Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Affordable Apartments For Rent In California

October 17, 2012

Laura asks…

Affordable Nice Areas Near San Jose, CA?

I am relocating to California for an offered position at a company in San Jose from Detroit, Michigan very soon. They are paying all relocation costs, and for a hotel until we find a place to live.

It is only me and my wife, and we are both 23 years old.

We have been looking around for places near San Jose to rent, and the prices are ridiculous!!!!!

I want to know some nice, affordable areas between San Jose and the coast (prefer beach cities if possible, as we absolutely love the ocean). If it isn’t between San Jose and the coast, at least an area that is within a quick drive to the beach.

We are realistically looking to spend $1,200 – no more than $2,000.00 per month for a condo or duplex/home, and need your advice on a nice area by San Jose that is affordable. We are not looking for anywhere within an apartment complex.

If someone could let us know some AFFORDABLE, trendy, nice areas within a 30 minute commute (including traffic) to central San Jose for my job. We would appreciate it!

Also, could someone let me know if $83,000 per year is a good starting salary for this area? In Michigan it would be a great starting salary – especially for a 25 year old – but looking at the cost of living out in SJ/SF, it seems like 85k would only allow a person to live in the extreme lower-class level..

Thanks for your help in advance,


Administrator answers:


Donna asks…

Moldy apartment… What to do? How to clean? Landlord vs. tenant?

My boyfriend and I rent an apartment that has a month to month lease. We have been living in it for about half a year. When we moved in, I didn’t see any mold problems… About a month ago I’ve begun to see a lot of mold developing in different areas of the house. The apartment is very old and has those old windows that are tall and slide up to open. The screens on the front windows of the apartment were missing when we did our initial walk-through and I asked him, (the land-lord), if they could be replaced, and he said no because they are hard to find… It is always stuffy in the apartment, and the only way to ventilate the front is to open the front door, which has a screen. We also have a 55 gallon aquarium with turtles. I’m afraid because of showering and the turtle tank that we are adding to the mold problem, or caused it?
The windows in the front always have condensation on them. I live in California so it’s usually hot, but the way this unit is situated (there are only 5 units, single level) we are always shaded. Moss grows on the cement in the front in some areas. The mold is black and spotty on almost every window sill in the house. The bathroom walls are moldy as well as the ceiling. …….And to my HORROR, I was cleaning our bedroom and moved our dressers to vacuum and the walls and sills behind the dressers were FULL of black spotty mold. We have tons of shoes and I keep them in the closet, and most of them had MOLD ON them and IN them on the soles!!!! Green and white mold!! Omg. I threw away the shoes and have been cleaning the mold (and newly discovered mold) with 409 cleaner… But you can still see it in the paint.
Is this a tenant problem? What can be done about this? I haven’t alerted the landlord yet because he is so flaky and avoiding of other problems that we have (refrigerator can’t get enough power to stay cold, carpet replacing, locks, etc)
How do I clean the mold so that it isn’t visible? I read about using steel wool, but that would damage the paint. What about health issues? I don’t always want to keep the door and windows open especially when it reaches 105 in the summer.
And what if the carpet has mold??

……..I know, I know, move out. But the rent is very affordable and we are young college students with lame jobs and lots of bills.

Is there anyone else that has had a bad mold situation and neutralized it? How??? What should I expect from the land-lord?

Thank you thank you!
I know, it’s gross.

Administrator answers:

Below is a link the an EPA publication that will answer all your questions. As far as who is responsible, I would think that would fall on the landlord unless you are causing excessive moisture through some sort of abnormal behavior. It doesn’t sound like that’s the case. Mold can aggravate respiratory problems like allergies or asthma but normally doesn’t affect healthy people unless there is an extensive problem and it sounds like your problem is extensive.
If the mold is as extensive as you say then you should not try to remove it yourself. Unfortunately, it sounds like your landlord wouldn’t be the type to spend the money to have it properly removed or to fix the problems that led to it.
I understand your financial concerns but your health is not worth saving a few bucks. Move out. Best of luck.

Donald asks…

I have a question regarding Child Support and custody. Sorry but it’s lengthy….?

I have a 7 year old girl who’s non-custodial father has visitation every other weekend (not court ordered). We were NEVER married or even been in a “relationship” when she was conceived. He’s not on the Birth Certificate. Yes he does pay child support

I am getting married again next year in the State of California. We want to move to Tennessee because he (my fiancee) had lived there for 5 years before moving back to CA 4 years ago and he said work (construction) is booming. We both visited several times and decided we wanted to live our lives together there as a family. The schools are better (done the research), the pace is slower and the cost of living is much cheaper.

Another reason why we want to move out of here is because neither of us can find stable employment and housing here in the Silicon Valley area. I have been unemployed 3 times (Laid off that many times too due to “downsizing”) and my fiancee is in Construction (union electrician) and that has it’s empty spots too I personally am just at the “Poverty Line” according to the State of California Social Services guidelines.

