The Best California Counties to Buy A Home

Searching for a home in California can be tricky, but active adults can find excellent communities in these counties.

When it comes to purchasing a home in California, many quickly come to realize that this is no easy feat. The sticker shock can be especially distressing for those used to cheaper, out-of-state markets. Between the high-prices, competitive market, and vastly different neighborhoods, buying a home in California takes patience, research, and due diligence.

Luckily, there are some online resources to help potential homebuyers navigate the process of narrowing down exactly where to buy a home. One such resource is niche.com, where users can sort counties in California according to various criteria.

According to niche.com, their list of “The Best Counties to Buy a Home” is based on housing costs, property taxes, home VALUES
(, homeownership rates, and real estate trends. As written on their website, the list is “A comprehensive assessment of the housing and community of an area at a county level. This grade takes into account key factors of a location’s housing market, including home VALUES
(, taxes, crime rates, and quality of schools, in an attempt to measure the quality and stability of an area’s real estate market.”

Read on to discover more about the top five counties in California to purchase a home.

1. Lassen County

With a median home value of $177,500, Lassen County ranks #1 as the top county to buy a home in California. This rural Northern California county rests on the border of Nevada and has a population of roughly 35,000.

With relatively low home prices and above-average schools, Lassen County is an attractive area for potential homebuyers, especially for the 55+ crowd who are less concerned with employment opportunities and typically looking for affordable housing in a scenic area. Lassen County may be serene, with protected forests, scenic lakes, and a charming, small-town vibe, but it’s not far from the urban excitement of Reno/Tahoe and Carson City.

2. Mono County

Mono County boasts excellent school ratings and a median home value of $311,700, with a population of only about 15,000. Many residents of Mono County cite the rural, natural landscape—which surrounds the popular tourist destination Mono Lake—as a highlight of the area.

Mono County lies to the east of Yosemite National Park, on the border of Nevada. This county is perfect for those who wish to settle down in an area rife with natural outdoor beauty, plenty of privacy, and a friendly, small-town feel.

3. Placer County

Those looking to settle down in a slightly more “happening” area should consider Placer County, which has all the natural beauty of the two previous counties, but it contains a much larger population of around 375,000. Placer County also boasts top-rated schools and a median home value of $413,300.

This area is located west of South Lake Tahoe and includes larger, more popular cities such as Tahoe City, Rocklin, Roseville, and Auburn. Some of the more popular 55+ communities in the area can be found in Placer County, including Sun City Roseville, Springfield at Whitney Oaks in Rocklin, and The Club at Westpark in Roseville.

4. Mariposa County

Mariposa County is a popular area among retirees who enjoy the small population of around 18,000 and the beautiful surrounding nature. With a median home value of $259,500, Mariposa County offers active adults a slice of paradise at an affordable price.

Schools are above average here, and most residents own their homes. Inside of Mariposa County lies Yosemite National Park, and there’s no end to the outdoor wonders and activities to be had in this coveted area.

5. Inyo County

Last on the list, Inyo County has above-average schools, a small population of around 18,000, and the average median home value is $243,100. East of Fresno, on the California/Nevada border, Inyo County includes Death Valley National Park and plenty of desert serenity, as well as lush, forested areas and miles of wilderness. Those who value wide-open spaces and an outdoor lifestyle will appreciate what Inyo County has to offer.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

Share this post:

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting [email protected] Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Best Places to Snowbird in 2021

We’ve gathered 25 of the best places for snowbirds, including cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, South Carolina, and Nevada. For each entry, we’ve also provided a list of recommended 55+ communities in the area. If you’re ready to find your own winter retreat this season, here are some of the best places to consider.

There are several 55+ communities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for 55+ homebuyers to choose from

55+ Communities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

There are over 120 active adult neighborhoods in the Philadelphia area. But if you want to be close to the best historic landmarks, museums, concert venues, shopping, and restaurants, you’ll want to settle near the heart of the city. There are four of 55+ communities in Philadelphia, and they are more affordable and offer more than you might think.

An older adult takes a continuing education course offered in his 55+ community.

Never Stop Learning: Continuing Education Programs in 55+ Communities

Many people look forward to retirement because they can finally stop focusing on work and start focusing on doing more of what they enjoy. Do you want to learn a new language, play an instrument, or try making a new craft? There are many benefits that learning something new can provide.

New 55+ Communities in the Philadelphia Area

The Philadelphia area is thriving with numerous 55+ communities offering new construction homes that are perfect for active adults. Check out 55places.com to see what’s new in the Philadelphia area.

55+ Communities Near the Philadelphia International Airport

Active adult homebuyers who seek homes for sale near an airport have options in several Pennsylvania and New Jersey suburbs, but real estate here is in high demand, so availability can be limited. The best advice? If you find something you like, grab it before someone else does!

55+ Communities With Condos for Sale Near Orlando

Condos are a great option for active adults who want to live in or near Orlando, Florida. Some condos are in communities on the water and others include golf courses, private restaurants, and recreation centers. Let’s look at some of the most popular 55+ communities with condos for sale near Orlando.

Is Greenville, South Carolina a Good Place to Retire?

If you’re considering retiring in the Southeast, Greenville in South Carolina should definitely be on your list of places to consider. This mid-sized city has quickly become one of the fastest-growing cities in the South. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re considering retiring in Greenville.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top
WPSD