Cost Of Living In Pasadena, CA (Taxes, Housing & More)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

When you think of California, you think of San Francisco in the North, Los Angeles in the middle, and San Diego in the south. Another place you may not have heard about is Pasadena, California. The cost of living is high but the vibe of the city and the activities that are offered make up for the price.

The cost of living in Pasadena, California, can vary greatly. The average home value in Pasadena is $987,211, which is well above the national average. It can be a fun city to live in, much safer than L.A., and a lot more family-oriented than places like San Francisco.

If you are looking for luxurious homes with tons of shopping, this could be the best town for you. The weather is gorgeous, and it never gets too cold like the midwestern states. You can live a fun and happy life in Pasadena, California.

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Homeownership Costs in Pasadena, California

Pasadena, California, can be a great place to settle down and raise a family. However, you will want to save up a good chunk of money if you plan on buying a home in this area. The median home value is $987,211, which is above the national average of all home types of $284,600. Here is a comparison table between Pasadena and L.A.

Housing CostsPasadena CaliforniaLos Angeles California
Median Home Costs$987,211$809,865
Home Appreciation Last 12 Months4.21%4.51%
Property Tax Rate0.73%0.73%
Homes Owned42.0%36.8%

Though the price is much higher in Pasadena you can see that there are many more homes that are owned. This is a family-friendly city making it the perfect spot to raise a family and buy your house.

Rental Costs in Pasadena, California

The median rent price in Pasadena is $1,925 per month. This can be a reasonable price to live in the city. Still, prices will fluctuate depending on your leasing agreement, how close to the city you live in, and how many rooms you are looking for. Here is a list to look through where you can compare smaller apartments that are closer and further away from the city center.

Style Of ApartmentAverage Price Per Unit
1-Bedroom In City$2,391.25 Per Month
1-Bedroom Outside City$1,956.87 Per Month
3-Bedroom In City$3,625.00 Per Month
3-Bedroom Outside City$2,775.00 Per Month

Most people choose to live outside of the city center due to financial reasons. Renting can be a great alternative to owning a home in Pasadena, California.

Unsurprisingly, California ranks second on the list of states with the highest rental prices in the nation, behind Hawaii. It’s also important to note that some cities in California have some of the highest reported rents in the country – such as Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The average monthly rent for an apartment in Pasadena, California is $2,589. Though, your rent can vary based on the size of the apartment and the specific location in Pasadena. To put things in perspective, the following table outlines the average rent in Pasadena, by neighborhood.

Average Rent in Pasadena by Neighborhood

Neighborhood Average Monthly Rent
Lower Arroyo Seco$2,759
Linda Vista$2,707
Old Town Pasadena$2,707
North Pasadena$2,628
Playhouse District$2,581
Garfield Heights$2,549
South Lake$2,523
Historic Highlands$1,708

Taxes in Pasadena, California

Taxpayers in Pasadena pay three main forms of state and local taxes: local property taxes, a state income tax, and state and local sales taxes. Undeniably, California taxes are among the highest in the nation, with both sales and state income tax rates generally very high. However, the effective property tax rates tend to be below the national average.

Sales Tax in Pasadena, California

At 7.25%, California has one of the highest base sales tax rates in the country. But, this rate only applies to less than a quarter of the cities in California. Because of the additional city and county sales taxes, you could pay as much as 10.5% in sales tax.

With the combination of the 6% California state sales tax, 0.25% Los Angeles County sales tax, 0.75% Pasadena tax, and a 3.25% special tax, the total sales tax in Pasadena is 10.25%.

Property Taxes in Pasadena, California

The average person will pay 0.73% on property tax every year in Pasadena, California. This is lower than the national average of 1.07%. However, the price of houses is much higher in Pasadena than in other places in the United States; thus, many people will spend a pretty penny on property taxes. For example, if your home’s value is $950,000, you will pay approximately $6,840 annually.

Income Taxes in Pasadena, California

The state of California has a progressive income tax system, meaning those that reside in Pasadena pay income taxes based on their yearly income. In other words, the higher your annual earnings, the higher your income tax rate. There are ten income tax brackets in total in California, starting at 1% and reaching as high as 13.3% for earners making more than $1 million.

Utility Costs in Pasadena, California

The average cost of utilities is a little bit cheaper than you would imagine but not by much. Per 915 square feet, you can expect the average price of basic utilities to be around $139.63. However, in Pasadena, California, many homes you will find will be much bigger than this and will cost much more. You should always save around $400-$500 a month for a home. Basic utilities include things like water, garbage, cooling, heating, and electricity.

Transportation Costs in Pasadena, California

One of the first things you will want to learn when moving to a new home is how to get around. Some parts of California have the subway, trolleys, or a great local taxi service. In Pasadena, the bus system is phenomenal, and the next best way to get around is by car.

