The 10 Best Places To Buy A House In California For 2022


Using science and data, we can tell you which places in California have seen home prices rising and people flocking over the past year.

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Editor’s note: This is not investment advice and we are not financial advisers. Article updated for 2022.

There's a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in California:

Should I buy a place or rent? Well, we aren't here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you'll do the right thing and a buy a place. And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in California, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Golden State.

To do that we are going to look at places in California that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the "deals". The best deal in California at the moment? That would be Dos Palos according to our analysis.

Here's a look at the top ten places to buy a home in California for 2022.

The 10 Best Places To Buy A Home In California For 2022

  1. Dos Palos
  2. Buellton
  3. Williams
  4. Big Bear Lake
  5. La Habra Heights
  6. Calistoga
  7. Indian Wells
  8. Woodside
  9. Solvang
  10. Gustine

What's the best place to buy a home in California for 2022? According to our analysis, would the the ideal place to buy a home looking into the future.

The methodology that wen't into this can be a bit complicated, so we'll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below. If you're not worried about finding a deal on good places to live, check out the most expensive places to live in California and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in California.

For more California reading, check out:

The 10 Best Cities To Buy A House In California For 2022

Dos Palos, CA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,266
Median Home Price: $232,700
Population Change: -1.6%
Home Price Change: 19.6%
More on Dos Palos: Homes For Sale | Data

Buellton, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 5,276
Median Home Price: $580,100
Population Change: 3.8%
Home Price Change: 10.9%
More on Buellton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Williams, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,284
Median Home Price: $245,400
Population Change: 1.1%
Home Price Change: 6.9%
More on Williams: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Big Bear Lake, CA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,302
Median Home Price: $394,800
Population Change: 1.2%
Home Price Change: 1.0%
More on Big Bear Lake: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

La Habra Heights, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 5,318
Median Home Price: $916,500
Population Change: -19.1%
Home Price Change: -1.3%
More on La Habra Heights: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Calistoga, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,346
Median Home Price: $634,400
Population Change: 1.4%
Home Price Change: 11.3%
More on Calistoga: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Indian Wells, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,463
Median Home Price: $723,600
Population Change: 1.7%
Home Price Change: 0.2%
More on Indian Wells: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Woodside, CA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,593
Median Home Price: $2,000,001
Population Change: 0.9%
Home Price Change: 0.0%
More on Woodside: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Solvang, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,644
Median Home Price: $725,100
Population Change: -2.8%
Home Price Change: -0.6%
More on Solvang: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,748
Median Home Price: $273,500
Population Change: -1.1%
Home Price Change: 22.8%
More on Gustine: Homes For Sale | Data

Methodology: How do you determine the best places to buy a home in California for 2022?

We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we've put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.

So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we'd approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in California. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in California with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.

To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2016-2020 and compared it to the previous vintage (2012-2016). Specifically, we used the following criteria:

  • Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
  • Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
  • Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It's still kinda cheap)

We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still "cheap" for California with the following caveats:

So of the 0 cities and towns in California, only 427 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.

We then ranked each place from 1 to 427 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a "best place to buy" index with the place having the lowest index being the best. You can download the data here.

Turns out that Dos Palos is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Golden State.

Read on for more on these places.

Summary: The Best Places To Purchase A House In California for 2022

There's our analysis of the best places to buy a house in California. And, to be clear, we aren't necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.

In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 0 places in the state.

So if we'd could rent or buy in these cities, we'd definitely buy.

For more California reading, check out:

