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Cost of Living in Bakersfield, CA

author avatar Written by Aaron Steed

Bakersfield is located in the southern part of California’s San Joaquin Valley. Well known for its rich agricultural heritage and vibrant community, Bakersfield is one of the most sought-after cities to move within California.

With a lot of Californians moving towards cities that offer more affordable real estate, Bakersfield remains a very good option for people who are looking to stay in California.

Bakersfield is one of the state’s fastest-growing cities, offering a blend of urban amenities and a relaxed suburban lifestyle.

This blog will cover everything you need to know about the cost of living in Bakersfield, CA from housing to transportation and everything in between.

Cost Of Housing In Bakersfield, CA

The housing market in Bakersfield, like many places in California, has been unstable recently. High housing prices throughout the state have led many people to look for cheaper options outside big cities. Bakersfield, though, is seen as a more affordable choice compared to other places in California.

Here is a breakdown of the housing cost in Bakersfield, CA:

  • Median listing home price: $415,000
  • Median listing home price/sq ft: $239
  • Median sold home price: $399,500

For a more granular view of the cost of real estate based on all neighborhoods in Bakersfield:

NeighborhoodMedian Zillow Home Value Index
Silver Creek$385,561 
Campus Park$393,910
The Seasons $386,370  
Terra Vista$469,263
Southern Oaks$421,889
Ridgeview Estates$358,410
Laurelglen $383,876  
Tevis Ranch$405,438  

How Does The Housing Cost For Bakersfield Compare To Its Neighboring Cities?

When you compare Bakersfield to nearby cities in California, it’s clear that Bakersfield is more affordable in many ways. For example, Fresno has homes priced around $335,000 and rents averaging about $1,200 for a one-bedroom apartment, similar to Bakersfield’s focus on agriculture and economy.

With a lower cost of living index of 93.4 and homes priced around $310,000, Visalia offers a cheaper option nearby. Stockton, with homes around $420,000 and a higher cost of living index of 115.3, shows that Bakersfield is more affordable in housing and living costs compared to other nearby cities in the San Joaquin Valley and across California.

If you want to make bold comparisons and pit Bakersfield directly against Los Angeles, the differences are stark. Los Angeles, known for its high cost of living, sees median home prices well over $1 million in many neighborhoods, compared to Bakersfield’s much more affordable median home price of around $415,000.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles can easily exceed $2,000 per month, whereas in Bakersfield, it’s significantly lower. The contrast extends to everyday expenses like groceries and transportation, where Los Angeles tends to be considerably more expensive.

Cost Of Food & Groceries in Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield has grocery prices that are 10% higher than the national average. To compare food and grocery costs in a straightforward way, we’ll use a classical approach by looking at a “bag of essentials.” This includes some common grocery items and their prices in Bakersfield:

  • Loaf of Bread: $4.27
  • Gallon of Milk: $2.68
  • Carton of Eggs: $2.48
  • Bunch of Bananas: $3.70
  • Hamburger: $5.65

Cost Of Utilities in Bakersfield, CA

Understanding utility costs is a crucial part of assessing the cost of living in Bakersfield, CA. Here’s a detailed look at the electricity expenses for residents:

Electricity Costs

  • Average Monthly Electricity Bill: $233
  • Annual Electricity Cost: $2,796

This is 32% higher than the national average electric bill of $2,122. The average electric rates in Bakersfield cost 30¢ per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This means the average electricity customer in Bakersfield uses about 780 kWh of electricity per month, totaling 9,360 kWh annually.

Transportation Costs in Bakersfield, CA

Cost of Owning a Car

Owning a car is important in Bakersfield due to the city’s layout. Here are some common costs:

  • Gas Prices: About $4.50 per gallon, though this can change.
  • Car Insurance: Around $1,500 per year, but it can vary based on your driving history, the type of car, and coverage.
  • Maintenance: Regular upkeep like oil changes and tire rotations costs about $600 per year.

Public Transportation

Bakersfield has a local bus system called GET (Golden Empire Transit).

Bus Fares Price Breakdown:

  • Regular Fare: $1.65 per ride
  • Monthly Pass: $47
  • Discounted Fare (for seniors, students, and disabled riders): $0.85 per ride

Taxes In Bakersfield, CA

California has a mix of state and local taxes that impact the overall cost of living. If you’re moving to Bakersfield, CA expect to pay the following:

  • State Income Tax: California has a progressive income tax rate ranging from 1% to 13.3%, depending on income levels.
  • Sales Tax: The state sales tax rate is 7.25%, but local jurisdictions can add their own rates, bringing the total sales tax in Bakersfield to about 8.25%.
  • Property Tax: The average property tax rate in Kern County, where Bakersfield is located, is about 0.85% of the property’s assessed value.

Things To Do In Bakersfield, CA

A big slice of the people who move to Bakersfield, CA are actually seniors relocating to a sunny state other than Florida. With that being said, things to do in Bakersfield, CA becomes an important topic.

We have a full article about all the nice things you can do in Bakersfield. These include wine-tasting evenings, enjoying rafting trips, hiking the Wind Wolves Preserve, and much more! Bakersfield is a wonderful city that combines the best of many worlds in one place – the thing we love most if you ask us. The food and the wine! There are plenty of good places to enjoy delicious meals all over Bakersfield.

Other Factors You Might Consider Before Moving

If you’re looking to get a full picture of the pros and cons of living in Bakersfield we have them covered too. Here are some key takeaways for you to know:

Bakersfield Has Very Good Climate

Bakersfield enjoys a warm climate, with hot summers and mild winters. The average summer temperatures can reach into the high 90s°F (35-37°C), while winter temperatures typically range from the mid-40s to mid-60s°F (7-18°C). This pleasant weather allows for year-round outdoor activities and makes it easier to plan outdoor events and hobbies.

Bakersfield Has Lower Crime Rate Compared To Rest of CA

Bakersfield has a lower crime rate compared to larger California cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco. This makes it a safer place to live, especially for families and individuals who prioritize safety and a peaceful environment. The lower crime rate contributes to a sense of community and well-being among residents.

Good Schools Too

Bakersfield has a range of educational options, including public and private schools, as well as higher education institutions. The Bakersfield City School District and Kern High School District serve the city’s public school students. For higher education, California State University, Bakersfield, offers undergraduate and graduate programs, providing local students with affordable education opportunities.

Meathead Movers | Your Local Bakersfield Mover

If you’re considering a move in or out of Bakersfield, we hope this guide has provided valuable insights into the cost of living and quality of life in this vibrant city. For all your moving-related questions and needs, be sure to follow our blog for everything you need to know about Bakersfield.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for personalized assistance with your relocation. We’re committed to making your transition to Bakersfield as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Topics: Bakersfield,

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