What Are The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In L.A.?


What Are the Cheapest Places to Live in L.A

Los Angeles is one of the most expensive cities in the world.  If you were a family of four, you could expect that your expenses would be around $3,800 a month, not including your rent or mortgage. The cost of living in L.A. is estimated to be 43% higher than the national average. Housing is around 127% more expensive, and groceries are 12% more expensive on average. There are some cheaper options, though.

Crenshaw is the cheapest place to live in L.A., with a median rent of just $930. The median home value in Crenshaw is $326,400. Jefferson Park is also a cheap place to live in L.A., with a median rent of $1,063. Some of the other cheapest places to live in L.A. include Lakeview Terrace, Historic South-Central, and North Hills.

The Fashion District in Downtown Los Angeles also has a median rent price of just $1,000 and a cost of living that’s 33% lower than the L.A. average. Watts is a cheap place to live, frequently highlighted in music and pop culture, with a cost of living that’s around 23% lower than the Los Angeles average.

The 10 Cheapest Places to Live In Los Angeles

The following are our selections for the cheapest places to live in L.A., based primarily on rent and home prices, and cost of living compared to the rest of the city.

1. Lakeview Terrace

  • Median rent price: $1,165
  • Median home value: $310,750
  • Median household income: $63,340
  • Population: 2,000
  • Cost of living compared to the Los Angeles average: 10% lower

Lake View Terrace is a suburban Los Angeles neighborhood that’s in the San Fernando Valley. It’s surrounded by the Angeles National Forest and Little Tujunga Canyon, as well as part of the Verdugo Mountains. Lakeview Terrace is adjacent to Sunland, Sun Valley, and San Fernando. Lake View Terrace is an equestrian community, and it’s often viewed as being a rural place to call home. Residents say they enjoy how quiet Lake View Terrace is, but they still have proximity to city amenities. It’s just around 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles.

While the cost of living in Lake View Terrace is 26% more expensive than the U.S. average, it’s actually lower than that of L.A. and California. The crime in Lake View Terrace is 19% lower than the U.S. average, and the median home value is around 24% lower than the California average.

2. Crenshaw

  • Median rent price: $931
  • Median home value: $326,400
  • Median household income: $53,300
  • Population: 26,800
  • Cost of living compared to the Los Angeles average: 10% lower

Crenshaw is in South Los Angeles. Is adjacent to Baldwin Hills, which is more upscale and expensive. Crenshaw is also bordered by Ladera Heights, Jefferson Park, and Culver City. The cost of living in Crenshaw is around 10% lower than the rest of California. The median rent price is under $1,000, which makes it an appealing neighborhood if you’re looking for an inexpensive place to live in Los Angeles.

There is an issue with the crime rate being high in Crenshaw, however. The total crime per 100,000 people is 4,435, which is 78% higher than the national average. There’s a 1 in 23 chance of being a victim of crime in Crenshaw heights.

3. Jefferson Park

  • Median rent price: $1,063
  • Median home value: $385,400
  • Median household income: $43,600
  • Population: 8,750
  • Cost of living compared to the Los Angeles average: 10% lower

Jefferson Park is in South Los Angeles and is west of the University of Southern California. The homes are primarily cottages and bungalows, and there has been a wave of new residents coming to the community because of its affordability relative to the rest of Los Angeles. There is an active community association in Jefferson Park that works hard to maintain the historic homes.

Jefferson Park is between Crenshaw and Western Avenue, and it was at one point one of the wealthiest parts of the city. The architecture features Art Deco homes and Craftsman bungalows, and they often have their original details like stained glass windows and hand-crafted woodworking. The cost of living in Jefferson Park is 5% lower than California.

4. Vermont Vista

  • Median rent price: $1,185
  • Median home value: $392,400
  • Median household income: $38,970
  • Population: 27,000
  • Cost of living compared to the Los Angeles average: 16% lower

Vermont Vista is a neighborhood in South Los Angeles. It’s a densely populated community with residents from diverse backgrounds. It provides easy access to the rest of Los Angeles because of how close it is to the freeways. Vermont Vista is bounded by Manchester Boulevard to the north and West 120th street to the south.

Around 63% of the residents in Vermont Vista rent their homes, while 37% are homeowners. With a  median rent under $1,200, Vermont Vista could be a good option for anyone looking for the cheapest places to live in L.A.

5. North Hills

  • Median rent price: $1,200
  • Median home value: $323,000
  • Median household income: $55,344
  • Population: 99,500
  • Cost of living compared to the Los Angeles average: 13% lower

North Hills was once known as Sepulveda, and it’s part of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. To the south is Van Nuys and Granada Hills is to the north. North Hills may be 28% more expensive in terms of cost of living than the rest of the country, but it’s 13% lower than Los Angeles on average.  The median household income in North Hills is around $55,300, while the income per capita is $20,500.

