Looking for the Best yet Affordable Apartments in California

Chambord Apartments, 1298 Sacramento St., San FranciscoLooking for affordable apartments in California? Well so are millions of other people. Don’t worry though, because the apartments don’t have all the power.


It’s important to remember that apartments are competing against one another just as fiercely as you are. In an age where people evaluate living situations by snapshots and phone apps, apartments are showing deceptively deflated prices with hidden fees, services, and monthly charges. Here are some steps to help you find the best deal for you.


General strategies:


  • Location, location, location. Apartments for rent in key locations near schools, city hubs, or affluent areas will be more expensive. Ask yourself if you are willing to drive a longer commute in exchange for lower monthly rent. Try to find an apartment a little ways from city hubs while still being close to major freeway entrances to make up for lost time.


  • Establish your priorities. Free pool and fitness center! Everyone wants that, right? Even if amenities are listed as free, the price for their construction, crowd appeal, and maintenance is factored into your rent. Also make sure to ask which amenities are included in the rent. Try to find an apartment that does not provide more than you need.


  • Negotiate a longer lease. The most expensive thing for an apartment is having empty units. Most apartments are willing to make price deductions in exchange for a longer guaranteed stay. Try to sign the lease for as long a period as you feel comfortable, and make sure they are adjusting the price accordingly.


  • Most two-bedroom apartments cost less than 1.5x as much as one bedroom apartments within the same complex, according to housing statistics. That means only paying 75% as much if you are able to split the cost with a roommate. Make sure your roommate is arranged before beginning your lease, or you might get stuck paying the full share for several months!



Focus the search:


Once you know the type of apartment you’re looking for, you can narrow you search using an online apartment search website.


After you have selected an engine, use your general strategies to filter the search. It is easier to view selections of apartments geographically, so first select your specifications and then zoom with a broad city-search and zoom in on your desired area.


Keep a notepad of phone numbers for competitively listed apartments as you scroll through the entries. Many apartments put a low priority on the automated email communication they receive from clicking on the apartment through the apartment finder, and you will want to follow up with calls. Finally, set an appointment with the leasing office to view a model or walkthrough of the apartment before committing to an application.


Even if you have found the perfect place, go ahead and keep the rest of your appointments. You have nothing to lose, and the more information you receive, the smarter choice you’ll make.




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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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