GOBankingRates

What You Can Get in Every State for the Price of a California Home

benedek / Getty Images/iStockphoto

benedek / Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s long been clear that California real estate is uniquely expensive compared to the rest of the country. The September 2021 median home price in the state — $717,000 — is high, but house prices are even higher in its four biggest cities: San Diego ($873,509), Los Angeles ($905,911), San Jose ($1,281,627) and San Francisco ($1,550,017).

Read: Craziest Things That Kill Your Home’s Value
Home Improvement: 20 Home Renovations That Will Hurt Your Home’s Value

In almost all major cities across the U.S., you would pay less for a house — and in some, you could buy multiple houses for the cost of a single home in a California city.

GOBankingRates determined what you could get in every state for the price of a California home by taking the median home value of the biggest cities from every state, and comparing the cost of a home in each city to housing prices in California’s biggest cities. Find out how far California money goes in every other state.

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Alabama

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 6 homes in Mobile
  • 1 home in San Jose = 8.5 homes in Mobile
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 10.3 homes in Mobile
  • 1 home in San Diego = 5.8 homes in Mobile

The median home value in Mobile is $151,095 — the fifth-lowest of all the cities included in this study. Alabama is one of the states where you can buy the largest home for your money, a separate GOBankingRates study found.

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Alaska

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 2.3 homes in Anchorage
  • 1 home in San Jose = 3.3 homes in Anchorage
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 4 homes in Anchorage
  • 1 home in San Diego = 2.3 homes in Anchorage

Anchorage is the fastest-growing city in Alaska — but buying a house there is still cheaper than in any of the biggest cities in California. The median home value in Anchorage is $387,415.

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Arizona

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 2.6 homes in Phoenix
  • 1 home in San Jose = 3.7 homes in Phoenix
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 4.4 homes in Phoenix
  • 1 home in San Diego = 2.5 homes in Phoenix

Phoenix is more populous than San Jose, San Francisco and San Diego — but it’s much cheaper to live in Phoenix. The median home value is $350,131 in the capital of Arizona.

Find Out: The Cost To Retire in America’s Warmest Cities

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Arkansas

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 5.4 homes in Little Rock
  • 1 home in San Jose = 7.6 homes in Little Rock
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 9.2 homes in Little Rock
  • 1 home in San Diego = 5.2 homes in Little Rock

The median home value in Little Rock is $167,907, which is about a quarter of the price of a home in San Diego. This capital city has a surprisingly low cost of living, according to a separate GOBankingRates study.

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Colorado

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 1.6 homes in Denver
  • 1 home in San Jose = 2.2 homes in Denver
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 2.7 homes in Denver
  • 1 home in San Diego = 1.5 homes in Denver

The median home value in Denver is $571,345, but it’s possible to find a starter home for less. Homeowners need to earn about $110,000 a year to live comfortably in Denver, a separate GOBankingRates study found.

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Connecticut

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 3.2 homes in Bridgeport
  • 1 home in San Jose = 4.5 homes in Bridgeport
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 5.5 homes in Bridgeport
  • 1 home in San Diego = 3.1 homes in Bridgeport

The median home value in Bridgeport is $282,453, making it a much more affordable city to buy a home than in one of California’s most populous cities.

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Delaware

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 3.1 homes in Newark
  • 1 home in San Jose = 4.4 homes in Newark
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 5.4 homes in Newark
  • 1 home in San Diego = 3 homes in Newark

You could buy three homes in Newark for the cost of a single home in Los Angeles or San Diego. The median home value in Newark, which is home to the University of Delaware, is $288,234.

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Florida

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 3.8 homes in Jacksonville
  • 1 home in San Jose = 5.3 homes in Jacksonville
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 6.4 homes in Jacksonville
  • 1 home in San Diego = 3.6 homes in Jacksonville

The median list price for a home in Jacksonville is $241,147. If you’re looking for a warm-weather location to live, Jacksonville is an affordable alternative to California’s biggest cities.

Tips: 17 Dumb Home-Buying Mistakes That Hurt Your Wallet

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Georgia

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 2.5 homes in Atlanta
  • 1 home in San Jose = 3.6 homes in Atlanta
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 4.3 homes in Atlanta
  • 1 home in San Diego = 2.4 homes in Atlanta

A first-time homebuyer is much better off looking in Georgia than in California. In Atlanta, the median home value is $358,268. A separate GOBankingRates study found that the median home value in Georgia will be about $234,000 by the end of 2021, meaning you could find somewhere cheaper to live than Atlanta.