Home Prices By City In California

City Rank Median Home Price Population Change Home Price Increase
Dos Palos 1 $232,700 -1.6% 19.6%
Buellton 2 $580,100 3.8% 10.9%
Williams 3 $245,400 1.1% 6.9%
Big Bear Lake 4 $394,800 1.2% 1.0%
La Habra Heights 5 $916,500 -19.1% -1.3%
Calistoga 6 $634,400 1.4% 11.3%
Indian Wells 7 $723,600 1.7% 0.2%
Woodside 8 $2,000,001 0.9% 0.0%
Solvang 9 $725,100 -2.8% -0.6%
Gustine 10 $273,500 -1.1% 22.8%
Villa Park 11 $1,238,800 0.4% 4.6%
St. Helena 12 $1,281,500 -0.9% 15.2%
Willows 13 $214,600 0.7% -2.7%
Colusa 14 $251,700 0.1% -1.6%
Holtville 15 $224,100 -6.1% 20.1%
Fowler 16 $268,200 -2.5% 5.9%
Crescent City 17 $178,600 0.2% 8.0%
Loomis 18 $489,100 0.2% 7.6%
Atherton 19 $2,000,001 -1.5% 0.0%
Huron 20 $161,100 -0.4% -1.2%
Gridley 21 $210,400 6.1% 10.4%
Sausalito 22 $1,451,800 0.9% 7.9%
Calipatria 23 $144,200 -1.8% -1.0%
Fort Bragg 24 $344,700 -0.3% 0.7%
Winters 25 $434,000 1.2% 8.8%
Cotati 26 $541,600 0.4% 3.1%
Hughson 27 $340,200 1.1% 1.8%
Escalon 28 $400,400 0.2% 15.0%
Yreka 29 $177,300 0.4% 12.1%
Corning 30 $172,600 -0.0% 2.9%
Ojai 31 $738,600 1.0% 3.6%
Fairfax 32 $858,500 0.7% 1.0%
Guadalupe 33 $304,400 2.7% 18.4%
Sebastopol 34 $661,300 -1.2% 3.6%
Woodlake 35 $193,500 1.1% 18.8%
Firebaugh 36 $178,800 -6.4% 3.2%
Orland 37 $209,600 2.9% 0.7%
Ione 38 $314,300 1.4% -0.2%
Rolling Hills Estates 39 $1,362,900 -1.8% 2.7%
Pismo Beach 40 $759,800 -1.7% -1.1%
Westlake Village 41 $974,800 -1.9% 2.2%
Mammoth Lakes 42 $473,000 1.2% 40.1%
Gonzales 43 $388,800 -0.3% 9.2%
Los Altos Hills 44 $2,000,001 -0.1% 0.0%
Live Oak 45 $232,000 1.3% 14.1%
Cloverdale 46 $493,500 1.1% 3.7%
Waterford 47 $271,700 0.1% 9.9%
Calimesa 48 $249,300 3.9% 14.6%
Tiburon 49 $2,000,001 0.3% 0.0%
Taft 50 $182,200 -2.0% 24.4%
Rio Vista 51 $369,200 5.1% 7.4%
Corte Madera 52 $1,290,100 -0.5% 7.5%
Capitola 53 $712,000 -0.3% -1.4%
Orange Cove 54 $165,500 -1.5% 8.7%
Shasta Lake 55 $204,100 0.3% 11.5%
Exeter 56 $224,000 -0.4% 9.1%
Anderson 57 $211,100 0.7% 5.4%
Morro Bay 58 $651,400 0.1% 7.3%
Sierra Madre 59 $1,007,800 -0.9% 3.9%
Farmersville 60 $173,800 1.2% 13.0%
Placerville 61 $365,300 -0.1% 2.8%
Sonoma 62 $825,600 0.1% 5.1%
Canyon Lake 63 $479,500 0.6% 8.3%
Signal Hill 64 $528,300 -0.7% 4.4%
Piedmont 65 $2,000,001 1.2% 0.0%
Newman 66 $280,500 1.6% 6.7%
Los Alamitos 67 $772,300 -0.1% 1.5%
Clayton 68 $806,600 -4.1% 4.6%
Hillsborough 69 $2,000,001 1.4% 0.0%
Emeryville 70 $538,300 -1.8% 10.0%
Healdsburg 71 $805,900 0.7% 11.2%
Scotts Valley 72 $811,900 1.6% -0.5%
Kingsburg 73 $278,300 1.3% 0.5%
Fortuna 74 $280,200 -0.6% -1.1%
Mendota 75 $173,600 5.6% 9.4%
Malibu 76 $2,000,001 -2.7% 0.0%
Larkspur 77 $1,311,000 0.4% 0.1%
Marysville 78 $226,600 1.1% 9.4%
Grand Terrace 79 $355,400 0.4% 9.6%
Half Moon Bay 80 $1,155,000 -2.0% 15.6%
San Anselmo 81 $1,147,100 0.8% 7.5%
Tehachapi 82 $229,100 0.3% 8.5%
Commerce 83 $429,800 -0.7% 4.5%
Lindsay 84 $189,700 -3.9% 33.4%
Grass Valley 85 $343,300 -0.6% 3.6%
San Marino 86 $2,000,001 -1.3% 0.0%
Avenal 87 $144,800 0.6% -5.0%
Mcfarland 88 $179,200 -10.7% 4.8%
Solana Beach 89 $1,333,200 -0.4% 11.8%
Palos Verdes Estates 90 $1,935,900 -0.6% -3.2%
Carpinteria 91 $711,100 -0.4% 0.8%
Grover Beach 92 $536,300 -0.4% 8.6%
King City 93 $281,900 -0.5% 11.6%
California City 94 $161,200 1.3% 29.5%
Red Bluff 95 $187,700 -1.2% 7.7%
Auburn 96 $481,500 0.7% 7.6%
Hawaiian Gardens 97 $428,300 -0.9% 17.8%
Livingston 98 $231,100 1.2% 0.5%
Mill Valley 99 $1,625,400 0.9% 1.7%
Kerman 100 $236,200 0.7% 5.2%

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.