The median home value is 21% lower than the California average, and the homeownership rate in this Los Angeles neighborhood is only 38%. Residents of North Hills say that it’s a pet-friendly, suburban area, and they mostly feel safe walking around the neighborhood.

6. Historic South-Central

  • Median rent price: $1,140
  • Median home value: $414,650
  • Median household income: $39,500
  • Population: 55,780
  • Cost of living compared to the Los Angeles average: 11% lower

Historic-South Central is one of the cheapest places to live in L.A., with a median household income under $40,000 and a median rent price under $1,200. Around 80% of households in South-Central are renter-occupied. Historic South-Central is just one of the many neighborhoods that are part of South Los Angeles, directly below Downtown. Historic South-Central is a diverse neighborhood, and it has one of the highest population densities in the city and county.

While Historic South-Central remains one of the cheapest places to live in Los Angeles, there has been pushback against gentrification. There’s been an influx of new condo developments and property values have been going up. Residents hope that they can keep prices affordable for members of the community, many of whom have lived there for decades. The median household income in Historic South-Central is only around $39,500, compared to the national median of $62,840.

7. Fashion District

  • Median rent price: $1,000
  • Median home value: 89,350
  • Median household income: $39,866
  • Population: 2,500
  • Cost of living compared to the Los Angeles average: 32% lower

The Fashion District neighborhood in Los Angeles is the hub of the apparel industry on the west coast. It’s in Downtown Los Angeles, and it includes a lot of warehouses with wholesale clothing and accessories. The Downtown neighborhood was once known as the Garment District.

There are both pros and cons to living in the Fashion District. If you live there, you’ll enjoy a cost of living that’s 1% less expensive than the U.S. average, which is rare to find in Los Angeles. However, the median household income is also 28% lower than the national average, and the crime is 69% higher. Only around 11% of neighborhood residents own their homes, and the median home value is 52% lower than the country-wide average.

8. Central City East

  • Median rent price: $1,200
  • Median home value: $408,571
  • Median household income: $44,386
  • Population: 7,200
  • Cost of living compared to the Los Angeles average: 7% lower

Central City East is part of the Central Region of Los Angeles. Other neighborhoods that are part of Central Los Angeles include Westlake and Hollywood, as well as Wilshire. Central City East is home to the infamous Skid Row, but it’s also an affordable place to live in Los Angeles, which can be difficult to find.

The median rent price in Central City East is around $1,200, and only about 15% of residents own their homes. The income per capita is 9% lower than the national average at $27,090. Despite the low overall cost of living, there are issues to be aware of for residents in Central City East. For example, the crime is 290% higher than the U.S. average, putting your chance of being a victim at 1 in 11.

9. Central-Alameda

Central-Alameda

  • Median rent price: $1,172
  • Median home value: $365,371
  • Median household income: $41,400
  • Population: 46,770
  • Cost of living compared to the Los Angeles average: 11% lower

A neighborhood spanning just over two square miles, Central-Alameda is in South Los Angeles. It’s to the south of Downtown Los Angeles and to the east of Historic South-Central. Central-Alameda is considered a walkable neighborhood with good public transportation, and it has an active community association. Interestingly, the median age in Central-Alameda is just 22. Around 72% of Central-Alameda residents rent their homes, with just 28% being homeowners.

10. Watts

  • Median rent price: $980
  • Median home value: $214,000
  • Median household income: $29,288
  • Population: 40,800
  • Cost of living compared to the Los Angeles average: 23% lower

Watts is a South Los Angeles neighborhood that borders Lynwood and South Gate. Unfortunately, Watts is one of the lowest-income Los Angeles neighborhoods, but it’s also one of the least expensive for residents. The income per capita in Watts is only $9,851. Watts is known for the Watts Towers landmark, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The community is frequently mentioned in music and is often the setting for movies and TV shows. Notable people who were born or raised in Watts include Tyrese Gibson, Etta James, Dr. Dre, and Nipsey Hussle. Crime is an issue in Watts, with a total crime rate that’s around 51% higher than the national average, but it has gone down in recent years.

Summing Up

Los Angeles is known as being one of the most expensive cities in the world. As of March 2021, the average cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment was around $2,260 a month. For a three-bedroom apartment, the average is more than $4,300. The average cost to buy a home in Los Angeles is nearly $810,000, and day-to-day costs like food are also more expensive in L.A.

With that in mind, there are some cheaper places to call home in L.A. There are communities, primarily in South L.A., where you can find rent prices that average less than $1,500 and, in some cases, even $1,200.

Ashley Sutphin

Ashley Sutphin Watkins studied journalism at the University of North Carolina. She now works as a full-time writer with an interest in all things real estate and interior design. She lives in East Tennessee and enjoys the nearby Smoky Mountains with her family.

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