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Hawaii

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 0.8 home in Honolulu
  • 1 home in San Jose = 1.1 home in Honolulu
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 1.3 homes in Honolulu
  • 1 home in San Diego = 0.8 homes in Honolulu

If you can’t afford to live in Los Angeles or San Diego, you can’t afford to live in Honolulu. The median home value in Honolulu is $1,155,517 – more than $200,000 above the value in those California cities.

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Idaho

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 1.9 homes in Boise
  • 1 home in San Jose = 2.7 homes in Boise
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 3.2 homes in Boise
  • 1 home in San Diego = 1.8 homes in Boise

The median home value in Boise is $477,220, which is nearly one-third of the median home value in San Francisco. Boise is the third-best state capital to live in, another GOBankingRates study found.

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Illinois

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 3.2 homes in Chicago
  • 1 home in San Jose = 4.6 homes in Chicago
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 5.5 homes in Chicago
  • 1 home in San Diego = 3.1 homes in Chicago

The median home value in Chicago is $280,924, so you could buy at least three houses in each of the California cities.

See which housing markets could be in trouble around the U.S.

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Indiana

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 4.8 homes in Indianapolis
  • 1 home in San Jose = 6.8 homes in Indianapolis
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 8.3 homes in Indianapolis
  • 1 home in San Diego = 4.7 homes in Indianapolis

Indianapolis is one of the cities where your paycheck goes the furthest, a separate GOBankingRates study found. The median home value in Indianapolis is $187,454.

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Iowa

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 5.4 homes in Des Moines
  • 1 home in San Jose = 7.6 homes in Des Moines
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 9.2 homes in Des Moines
  • 1 home in San Diego = 5.2 homes in Des Moines

For the price of a single home in San Francisco, you could get nine homes in Des Moines, where the median home value is $167,857. Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines, was named one of the best suburbs for growing families, a separate GOBankingRates study found.

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Kansas

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 5.7 homes in Wichita
  • 1 home in San Jose = 8.1 homes in Wichita
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 9.8 homes in Wichita
  • 1 home in San Diego = 5.5 homes in Wichita

If you have a $1.5 million housing budget, move to Wichita. With a median home value of $158,468, you could buy more than nine houses instead of one in San Francisco.

Don’t Break the Bank: 30 Ways To Upgrade Your Home Without Blowing Your Budget

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Kentucky

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 4.3 homes in Louisville
  • 1 home in San Jose = 6.1 homes in Louisville
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 7.4 homes in Louisville
  • 1 home in San Diego = 4.2 homes in Louisville

In Louisville, you need a $101,000 annual salary to be happy – less than half of what it takes in Los Angeles, a separate GOBankingRates study found. The median home value in Louisville is $208,674, so you’d be able to buy seven homes in the city for the cost of a single home in San Francisco.

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Louisiana

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 3.7 homes in New Orleans
  • 1 home in San Jose = 5.2 homes in New Orleans
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 6.3 homes in New Orleans
  • 1 home in San Diego = 3.6 homes in New Orleans

With a median home value of $246,025, New Orleans has much more affordable homes than any of the major California cities. However, a separate GOBankingRates study found that it’s one of the worst cities to own investment property.

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Maine

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 2.1 homes in Portland
  • 1 home in San Jose = 3 homes in Portland
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 3.6 homes in Portland
  • 1 home in San Diego = 2 homes in Portland

Homes are relatively expensive in Portland, Maine — the median home value is $432,318 — but homes are still cheaper there than in the four biggest California cities.

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Maryland

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 5 homes in Baltimore
  • 1 home in San Jose = 7.1 homes in Baltimore
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 8.6 homes in Baltimore
  • 1 home in San Diego = 4.9 homes in Baltimore

The median home value in Baltimore is $179,593, so you could get five homes in the city for the same price of a single L.A. home. It’s also a good place live on a $100,000 salary, a separate GOBankingRates study found.

