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5 Most Expensive Places to Live in California + Tips & FAQs

Most Expensive Places to Live in California

With the California economy on the rise, many people are moving to this state for work and other opportunities. With so many people coming in and out of California, you may be wondering: where can I find a nice place to live? Well, we have compiled a list of 5 most expensive places to live in California.

These cities and towns will give you an idea about what types of amenities and housing prices that you should expect when looking for a new home.

Reasons to Live in California

There are many reasons why people choose to live in California. For one, this state has a beautiful landscape filled with beaches and forests that offer plenty of outdoor activities for those who love the great outdoors. It is also home to some of the largest cities in America, so there are plenty of job opportunities available if you’re looking for a career change.

In addition, California is also known for having a great education system and its proximity to the Pacific Ocean makes it an ideal place to live in if you’re planning on starting a family.

Californians enjoy outdoor activities, such as surfing or hiking through forests, while others prefer spending time at the beach. Many Californians enjoy the arts, visiting museums and watching their favorite musicals or theater productions. Some Californians also prefer to spend time with family by going out to eat at one of California’s many restaurants.

Many large cities offer world-class entertainment for its residents, such as shopping centers in San Diego, theaters in Los Angeles and a vibrant culture in San Francisco.

5 Most Expensive Places to Live in California

5 Most expensive places in California

Geographic location and the quality of life in each California city will play a role in what you can expect to pay for housing. This list contains some of most expensive places to live in California:

1. San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California consists of cities like Mountain View, Cupertino and Palo Alto. This area is known for having some of the highest income per capita in all of California at $69,992 as well as homes that are very expensive with an average sale price over $997,000.

Palo Alto consists of cities like Redwood City has one of the largest concentration of tech companies in the world. This area has an average income of $79,357 and homes that are very expensive with an average sale price of over $968,000.

Mountain View consists of cities like Los Altos Hills located between San Jose and Santa Clara near Cupertino is home to many top technology companies such as Google and LinkedIn. This area has an average income of $88,582 and homes that are very expensive with an average sale price over $940,000.

San Francisco is one of the most visited cities in California and has plenty to offer those who choose to live here. The city offers commuters easy access to other parts of San Francisco, such as Golden Gate Park or Fisherman’s Wharf via its extensive public transportation system that includes buses, light rails and trains.

2. Los Angeles

Los Angeles consists of cities such as Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and Santa Monica. These cities are all in the top ten most expensive places to live in California with median home prices ranging from $300,000-$500,000. If you’re looking for a vibrant city life without paying too much to do so then this is one of the best choices that you have when it comes to California cities.

Los Angeles offers one of the best education systems in California and is home to some of the biggest names in entertainment, such as Nickelodeon Animation Studios or Dreamworks Studio. There are so many things to do here such as visiting famous Hollywood Boulevard or Griffith Park Observatory where you can see panoramic views of this city.

3. Riverside County

Riverside County – With a population of over two million people, the City of Riverside is one of the most populous and diverse cities in California.

Riverside consists of cities like Palm Springs located outside San Bernardino County has plenty to offer those who choose to live here such as: an outdoor lifestyle with a variety of parks and golf courses or enjoy some time on this city’s famous tennis courts. This area has an average income of $66,491 and homes that are very expensive with an average sale price over $536,000.

Crime rates are slightly higher than other cities on our list at 24th out of 100 but it has many great amenities for families and commuters alike. There are several notable places to visit such as the University of California which is located just outside Riverside or Lake Elsinore where residents can enjoy fishing and boating.

4. Orange County

Orange County – A population of over three million, this county has plenty to offer for everyone. Consist of cities like Buena Park and Anaheim. This area has an average income of $62,188 and homes that are very expensive with an average sale price over $598,000. Rent for an apartment will cost you around $1800 per month.

Orange County also offers plenty of activities for those who choose to live here.  There are plenty of shopping centers and restaurants where residents can enjoy spending their free time such as the Irvine Spectrum which is conveniently located near the transportation hubs that offer quick access to other parts of California. There is no shortage of entertainment here such as Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm.

These five counties are the most expensive places to live in California and each has its own unique features that make it stand out from the rest of the state.

5. San Diego, California

San Diego, California: The second most expensive place to live in California is San Diego with a median home value of $529,000. As far as crime goes, this city has one of the lowest rates in both America and also all of California. There are plenty of places here for you to enjoy the beach life while enjoying the amenities of a larger city.

San Diego consists of cities like La Jolla located in San Diego is one of the most well-educated areas in California with a high concentration of public schools along its main street called University Avenue. This area has an average income of $61,558 and homes that are very expensive with an average sale price over $671,000.

5 Most Expensive Places to Live in California

What are some reasons people choose to live in expensive places?

