8 cheap places to live near LA

By peachy

It’s common knowledge that the cost of living in Los Angeles can be quite steep, especially when it comes to housing. However, if your heart is set on being near the city but your wallet is urging you to look elsewhere, fear not. There are several neighboring cities where the cost of living is substantially less but still accessible enough to LA’s urban excitement.

Here are eight budget-friendly options near LA that you may want to consider for your next home.

Nearby LA-adjacent Cities to Consider

Ontario, CA

  • Commute to Downtown LA: The average driving time from Ontario to Downtown LA is around 40 minutes, although it can take up to almost an hour depending on traffic conditions. The bus journey from Ontario to LA averages around 1 hour and 15 minutes​.
  • Housing Prices: The median home listing price in Ontario is approximately $500,000. The price per square foot is around $330. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Ontario is roughly $1,700 per month.
  • City Atmosphere: Ontario has a chill suburban vibe but with a sprinkle of city life. It has a variety of different neighborhoods, each with its own atmosphere, much like the mix you’d find in LA. There’s never a dull moment in Ontario with plenty of places to eat, shop, and hang out. You have your choice of malls, parks, museums, and art galleries to explore. Places like Ontario Mills mall and Victoria Gardens are popular places for people to shop and grab a bite.

Pomona, CA

  • Commute to Downtown LA: Driving from Pomona to Downtown LA is a straight shot, about 30 miles. With traffic it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. If you’re not up for the drive, you can catch a Metrolink train from Downtown Pomona to LA Union Station. It’ll get you there in about 50 minutes. Or hop on a Foothill Transit bus. It’s a bit slower but still gets you to LA in under an hour.
  • Housing Prices: For those interested in renting, the median monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment floats around $1,650. If you’re looking to purchase a home, the median listing price stands at about $600,000.
  • City Atmosphere: Pomona has a mix of a laid-back suburban feel with a splash of artsy vibes, somewhat reminiscent of the cultural pockets in LA. It’s a city where the community cherishes its historical roots, which you can see in the well-preserved architectural styles downtown, while also nurturing a growing creative community. There’s more than a handful of neat places in Pomona. The city holds its own with events like the Pomona Art Walk and the Classic Car Show that draw locals and visitors alike. Take a trip back in time at the Phillips Mansion or get your art fix at the dA Center for the Arts. And for a shopping spree, easily visit Ontario Mills or Victoria Gardens in the neighboring towns.

San Bernardino, CA

  • Commute to Downtown LA: On average, the driving time from San Bernardino to Downtown LA is about 1 hour to 1.5 hours via I-10 W, but this can extend to over 2 hours during peak traffic times. Taking a train might be a more predictable option; the Metrolink San Bernardino Line can get you to Union Station in about 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • Housing Prices: The median home listing price ranges from $400,000 to $500,000. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Bernardino ranges from $1,300 to $1,600.
  • City Atmosphere: San Bernardino offers a quieter, more laid-back environment compared to LA, known for its scenic nature views. Although it’s less bustling, you won’t find yourself bored. The city has a fair share of cultural spots, recreational areas, and shopping centers to explore. The San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum is a local gem for history buffs, while the Glen Helen Amphitheater hosts various concerts and events. For those who love the outdoors, the San Bernardino National Forest is a short drive away, offering numerous trails and camping spots.

Riverside, CA

  • Commute to Downtown LA: The drive from Riverside to Downtown LA generally takes about an hour, though this can extend significantly during peak traffic hours. Public transit options, such as the Metrolink, offer an alternative, with travel times also around an hour or slightly more depending on the specific timings and connections.
  • Housing Prices: The median home listing price here hovers around $700,00​. A one-bedroom apartment averages at about $1,850.
  • City Atmosphere: Riverside has its own set of attractions to keep locals entertained. It’s home to a variety of cultural and outdoor venues, like the Riverside Art Museum, March Field Air Museum, and the UC Riverside Botanic Gardens, to name a few. There’s a lively arts scene, with events and festivals happening throughout the year.