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Massachusetts

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 1.3 homes in Boston
  • 1 home in San Jose = 1.8 homes in Boston
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 2.2 homes in Boston
  • 1 home in San Diego = 1.3 homes in Boston

With a median list price of $695,514, Boston real estate isn’t as high as in the four major California cities.

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Michigan

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 16.8 homes in Detroit
  • 1 home in San Jose = 23.8 homes in Detroit
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 28.8 homes in Detroit
  • 1 home in San Diego = 16.2 homes in Detroit

The median home value in Detroit is $53,844 – the least-expensive price in the study. Michigan is one of the cheapest states in America, thanks in part to low living costs such as housing, a separate GOBankingRates study found.

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Minnesota

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 2.8 homes in Minneapolis
  • 1 home in San Jose = 3.9 homes in Minneapolis
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 4.7 homes in Minneapolis
  • 1 home in San Diego = 2.7 homes in Minneapolis

In Minneapolis, the median home value is only $326,866 — which means you can get a nice chunk of real estate for the price of a California home. And in other Minnesota cities, you might even find cheaper houses.

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Mississippi

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 13.6 homes in Jackson
  • 1 home in San Jose = 19.3 homes in Jackson
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 23.4 homes in Jackson
  • 1 home in San Diego = 13.2 homes in Jackson

California has the third-highest cost of living in the U.S., but Mississippi has the lowest, another GOBankingRates study found. Housing costs in Jackson are low too, with the median home value at $66,370 – the second lowest in this study.

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Missouri

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 4.6 homes in Kansas City
  • 1 home in San Jose = 6.6 homes in Kansas City
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 7.9 homes in Kansas City
  • 1 home in San Diego = 4.5 homes in Kansas City

The median home value in Kansas City is $195,124, so you’d be able to buy nearly eight homes there for the cost of a single home in San Francisco. There are a number of cities in the U.S. where homes are priced at less than $250,000, another GOBankingRates study found.

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Montana

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 3 homes in Billings
  • 1 home in San Jose = 4.3 homes in Billings
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 5.2 homes in Billings
  • 1 home in San Diego = 2.9 homes in Billings

If you’re thinking about retiring in Billings, it’s a good idea to know the annual cost of retiring comfortably in Montana. That’s $59,652, a separate GOBankingRates study found. The median home value in the city is $297,041.

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Nebraska

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 3.9 homes in Omaha
  • 1 home in San Jose = 5.5 homes in Omaha
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 6.6 homes in Omaha
  • 1 home in San Diego= 3.7 homes in Omaha

Nebraska is one of the cheapest states to build a house in, another GOBankingRates study found, but it’s also relatively cheap to buy a home there. In Omaha, the median home value is $233,225 — which is less than one-sixth of the cost of a home in San Francisco.

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Nevada

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 2.5 homes in Las Vegas
  • 1 home in San Jose = 3.6 homes in Las Vegas
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 4.4 homes in Las Vegas
  • 1 home in San Diego: 2.5 homes in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is just a short plane ride away from Los Angeles, but one secret to the city is that its home prices are vastly different: The median home value in Las Vegas is $355,681 — $550,000 less than the median home value in Los Angeles.

Did Your City Make the List? Best Cities To Retire on a Budget of $1,500 a Month

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New Hampshire

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 2.7 homes in Manchester
  • 1 home in San Jose = 3.9 homes in Manchester
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 4.7 homes in Manchester
  • 1 home in San Diego = 2.6 homes in Manchester

For the price of a single home in Los Angeles or San Diego, you could get almost three homes in Manchester, where the median home value is $332,889. The city is home to a convention center, sports stadiums, entertainment, arts and culture. And Manchester isn’t far from an abundance of outlet malls for great shopping.

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New Jersey

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 2.5 homes in Newark
  • 1 home in San Jose = 3.5 homes in Newark
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 4.2 homes in Newark
  • 1 home in San Diego = 2.4 homes in Newark

Newark is a much cheaper alternative to New York City, where a separate GOBankingRates study found that even a $100,000 salary won’t cover annual living expenses. The median home value in the Northeast city is $369,107.

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New Mexico

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 3.5 homes in Albuquerque
  • 1 home in San Jose = 5 homes in Albuquerque
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 6 homes in Albuquerque
  • 1 home in San Diego = 3.4 homes in Albuquerque

Homes in New Mexico’s largest city are significantly more affordable than homes in California’s largest cities. The median home value in the city is $258,150. Albuquerque is an affordable place to live overall — it’s one of the cheapest places to rent, another GOBankingRates study found.

