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Pros and Cons of Living in Bakersfield, CA (home of the purge”)

Bakersfield-City-skyline Written by Marquette Carney

Moving to Bakersfield CA could possibly be the worst decision of your life…

Or it could be the best. To be honest, I don’t know. I’m just some guy on the internet. But to help you make a decision, I put together this handy list of surprising pros and cons of living in Bakersfield. 

Let’s start this list with one of my favorite things–negativity!

Con #5, The Weather is bad for Outdoor Adventures (and your kidneys)

Listen, when you move to Bakersfield, it will become clear why they call the climate “desert-like”. 

Because it gets hot here. And the temperature is almost unbearable at times.

Spending a summer in Bakersfield can almost make you regret the move. The highs get up to 99 degrees pretty consistently. 

And if you think something like rain will make these days more bearable. Forget about it. Pretty much all of California is in a severe drought.  

But with this immense downside, there is a silver lining. 

And that is Bakersfield is the perfect place to role-play as the Fremen in the movie “Dune”. 

You know, because of the lack of wat… never mind.

Con #4, All the bad guys from “Captain Planet” live in Bakersfield

I’ve got a question for you. 

Do you like air? If so, then you won’t be a fan of Bakersfield. 

You see, Bakersfield is an oil-producing city. Meaning the pollution here is enough to make Captain Planet retire. 

And all of this pollution negatively affects the air quality. 

That means fresh air might be hard to come by. So I’d suggest investing in one of those masks Bane wore in the Batman movies if you plan to move. 

(I promise that was the last movie reference. But if you’re interested in watching something like a movie, check out the video version of this article below)

Con #3, You’ll need a Magic Carpet to get around (or just a car)

Unlike many popular cities, Bakersfield doesn’t have a strong public transportation system. 

But the real problem is with the size of this city. Bakersfield is rather large. So biking and walking in this city is out of the equation. 

Unless you like to arrive at your destinations musty (no judgment, you just won’t be welcome in my home). 

When you factor in the size and lack of public transportation, one thing becomes quite clear. You’ll absolutely need a car in this city. 

That may not be a big deal for many people. But if you do decide to get a car, do not get leather seats. Remember, it’s extremely hot here. Wouldn’t want your buns to get burnt to a crisp. 

Con #2, Your Fire Emoji will be used a lot

This is a big one. 

Because the last thing you’d want is to fall in love with your home only for it to get wiped out by a natural disaster. 

And in Bakersfield, the odds are pretty high that you’ll have to deal with one. 

The desert-like climate gives this city the perfect conditions for wildfires. And I don’t care if you’re the president of the smokey the bear fan club. 

There’s not much you can do to prevent it. 

Con #1, Get used to the Annual Purge

And now for the biggest con of all. 
The crime rate. 

In Bakersfield, the crime rate is 85% above the national average. And property crime is 96% higher. 

I honestly don’t know why this is. But I would wager the heat and dehydration combo causes people to go a little mad. 

Whatever the case, if you decide to move to Bakersfield. You might want to stay strapped. 

But before you swear off this city for good you need to hear both sides. So let’s get into some reasons why one would want to move to Bakersfield–even if it shortens their lifespan. 

Ok, let’s wash this negativity off and transition to some more positive things about the city.

Pro #5, Los Angeles is right Next Door

One of the biggest reasons to move to Bakersfield is because of how close it is to LA. 

Look. We all know LA is expensive. Only movie stars and ppl who were early investors in Bitcoin are wealthy enough to live there. 

But if you move to Bakersfield, you’ll have the best of both worlds. 

You’ll live in an area with a lower cost of living–more on that soon–while also being within a 2-hour drive to beautiful LA. 

It’s definitely worth considering. 

Pro #4, Great Prisons Schools for your Kids

When it comes to schools Bakersfield has many options to choose from. 

The school district has 33 elementary schools and 8 middle and high schools. 

So if you have school-aged children, you can be assured that quality education is within their grasp. 

And if your children don’t know what they want to be when they grow up, try to nudge them into law enforcement. Because god knows Bakerfields needs more police officers. 

Pro #3, Your Wallet will learn Yoga 

This may be surprising, but the cost of living in Bakersfield isn’t that bad. 

Especially when you compare it to cities like LA. 

Housing expenses here are 11% lower than the national average, so you’ll save a bit of money here if you plan on buying a home. 

Additionally, the city has relatively low taxes. Meaning you’ll be able to make your money stretch–as long as you don’t get robbed. 

(And if you want to save even more money, check out this exhaustive list of first-time home buyer programs in California).

Pro #2, It’s Easy to get a Job (that you’ll actually like)

Bakersfield also has some pretty cool job opportunities. 

Job growth has experienced a 10.6% increase over the last decade and experts expect this trend to continue. 

Some large companies have headquarters in the city. Companies such as Amazon, Allied Universal, Esparza Enterprises, and more. 

So if you’re a hungry young professional, Bakersfield could be a good move. 

Ok, you’re about to learn the number 1 pro of living in Bakersfield California. 

But before we get to that, there’s something I must share with you. 

Here at Home and Money dot com, we make the whole process of getting a home easier (even if you’re a first-time home buyer). 

We have a whole team that will connect you to the perfect agent so you can finally get that dream home. Plus, we’ll equip you with your very own personal concierge if you’re a first time home buyer–Which, if you’ve ever purchased a home, you know is a HUGE help considering how complicated the process can be

Best of all, this service is absolutely free!

Just fill out the quick form below to get started (or suffer the consequences…)

Pro #1, Kiss boredom goodbye

Like many cities in California, Bakersfield will certainly not leave you bored. 

You’ll find many outdoor and indoor activities that will definitely keep you busy. 

A few noteworthy places are the Hart Memorial Park, Buck Owens Crystal Palace, Fox Theater, and the California Living Museum. 

So whether you like trails, music, or museums, you’ll find something to your liking. 

Should you Move to Bakersfield, or not?

That’s right. It’s decision time!

As you can see from this list, Bakersfield has a number of things to love, but only a foolish person would flat out ignore the cons. 

Here’s my take. 

As long as you’re intentional about where you live (meaning picking a neighborhood that doesn’t have “criminals at play” signs), then you’ll dodge the biggest con of this city. 

I mean, you’ll still have to contend with hot summers, wildfires, and pollution, but with Global Warming on its way, you might as well accept that there’s no avoiding that. 

We’re pretty much just trying to pick the best version of our demise at this point. 


Bakersfield has a lot to love about it. So if you do plan on making that move, I’d suggest checking out this list of the best real estate agents in Bakersfield, CA. 

Until next time!

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