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March 22, 2020

The Cost of Living in California - A Central Valley Story

It should come as no surprise when “California” and “Cost of Living” come up in the same sentence.  However, many people are just as surprised that not all of California is plagued by the housing market costs like San Francisco and Los Angeles.  The Central Valley is one of California’s undiscovered gems and comes with a median home price of just $218,000 in Fresno compared to $1,300,000 in San Francisco or $651,000 in Los Angeles.  For a fraction of the cost of living in the major metropolitan areas you can live just a few hours away while still enjoying all the aspects of California.

Real Estate Infographic

There are a ton of areas within The Valley that are not only developing at a rapid pace but also revitalizing the existing neighborhoods.  In an earlier blog I talked over what these new communities mean for not only the homebuyer but the current homeowner as well.  One of the most prominent examples of this is Clovis, CA.  Clovis is a rapidly expanding city with a population of over 112,000.  There are thousands of new homes being built in Clovis in 2020 and it is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.  On top of this Clovis also has one of the most amazing atmospheres in the famous “Old Town Clovis”.  This downtown portion is filled with some of the best food the valley has to offer, from steakhouses to vegan, there is an immense amount of variety and flair.  The street is also lined with various shops, from houseplants to clothing, you will be sure to find what you are looking for while walking through.

Clovis Gateway to the Sierras

While food and shopping may be great motivators for learning more about a new city the appeal doesn’t stop there.  According to research data by Zillow.com the cost of living is 20% below the California average.  Along with this the median home price is almost ¼ of the price in San Francisco and almost ½ the price of Los Angeles.  These are all amazing reasons to look at Clovis for your next home, however, these aren’t the only factors that you should consider when moving to a new area.

California Sunset

One of the most talked about points when moving from a higher cost of living area is what that translates to in salary.  According to research done by salary.com, moving from San Francisco to The Central Valley has a net positive impact of over 12% disposable income when factoring in a decrease in pay.  These massive cost of living savings make it much more affordable to live in The Central Valley while not having to break the bank in other major cities. 

How schools perform is another major talking point that should always be addressed when looking at a new location.  According to the USNews best high schools in California, University High School is the #10 high school in California and the #87 high school nationally.  Along with this Clovis Unified and Visalia Unified also have incredibly highly rated schools with exceptional graduation rates.

Yosemite Highway

Culture is another important aspect that is so important and is also overlooked when researching and deciding on a new location.  Questions like: How highly rated are local restaurants? How active is the surrounding area? What can we do for fun locally? and many other important lifestyle aspects are critical to learn more about.  The Central Valley offers so many different options because of its unique location within the state, these options give it such a great cultural foundation.  There are not only amazing locally owned restaurants, but it is located right in the backyard of Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and is home to some of the state’s best wineries. 

Winey landscape

No matter where you are looking to move it is hard to argue that California is such an amazing state to live in.  The cost of living, however, is one of the biggest turnoffs for anyone interested in the state.  If the cost of living is a deterrent for living in this wonderful state, please check out The Central Valley and learn more about all the amazing things it has to offer.  Remember, it is so important to understand the area that you are moving to and work with your real estate agent to find everything that is necessary for you to flourish in your new home! 

How We Rank the Best High Schools. (n.d.). Fresno Unified Public Schools | California | Best High Schools | US News. Retrieved March 1, 2020, from https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/california/districts/fresno-unified-100167

Salary.com. (2020, January 20). Cost of Living Comparison between San Francisco, CA and Fresno, CA. Retrieved March 1, 2020, from https://www.salary.com/research/cost-of-living/compare/san-francisco-ca/fresno-ca

Vivian McCutchen Real Estate
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