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Top 10 Most Affordable Cities in Southern California

Top 10 Most Affordable Cities in Southern California

California Dreamin’ wasn’t #89 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time for nothing. Aside from its popularity as a song and being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the song epitomizes the desire and longing that so many have felt to be in California — not just during the winter months or for Tinseltown, but for those California Girls.

With 38.8 million people living in California, and 22.68 million of them in Southern California alone, just knowing that the state has over 12% of the US population makes one wonder what the big draw is.

California Sound and the Beach Boys aside, Southern California is actually a great place for raising a family, has nearly-perfect weather year round, and well, you’ll be living the California Dream. Below, we’ve listed the top Southern California cities to live in.

Irvine

As #1 on the NerdWallet’s list for best cities for young families in Southern California, and in the top 100 on Livability’s list of best places to live, Irvine is at the top of our list for a reason. Set just a little inland, Irvine has consistently ranked as one of the best places to live. Its livability score on AreaVibes is 86, and it received A’s all across the board (aside from cost of living). With 10 higher education campuses and continually generous support for public schools, Irvine is one of the best places for families. Irvine has a medium income rate of $92,663 and only a 7.64 unemployment percentage, far less than the nation’s average.

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    Fullerton

    Fullerton is a quaint, picturesque city set in Orange County. With one of the top Public Schools and a rating of 8 out of 10 for Capistrano Unified School District, Fullerton has been ranked as an “Exceptionally Livable” city. With a lower median housing value than most Orange County cities, nine different parks within one mile of each other, and at least a dozen libraries and book shops, Fullerton offers families a wonderful living experience. With better scores for education, weather, employment, and even better housing, Fullerton ranks higher than Provo, UT — which ranked higher than it on Top 100 Best Places to Live.

    fullerton

      Costa Mesa

      With the Orange County Fair, Pacific Amphitheatre, and South Coast Plaza all close by, Costa Mesa is another top city in Southern California to live in. Also considered “exceptionally livable,” Costa Mesa has high graduation rates and an extremely stable housing market. Between Huntington Beach and Newport, Costa Mesa is a short drive to the beach and surpasses the supposed #1 place to live in the US, Madison, WI, with a higher median household income and a lower crime rate — Costa Mesa should really be #1 on that list.

      sealbeach

        Seal Beach

        With a Greatschools rating of 10 on NerdWallet, Seal Beach, California is not just one of the best, but one of the cheaper choices for families in Southern California. With top company Boeing calling Seal Beach home, it has one of the lowest housing values in California. At $286,400, Seal Beach also competes with another top US city to live in — Arlington, Virginia. As #3 on the Top 100 Best Places to Live, Arlington’s median housing value rockets to $577,300. Seal Beach also has a higher high school graduation rate than Arlington, at 93%. Seal Beach boasts a tight-knit community — when the pier needed major rebuilding, the community came together to save the pier and raised $2.3 million.

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          Rancho Santa Margarita

          As #2 on NerdWallet’s top Southern California cities, Rancho Santa Margarita definitely is on our list! With a small-town feel, Rancho Santa Margarita has a high-quality education background with a 94% graduation rate. With an exceptionally high median household income of $102,975, Rancho Santa Margarita’s small and local businesses have played a huge role in the city’s growth since 1999. (According to NerdWallet, there was a 31.22% income increase from 1999 to 2012!)

          cypress

            Cypress

            The quaint suburb town of Cypress, California is a great place for new families. With great neighborhoods and a Greatshools rating of 9 from NerdWallet, Cypress ranks high on the AreaVibes livability scale. Cypress battles the #2 best place to live, Rochester, MN, with a lower crime rate and higher median household income. Oh, and don’t forget the better weather! Cypress ranks an A+ on local.niche.com

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            placentia

              Placentia

              With a 46% lower crime rate than anywhere else in California, Placentia is a great and safe place to raise a family. Placentia also has a higher average household income ($75,693) than even San Diego ($63,990). It also has a high graduation rate, like most other California cities, and was named the “second-best place to live” in California according to The Orange County Register. Among this, Placentia also has a low unemployment rate, sits next to some beautiful lakes, and has great weather!

              Citrus_groves,_Golden_Ave.,_Placentia,_June_1961

                Murrieta

                Nestled between Temecula and Corona, Murrieta, California is a booming town in Riverside County. With a 133.7% population increase from the years 2000 to 2010, Murrieta definitely ranks on our top 10 cities. With an extremely low average housing value, at $286,600, Murrieta competes with our other top cities to live in. It also ranks 48% lower in crime rate compared to other California cities, and even Boulder, CO — which hits #4 for livability. Murrieta also has a much lower cost of living than Boulder and a higher household income, at $75,485.

                anaheim

                  Anaheim

                  Home of the Anaheim Angels and Disneyland, Anaheim California is the epitome of California Dreamin’. With a lower housing value than most other Orange County cities, at $415,900, Anaheim’s beautiful summer temperatures and great sightseeing make it a fun and adventurous place to live.

