When people on the western side of the United States talk about buying a vacation home, they’re generally thinking about the Sunshine State. Sunny California holds many house hunters’ hearts, and it’s no mystery why. The second largest state in the lower 48 is home to many wonderful towns and scenic areas where you would be wise to establish roots. If you’re looking to buy your first, second, or even third home in California, you should know the best places to invest.
1. Lake County/Napa
Every listing in this area will put you right in the middle of wine country, approximately two hours northwest of Sacramento and San Francisco. It’s also close to Clear Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in California. Prices here are marked to draw the more affluent, so if you’re looking for a rental or vacation house, this is the ideal place to search the listings.
As the name suggests, this city is located in Orange County, surrounded by orange trees and beaches. It’s a fairly small city, but the weather is excellent. It also has a low crime rate, great amenities, and a very low unemployment rate.
The crime rate in Irvine is one of the lowest in California for its size. The economy is also booming, helping to lower the unemployment rate and attract the affluent. The weather and air quality is considered very good, and the rankings for quality of life are 45 percent higher than the nation’s average.
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Approximately 19,000 people live on this small island off the coast of San Diego, but it’s one of the most sought after home destinations in the country. Though there are plenty of businesses on the island to keep the town busy, the majority of residents commute to San Diego. It offers beautiful neighborhoods with homes of high value so commuters can be close to San Diego, without living in the big city.
5. La Palma
The weather in La Palma is incredible. It’s about 10 miles from the beach, which helps to reduce the humidity, but helps to keep things cool and comfortable all year long. It’s also on the outskirts of Los Angeles, making it a popular place to live if you want to commute to the big city.
6. Palo Alto
The value of homes here are very high, which makes it ideal for an investment home or rental property. Because it’s an affluent area, you can charge higher rent and expect a higher quality of tenants. The weather averages a perfect 75 degrees all year long, and for the most part, it’s considered a safe, quiet place to live.
7. Santa Barbara
This city on the coast is fairly small, but it’s beautiful. The crime rate is low, the weather is lovely as it sits right on the beach, and it’s the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of LA life. The home values are also high, meaning you can expect a high ROI.
8. Seal Beach
Another town right on the LA beach, Seal Beach has a surprisingly good educational system. The schools in the area are top notch, and the community is fairly quiet. It is a tourist destination due to the high volume of seals that sit on the rocky parts of the beach, but that just means home values are higher.
This town is located a couple of hours from the beach in the mountainous region near San Bernardino county. The name literally means “beautiful mountain” in French, and the name doesn’t disappoint. There are plenty of recreational opportunities that make the community a wonderful place to live. Besides that, it’s currently one of the fastest growing cities in California, meaning you can expect a great ROI.
10. Yorba Linda
The weather, low crime, and low unemployment rates make Yorba Linda an ideal California location. The average temperature is 74 degrees, and it has great ratings for air quality. It’s located right in the middle of Los Angeles and Irvine, which puts it far enough away from the city and beach to avoid tourists, but close enough to visit anytime. The location makes an ideal investment.