Reasons to live in expensive places would be:

  • Greater amenities including luxurious shops and restaurants where you can spend your free time.
  • More job opportunities are often seen in expensive cities with larger populations which gives residents greater career options and higher salaries. 
  • Luxurious shopping and fine dining;
  • Higher average income.
  • Better educational opportunities;
  • Access to more entertainment and activities.

These are some of the reasons why people choose to live in expensive places.

Living in high-cost areas may be made easier by following these tips

These are a few tips that you can follow to make life easier when living in expensive areas. These include:

  • Finding cheaper alternatives such as shopping centers, restaurants and entertainment options outside of the city.
  • Adjust your lifestyle if need be and don’t forget about these cheaper alternatives where you can still have fun! Knowing how much money is available will help keep things in check.
  • The most important thing is knowing how much money you have available before moving into an expensive area so that you don’t end up going over budget.
  • Even though the price of living is high, consider taking advantage of all that these areas have to offer such as jobs and entertainment which will help keep your expenses low.
  • Take time to research and choose your home wisely. Some expenses will be unavoidable such as taxes but it’s important to avoid overspending on items that you don’t need so you can set money aside for emergencies or save up enough funds to cover the cost of moving.
  • Saving money can help reduce the stress of paying for basic amenities such as food, water and transportation every month so try saving up some cash if possible.
  • Be prepared to pay for expensive rent. Find a place that is within your budget so you are not putting yourself in debt by moving to an expensive city and paying large sums of money every month just for the sake of living here.
  • Being prepared for the high costs of living in expensive places can help relieve stress and save you money so remember to be smart with your finances.

These tips may help those who are planning on living in expensive places like California so they can save money and enjoy some of the luxuries that are available.

What are the things to do in an expensive place?

The most common activities for people who live here include:

Attending events such as concerts or plays that are held in these areas throughout the year.

Visiting Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and Knott’s Berry Farm which are all located nearby for a day of fun with

Enjoying the outdoors, enjoying parks and golf courses and beaches.

Spending time shopping at places like the Irvine Spectrum where you can enjoy dining or just window-shopping for new clothes, gadgets or collectibles.

Visiting theme parks such as Disneyland which is very close to Buena Park allows residents to easily go there with their family without spending a lot of money on gas or long commutes.

Spending time at the beach or renting boats/jet-skis are also great ways to have fun in expensive places with many people enjoying these things on their weekends. 

These are just some of the most common things for people to do in expensive places.


Is living in an expensive place a good investment?

Living in an expensive place is not always a good investment depending on the area. High-cost cities are sometimes seen as investments for making money because there will be more people who want to live here which should increase the property value allowing you to make money when you sell your home, however this isn’t always true and it can be difficult if there is a lot of competition in the area to purchase homes.

What types of homes can you find in these neighborhoods?

Expensive places have a range of different homes available which include condos, apartments and single-family houses. You can also find newer homes in some neighborhoods that are more expensive than older ones.

What is the cost of living in these areas?

The costs vary depending on where you live and what your lifestyle includes but it’s safe to say that there will be high monthly expenses including rent, food, transportation and others so make sure to plan ahead before moving to an expensive place.

What are the most common jobs in these areas?

There are a range of different jobs available for people who live here including those that involve technology, business, engineering and other fields that require higher education or training. These places also have larger companies with popular franchises which means there will be many job opportunities but some may pay lower salaries than other areas.

What are the best schools in these neighborhoods?

The best schools for families with children will be private or public depending on where you live but some of the most well-known ones include University High School, John F. Kennedy Elementary School and Stoneybrook West Elementary School which are all located near Buena Park.

How do you find an affordable place to live in California with high-speed internet access?

There are more options than ever for internet access so you can easily find an affordable place to live with high-speed internet. You may not be able to get it included in your monthly rent or utilities but there will likely be a number of providers available including Comcast, Spectrum and Frontier which all provide different deals that could help reduce the costs of having a high-speed internet connection.

What are the average salaries in these areas?

The annual household income is higher than most places at around $101,000 which means that people typically have a decent amount of money to spend on things they enjoy each month. This also includes very low unemployment rates with Buena Park having an even lower rate which is at about five percent.

What is the average cost of rent in these places?

The monthly costs for rent are typically higher than most other areas which means that you can expect to pay around $1500 per month on top of your utilities and internet which will be more expensive if they aren’t included in your lease agreement with some landlords requiring residents to pay for high-speed internet access.

Final Thoughts

 It’s no surprise that the most expensive places to live in California are also some of the richest. These cities have a high cost of living, but they offer an amazing quality of life for those who can afford it. If you want to live comfortably in one of these towns, your best bet is to move before age 30 and save up enough money so you don’t need a job when you arrive. This will allow you time to grow into your new city without having any debt or responsibilities holding you back from doing what makes sense for yourself there – all while saving up more cash!

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