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The 5 Best Places to Live in California for Families

Where you raise your kids has a profound impact on their lives. The school they go to, the friends they make, the activities they get involved in — everything revolves around where you live. Let’s look at the best places to live in California for families to help you with this important decision.
Where you raise your kids has a profound impact on their lives. The school they go to, the friends they make, the activities they get involved in — everything revolves around where you live. Let’s look at the best places to live in California for families to help you with this important decision.

Where should you live?

That’s not always an easy question to answer. The job market, weather, proximity to family, amenities, cost of living, and a whole host of other factors play into this decision.

If you have kids, that adds another list of things to think about. Good schools, fun things to do, and a community with a family-friendly feel suddenly become more important.

Once you’ve picked a town, it’s crucial to connect with a real estate agent so they can find your perfect family home.

To help you with this decision, let’s look at five of the best places to live in California for families.

Los Altos

When it comes to choosing a place for your family, Los Altos has everything you could want. Good schools? Check. Low crime rate? Check. Great weather? Check. Good jobs? Check.

Additionally, according to data from AreaVibes, 75% of the 30,000 residents over 15 are married and 49% have children under 18.

The only scary thing about Los Altos is the cost of living. Perhaps because it is such a desirable place to live, home prices are extremely high. According to July 2019 Zillow data, the median home value is $3,231,000.

Before you hyperventilate and cross this city off your list, let’s look at the average income. The income per capita in Los Altos is $96,464. Compare that to California’s average of $31,458 and the national average of $29,829. Additionally, the average household income is a whopping $187,656.

Despite a high median home price, 83% of residents are homeowners. This indicates that the job market and incomes are strong enough to support the high cost of real estate.


If you’re looking for a smaller town, Piedmont with its population of just over 11,000 might fit the bill. It has similar qualifications as Los Altos — excellent schools, low crime, good jobs, and beautiful weather.

The cost of living is slightly less obscene with the median home value being at $2,932,700 and 89% of residents are homeowners. Incomes look pretty good here too. Per capita average is $98,039 and the household average is $202,083.

Mountain View

For those who want a more urban feel, Mountain View is a great choice. Over 78,000 people make this area their home, many of them with their families. Nearly 80% of the population is married, and 52% have children still under the age of 18. The high test scores, low crime, and good jobs make this a family-friendly city.

The cost of living is still high; the median home value is somewhat more manageable at $1,797,600. Perhaps due to the more urban vibe, more people in this area rent. The median rent price of $1,912, though higher than the national average, is certainly more affordable than buying real estate.

The income per capita is $61,668 and household incomes average $109,249. This may contribute to the higher percentage of renters.


Lafayette is a mid-sized city of about 25,000 that also offers fantastic schools, a low crime rate, and a strong job market. The area is rife with amenities and fun things for families to do.

Though we’ve moved away from the coast a bit, the cost of living is still high (is there anywhere in California that is more affordable?). The median home value is the lowest of any on this list at $1,575,000. The price is still high but 73% of residents are homeowners so the job market supports the high cost.

The per capita income is strong at $76,726 and the average household income is even better at $142,977.


The cost of living in Hillsborough is insane. However, more than 11,000 people still love to call this town their home. Amenities are plentiful and easy to get to. Plus, the extremely low crime rate, stellar schools, and fantastic weather all help to make it worthwhile.

The icing on the cake, however, is the strength of the job market. The per capita income at $116,164 is 289% higher than the U.S. average. The average household income is equally high at $216,292.

As you might imagine, the median home value is incredibly high at $4,297,800. However, folks are well able to own homes as evidenced by a homeownership rate of 92%.

Finding the Right Home

Reading lists like this on the Internet is a great way to start narrowing your search. But if you really want to get a good feel for an area, you have to visit it. Even better, you should talk to an area expert to discover more in-depth information that doesn’t show up during a cruise through town.

Of course, you need a trustworthy source if you want solid information. We can point you in the right direction.

Here at Clever, we have partnered with real estate agents all over the country. These Partner Agents are not only experts in real estate and their local area, but also strive to put their customers first. In other words, we don’t work with realtors who aren’t upfront and honest with their customers.

On top of that, Clever buyers may be eligible for a Home Buyers Rebate of up to 1% of the purchase price on homes worth more than $500,000. When looking at how expensive real estate is in these parts of California, that rebate at closing is a nice chunk of change that will come in handy.

Want to learn more about how it works? Contact us today. We’ll put you in touch with a Partner Agent who can find your dream home in no time!


Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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