What Is The Cost Of Living In Long Beach, CA?

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by Upgraded Home Team

Located roughly 30 minutes away from downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach, California is a busy port city with a bustling waterfront full of exciting attractions. With beautiful weather close to 365 days a year, Long Beach is also a haven for swimmers, bikers, and runners. Of course, that all sounds great, but how is the cost of living in Long Beach, CA?

The cost of living in Long Beach, CA is significantly higher than the United States average, with a median home cost of between $741,000. Overall housing costs are over 2-1/2 times the national average.

With a cost of living index of 160.4, it is more expensive to live in Long Beach than in several other regions in California (which is rated at 149.9 for the entire state). Though the cost of living is much higher than the national average, it is cheaper to live in Long Beach than in other big California cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. Here is a breakdown of exactly how much you might spend to live each month in Long Beach, California.

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How Much Do Houses Cost In Long Beach, CA?

Owning a home in Long Beach, California, is significantly more expensive than the rest of the United States, and even the state of California at large. This is due to its proximity to Los Angeles, one of the most expensive cities in the world.

The median home cost in California is nearly $883,400, while the median cost in Long Beach is over $741,000. However, that is cheaper than the median cost in Los Angeles of over $700,000. Home prices have been rising at a rate of over 10% annually in the Los Angeles area, including Long Beach, but interest rates remain low.

The majority of homes in Long Beach are worth between $50,000 and $749,999. Only roughly 3% of properties have a value below $100,000, while approximately 9% are worth over $1,000,000.

It Could Be Tough To Buy A House In Long Beach, CA

Housing costs have been increasing rapidly as supply dwindles. Buying a home right now in Long Beach can be difficult, especially with many individuals and families priced out of Los Angeles and investors viewing Long Beach as an attractive alternate and a city on the rise.

If you are interested in owning a home in Long Beach right now, it may take an all-cash offer over the asking price to land a home. If you’d prefer to wait out the buying frenzy, renting may be a better option.

How Much Is Rent In Long Beach, CA?

Competition for housing in Long Beach is fierce, especially in the rental market. This is due to the fact that only 2.1% of the local housing stock is available for rent.

Here is what you can expect to pay based on the size of the unit:

Style Of HomePrice Per Month
1 Bedroom$1,503
2 Bedroom$1,915
3 Bedroom$2524
4 Bedroom$2,749

How Much Are Taxes In Long Beach?

Los Angeles County, where Long Beach is located, has one of the highest property tax rates in the state of California at 1.175%. This is something you will have to consider if moving from a low-tax state or buying a home for the first time.

On average, a homeowner in Long Beach can expect to pay roughly $3,938 per year in property taxes. Of course, your exact figure will depend on the cost of your home since property taxes are assessed based on your house’s fair market value.

California also has some of the highest state income taxes in the nation, as high as 13.3% for residents making over a million per year. These taxes contribute to the high cost of living in the city.

The Cost Of Utilities In Long Beach

Whether you live in California or South Dakota, you will have to pay monthly utility bills. Sometimes when you are renting, these bills can be rolled into your monthly payment because the apartment owner can negotiate better rates for the entire complex. Higher utility costs will just be reflected in a pricier monthly rental cost.

For a small apartment of 915 sq ft in Long Beach, you can expect to pay between $150 to $175 a month for basic utilities. This is approximately eight percent above the national average. What do utilities include?

  • Electricity
  • Cooling
  • Heating
  • Water
  • Gas
  • Garbage

In addition to the typical utility bills like electricity, water, trash pickup, the costs of internet, cable television, and cell phone service can also vary significantly by location. Internet service in Long Beach is an average of $44 per month, which is on par with the national average. Similarly, cell phone service closely matches nationwide trends on price.

Cost Of Living In Long Beach, CA: Child Care

Raising kids is expensive no matter where you live in America, and full-time daycare is one of the biggest expenses to consider when evaluating the cost of living in a given city. This cost is especially important to note in cities like Long Beach where the cost of living significantly outpaces the national average.

For many families in Long Beach, having two incomes is a requirement to get by, so the cost of childcare must be accounted for when analyzing the cost of living. In Long Beach, the average monthly childcare cost is between $1,000-1,500 a month per child.

There are also other options to consider besides daycare, like private pre-K programs that offer more educational value, but at a higher cost. Families should consider their individual child’s needs.

Cost Of Living In Long Beach, CA: Food Costs

Outside of housing, grocery shopping and food are one of the biggest monthly expenses. On average, grocery prices in Long Beach are approximately 12% higher than the national average.

However, it is worth noting that because of California’s status as an agricultural hub, many fresh fruits and vegetables can be purchased at lower prices than expected. It’s always good to do your best to eat local, and that can actually help you get better prices and save money.