Corona, CA

  • Commute to Downtown LA: You’re looking at around a 1-hour drive without traffic, but it can extend to 1.5 to 2 hours or more during rush hours. Using public transportation might take around 2 to 3 hours, depending on the connections and time of day.
  • Housing Prices: The median home listing price in Corona stands at $700,000​. When it comes to renting, the average cost for a one-bedroom apartment varies slightly with an average of $1,800​.
  • City Atmosphere: Corona, often referred to as the “Circle City” due to its unique street layout, has a suburban feel. It’s a place where families, young professionals, and retirees can find their niche. The city has a good number of parks, restaurants, and shopping centers. With its numerous parks and outdoor activities, Corona is a desirable place for nature lovers. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Cleveland National Forest is right at the doorstep offering hiking, camping, and other recreational activities. Plus, you’re not too far from the beaches, mountain resorts, and other attractions Southern California is famous for.

Palmdale, CA

  • Commute to Downtown LA: The drive from Palmdale to Downtown LA typically ranges from 60 to 70 minutes, although this can extend significantly during peak traffic hours. Public transit options are limited; however, the Metrolink offers a direct but lengthy connection to the city, which is a viable option for those preferring not to drive.
  • Housing Prices: The median home listing price is around $400,000, significantly lower than many parts of LA. On the rental front, the costs are also lower, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment hovering around $1,300 per month.
  • City Atmosphere: Palmdale offers a quieter, suburban atmosphere, providing a respite from the buzz of urban life. Despite its suburban nature, Palmdale has a growing local scene with a range of eateries, shops, and cultural venues. The proximity to the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest, along with the beautiful poppy reserves in the Antelope Valley, offer plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities.

Lancaster, CA

  • Commute to Downtown LA: Lancaster, situated further north from Palmdale, has a commute time to Downtown LA typically ranging from 70 to 90 minutes by car, depending on traffic conditions. Similar to Palmdale, public transit options are somewhat limited but the Metrolink does provide a direct route to Downtown LA, though it is a lengthy commute.
  • Housing Prices: The median home listing price in Lancaster hovers around $350,000. The lower cost extends to the rental market as well, with average rental prices for a one-bedroom apartment usually around $1,200 to $1,300 per month.
  • City Atmosphere: Much like its neighboring city Palmdale, Lancaster offers a quieter, suburban ambiance with a slower pace of life which can be a pleasant contrast to city life. It has its own charm with a growing local scene that includes a variety of eateries, shops, and some cultural venues. The city is also known for its annual California Poppy Festival, celebrating the blooming of poppies in the nearby Antelope Valley. The proximity to natural recreational areas such as the Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel Mountains also provides ample outdoor activities for residents looking for a respite from urban life.

Victorville, CA

  • Commute to Downtown LA: The commute from Victorville to Downtown LA takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes, although it can be longer during peak traffic hours. The bus journey time also averages around 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Housing Prices: The median home price in Victorville ranges from $400,000 to $450,000. Rental prices are also relatively lower, with the average cost for a one-bedroom apartment being approximately $1,300 per month​.
  • City Atmosphere: While it may not have as vibrant a cultural scene, Victorville provides a more peaceful environment and a lower cost of living, which could be attractive to individuals or families looking to escape the high prices and fast pace of LA. Its location also provides access to natural beauty and recreational activities in nearby areas such as the San Bernardino Mountains and the Mojave Desert.

Moving to or near Los Angeles doesn’t have to break the bank. With the right guidance, you can find a place that meets both your budget and your lifestyle needs.

Whether you’re transitioning into the city or somewhere nearby, there’s no better partner for your move than Piece of Cake Moving & Storage. Our team of professionals are adept at navigating the nuances of city relocations. We offer a comprehensive suite of moving services, from moving essentials to full-service packing and unpacking. And with our transparent flat fee guarantee you’ll have peace of mind for both your sanity and your finances. Let us help you with your LA-adjacent move so that you can enjoy the best of both worlds as soon as possible.

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