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                    Westminster

                    As another top city with a lower housing value ($462,100) than most California cities, Westminster has a wonderfully stable housing market. It’s even ranked as “extremely livable!” It has a great high income per capita and tons of great local amenities. With its close proximity to the LA metropolitan area and Little Saigon, Westminster offers great fun for families. It also scores an A+ on local.niche.com, and even though you may run into some notorious LA traffic, you can be sure to find great a personal injury attorney close by.

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                      Featured photo credit: Cypress at Lover’s Point Park, Monterey Bay/Ed Suominen via flic.kr

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                      Last Updated on February 11, 2021

                      The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

                      The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

                      Instagram allows you to see exactly what inspires people and how creativity is drawn from their everyday life. We use Instagram to capture what makes us smile, what brings joy to our life, and what we are passionate about, and the accounts listed below are sure to inspire you in turn.

                      Here are our 20 top creative Instagram accounts that you should be following today.

                      1. Humans Of New York

                      Brandon Stanton walks the streets of New York City taking street photography, and he gets his subjects to open up about life details that even many family members may not know about them. It makes you smile and connect with the images at a new level.

                       2.  Paris in Four Months

                      Carin Olsson moved to Paris and is documenting every part of her experience, from the macaroons to the Eiffel Tower with all of its shimmering lights. If you want to go to Paris but can’t get there today, Carin will take you.

                      3. Civilized Caveman Cooking

                      George Bryant offers up more than his love for cooking Paleo cuisine as he shares more about life, joy, and happiness. His coined hashtag is #hugsandbacon.

                      4. Andrew Knapp

                      Andrew has taken the world by storm with his adorable version of Where’s Waldo? His version is Find Momo, and stars his border collie.

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                      5. Idafrosk

                      Ida Skivenes has developed a knack for food art. From the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Strawberry Fields Forever, she has recreated it all with food.

                      6. GrandmaBetty33

                      Grandma Betty is fighting cancer and is inspiring others to smile and be happy in life. She brings a smile to your face instantly and is like having your grandma right beside you.

                      7. Maya_on_the_Move

                      Tania Ahsan captures the world of her cute bulldog, Maya, on her adventures in New York. Maya makes appearances that will make you smile, laugh, and inspire you to go out and create something special.

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                      8. Leoleoparis

                      Leo captures the life on the streets of Paris. Most of his work is done in black and white, offering that iconic Parisian look.

                      9. Jacob Santiago

                      Jacob Santiago creates stunning, vibrant images around New York City, showcasing the architecture and streets. I’m sure you haven’t seen the streets of NYC like this before.

                      10. Julie’s Kitchen

                      Julie Lee showcases how everyday produce can create colorful art designs. At first glance, you think it is just a design; then, a second take illustrates that it is really fruits and vegetables.

                      11. iloveplaymo

                      iloveplaymo brings together photography and Playmobil toys in action. The images are up to date with current world events and everyday life.

                      12. “Red” Hong Yi

                      Red Hong Yi loves to paint without a paintbrush. Her style uses daily items to create lovely images.

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                      13. Alexis Diaz

                      A breathtaking artist from Puerto Rico who loves to paint murals. Alexis’s work is featured all over the world.

                      14. Murad Osmann

                      Murad Osmann is a music video producer, but his claim to fame on Instagram has been his photographs with his girlfriend leading him by her hand.

                      15. Simone Bramate

                      Simone Bramate is a storyteller who just so happens to take delightful photos as well.

                      16. Willie Kessel

                      Willie Kessel brings beach life right to your smartphone. Amazing surf and lifestyle images that take your mind off of all of the work and stress in your life.

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                      17. Nick Ulivieri

                      Nick Ulivieri is a talented photographer who loves to capture the windy city of Chicago and skies, especially during storms. His images are gorgeous and make you realize how wonderful life really is.

                      18. Jo Jerry

                      Jo Jerry’s landscape photos around Santorini, Greece, make you want to book a flight immediately. The bright colors and simplicity in the images make his photos stand out from the rest.

                      19. GoPro

                      GoPro uses fan-sourced images on their account that are all captured with a GoPro. Creativity to the max is used in these images and range from the grocery store to incredible surf.

                      20. Vin Farrell

                      Vin Farrell is a creative who works on the agency side for large clients and has a knack for photography. His iPhone captures amazing aerial images around NYC and the world.

                      Featured photo credit: Andy via flickr.com

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