It has been more than a decade since I myself had to buckle down and search for an apartment, but a family friend needs to relocate, so for the past week I’ve been helping him look for one. The timing was serendipitous since a lot of readers reacted to my post last week about rentals for $2,500 saying it was far too expensive. I absolutely, unequivocally do agree that the $2500/monthly written about last week isn’t affordable for, well, most of us – myself included – but it’s a cross-section of what’s happening in the market, we want it to or not. However, when I was asked to do a real-life, honest to goodness search in a specific price range ($1,500/month or less) I was more than happy to oblige.
Luckily, this search wasn’t hampered by anything too onerous; the only pet my friend has is a Betta fish, no disabilities so stairs are okay, and his car is ancient so a carport wasn’t a deal breaker.
His ‘need to have’ was a monthly rent that doesn’t exceed $1,500, while a ‘nice to have’ (actually, he’s pickier than that about this point – but won’t admit it…) was a place that’s single story, or on a top floor. He had – I kid you not – a lady who lived in the apartment above him who taught tap-dancing; now he doesn’t want to risk it.
Here’s the list of rentals we looked at, called, and considered over the last few days; all at $1500/month, or less. As of 5:35am on Thursday morning, these were all still listed as available, but things change quickly when it comes to rental properties;
4460 Old Redwood Hwy, Santa Rosa – $1,400+/month
1 Bedroom, 1 Bath, 570 square feet.
While I’m a fan of one-off and quirky places, he’s more of a socialite and doesn’t mind an apartment complex (without dance instructors). He was immediately interested in the one-bedroom offered in this building.
The lure of a pool as part of the complex got him to at least go take a closer look.
2265 Mcbride Ln # 2265L, Santa Rosa – $1,250/month
1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 700 square feet.
This listed apartment was on the second floor, so no tap dancing neighbors to hear through the ceiling.
There’s a carport, balcony, and on-site laundry facility. The apartment’s been updated, all except this one closet with the questionable looking doors.
321 W Spain St, Sonoma – $1,200/month
This is a backyard cottage with the homeowners living in the main house. It reminded me of where I lived when I was in school, so I tried to convince my friend this was a good idea – no shared walls.
The kitchen is more of an afterthought, but it has the very basics. Water and garbage are included in the rent, but since there’s no dishwasher or laundry, that may be negligible.
West St, Sebastopol – $1,400/month
1 bedroom, 1 bathroom.
This advertised apartment is another second story find, but I was put-off by the shabby façade. I wasn’t convinced.
But, the interior convinced me. New flooring with high ceilings that create a more spacious feeling won me over, and I passed this along to my friend.
487 Sonoma Ave APT 5, Santa Rosa – $1,400/month
1 bedroom, 1.5 baths, 700 square feet.
I thought I struck gold with this two-story townhome – no neighbors above OR below. My ever-pragmatic friend pointed out that moving a bed up a narrow flight of stairs is never as easy as someone tells you it should be.
Even the private (albeit tiny) yard wasn’t enough to sway him.