According to the latest data available, California had nearly 500 incorporated cities, and within their borders, there are usually many different neighborhoods. That makes finding the best one for owning property somewhat akin to finding a needle in a haystack.
To help narrow down your choices, we’ll provide a look at the top cities to own property in, along with the best neighborhoods in each.
A small town with a population of a little over 5,000, Williams is less than an hour northeast of Sacramento, yet the average sales price for a home is $380,000, far less than what you’d pay in the capital city where it’s closer to a half-million dollars. In San Francisco, just over 100 miles away, that number is nearly $1.5 million. Plus, it’s midway between the gorgeous Northern California coast and Lake Tahoe, less than a three-hour drive from either.
With many people searching for more affordable homes, especially in California, if you can score one in Williams, odds are, it will appreciate quickly. As the Sacramento metro area continues to expand north along Interstate 5, this area is expected to grow at a steady rate.
An agricultural community, there aren’t multiple neighborhoods, which means anywhere you buy, you’ll have access to great schools while being in a place where people work together to get things done.
There was a time when Oakland, located across the bay from San Francisco, was a place to avoid, but that’s all changed with the city now giving its more famous neighbor a run for the money. Many people are looking at Oakland houses for sale to avoid having to settle for a shoebox-sized place or having to share a place with a half-dozen roommates. Plus, there are major companies here like Pixar, multiple independent publishing houses, and an exploding startup scene.
The neighborhood you choose will make a big difference here, with the best to own property in, including Grand Lake with its picturesque lake views and properties that include everything from magnificent art deco homes to 1950s flats. Old Oakland boasts many beautifully preserved Victorians along with indie shops and a great choice of diverse restaurants, while Temescal is a trendy neighborhood popular with young grads and young families. It has an eclectic mix of options, ranging from pre-war duplexes to Victorian homes.
With its population increasing as those from across the bay and elsewhere move in, home prices are likely to continue to rise, making now a good time to buy.
Located an hour from San Diego and about a 90-minute drive southeast of Los Angeles, Temecula is in the heart of Southern California wine country. It’s not about big-city living here but enjoying a higher quality of life in a more tranquil spot away from skyscrapers. It offers low unemployment rates, high household incomes, breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys, and some of the world’s best wines.
The median home sale price here is $680,000, about $120K less than L.A. and $150K less than San Diego. The Chardonnay Hills neighborhood is one of the closest to wine country, with the rolling hills providing a spectacular backdrop. It hosts many parks, a spa, and an Olympic-size pool. Properties are single-family homes with cul-de-sacs developed in the 1990s.
For luxurious living, it’s hard to beat GlenOak Hills, established in 1969. This community boasts beautiful scenery with aromatic citrus groves and rustic vineyards. It includes custom homes that have anywhere from 2.5- to 10 acres of land. Amenities include parks, tennis courts, playgrounds, and a horse riding arena.