My question is: I realize her non custodial father can protest (which he no-doubt will) and try to keep us from leaving. I am even willing to have her spend summers and Christmas Vacations with her dad so it’s not like I’m taking her away from him. I WANT her to visit. But I also have to follow my family where the work is in case he gets a job in Tennessee.

What can I do in this situation? We’re drowning here in this state and it’s very hard to find housing that is affordable in California. A 1 bedroom small apartment is 900 ro 1000 a month compared to Knoxville, Tenn where a 3 bedroom HOUSE for rent is 700 a month I just lost my 2 bedroon apartment, which would be the very 1st time she had her own room. And now live in a VERY small cramped apartment that has barely enough room for our belongings. IT’S HORRIBLE! My fiancee and I just want a better life for ALL of us as a family. But again…we both DO NOT want to keep her from her biological father..hence the summer/Xmas Vacation visitations.

I really need advice on this. Thank you.
YIKES! I guess I should have included that he (Non Custodial parent) was proven the bio-father awhile back since he IS paying child support.
LAST one to respond….. George? I DID state that I AM WILLING to have her spend Summres and Christmas Vacations with him. So it’s NOT like I’m taking her away from him completely! I am simply following my family to a place where I can actually PROVIDE a roof over her head. That’s it.
Also George….don’t “assume” I don’t active parenting is important. She’ll have a step father who is wlling to step up to the place since her BIOLOGICAL father just gives her a computer game and watches tv when she’s with him. My fiancee loves her has his own and wants to provide for all of us…not just hiimself. He also KNOWS I am NOT taking her away from her Bio-father completely. Don’t compare what other parents have done to MY situation. Again….I INSIST that she remains in contact no matter WHERE we move to.

Administrator answers:

He would not be preventing YOU from moving. He would be preventing you from taking away his child away and reducing his access. Why don’t you have the Summer and Christmas visitation? Clearly you don’t believe regular and active parenting is important, so you child doesn’t need frequent contact with you any more than with him.

Also, regardless of your intent, your attorney would have told you that long distance visitation is virtually impossible to enforce. State will not honor interstate claims made by fathers, including most custody awards to fathers from another state. Over 60% of fathers with long distance visitation lose all contact with the children with five years. If you want to make a solid offer, use this one.



Richard asks…

I’m able to move anywhere in the United States. Where should I move?

I need somewhere affordable (apartment), safe, and somewhat entertaining. I would prefer somewhere in the Northeast/Northwest. I want to get far away from Texas and I do not want to live in California. I also need there to be a community college near by. I’ve been looking near Boston, as well as Spokane, WA, but I’m not sure where to go! Help me out please!

-I’m looking for somewhere with a population between 20-75k people, so preferably somewhere outside the big cities, but close enough for entertainment.

-My only expenses are rent and food, so I’m looking at an apartment in the $600-800 range. I’m also a musician, so it would be nice to have some small venues nearby to play at.
I actually just visited a school in Nashville, but it’s too expensive so I decided against it. Can you explain more on why I should move to Nashville?

Administrator answers:

Chicago. Aside from finding an apartment, there are many colleges in the area and a very vibrant music scene. Unlike many large cities, Chicago is a city of neighborhoods that have a smaller city feel to them such as Rogers Park.


Steven asks…

Questions about life in Inland Empire/Orange County?

I have a few questions about life as a teen in the Inland Empire (IE) and Orange County (OC) areas here are the statistics that will affect the answers:
-Currently attending Northwest Career & Technical Academy in Las Vegas, NV
-Hoping to attend Cal State Fullerton for an Engineering Degree (Computer Engineering or Civil Engineering)
-Planning to move from Las Vegas, NV to Southern California (IE, OC) once graduated

-I am currently living in Las Vegas, NV and a sophomore at Northwest Career & Technical Academy and I wish to attend California State Fullerton for a degree in Engineering, either Computer Engineering or Civil Engineer, undecided. My question is what is the safest, most affordable city in the area of Cal State Fullerton. Both Inland Empire and Orange County are the areas I am looking at, I can’t quiet narrow it down to one city that is near the university. Congestion and smog is not a problem, I don’t mind driving long freeway distances. I also don’t mind air quality and heat; I’m from Vegas so it really doesn’t mean a difference. I am looking to rent a single bedroom apartment for no more than $1,000 in a good clean safe area, any suggestions? Please include city statistics and information, looking for information about apartment rent averages, etc.

-I am also considering not attending college, now I realize that life can be a bit harder when living without a degree, what I am wondering is how hard is it surviving in Southern California without attending college in 2012(graduation year). Is it possible to survive, maybe a job in CalTrans?