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New York

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 1.3 homes in New York City
  • 1 home in San Jose = 1.8 homes in New York City
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 2.2 homes in New York City
  • 1 home in San Diego = 1.2 homes in New York City

It’s even cheaper to buy a home in ultra-expensive New York City than in the biggest cities in California. And these aren’t the only four California cities where real estate costs a whole lot of money. The median home value in New York City is $703,526.

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North Carolina

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 2.9 homes in Charlotte
  • 1 home in San Jose = 4.1 homes in Charlotte
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 5 homes in Charlotte
  • 1 home in San Diego = 2.8 homes in Charlotte

Charlotte is home to great weather, craft beer, natural beauty — and much cheaper homes than you’ll find in California’s largest cities. The median home value in North Carolina’s largest city is $312,832 — far more affordable to a first-time homebuyer than cities in California.

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North Dakota

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 3.6 homes in Fargo
  • 1 home in San Jose = 5.0 homes in Fargo
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 6.1 homes in Fargo
  • 1 home in San Diego = 3.4 homes in Fargo

The median home value in Fargo is $253,986, which is about one-fifth of the cost of a San Jose home. The city is a center of industry and agriculture, and it’s home to several historic neighborhoods. And the state is a great place to be if you’re already wealthy.

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Ohio

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 4.2 homes in Columbus
  • 1 home in San Jose = 5.9 homes in Columbus
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 7.2 homes in Columbus
  • 1 home in San Diego = 4 homes in Columbus

With a median home value of $216,717, Columbus is one of the more affordable cities included in this study. Homes in Columbus cost hundreds of thousands of dollars less than in the major California cities.

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Oklahoma

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 5.4 homes in Oklahoma City
  • 1 home in San Jose = 7.7 homes in Oklahoma City
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 9.3 homes in Oklahoma City
  • 1 home in San Diego = 5.2 homes in Oklahoma City

It has a median home value of $166,614, plus Oklahoma City is a surprising city where you can make a decent income.

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Oregon

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 1.7 homes in Portland
  • 1 home in San Jose = 2.4 homes in Portland
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 2.8 homes in Portland
  • 1 home in San Diego = 1.6 homes in Portland

Portland, Oregon, is one of the cities where the cost of living is soaring, but home prices are still lower there than in California’s biggest cities. The median home value in the Pacific Northwest city is $543,992.

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Pennsylvania

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 4.2 homes in Philadelphia
  • 1 home in San Jose = 6 homes in Philadelphia
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 7.2 homes in Philadelphia
  • 1 home in San Diego = 4.1 homes in Philadelphia

With a median home value of $214,235, Philadelphia is an affordable place to buy a home compared with California. However, it’s one of the cities where inflation is soaring, a separate GOBankingRates report found.

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Rhode Island

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 3 homes in Providence
  • 1 home in San Jose = 4.3 homes in Providence
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 5.2 homes in Providence
  • 1 home in San Diego = 2.9 homes in Providence

You could get five homes in Providence for the cost of a single home in San Francisco. The median home value in the city is $297,328, but it is expected to become a place where it’s too expensive to buy a home, according to a separate GOBankingRates study.

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South Carolina

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 5.2 homes in Columbia
  • 1 home in San Jose = 7.4 homes in Columbia
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 8.9 homes in Columbia
  • 1 home in San Diego = 5 homes in Columbia

You could get four homes in Columbia — where the median home value is $173,265 — for the price of a nearly nine homes in San Francisco. If you fancy downtown living, it has some of the most affordable downtown housing in America, according to a different GOBankingRates study.

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South Dakota

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 3.5 homes in Sioux Falls
  • 1 home in San Jose = 4.9 homes in Sioux Falls
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 6 homes in Sioux Falls
  • 1 home in San Diego = 3.4 homes in Sioux Falls

For the cost of a single home in Los Angeles or San Jose, you could get three homes in Sioux Falls, where the median home value is $259,573. Sioux Falls is one of the best cities for boomers to find work, according to a separate GOBankingRates study.

