The 5 worst cities in California to buy property in the next 5 years, according to real estate agents

The 5 worst cities in California to buy property in the next 5 years, according to real estate agents

The 5 worst cities in California to buy property in the next 5 years, according to real estate agents

More than 39 million people call California home, and with its sunny weather, warm beaches, diverse landscape, and laid-back vibe, the Golden State has long been a favorite destination to live in. The West Coast location is also appealing for its endless outdoor activities, variety of food, state parks, and job opportunities. While California is an attractive state, not every city is worthy of investment. “When it comes to real estate, not all that glitters is gold, especially in California,” Yawar Charlie, a Los Angeles-based senior real estate agent, director of the Aaron Kirman Group’s property division, and cast member on CNBC’s Listing Impossible, told us.

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According to Charlie, below are some cities you may want to think twice about investing in over the next five years, and he started by saying that “these cities may have their charms, but from a real estate investment perspective, they carry significant risks.”

He added: “Remember, the real estate market is not just about finding the cheapest property – it is about finding value and growth potential.”


“Despite efforts to revitalize, Stockton still struggles with high crime rates and economic instability,” he said.

According to Southbay Moving Systems, the city suffers from a crime rate 81.5% higher than the rest of the United States and 65% higher than the rest of California. “The real estate market here has been notoriously volatile, and while there may be potential for long-term growth, the risk is significant. Think of it like you’re betting on a long shot to win the Kentucky Derby,” Charlie explained.


Located north of Los Angeles and near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, Bakersfield is an affordable place to live, with more than 400,000 people having settled there. However, low cost is not the only factor to consider when purchasing property.

“While affordable, Bakersfield’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and agriculture, both of which are susceptible to market fluctuations,” Charlie explained. “The area has also faced environmental challenges and limited cultural amenities, which could impact property values ​​and appeal. Investing here is like riding a roller coaster – thrilling, but hold on tight!”


Located in California’s Central Valley, approximately 68 miles from Sacramento, Modesto offers housing costs that are 84% lower than the state average, with goods and services 30% cheaper than the rest of the state.

But the city also has a downside, Charlie explained. “Modesto faces high crime rates and limited job opportunities, making it less attractive to new residents and investors.”

According to Neighborhood Scout, Modesto has one of the highest crime rates in the country, and “the chance of becoming a victim of a violent or property crime here is one in 30.”

However, there are other reasons to proceed with caution when considering buying property in Modesto, according to Charlie.

“The city’s growth has been slow, and without significant economic development, property values ​​can stagnate. You could say it’s like watching paint dry, but without the exciting payoff.”

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Known for its wide variety of agriculture and crops, including grapes, tomatoes, citrus fruits and almonds, Fresno offers plenty to do for residents and visitors alike, but according to Charlie, it’s a city to avoid when purchasing property.

“Although it is one of the largest cities in California, Fresno struggles with high unemployment rates and a lack of well-paying jobs,” he said. “The housing market here has been inconsistent and the city’s growth prospects are uncertain. Investing here might seem like swimming against the tide.”

Saint Bernardine

San Bernardino is located in the Inland Empire region of Southern California and is an affordable suburb of Los Angeles, but the city is still reeling from several problems.

“San Bernardino has had its share of problems, including a bankruptcy filing in 2012 due to financial difficulties and cash shortages,” Charlie said. “The city is still struggling with economic recovery, a failing school system and high crime rates with a one in 23 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime. It’s the kind of investment that can leave you feeling more stressed than blessed,” he said.

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This article originally appeared on The 5 Worst Cities in California to Buy Property in the Next 5 Years, According to Realtors

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