Is Fresno an expensive city?

Is Fresno an expensive city

It’s a well-known fact that California is one of the most expensive states to live in. 

In 2020, data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed that the average cost of living in California is $46,636 per year. This is more than the national average, which currently stands at $38,266 per year. The high cost of living in California is one of the key reasons people choose other states. However, over the last five years, one California city, in particular, seems to be going against the grain, and that city is…(drumroll)… Fresno, California. 

Fresno is a fairly large city with a population of over half a million people. It is located in Central California and is one of the most affordable major cities to live in in the United States. If you are thinking of moving to Fresno and wondering if it is an expensive city to live in, The Dehlan Group has all of the answers for you!

Is Fresno an expensive city?

The simple answer to this question is… no! 

In terms of California standard prices, Fresno is not an expensive city to live in. Fresno is the cheapest major city in California and has been listed as one of the cheapest cities in the United States. People who make an average of $40,000 per year can live a comfortable life in Fresno, something that is not possible in other major cities in California.

The cost of living in Fresno is significantly lower compared to other big cities in California such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Diego. It is 60% lower than California’s average and only 6% higher than the national average. In fact, has listed Fresno as the 18th most affordable city in the United States.

Reasons why Fresno is an affordable city

You may be wondering why Fresno is so affordable while still being located in the central valley of California, the most expensive state in the United States. Our local Dehlan Group agents keep a close pulse on what is happening in the real estate market in California, and Fresno in particular. Our local insights on why Fresno is such a reasonable and great city may help make it the perfect option in California for you!

Affordable housing 

One of the main reasons California is so expensive is its high housing costs. However, Fresno has been able to stay under the housing radar and remain quite affordable in comparison to other major California cities. The median home price in Fresno is $375,000, which is two times cheaper than the California average and only 2% higher than the national average. 

The median price for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Fresno is $247,000, while a similar house just a few hours south in Los Angeles can cost you a whopping $800,000. This clearly shows just how affordable housing remains in Fresno. However, due to rising popularity among Californians, real estate sales are starting to pick up in Fresno and local housing costs are starting to climb. 

Low transportation costs

Another key element that makes Fresno affordable is its low transportation costs. The average commute time in Fresno is 20 minutes, even during weekdays. In comparison, the average commute in other large metropolitan cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco is over one hour. 

Since you will spend less time on the road, you will use less fuel, which is also cheaper in Fresno than other major cities in California. The cost of gasoline in Fresno can sometimes be almost half of the cost in other major California cities. Since traffic congestion is usually not an issue as is the case in other locations, many people tend to own their own transportation in Fresno. However, the cost of using public transportation is also very reasonable in Fresno. 

Central location and accessibility 

Fresno’s central location makes it very easy to commute to other major cities in California. With most major cities, such as Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Jose about a 2-3 hour drive away, it’s no wonder why so many people choose the lower cost of living in Fresno while making higher wages in other cities.

Also, with the recent trend of remote work situations, many people spend much less on gas, internet, and utilities in Fresno. They can easily travel, in less time and cost, to other major cities in California. 

Food is very fresh and affordable 

Since agriculture is a primary industry in Fresno, the cost of fresh produce in Fresno is very affordable when compared to other cities in California. Fresno is ranked among the top cities where food is affordable and easily accessible. Fresh produce is widely available and in many seasonal varieties throughout the year. You can easily visit your nearest farmer’s market and find a wide variety of fresh food and produce from local farms. 

Additionally, Fresno has plenty of awesome restaurants with affordable and delicious options. If you are a fan of multicultural cuisines and fun food trucks, Fresno has many options throughout the year to keep you well-fed and entertained. Not only that, the city has an awesome up-and-coming brewery scene.

Affordable healthcare

Fresno has some of the best healthcare options in the region and its list of available services are constantly growing. From top-notch hospitals and medical centers, including the acclaimed Valley Children’s Hospital, you can get quality medical care in Fresno at a reasonable cost. 

If you or a loved one suffer from health issues and find standard treatment unattainable in other major California cities, you may find the right balance for your needs and budget in Fresno. 

Is moving to Fresno a good idea?

Even with all of our points on the low cost of living in Fresno, you may still be wondering if the city is a good move for you. The answer is absolutely yes, relocating to Fresno is a great idea! 

Besides the low cost, Fresno has many other benefits such as a good job market and the best Fresno neighborhoods that make it a great city to live in. From large local parks and easy-to-access national parks, to beautiful hiking and running trails, and an up-and-coming food scene, there are endless ways to live a great lifestyle in Fresno. If you desire to live in the central valley of California but want to avoid the high cost of living the state often presents, look no further. As a modest and affordable large city, you won’t regret choosing Fresno!

Make Fresno your next home!

The Dehlan Group can help you make Fresno your next home! Our local agents have unique knowledge on the best areas in Fresno and how its unique lifestyle can work for you. Give us a call today to discuss next steps on buying a home in Fresno while it is still less expensive than other major cities in California.

Our agents are trusted sources in the Fresno real estate market and we look forward to helping you! Imagine your new, less expensive life in Fresno, California!