Select how many bedrooms you want.
Do you know the way to San Jose? I’ve been away so long. I may go wrong and lose my way. Do you know the way to San Jose? I’m going back to find some peace of mind in San Jose.” (Burt Bacharach – Do You Know The Way”).
It doesn’t take a Google search to find a crazy-cool city to call home in this state. Just pick a place that begins with San (you won’t be disappointed by any of ’em), pack your bags (must-haves include sunscreen and a Diccionario Inglés-Español), and come on down. Arguably the sultriest San of all, the so-called “capital of Silicon Valley” is primo living for Left Coast leasers aiming to join one of Cali’s most diverse and eclectic mega-communities. Sound like your cup ‘o’ tea? Then stick with us. We’ll have you ballin’ in the south Bay in two shakes of a high-tech stick.
Having trouble with Craigslist San Jose? Can’t find that special apartment for rent on Apartment Finder or Zillow? Apartment List is here to help!
Parrot at Happy Hallow Park & Zoo
San Jose Shark’s Shark Tank
Perched on the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay and circumscribed by the majestic Santa Cruz Mountains, San Jose is unarguably one of NoCal’s most aesthetically pleasing stomping grounds. But life in the hub of the Silicon Valley is about more than postcard-perfect vistas. A few facts about SJ life that might help make your migration easy breezy include the following:
Brains: High-tech engineering and computing conglomerates (hence, the chemical moniker “silicon”) dominate the economy as well as conversation, so brush up on your geek-speak before arriving. Also, bring your entrepreneur’s hat: San Jose witnesses more U.S. patent applications than any other American city, and the proximity of such genius-factories as Stanford and Berkeley only serves to further qualify this corridor as one of the smartest regions in the world.
Fun-ness: Sister-city San Francisco may be the City that Knows How, but when it comes to entertainment, San Jose is no slouch. Can you say… “Parks and gardens”? How about “trails”? “Festival grounds”? “Sporting events”? Shopping centers? Sidewalk-surfing hotspots? Museums? Theaters? Nightlife venues? Okay you get it: even those for whom “bored to death” is a frequent tweet aren’t likely to suffer from SJ-induced ennui. The bottom line here is to make sure you have a disposable income (and some tight pants).
Apartments: This housing market’s got its junk together. That means you ought to expect standardized options, such as lease length (6 months to a year), deposit ($350 and up, according to montly rent), pet-friendliness (small-uns, sure; big-uns, not usually), an application criteria (credit report, references, etc.; do yourself a favor and make an archive of copies of these documents to hand out at open houses).
Logistics-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named: Harry Potter XVI isn’t the only blockbuster with one of these in the cast list. One by one:
Do you need a car? Yes, unless you attend SJSU and don’t plan on leaving campus or downtown except to go to San Fran. Expect to pay for parking at an apartment complex in the downtown/SJSU areas.
What if I don’t own a car and actually enjoy looking down on all you fossil-fuel-enslaved suckas? The City of San Jose has a passable bus system and CalTrain gets you anywhere along the Bay. We hear the crowded bus platform, particularly as you heave your month’s worth of Trader Joe’s groceries onto it, is a fabulous place to practice nose-snubbing.
Is SJ “affordable”? For the nearsighted in the crowd, those are quotations. Around the word affordable. Why? Because the cost of living is relative. SJ is inexpensive compared to Beverly Hills, but expensive compared to Duluth, Minnesota. Expect to pay Northern California prices and taxes. ‘Nuff said.
How likely is an earthquake? Puh-leeease. You know the answer to that one. Earthquake-preparedness is gauged not in likelihood, but in possibility. You might need renter’s insurance, depending on the complex. You’ll certainly need a “go bag,” which contains essentials such as a headlamp or flashlight, bottled water, first-aid kit, pocket knife, local map, and other emergency items. (If you really want to get crazy, the City of San Francisco has created a helpful website with heaps more info.
A Seafarer’s Guide to South Bay Barrios
Ahoy, mateskis! In SJ, neighborhoods are like sea creatures. (Wasn’t that a line from Shrek?) Regardless, climb on into the SeaGazer 3000, our patented vehicular contraption for examining the curious sea life of the San Francisco Bay-and the worth-checking-out locales of SJ.
Behold, the mighty octopus! Downtown San Jose is a multi-faceted area, combining a studenty university feel with an urban skyline vibe. You may get inked after 3am on a weekend, but if you play nice this neighborhood will awe your friends and keep you in style. Rent range in this sector is just as eight-sided as its cultural appeal: luxury condos can start at $1500/month, but one might also find a room share in a student house for under $600/month. (It all depends on how you define “spacious.”)
Next, ladies and gents, cast your attention toward the elegant swordfish. Luna Park & Hyde Park present sophisticated alternatives to downtown residency. Commute times from these neighborhoods are as slim as the swordfish’s muzzle (and cocktail lounges as curvy as its… fins?). Heaps of townhouses and vintage buildings glut this market with 2BRs, which drives the prices down (expect around $1200/month for a 2BR townhome) if you’re into roommates. If you’re not into roommates, expect to drop $1400/month on a (luxury) single.
