Pros and cons of living in Fresno, CA

Pros and cons of living in Fresno, CA

Fresno is located in the center of the San Joaquin Valley of California. Fresno is a large city, covering about 112 square miles. As of 2020, Fresno had a population of about 542,700 people, making it the fifth most populous city in California and 34th largest city in the nation. 

Fresno is widely known as an agricultural city but it is also home to various other industries and many large companies, keeping its economy diverse and versatile. Over the last five years, Fresno has experienced a rapid surge in population growth, making many people turn their attention to the growing city and calling it home. 

As with any city, there are various pros and cons of living in Fresno, CA. To help you make an informed decision on whether or not Fresno is a good location for you, we have included some of the top points below.

Pros of living in Fresno, CA

Affordable housing 

Fresno’s affordable housing costs are probably the top reason most people are moving to the region. Fresno is the most affordable large city in California in terms of housing. If you compare the cost of buying a house in other California cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego or San Francisco, you will discover that the price of homes in other cities is nearly twice that of Fresno.

For example, the average price of a home in Fresno is $326,544 which is significantly lower than the California average of $700,828. However, the price of a home in Fresno is still higher than the national average of about $300,000. Rental houses in Fresno are also cheaper compared to other cities in the state. For instance, the average rent for an apartment in Fresno, CA is around $1,300, which is lower than the state average of approximately $1,500. 

If you desire to live in California and are looking for a city with affordable housing, Fresno is a great option for you.

Low cost of living

One of the biggest benefits of living in Fresno, CA is the low cost of living. About 60% of people who moved to Fresno over the last five years say it is because of the low cost of living. Fresno is the most affordable large city in the State of California. California is known for its high cost of living with its housing rates almost doubling the national average. However, Fresno is an exception, with its cost of living coming in about 47.3% below the California average and 2.6% below the national average.

The low cost of living of Fresno has attracted thousands of people from throughout California and many other states. Nearly everything in Fresno, including housing, transportation, and health care costs are much lower than the national average. In fact, the cost of healthcare in Fresno, CA is lower than the national average by a whopping 9.4%. The only thing that is higher in Fresno than the national average is the cost of utilities, such as gas and electricity, which is why solar has become a popular option throughout the region. 

Low cost of living is one of the top reasons why so many people are moving to Fresno. Many people enjoy having more disposable income, typically contributing to an overall better quality of life.

Great central location 

Another pro of living in Fresno, CA is its superb central location. Fresno is located right in the middle of California and is central to other top cities in the state, making it fairly easy to travel around the state. The average time to reach other major cities from Fresno is around 3-4 hours; it is central to major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento and three National Parks. Whether you are looking to do some shopping, ski, hike, or head to the beach, there are great options in all directions. If you are a person who travels throughout California often and are looking for a central place to live, Fresno is a perfect option for you. 

Great year-round weather

If you live in California for the sunshine, Fresno has plenty of sunny days to offer. Fresno enjoys approximately 300 days of sunshine a year and has very mild winters. Fresno enjoys all four seasons and has outdoor activities all year around. From snowboarding nearby slopes in the winter to wine tasting and pool days in the summer, there is really something for everyone.

Fresno’s mild climate has made it one of the top agricultural regions of the world. If you live here, you are guaranteed the freshest produce at Fresno’s many local restaurants and farmer’s markets. The region becomes an annual tourist attraction in Spring when the fruit trees go into bloom. Fresno County’s “Blossom Trail” attracts visitors from all over the world to snap photos of its breathtaking landscapes. 

National parks and outdoor activities

Fresno is close to some of the best national parks in the United States. In a day’s drive, you can visit Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Some of the most beautiful natural wonders sit in Fresno’s back yard.

In the summer months, many locals hike throughout local trails and in the winter, many take up snowboarding and skiing on beautiful slopes. If you’re into surfing, places like Pismo Beach and Morro Bay are only about a 2.5 hour drive away! For those avid cyclists or dirtbikers, there is no shortage of open roads to explore or trails to conquer. Overall, if you enjoy an outdoor active lifestyle, Fresno is a great home base.

Friendly and diverse community

Fresno is a large city with a small-town vibe. It is one of the few large most affordable cities where people are actively involved in the well-being of their neighborhood and neighbors. It is common for people to greet newcomers and help them integrate into the community. Fresno area has many close-knit neighborhoods and you will often see people hosting street barbecues, cycling rides, porch events and markets. 

Additionally, Fresno is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States. People from various cultures flock to Fresno because of its openness and opportunities for all types of people. You will find many great cultural centers and restaurants celebrating people and food from all around the world. 

Moderate traffic

For being a large affordable city, Fresno rates very well in terms of traffic, especially when compared to cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. In recent years, some of the main highways in Fresno have become a bit more congested, however, traffic levels in Fresno are very low in terms of the California standard. 

Unlike cities in California where you have to plan your morning commute hours early to make it to work or sit in traffic for hours to return home, Fresno currently does not have these issues. 

Cons of living in Fresno, CA

The heat

Although Fresno enjoys all four seasons and generally great weather, it has a few scorching triple-digit summer days per year. On average, Fresno experiences approximately 38 triple-digit days annually. Luckily, many Fresnans have swimming pools to help escape the summer heat! 

Although Fresno can have some hot days, the climate in the area is typically dry and humidity is rare. Even though Fresno can get a bit hot in the summer, it’s not something to write off the city about.

Air pollution

Because of its central location, Fresno often gets pollution from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. Fresno sits in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley and when smog gets trapped in the valley it can sometimes sit for days, making it hard to even see nearby mountain ranges. This often becomes an issue in the summer months when there is less wind to move air around.

Also, due to the increase in California wildfires in the past decade, Fresno sometimes experiences bad air quality when smoke and ash blows into the region. Local officials often release warnings on such days recommending that the public stay indoors as much as possible. For this reason, there has been an increase in asthmatic cases in the area in recent years.


With all of the agricultural farming in the area, allergies are a year-round issue for many living in Fresno, CA. From blossoms to dust and smoke, many people in the area struggle with allergies and asthma during growing seasons and, as mentioned above, during wildfire season. 

For many people, the issue is not bad enough to steer them away from living in Fresno and there are many local specialists that can help treat these conditions.

Fresno is a great place to live

Fresno has been growing rapidly over the past decade, which is a testament on why it is a great place to call home. If you are looking for a large city in California without all of the high costs and congestion of cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, we suggest reaching out to The Dehlan Group to discuss options for purchasing a home in the region. You will often find that you can buy a home in Fresno, CA cheaper than you can rent in most California cities, giving you a great quality of life and a lot more bang for your buck!