It is no surprise that rental prices around the bay vary by city and neighborhood. With the recent increase in median rental prices, it is important to understand that while people in Palo Alto are still paying more per month on average that those renting in San Francisco, they are paying less per square foot than those in San Francisco. Meaning, those renting in San Francisco are paying a little less to live in small one bedroom apartments than people in Palo Alto are paying to live in spacious homes[i].
That being said, what exactly can $2800 get you around the bay?
In San Francisco $2,800 gets you a newly renovated studio apartment, complete with hardwood flooring, a walk in closet quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances. The building itself includes amenities such as a swimming pool, hot tub, fitness room, weight room, racquetball court and garden. Sounds pretty amazing right? Did I mention it is only 432 sq. feet.? So while you can get a studio apartment with modern amenities in San Francisco for $2,800 you are paying $6.48 per Sq. Ft. in this apartment.[ii]
In Oakland $2,800 gets you a luxury unit right in Jack London Square. This building is walking distance to BART, Amtrak and the Ferry to SF. It is a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 12th story unit with a large balcony, newly updated hardwood and carpet floors, a glass enclosed shower, card controlled elevator access and an on-site storage locker. The building includes concierge services, a 50ft heated pool and spa, fitness center, mailroom and package receiving, gated parking, and a designer clubroom with a full catering kitchen[iii]
In Walnut Creek $2,800 gets you a 1 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom apartment, walking distance to downtown Walnut Creek. The apartment features brand new stainless steel appliances and a separate bathtub and shower. The complex is complete with an event hall, heated pool, spa and BBQ area. The rental cost of this apartment is $3.29 per Sq. Ft.[iv].
In Antioch $2,800 gets you a 7 bedroom, 4 bathroom home. This home is 3,486 Sq. Ft. which amounts to $0.80 per Sq. Ft.. It includes a 3 car attached garage, a spacious fenced yard, storage and fruit trees[v].
When making your decision to rent in the bay area, keep in mind the benefits and the downsides of living in each unique area. To some people affordability is most important, to others, amenities, easy access to the water or proximity to work is higher on their priority list. Each city is unique in its own way, and deciding where to live can be a daunting task, just remember to take it one step at a time and do your research.