Thanks for all the help, i know alot to take in and think about but thankyou to those who take the time (: best answer up for grabs (;
well i am origninally from So. Cal. so i have an idea what its like lol, i just want to come back once highschool is over. What is the likelyhood of everything going the way i want it to? Leaving Vegas, living in IE or OC and going to CSUF getting a job in engineering? Possible? Or Not?

Administrator answers:

Well, I have lived in Orange County my entire life, so.
The first thing is that the Inland Empire is about 1.5 to 2 hours away from ANYWHERE in Orange County. So if you are planning to go to CSUF then it’s really irrational to live in the Inland Empire. You will spend a lot of time driving and a hella LOT of money on gas, because it’s most likely more expensive out here than in Vegas.

As far as your budget, it’s workable. If you want a safe more family oriented neighborhood, than you might need a roommate (in a 2 bedroom though). I have really high standards when it comes to safe neighborhoods so yeah, it depends on your perception of safe. My friend rents a 1 bedroom for $900 in a not-so-great area, so it WILL take some searching around to find a good apartment in a nice area.

But your safest bets as far as cities go is Irvine or fullerton (near campus), some parks of Costa Mesa are pretty nice (some parts a really bad!) and Anehiem hills is really nice… Etc…
Fullerton is in north OC, but I would check out some places in South Orange County, because that gives you a lot more nice areas like Mission Viejo, Coto De Caza (think real housewives of OC, but it’s all not like the show, still a nice area though), Ladera Ranch, Foothill Ranch, Laguna Hills and Beach, San Clemente (some parts) and Aliso viejo. But these neighborhoods will cost you more, but they are very doable with a roomate. Oh, and it won’t be too far from noth OC maybe 20min.

The biggest thing here is do your research. You cannot survive anywhere in Southern California without money, so bring as much as you can. Get a job… Or two. Once you get a good job it’s not too hard to survive here, unless you want to live the whole “glamorous OC life”, then you gotta be rich!
BTW OC is NOTHING like anything you see on t.v. It’s really diverse and contrary to popular belief there are a lot of real people here… You just gotta look harder to find them.

I could go on, but yeah, DO YOUR HOMEWORK KID.

Chris asks…

Safe neighborhoods in Brooklyn?

So, here’s the deal. My friends and I were discussing a possible move to New York within a year or so. We’re from California and we’ve never been to NYC but we’re planning on making a visit sometime this December or January to check it out. We’re doing our research now so we know what areas to check out. This question’s been asked so many times though, it’s kind of hard to pick through all the information on the web, especially since things in big cities like NY change and what I read may not be as definite as it was however many years ago that it was published.

The main thing we’re looking for is a safe place. Obviously it’d be nice to have an affordable place too. We’re not rich but there will be me, my friend, her parents and her boyfriend all living together so we’re probably looking for a 2-3 bedroom place to rent, apartment or house or anything really. Are there any specific areas you guys would recommend to check out or to stay out of? I’ve heard that Park Slope and Bensonhurst are good areas but I don’t know, I’d like to hear from the people that actually live in NY right now.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance! :)

Administrator answers:

All areas are “safe” if u stay out of trouble. But from what ure saying I would recommend canarsie , red hook , or Brooklyn heights. Just to name a few.
Also try Queens.
I would avoid east ny area for u and also bed stuy.

Jenny asks…

How do I find comparison rates apartment rentals? Like priceline meets craigslist?


Priceline is aweoms for funding a hotel room for a night. They have tons of tools for comparison shopping. In adition to priceline you can take a risk sites like istopover and possibly find a room to rent in someone’s house. But i’m looking to rent a furnished room for a longer stay than that.

I once found a red roof inn in California where I rented their room for about $300 a week. Another place I found was a furnished room one bedroom in Vegas right near the strip that I rented for $140 a week. Both of them I found only by having stumbled upon them. comparison shopping wouldn’t have shown me either of them.

Craigslist of course has reams and reams of rooms and apartments, furnished and unfurnished that are available for short or long stays but searching Craigslist is like searching the wild west. It totally sucks. There’s no easy comparison shopping going on there at all.

Now yes, I understand that Craigslist is mostly comprised of individuals rather than businesses and thus you’re likely to get a better deal than if you rent a furnished room or furnished apartment from a business that does it, but, for me at least, it’s almost useless. I want to be able to decide that I’m going to be staying in the French Quarter of New Orleans for a month and to see a few options of where I could stay folr that month at affordable rates.

Does anything like this exist?

Where does priceline meet craigslist so that I can search by location and find great deals for a furnished room or apartment that I could rent by the week or by the month?

Thanks a million, guys and gals!

Administrator answers:

I like staying in hostels. You can use to find some great ones for cheap and even book them.

There is an article on this site which talks about hostels.


Good luck!

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