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How to Understand Real Estate In California

Finding the cheapest place to live in California can be hard. Whether you’re moving from New York to California or you’re a California native, Real Estate in California can be complicated. And expensive. Between out dated property tax laws, inflated prices and staggeringly different regions with different needs, it can be difficult to understand the real estate market in California. We aren’t able to answer every question, but we worked out a couple tools to help make the process easier for you.

Should You Rent Or Buy?

This is always a difficult decision to make. Does it make more sense to rent or buy. Which one will save me more money, over how long, what about flexibility. We plan on adding more tools as time goes on, but for now, we break it down to see how much financial sense it makes in every area according to the price-rent ratio.

By County

The rent-to-buy ratio is a metric used to determine if you will save more money buying or by renting. At 15, it is generally considered that you should look at renting.  below that, it is generally believed you should buy. Below is a breakdown by County. If you want to learn more about the process, click here.

Cheapest Places to Live in California, According to Data

Interactive Zip

Obviously there can be a massive disparity within counties. So we created a map to break it down by zip code.

What’s Involved in Buying?

If you’re considering buying property in California, then¬† you probably have a few things to consider. Where can you afford to live, what do property taxes look like? and how much will it really cost. We put together a few tools to help you better understand the situation.

Disposable Income

Property Taxes

Unfortunately, we couldn’t clean out the data to see how much YOU would pay in property taxes. But don’t blame us, blame California’s property tax laws.


Mortgages are complicated and can vary by region and company. So we built PITI Calculator to help you better estimate of how much owning a home will cost. Check out this tool to see how much mortgage will cost if you add extra payments.

What if You Want To Rent

Whether you rent for the freedom, or because it simply makes more financial sense, you have to figure out where you can afford to live. We crunched the numbers and found how much you can expect to pay in different areas all over the state. This map is by county, but if you want to get a closer look, click on the county and see the median rent by zip code.
Rent Guide

What Should You Do While You Rent?


Property Tax Data: The 2010-2014 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, NAHB estimates
Home Value Data: Zillow Research

Want To Learn More About Real Estate in California?

One thought on “Cheapest Places to Live in California, According to Data”

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