Here is a list of some grocery items and prices in Long Beach for commonly purchased items:

Food ItemCost
1 Gallon Of Milk$3.91
1 Loaf Of White Bread$3.21
1 Carton Of Eggs$3.00
Local Cheese$5.17
1 Pound Of Chicken$5.17
1 Pound Of Apples$2.28
1 Head Of Lettuce$1.41
1 Bottle Of Mid-Range Wine$9.99
0.5 Liters Of Domestic Beer$2.84

How Much Will Entertainment Cost In Long Beach, CA?

Long Beach has a ton of entertainment options to offer, often at lower prices than neighboring Los Angeles. Even better – there are plenty of free street festivals and community events that won’t break the bank.

Known for its street art scene, Long Beach also has plenty of other cultural options thanks to the presence of California State University-Long Beach and its proximity to Hollywood. The city actually has more music and arts festivals every year than any other city in Southern California.

You’re going to want to venture out and explore the city, not just sit at home in your apartment, so it’s a good idea to have a rough idea of how much entertainment will cost. Here are a few to consider:

ActivityPrice Range
Restaurants (mid-range)$15-$30
Fitness Club (one adult, low price range)$30-$50
Movies (basic movie)$13.50
Draft beer (domestic)$7
Craft or imported beer (12 oz bottle)$8+

There are also infinite entertainment options just up the freeway in Los Angeles, depending on your budget and interest in making the trip. Regardless, you’ll never be bored in this part of California.

Education Costs In Long Beach, CA

The public school system in Long Beach is below average at best, so many residents turn to private schools for their children’s education. There are pros and cons to making this move – better opportunities, smaller class sizes, engaged teachers on the pro side, and substantial cost on the con side.

Preschool and kindergarten classes at private schools are north of $700 per month, while elementary and secondary education at area private schools are well over $1,000 and can go much higher depending on how prestigious the school is. Keep in mind, however, that scholarships and financial aid are available at many private schools, so many families may not pay the full tuition price.

Higher Education Costs

Long Beach has two major institutions of higher education – Cal State Long Beach and Long Beach City College. Cal State Long Beach is one of the largest universities in the state with nearly 40,000 students enrolled in 2020 and is known for its high-ranking arts program. CSULB is a diverse campus and is very affordable, ranking in the top 1% for value in the country. Long Beach City College is the local community college, dating back to the 1920s, and has two campuses.

Cal State Long Beach offers 82 undergraduate degrees and 65 master’s degrees. With in-state tuition of only $6,420, Long Beach State is one of the most affordable state schools in the country. Accounting for room and board, books, and additional fees, the in-state total cost of attendance is approximately $25,000. For out-of-state students, that figure rises to over $35,000.

Transportation Costs In Long Beach, CA

Roughly 78.4% of Long Beach residents drive alone to work with an average commute time of 30.3 minutes. Most households own two cars, so it’s worth knowing some of the average costs.

Gas prices cost about $4.67 per gallon, much higher than the national average of $3.29. Plus, the average car insurance premium is almost $2,200 in California. When you put gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs together, the cost to own a car in Long Beach could reach upward of $22,000 a year (including car payments).

Wrapping It Up

Long Beach, California, is definitely an expensive city to call home, but it is more affordable than some of the other large cities in California. Housing costs significantly outpace the national averages, but the remaining costs of living within the city are manageable.

Employees are also well compensated to account for the high cost of living. Overall, Long Beach is emerging as a desirable option for Californians who cannot afford to live in Los Angeles but want a taste of the entertainment and arts scene with a side helping of beach vibes.

Related Questions

How much do you need to live comfortably in Long Beach?

On average, to live comfortably in Long Beach, California as a single adult with no children you will need to make at least $39,982 a year. As the family grows, the living wage obviously increases. A family of four with one working adult needs $87,239, while a family of four with two working adults needs $115,539.The minimum wage in California is $14 an hour, while the livable wage is $18.66 an hour for a single adult, $40.83 for a family with one income and two children, and $27.08 for a family with two incomes and two children. Many people will have a range of pay bases that will help them live in the city.

Is Long Beach a good place to live?

Long Beach had long been viewed as a rougher section in the Los Angeles metropolis. However, the city is evolving and becoming a better place to live as young professionals and artists are squeezed out of Los Angeles proper. The city has a lively arts scene and is close to the Pacific Ocean.Crime in Long Beach is roughly 39% higher than the national average, with about 2,343 violent crimes per 100,000 people annually. There are roughly 12,707 property crimes per 100,000 people reported every year.The majority of property crimes are theft and most of the violent crimes are assault. Some of the safest areas in Long Beach are the City Of Signal Hill with a crime rate that is 86% below the national average and The Plaza, with a crime rate 50% below the US average.Other safe areas are the State College Area, City College Areas, and Lakewood Village. Some of the most dangerous areas of Long Beach, CA are the downtown area, Poly High District, Wilmington, and the Airport Area.

What are the main industries in Long Beach?

Long Beach is an industrial port city and is the second-busiest container port in the USA. There are also oilfields below the city and active drilling industry. The port creates over 30,000 jobs per year. Cal State Long Beach is also a large employer, with over 3,000 workers on campus.

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