California may be known for its high property taxes. After all, median property tax bills can exceed $9,000 in some areas of the state. But not every homeowner in California pays a high tax bill (at least compared to other Californians). The cheapest places to live in California have median property tax bills below $2,000, and median home prices in these counties are below the state average.
Cheapest places to live in California
After ranking property tax bills to determine the cheapest places to live in California, one thing is clear. Rural areas of the state generally offer more affordable living than highly populated areas. So, if big-city living isn’t on your must-have list, check out these California counties.
[Data used to rank the cheapest counties in California is based on median property tax bills provided by the US Census Bureau and presented by the Tax Foundation. Median home prices are based on selling prices rather than listing prices and are based on data presented by Redfin.]
Median Property Tax Bill: $1,924
Median Home Price: $415,000
Home prices are fairly high in Sierra County, with a median selling price of more than $400,000. However, the median property tax bill of $1,924 is low compared to many other areas of California. Relocating to this county may be a good option for Californians looking for a rural lifestyle. Sierra County is home to several scenic landmarks, including the Tahoe National Forest and Independence Lake.
Median Property Tax Bill: $1,909
Median Home Price: $341,000
Lake County is a rural area located in Northern California. The county is known for its plentiful grapes and delectable wine. But this part of California sees fewer tourists than many regions of the state, which makes it a desirable location for some Californians. And with median property tax bills of just over $1,900, Lake County is one of the cheapest places to live in California.
Median Property Tax Bill: $1,891
Median Home Price: $377,000
Glenn County, California is known for its rich farmlands, and agriculture largely drives the county’s economy. The median home price in Glenn County is slightly higher than in other counties on this list, but compared to the rest of the state, home costs are below average. And, of course, median property tax bills are below the state average, too.
Median Property Tax Bill: $1,839
Median Home Price: $369,000
With median property tax bills below $1,900 and a short drive to California’s coastline, Tulare County might be a good option for home seekers who want to remain in the state. The county is well known for its rich agriculture and is home to several public recreational areas, including the Sequoia National Park.
Median Property Tax Bill: $1,753
Median Home Price: $213,000
Trinity County features dense forests and mountains, not to mention some of the most affordable housing California has to offer. Home prices are well below the state average, as are property tax bills. Of course, residents of Trinity County will still be subject to California state income and sales taxes, which can climb higher than in most states.
Median Property Tax Bill: $1,665
Median Home Price: $298,000
California isn’t all crowded beaches and highways. Siskiyou County is home to beautiful mountains, scenic rivers, and several lakes and streams. With median property tax bills below $1,700 per year, the area could make the perfect relocation spot for California families who enjoy exploring nature.
Median Property Tax Bill: $1,615
Median Home Price: $225,000
The median home price in Lassen County, California is slightly lower than in Siskiyou County, and property tax bills are lower, too. Lassen County is located in Northeast California and is yet another rural area of the state, featuring rich farmlands, forests, and scenic mountains.
Median Property Tax Bill: $1,613
Median Home Price: $314,000
You will find plenty of recreational activities in Tehama County, such as hiking, camping, and fishing. In the centermost part of the county, residents can visit the Sacramento River, one the most well-known Salmon spawning rivers in the nation. Residents can enjoy all this while paying some of the lowest property tax bills in the state.
Del Norte County
Median Property Tax Bill: $1,586
Median Home Price: $380,000
If you’re interested in Northwestern California, consider Del Norte County. Median property tax bills are among the lowest in the state, at below $1,600, and there are plenty of things for families to do. You can walk through redwood forests, visit an aquarium, or enjoy whale watching on the Pacific Ocean.
Median Property Tax Bill: $1,351
Median Home Price: $290,000
According to Redfin, the Modoc County housing market is competitive, and given the low property tax bills and reasonable home prices, it’s easy to understand why. This Northeastern California county is one of the least populated in the state, so it may be a good choice for people who don’t want their neighbors close by.
Katelyn has more than 6 years’ experience working in tax and finance. While she specializes in tax content, Katelyn has also written for digital publications on topics including insurance, retirement and financial planning and has had financial advice commissioned by national print publications. She believes that knowledge is the key to success and enjoys helping others reach their goals by providing content that educates and informs.
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