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Tennessee

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 7.5 homes in Memphis
  • 1 home in San Jose = 10.6 homes in Memphis
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 12.8 homes in Memphis
  • 1 home in San Diego = 7.2 homes in Memphis

Memphis is one of the cities that requires the lowest income to be considered “rich,” a separate GOBankingRates study found. The median home value in the Southern city is only $121,140.

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Texas

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 4 homes in Houston
  • 1 home in San Jose = 5.7 homes in Houston
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 6.9 homes in Houston
  • 1 home in San Diego = 3.9 homes in Houston

Houston is one of the cities facing rising inflation, a separate GOBankingRates study found. The median home value in the city is $224,292.

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Utah

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 1.6 homes in Salt Lake City
  • 1 home in San Jose = 2.3 homes in Salt Lake City
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 2.8 homes in Salt Lake City
  • 1 home in San Diego = 1.6 homes in Salt Lake City

The median home value in Salt Lake City is high — $554,037 — but it’s still less than half of the price of a home in San Francisco or San Jose. It’s no surprise that Utah is the 13th-most expensive place to build a house, a GOBankingRates study found.

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Vermont

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 2.2 homes in Burlington
  • 1 home in San Jose = 3.1 homes in Burlington
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 3.7 homes in Burlington
  • 1 home in San Diego = 2.1 homes in Burlington

Burlington is home to the University of Vermont, and a separate GOBankingRates study showed that you need more than $100,000 in income to be considered rich in this college town. The median home value in the city is $419,591.

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Virginia

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 2.7 homes in Virginia Beach
  • 1 home in San Jose = 3.8 homes in Virginia Beach
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 4.6 homes in Virginia Beach
  • 1 home in San Diego = 2.6 homes in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach has a median home value of $335,288. If you’re looking for the best place to live on a fixed income in Virginia, turn to Martinsville, according to another GOBankingRates study.

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Washington

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 1 home in Seattle
  • 1 home in San Jose = 1.4 home in Seattle
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 1.7 home in Seattle
  • 1 home in San Diego = 1 home in Seattle

With a median home value of $894,103 Seattle’s real estate costs are on par with San Diego and Los Angeles’.

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West Virginia

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 10 homes in Huntington
  • 1 home in San Jose = 14.2 homes in Huntington
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 17.1 homes in Huntington
  • 1 home in San Diego = 9.7 homes in Huntington

West Virginia is one of the states where you might actually be able to afford a mansion, a separate GOBankingRates study found. In Huntington, the median home value is only $90,491.

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Wisconsin

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 5.6 homes in Milwaukee
  • 1 home in San Jose = 8 homes in Milwaukee
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 9.7 homes in Milwaukee
  • 1 home in San Diego = 5.4 homes in Milwaukee

Although San Jose and San Francisco are among the most expensive cities in America, Milwaukee is one of the best places to live if you want to save money, according to another GOBankingRates study. The median home value in Milwaukee is $160,467.

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Wyoming

  • 1 home in Los Angeles = 2.9 homes in Cheyenne
  • 1 home in San Jose = 4.1 homes in Cheyenne
  • 1 home in San Francisco = 4.9 homes in Cheyenne
  • 1 home in San Diego = 2.8 homes in Cheyenne

The median home value in Cheyenne is $314,786, so you could get three homes there for the price of a single home in Los Angeles or San Diego. Cheyenne is one of the cities where you can retire for less than $2,000 a month, according to a separate GOBankingRates study.

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Comparing California Real Estate to Other States

Instead of buying a house in California, you could use that same money to get multiple homes in many cities across the U.S.

The cities where you can buy the most homes for the equivalent of what you would pay for a California home include Detroit; Jackson, Mississippi; Huntington, West Virginia; Memphis; and Mobile, Alabama. 

If you can afford a single home in San Francisco, you can get 28 homes in Detroit, 23 in Jackson, 17 in Huntington, 12 in Memphis and 10 in Mobile.

More From GOBankingRates

Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: GOBankingRates took the median home values in 2021 for the four biggest cities in California — Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose — and the 2021 median home value of the biggest city from every other state, excluding Washington, D.C., and compared the cost of each city to those of the four California cities. To determine how many California houses could be bought in each city, the city’s 2021 median home value was divided by the California cities’ 2021 median home value. All home prices were sourced from Zillow and up to date as of their September 2021 data. All data was collected and is up to date as of Nov. 17, 2021.