Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Cheapest Apartments In California

May 19, 2013

Susan asks…

Where is it best to live in California?

Me and a few other people are planning to move to California. Im looking to see where the least expensive but still safe areas to live are. I have been looking online and Lancaster seems to be fairly reasonable pricing but does anyone know if its safe and what the crime rate and such is? If anyone could let me know you thoughts, ALSO if you can link some good apartment rental sites here that would help out a lot to! thanks!

Administrator answers:

We like to refer to Lancaster as the “armpit” of California.

Inland California = cheap and gross

You can get much more in another state for the amount of money you’ll be spending to live in Lancaster. Not worth it.

Daniel asks…

If you had the choice of living in Spokane, WA or Seattle, WA which would you choose?

I live in Southern California, as you can imagine rent and housing prices are insanely high. So I need to find a place that is less expensive.

Administrator answers:

Hey man I live in Spokane and I been to Seattle, if you are a big city guy then Seattle is the place but I was born in California (San Diego) and moved to Washington State back in 2001. My parents moved to Spokane because the housing market is cheaper then Seattle. My uncle who lives here pays rent 495 a month! For an apartment .You can find houses in Spokane for 50,000+ if you want a good house with a view your going to pay 100,000 if you want a good view. Gas here in Spokane are very high but you can go to Idaho and the gas is very much cheaper. It snows here not going to lie sometime it doesn’t even snow hahahaha. If your looking for a cheep place to live it’s Spokane even my friend that lives near Seattle says to live in the eastern part of Washington because the living in Seattle is soo much more. I would suggest living in the valley though :)

Richard asks…

What are the good/bad areas to live in Orange County?

My wife and I are moving from northern California to Orange County in January. I will be attending CSU Fullerton and my wife will be attending Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. We know that one of us will have to drive, but we are not sure about the areas/cities in OC. Where are the places to avoid when apartment hunting? Our budget is 1300/mo for an apartment and we have a dog. Can anyone shed light on this?

Administrator answers:

I lived in Costa Mesa for 5 years and can say that I loved it there. (I too went to OCC). Rent has gone up A LOT since I lived there, but a $1300 budget may get you a studio or a small 1 bd in a decent area. There are a lot of apartments in Costa Mesa -but not a lot that accept dogs. (This is true for a lot of OC and LB). And if they do accept dogs, there may be a weight/breed restriction. I lived right next door to OCC and that complex accepts just about any kind of dog. Here’s their link if you want to check it out: www.harbormesaverde.com. Costa Mesa is conveniently located to freeways, so driving from there to Fullerton isn’t too horrible. You may also want to check out apartments in the “South Coast Metro” area of Santa Ana. Its the area right around South Coast Plaza. There are some nice areas right next to Cal-State Fullerton that house lots of students, but again not sure on the pet policy. Be careful if looking in some areas of Santa Ana and Anaheim. Orange, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Irvine are all very nice -but PRICEY. Check out craigslist.org because you can sometimes find good places for cheaper rents in these areas. And I definitely suggest taking a trip down here before school kicks in to actually see the cities and the areas. The OC is huge and each city has its “better” parts. See what vibes best for you and get a feel for driving the freeway traffic b/c it can be pretty rough at times.

Thomas asks…

Is it cheaper to rent a dorm, or to have an apartment when in college (California)?

If in California , is it cheaper to live in a dorm, or to have your own apartment for college?

Administrator answers:

It really depends on where you go–both school-wise for dorms and location-wise for apartments. There’s no one set price. For me, in Colorado, at my school, it is cheaper for me to rent an apartment than pay for a dorm.

Carol asks…

do you pay maintenance fees for owning a house instead a condo?

i see that the monthly maintenance fees for a condo in brooklyn is 400 a month.
which, considering the pricing of the apartment, it’s ridiculous. it’s like double the mortgage.

but if you buy a house, do you pay maintenance fees on it? you are maintaining it right? so no fees paid?

Administrator answers:

Harvey, if the house is in a development that has a Homeowner’s Association, then there would be an association fee.

Here in California, developments where the homeowners all belong to a homeowner’s association are not uncommon, especially in “gated” developments (i.e., the entire development is enclosed by a fence and access to the homes in the development is limited by either a guarded entryway or gated entries that require an access card or key or a special code to let you in). These kinds of developments will charge an association fee to pay for things that the homeowners use in common, like the guard gate, a security patrol, any park grounds that are in common to the development, a clubhouse, or anything else that is common to the homeowners.

If the house you’re looking to buy is part of a homeowner’s association, the seller or the seller’s agent will have to disclose that to you and provide you with copies of documents for the homeowner
s association.

If the home isn’t part of a homeowner’s association, then you are solely responsible for maintenance and conformance to any rules about maintaining it. My SIL owns a house in Brooklyn that’s got restrictions on it because houses in that neighborhood are considered historic residences. FWIW, her house looks like what we out here in California consider a plain old tract home, but she has restrictions on what colors it can be painted, what kind of roof it can have, what kind of external features can be added on, and how it can be landscaped. She doesn’t pay a maintenance fee but if anyone deviates from what’s permitted, they end up in court (happened to her when she had the house painted and the color was apparently not approved). Since SIL has physical issues that keep her from doing the yard maintenance herself, she has to pay a gardener to keep the yard up and that doesn’t come cheap.

Just when you’re looking at houses, ask the seller or seller’s agent if there are any association or other fees that are charged for the house. They have to tell you.

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