Pros and cons of living in Palmdale, California

Are you planning to move to Palmdale? Then you’ll be interested in knowing all about this city. It’s one of two major cities in the Antelope Valley, forming a twin-city complex with Lancaster. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in Palmdale?

As one of the most populated cities in California, living in Palmdale comes with perks. They include affordability, family-friendly areas, cheap housing, safety, and proximity. But don’t be fooled. There are also disadvantages such as long commutes, limited jobs, extreme weather, and no nightlife.

Regardless of the pros and cons of living in Palmdale, so much depends on what you’re looking for. For some, Palmdale is ideal for their lifestyle, while others disagree. That’s why we examine the city critically so you can decide for yourself.

Pros of Living in Palmdale

Palmdale is worth considering when looking for a city to live in California. It has several positive features such as:

1. Relatively Affordable

Palmdale is a relatively affordable place to live. The city cost of living is only 27.4% higher than the national average. While that might be a lot, it’s lower than the 49.9% California average. In choosing where to live, affordability is always an essential factor to consider. But this can be very hard to find in many California cities. Only a few come close to offering affordability, and Palmdale is one of them.

Every basic expense here apart from transportation costs less than the California average. Even the price of healthcare and groceries is lower than the national average. So, Palmdale isn’t a bad place to live at all when considering the cost.

2. Safe City

The safety of a city matters a lot when choosing to live there. For a place like California, where the crime rate is higher than the national average, identifying urban centers that are relatively safe can be challenging. Fortunately, Palmdale is one of those places.

The total crime rate is 26% below the national average, and property crime is 33% lower. However, violent crimes are slightly higher at 10% above the national average. But you don’t have to worry. The chance of being a crime victim in Palmdale is just 1 in 55. The city is safer than 30% of US cities.

3. Cheap Housing

Another area where the city is relatively affordable is in terms of housing. In California, there are cities where homes cost over a million dollars on average. The average cost of a house in the state itself is slightly above $700,000, almost double the $300,000 price of homes in the US.

But homes in Palmdale are cheaper than what you’ll find in most California cities. The average price of a house here is $431,130. So, if you’re thinking of buying a house in California, you should consider Palmdale. As of March 2021, average rents in Palmdale are even below the national average. So, you’re surely in a good place to get affordable housing.

4. Family-Friendly and Organized Neighborhoods

Palmdale is a lovely city to live in for families. The city is relatively affordable, safe, and you’ll find several good schools there. So, if you’re planning to raise a family or moving to California with your family, you might want to check out Palmdale.

There are several nice neighborhoods here, and most of them are very coordinated with streets lettered or numbered. However, just as there are good neighborhoods, there are also bad ones. So, you need to do your research before moving into an area in Palmdale.

Another thing that makes the city family-friendly is the amenities on offer. You’ll find parks and other attractions here for families and kids. Palmdale is also dog friendly, and there are parks in the city where you can walk your dog.

5. Proximity to Everywhere

Palmdale’s location means it’s close to everything. Whether you’re heading to the bigger cities, the beaches, mountains, or a lake, you can get there less than 2 hours from Palmdale. Likewise, Los Angeles is just an hour away from here. The closeness means you can live in Palmdale and still spend some time or even work in other nearby cities. 

Cons of Living in Palmdale

Here are the disadvantages of living in Palmdale.

1. Extreme Weather

Palmdale is one of the two cities in Los Angeles County that’s part of the Mojave Desert. Unfortunately, its location means it doesn’t have the ideal Mediterranean weather that most Southern California enjoys. Here, the weather gets extremely hot in the summer and cold in the winter. However, snow doesn’t fall here, unlike in Lancaster. Nevertheless, the weather is still somewhat comfortable, with an 8/10 rating according to BestPlaces.

2. Absence of Nightlife

While there are several attractions in the city, the nightlife isn’t exactly the best, unlike cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, where you’ll find clubs, restaurants, bars, etc., at night. Your options here are limited, and you might have to go to Los Angeles to enjoy a really fun night.

3. Limited Job Opportunities

Unemployment is high here, and job opportunities are quite limited. Unemployment is 13.7% for June 2021, more than double the 5.9% US rate. So, the best way to move here is to know you have a job waiting for you. If you’re searching for jobs, it might take a while to find a high-paying one.

4. Higher Commute Time

The city is car-dependent and has one of the highest commute times in the country. Compared to the national average one-way commute time of 26.4 minutes, it takes 42.7 minutes in Palmdale. So you should be prepared to spend a long time before getting to where you’re going.

It has minimal transport options and isn’t walkable either. WalkScore gives it 24 for walkability and 35 for bike score. This shows you’ll need your car more than ever to get around this city. Unsurprisingly, this city is the 5th most stressful city to live in California. 

In Conclusion

As one of Los Angeles County’s biggest cities, Palmdale offers all the benefits that come with living in an urban area within a metropolis. But it has some disadvantages which might make it difficult for some to enjoy living in the city. It’s up to you to decide if Palmdale is the right place for you.