Real Estate

5 Most Expensive Places to Live in California

California is one of the most expensive states in the US. That is not surprising as millions of people have left the state over the past decade searching for cheaper living conditions. But for those who can afford it, California offers some of the most beautiful places to live.

What follows are the five most expensive places in California. Each community is established and separate, but some are located within larger cities. And surprisingly enough, Beverly Hills is not the most expensive.


First on the list alphabetically and in terms of expense, Atherton is the most expensive city town in California and in the US as well. Located about 45 minutes south of San Francisco and near Silicon Valley, Atherton is the home to large, mega-mansions owned by the tech industries most successful, which includes Eric Schmidt of Google. According to real estate experts Quick Property Buyer, the average household income in Atherton is well above a half-million per year with medium home values reaching around $7 million.

Beverly Hills

Not far behind Atherton is Beverly Hills, arguably the most famous expensive place to live in the world. With a population of just under 35,000, Beverly Hills is the home to many celebrities from music, movies, and television along with those who run such industries. For property cash buyers, the average medium home value is $2 million and the many expensive shops and stores make Beverly Hills one of the most expensive places to live.

Hidden Hills

A gated community within Los Angeles, Hidden hills has become the fashionable alternative to Beverly Hills. Prized for its remote location, Hidden Hills has attracted many celebrities and features some impressive homes with the median cost being $3.2 million. Set amid the rolling countryside which features dozens of miles of horseback and hiking trails, the community is truly residential as it lacks shopping and dining establishments.

Los Altos

What started as a small agricultural town has sprouted into a vibrant community that has attracted many in the Silicon Valley area. Located near Stanford and Palo Alto, Los Altos may be the perfect location to live while attending the best in higher education. Of course, that convenience comes with a price as the average home sale is $3.1 million. With its many attractions, particularly in education, Los Altos is a highly desired, if quite expensive place to live for families.


Located north of San Francisco, Ross is a small community that provides a quaint, rural atmosphere for the well-to-do. A picturesque setting, Ross features many small shops and natural attractions such as parks, hills, and lakes which can be enjoyed by visitors and residents alike. It’s small, remote location also makes it quite expensive as the average home sale price is $3.3 million. But the town does feature a surprising number of attractions for its size and remarkable location.

The five communities featured represent the most expensive places to live in California. But for those who can afford the price, they also offer many amenities and features that make the expense worth it.