose the spring months of March and April. For the warmest ocean water (68 degrees Fahrenheit on average), plan to move to LA during late summer — August and early September.
There are many reasons why people from around the world decide to move to Los Angeles. They range from chasing a dream job in entertainment or tech or have a fresh start in a different city with a temperate climate.Do you need a car in LA? ›
LA's public transit network is just about adequate for getting around. If you do not have a car, LA is still a fun, accessible city as there are various options to travel locally. Here are a few local modes of transportation if you want to visit Los Angeles without a car.Is it hard to make friends in LA? ›
Making friends in a city as big as Los Angeles can be daunting. There are an overwhelming number of activities, meet-ups and events, yet forging a real connection with a kindred spirit can seem slippery and elusive. In many ways, this mirrors the experience of adults everywhere who want new platonic relationships.Is LA cleaner than NYC? ›
Is NYC cleaner than LA? Both NYC and LA are massive cities, and neither is particularly clean, but NYC isn't as clean as LA when it comes to street trash. While LA has cleaner streets than NYC, the air quality is worse as there's more pollution in the area.
It can be more than enough for an individual or even a small family to live comfortably. With $100,000 a year, a person could cover typical expenses, pay down debt, build their savings, contribute toward retirement, invest, and still have enough money for entertainment, hobbies, and vacations.How much is considered rich in LA? ›
In Southern California (which the survey grouped Los Angeles and San Diego), the threshold for what is considered wealthy is $3.9 million. It's the second-highest total in the survey, trailing San Francisco, where the "wealthy" net worth is $5.1 million.How much is $100,000 after taxes in California? ›
If you make $100,000 a year living in the region of California, USA, you will be taxed $29,959. That means that your net pay will be $70,041 per year, or $5,837 per month.How much does it cost to live in LA with rent? ›
Housing is the most significant expense for most American households. The cost of living in a certain city takes into account both the price of rent and the price of a home. The average monthly rent in Los Angeles is $2,781, while home prices circle around $1,098,874. Thinking of moving?How much does a single person need to live comfortably in Los Angeles? ›
The data used in the study analyzed the cost of living in each city as of 2022. For California cities like Los Angeles, Berkeley and San Diego, a single person must make more than $76,000 to “live comfortably,” the data shows.How much should I have saved before moving to California? ›
It's easy to see why someone would want to live in California; just know you should have at least six months of expenses saved up when making the move. You'll need to have money saved when moving to California or at least a decent-paying job lined up since it's one of the most expensive states to live in.How much does it cost monthly to live in LA? ›
|Bread for 2 people for 1 day||$1.78|
|Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area||$3,937|
|Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area||$2,890|
- Find someone to share a flat with. ...
- Make up a moving expenses checklist. ...
- Save some money for a start. ...
- Start looking for a job several weeks prior to relocation. ...
- Use your free time for earning more. ...
- Minimize the lifestyle you had. ...
- Buy only essentials.
This is due to the city's proximity to large agricultural areas and its relatively inexpensive housing. The city's median home price is $362,600, which is way lesser than California's median home price of $600,000.What is the 1 cheapest state to live in? ›
Mississippi. Coming in as the cheapest state to live in in the United States is Mississippi with a cost of living index score of 83.3. It also has the lowest average housing costs in the nation at 33.7% below the national average.How can I go to California on a budget? ›
- Book flights in advance.
- Factor in tax AND tip for all food and services.
- Remember portion sizes are huge…
- Don't bother looking on Airbnb.
- Book accommodation early (and factor in tax again!)
- Make sure you have CASH for petrol.
- Buy attraction tickets in advance.
- Oxnard. Aka The Beav/Flickr. ...
- Oceanside. Visitor7, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons. ...
- Long Beach. ...
- Glendale. ...
- Seal Beach. ...
- Santa Paula. ...
- Colton. ...
- Rancho Santa Margarita.
According to the list, the most miserable places to live in all of California are Visalia-Porterville, Merced, Yuba City, Madera, Hanford-Corcoran, and El Centro.What is the brokest city in California? ›
This Is the Poorest City in California.
|Median household income ($)||32,790|
|Median household income in state ($)||61,224|
|Median home value ($)||115,100|
|Median home value in state ($)||190,200|
|Rank||City||Mean income - All households|
What salary do you need to live in Los Angeles? According to one estimate by Gobankingrates.com, an annual income of $74,371 was about right for the average person to live comfortably in Los Angeles.Is 150k enough to live in Los Angeles? ›
You'll need to earn well over $100,000 to live comfortably. You'll need a staggering six-figure income to live comfortably in Los Angeles: at least $136,207 if you're paying rent or $150,391 if you own a house.Is 80000 enough to live in LA? ›
An annual salary of $80,000 can be considered a decent salary for a single person living in Los Angeles, but it will depend on individual circumstances and lifestyle. Los Angeles is known for having a high cost of living, with housing costs being a major factor in this higher cost of living.Is it worth it to live in LA? ›
In conclusion, Los Angeles is a city that offers a warm and sunny climate, a diverse job market, a rich cultural scene, beautiful beaches, a thriving food scene, and unparalleled shopping and entertainment opportunities. However, it also faces challenges such as heavy traffic and a high cost of living.
Finding a job in LA is not difficult, but finding one that allows you to live comfortably in such an expensive city may prove tricky. Competition is stiff in all sectors, so expats would do well to create polished, attractive CVs and cover letters to help them stand out among the crowd of applicants.What is a comfortable wage in LA? ›
The data used in the study analyzed the cost of living in each city as of 2022. For California cities like Los Angeles, Berkeley and San Diego, a single person must make more than $76,000 to “live comfortably,” the data shows.What is middle class in Los Angeles? ›
In Fremont, the median household income is $155,968, and a middle-class income ranges from $104,499 to $311,936. Los Angeles ranks 37th among large cities for middle-class income, with a range from $47,149 to $140,744.What salary do you need to buy a house in Los Angeles? ›
According to the Redfin study, the income needed to buy a median-priced home in L.A. has soared by 40.7% in one year. In 2021, anyone looking to buy a home in the city of Angels needed to make $157,000 a year. However, now, that same person would need to make $64,000 more, or $221,000, to buy a median-priced home.Is Chicago cheaper than LA? ›
The cost of living in Los Angeles, CA is 28.4% higher than in Chicago, IL. You would have to earn a salary of $77,035 to maintain your current standard of living. Employers in Los Angeles, CA typically pay 6.4% more than employeers in Chicago, IL.What percent of LA is low income? ›
|Income & Poverty|
|Median household income (in 2021 dollars), 2017-2021||$69,778|
|Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2021 dollars), 2017-2021||$39,378|
|Persons in poverty, percent|| 16.6%|
|Year||For employers with 26 or more employees||For employers with 25 or fewer employees|
The average salary for a public school teacher in California is $65,500 per year.Is living in LA better than NYC? ›
LA has a stable and more comfortable climate, an affordable transport system, and a lower cost of living. Meanwhile, there are better job opportunities and a higher safety index in NYC, although with a higher cost of living. With these factors in mind, we can say that LA is better than New York City.Is it better to live in LA or NYC? ›
New York City has a higher safety index and better career opportunities. However, it has a higher cost of living and a smaller land size too. Los Angeles, on the other hand, has a lower cost of living with a more comfortable and stable climate. The city also has an affordable transport system.