Perhaps the most eclectic area in SJ is Midtown. It ranges from the prickly blowfish district of Burbank to the old wealth neighborhood Willow Glen, akin to those elderly sea turtles from Finding Nemo (classic, but surfer dudes at core). If you’re keen on the scene, you’ll likely gravitate toward Burbank. That said, studios and 1BRs near Santana Row will still cost ya over $1000/month. On the other hand, if you love that polished look (check out the decorations on Lincoln Ave. at Christmastime if you need a refresher), settle in a 2BR/1BA brick townhome for between $1400 and $1800/month.
Folks love to ooh and ahh at the deepwater sea urchins. “Further out” San Jose usually means no further than Campbell, a cute, family-oriented district on the Los Gatos Creek bike path. One is more likely to purchase rather than rent in this corner of the South Bay, but young professionals can still find decent apartment living in “West SJ.” House shares run around $600-800/month and 1BRs over $1000/month. Beware that most of your neighbor urchins spend their workweek commuting to shallower waters, so finding community on Monday-Thursday might mean getting tea with the housekeepers. Watch yer fingers as we chug-a-lug back to the dock here, folks. Thanks for joining us on our brief voyage-we hope something caught your fancy. If not, strap on them flippers and snorkel about on your own. There’s no better way to find an apartment than to remember that adage your granny taught you: “Search the interwebs, silly!”
May 2021 San Jose Rent Report
Welcome to the May 2021 San Jose Rent Report. San Jose rents increased over the past month. In this report, we’ll evaluate trends in the San Jose rental market, including comparisons to cities throughout the state and nation.
San Jose rents increase sharply over the past month
San Jose rents have increased 1.7% over the past month, but are down sharply by 10.8% in comparison to the same time last year. Currently, median rents in San Jose stand at $1,792 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,128 for a two-bedroom. This is the fourth straight month that the city has seen rent increases after a decline in December of last year. San Jose’s year-over-year rent growth lags the state average of -1.6%, as well as the national average of 2.3%.
Rents rising across cities in California
While rent decreases have been occurring in the city of San Jose over the past year, cities in the rest of the state are seeing the opposite trend. Rents have risen in 6 of the largest 10 cities in California for which we have data. The state as a whole logged rent growth of -1.6% over the past year. Here’s a look at how rents compare across some of the largest cities in the state.
Looking throughout the state, San Francisco is the most expensive of all California’s major cities, with a median two-bedroom rent of $2,496; of the 10 largest cities in California that we have data for, San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles, where two-bedrooms go for $2,496, $1,931, and $2,026, respectively, are the three major cities in the state besides San Jose to see rents fall year-over-year (-19.4%, -14.0%, and -5.0%).
Fresno, Bakersfield, and Sacramento have all experienced year-over-year growth above the state average (13.2%, 9.7%, and 6.7%, respectively).
Other large cities nationwide show more affordable rents compared to San Jose
As rents have fallen sharply in San Jose, many other large cities nationwide have seen prices increase, in some cases substantially. Compared to most similar cities across the country, San Jose is less affordable for renters.
San Jose’s median two-bedroom rent of $2,128 is above the national average of $1,137. Nationwide, rents have grown by 2.3% over the past year compared to the 10.8% decline in San Jose.
While rents in San Jose fell sharply over the past year, many cities nationwide saw increases, including Atlanta (+3.0%), Miami (+2.1%), and Austin (+1.5%).
Renters will generally find more expensive prices in San Jose than most other large cities. For example, Dallas has a median 2BR rent of $1,215, where San Jose is more than one-and-a-half times that price.
Read more about our methodology.
Apartment List has released San Jose’s results from the third annual Apartment List Renter Satisfaction Survey. This survey, which drew on responses from over 45,000 renters, provides insight on what states and cities must do to meet the needs of 111 million American renters nationwide.
“San Jose renters expressed general dissatisfaction with the city overall,” according to Apartment List. “Some categories received average scores, and many received below average scores.”
Key findings in San Jose include the following:
San Jose renters gave their city a C overall.
The highest-rated categories for San Jose were weather (A) and jobs and career opportunities (B).
The areas of concern to San Jose renters are commute time and affordability, which both received F grades.
Millennial renters are very unsatisfied with their city, giving it an overall rating of F.
San Jose did comparably to other cities in California, including Sacramento and Anaheim, which both received C grades.
San Jose earned similar scores to Baltimore, MD, Albuquerque, NM and Orlando, FL, which all received C grades.
The top rated cities nationwide for renter satisfaction include Scottsdale, AZ, Irvine, CA, Boulder, CO and Ann Arbor, MI. The lowest rated cities include Tallahassee, FL, Stockton, CA, Dayton, OH, Detroit, MI and Newark, NJ.
“I love the parks and restaurants in downtown San Jose. I hate that many apartments aren’t pet-friendly and most don’t have air conditioning. It gets hot in San Jose!” – Meghan M.
“I love the diversity but hate how expensive it is to live here.” – Jessica B.
“It’s easy to get around and there are lots of things to do, but it’s not very affordable.” – Anna A.
“San Jose is still one of the safest cities to live in, but the cost of living is a joke” – Andrea H.
For more information on the survey methodology and findings or to speak to one of our researchers, please contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View our national survey results here.