Los Angeles is an amazing place to live. The entire county is literally jam-packed with amazing places to go, things to see, popular attractions, fine arts, culture, nightlife, and more. However, that all comes at a high real estate price.
How expensive is it to live in Los Angeles?
According to the latest affordability index from the California Association of Realtors, the median home price is currently $756,020 or an average monthly payment of $3,480. That makes the minimum qualifying income for a home $139,200!
Because of the high cost of living, we’ve put together this list to help you find an affordable place to settle in this amazing county.
What part of LA is affordable?
There are approximately 90 cities within Los Angeles County, so we started to form our list by first finding the top 30 cities with the lowest average listing price. From there we decided to use one other factor to find the cities you should be living in – crime rates. The average violent crime rate in the state of California is 4.49 (number of violent crimes per 1,000 people).
The cities that made our top 10 list were those within the most affordable 30 cities which all had crime rates below the state average according to areavibes. So not only are these some of the most affordable Los Angeles cities, they’re the safest which means you should take a good look!
1. Bell Gardens
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Bell Gardens made it to the top of our list because it has the lowest crime rate on our entire list, just below West Covina. The city is one of five in LA County to legally allow casino gambling. The luxury Bicycle Casino is a major source of revenue for the city and community resource offering conference rooms for business and delicious dining for pleasure.
Located next to Cudahy, the small town is rich in California history with three major landmarked homes within the city. Flanked by the Rio Hondo and LA River bike paths, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. With plenty of real estate under $500,000 – a rarity in Southern California – Bell Gardens is popular among first-time home buyers.
2. West Covina
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Inventory in West Covina has been on the rise which means more home choices than ever. The low crime rate in West Covina gave it a high ranking on our list and for the price tag, this is a great city to settle into if you love Los Angeles County.
Located 19 miles east of LA’s Downtown area in San Gabriel Valley, West Covina is an extremely diverse community. According to the latest data, 77.2% of West Covina residents were born outside of the country with a large Asian and Hispanic population. Perhaps the city’s biggest claim to fame however is the CW show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which is set in the sunny SoCal suburb.
3. La Verne
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If the suburban life is for you, La Verne is a great place to live and own a home. The city is popular among young professionals and retirees, home to the University of La Verne which was founded in 1891.
The public schools are highly rated and the unemployment rate is only 3.9%! The city continues to grow in popularity with median property values rising as well, ranking 2.45 higher more than the national average according to recent data. The homeownership rate in La Verne, CA is also higher than the national average at 74.1%.
View Homes For Sale In Norwalk
Norwalk is bordered by the cities of Downy, Bellflower, Cerritos, Artesia, and Sante Fe Springs. As the 14th most populous city in Los Angeles County, the community is extremely diverse. As a relatively large city, it is traffic-heavy because of its location off of the 5 Freeway – so you’ll have to weigh those pros and cons yourself.
The city is also home to Cerritos College and is served by several different school districts including the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District. The city offers tons of things to do including local sports with baseball centers, regular community fairs, street markets, and more. It is a great place to raise a family because of the good school district with plenty of after-school activities as well. Affordable Los Angeles cities don’t get better than this!
Local landmarks include Downtown Norwalk with the State Court Hous as well as the Town Square, Norwalk Arts and Sports Complex, and Don Knabe Golf Center.
5. Pico Rivera
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Pico Rivera is centrally located within the county, just 11 miles from downtown Los Angeles and within close proximity to LAX airport and the ports of Long Beach. Community friendly, the city has 9 parks including 18 athletic fields, four community centers, a nine-hole golf course, and a skate park.
The average home value in Pico Rivera is just over $600,000 which is below the average in LA county. Originally an agricultural area like most of Los Angeles’ suburbs, the area is now densely populated with residential housing, offering easy access to recreational opportunities with under just under 100 acres of local parks.
6. El Monte
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Located near the 10 and 60 freeways, El Monte is centrally located and a diverse community. El Monte is also the home of the metro station which is really convenient for those residents who do not drive or own a car.
El Monte is probably best known as “The End of the Santa Fe Trail,” and the rich transportation history is reflected in its highly trafficked transit center. The state-of-the-art El Monte Bus Station connects the Valley to Downtown L.A. and serves roughly 22,000 passengers every day. The city has several parks, tons of local eateries, and affordable real estate!
7. La Puente
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The city of La Puente has a population of 114,928 and has a 70% homeownership rate among residents. La Puente is a great city to invest in now because home values and prices have appreciated since last year – listing prices are up 23.9%. A small city with a population of about 40,000 people, real estate in La Puente offers tons of single-family homes, perfect for first-time homebuyers.
Perhaps the most iconic thing in La Puente is The Donut Hole, a drive-through donut shop. Literally, a colossal donut that you can drive your car through, The Donut Hole is a must-visit for anyone in the LA area. Take a look at La Puente homes for sale and see if this community is right for you.
Duarte is a relatively small city in L.A. County with a population of 29,160, located just outside of one of the most expensive zip codes in the country. Bounded to the north by the San Gabriel Mountains, Duarte is surrounded by the cities of Irwindale, Bradbury, Monrovia and Azusa.
Fun fact, historic Route 66 runs through the heart of the city, and every September the city holds a Salute to Route 66 Parade. This year the city turned 64 and celebrated with a special themed carnival at Royal Oaks park.
The family-friendly city with plenty of affordable real estate to choose from, the city is also known for the City of Hope National Medical Center, a leader in fighting cancer and other catastrophic diseases.
View Homes For Sale In Whittier
Located on the Orange County border, this LA suburb is brimming with charm. With its convenient location and small-town feel, Whittier was ranked as one of the top 100 cities to live in the United States. Just outside the hustle and bustle of larger cities, Whittier is the perfect mix of convenience and charm.
Whittier is welcoming and walkable, and the city is made up of several smaller neighborhoods each with its own flair including several historic districts. Whittier College also attracts a young demographic to the city. The historic core of the city, known as the Uptown Whittier District encompasses three square miles offering dining, shopping, entertainment, and more.
Though far from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Whittier does have its own cinematic claim to fame. Hill Valley High School, where Marty McFly meets his parents in Back to the Future, George and Lorraine McFly, is actually Whittier High School. When it comes to affordable suburbs in Southern California, you can’t go wrong in Whittier.
Public schools in Downey are above average and the diverse community offers tons of things to do. The suburb is starting to become more urban, recently opening more bars, restaurants and shopping centers. More modern, upbeat, and exciting opportunities have arisen within the city for homeowners.
For more information on any of the cities and the most affordable Los Angeles County real estate, connect with one of our local First Team agents. With over 2,000 agents across Southern California, we’ve got local experts in all areas ready to help you find the right home to fit your budget.