A one-way ticket on the bus is $1.75, which is a phenomenal price. A one-month pass is $100.00 to use the bus system whenever you need it. A taxi service will charge you $2.85 to start and $2.70 for every mile you go. However, if you are looking to drive around town, you should note the gas prices are $3.37 per gallon, which is expensive for gas.

Food & Grocery Costs in Pasadena, California

The bigger your family is, the more mouths to feed and the more expensive food will be, especially in Pasadena. Out of a score of 100 for groceries, Pasadena, California, was ranked to be 104.5 for groceries. This means food costs and the price will be well above the national average, and you will have to budget wisely. Here is a list of some of the basic food items you may buy regularly and their prices.

Food ItemAverage Food Price
Bread$2.18 Per Loaf
Milk$3.50 Per Gallon
Chicken$5.00 Per Fillet
Tomatoes$1.75 Per Pound
Cheese$5.00 Per Pound

Groceries will be a little bit more expensive than the average. However, compared to your other expenses your grocery bill will only take up a small portion.

Child Care Costs in Pasadena, California

A preschool or private childcare is perfect for parents who work full time. However, it is another expense that you will need to think about because it does impact the cost of living in Pasadena, California.

For one child, you will spend a monthly average of $1,170. If you have more kids, it will add up really quickly. You will have to look around the neighborhood to see who offers at-home child care and compare it to a center-based service.

Clothing Costs in Pasadena, California

Most things in Pasadena, California, are priced well above the national average. However, clothes and retail shopping will be lower than you would expect. Many things can be found for the same price, if not lower, than other places. Here is a table of the essential pieces and their prices.

Clothing TypeAverage Price In Nebraska
Jeans (like Levi’s)$47.33
Summer Dress$33.40
Running Shoes (mid-range)$72.86
Business Shoes (leather)$85.00

These prices are actually lower than other places in the country and can make a surprising difference in the community. This is one of the best cities to go to if you love shopping and having fun.

Entertainment Costs in Pasadena, California

Pasadena always has something going on making it a fun place to live. There are movies playing, theaters showing new plays, and activities for the family to enjoy. You also have the option to sit outside by your pool and drink some moderately priced wine. Here is a list of activities you might enjoy in Pasadena, California.

Activities To Enjoy In PasadenaPrice Of Activities
Fitness Clubs$44.00
Wine (mid-range)$10.00
Meal for two (mid-range)$60.00

There are many more things to do and with the nice summer weather, you will see more events unfold.

Education Costs in Pasadena, California

Pasadena has a fantastic education system for your kids; the public schools are outstanding and free. However, if you are looking for a more controlled environment, you may want to look into private schools. Several community colleges within the local area will accept your kids from the local high schools.

Private Elementary School

Suppose you want to send your children to a private elementary school. In that case, there are many advantages, but it will cost more than the average private school. On average, parents in Pasadena, California, spend $13,603 annually per child.

Private High School

Sending your kids to private high school can help them feel accomplished and put together to deal with college. This is a great opportunity but will cost more than the private elementary school. You can expect to pay around $29,894 a year per student.

Community College

There will be a difference for people who are non-residents and for kids considered in-state college students. Community college can be one of the next best steps after attending high school if you want to keep your kids close. Or it can be an excellent way for you to take a few extra classes. For an in-state college student, you can expect to pay a tuition of $1,168 a year. If you are an out-of-state student, you can expect to pay $7,552 a year.

Related Questions

Is Pasadena a good place to live?

This can be a phenomenal place to settle down. It is a lively town that everyone wants to be in, and the best part if the public school districts were voted better than average. This can be a good family-oriented place close enough to L.A. to get that vibe while being far enough away to be different.

How much is the average annual income?

The average household income of Pasadena, California, is only $70,845 annually. This means a large portion of the paycheck goes to living expenses, like home, taxes, food, and more. It can be hard to make ends meet in Pasadena.

Is Pasadena a safe city?

Unfortunately, based on the FBI data, 1 in 38 people will become victims of property crime or violent crime. This is a rather large number, and because of it, this is not considered the safest area to live in. However, many people will not have this experience, and it is vital to get to know your neighbors.

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Should You Move to Pasadena, California?

Pasadena, California, is not necessarily the most budget-friendly when it comes to homes. Still, it can be a wonderful city to live in. It has surpassed the cost of living in L.A. and will continue to climb in prices because it is somewhere everyone wants to be. The shopping scene is terrific, the weather can be extraordinary, and the neighborhood can be tight-knit. If you’ve been waiting for a sign to move, this is it!

Though, if you’re still not convinced that Pasadena is the place for you but your still considering relocating to the Golden State check out:

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Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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