Monday, November 3, 2008

My Observation At Rent Manipulation

So it's my own fault that I am at the mercy of landlords, but it is what it is. Yet, I must digress to vent for yet a moment.

The Bay Area is bucking national trends (at least at the time of when I wrote this post back in mid October) according to The Examiner. And from what they've said, it spurned me on to check this out.

So I looked at spot rental rates and saw the following:

In Menlo Park, Ca:
  • Median contract rent in 2007: $1,812 (lower quartile is $1,321, upper quartile is $2,492)
  • Median rent asked for vacant for-rent units in 2007: $1,438
  • Median gross rent in Menlo Park, CA in 2007: $1,903
  • (source)*

While where jobs are concentrated in San Francisco,=:
  • Median gross rent in 2007: $1,192.
  • Median contract rent in 2007: $1,141 (lower quartile is $750, upper quartile is $1,719)
  • Median contract rent in 2005: $1,068 (lower quartile is $683, upper quartile is $1,557)
  • (source)

While just around the corner, so to speak, in Sacramento:
  • Median contract rent in 2007: $841 (lower quartile is $666, upper quartile is $1,100)
  • Median contract rent in 2005: $774 (lower quartile is $609, upper quartile is $975)
  • And believe it or not, people commute from the Sacramento region to the Bay Area to work.
  • (source)

Or if I go down the road at bit to Southern California, in Santa Clarita:
  • Median contract rent in 2007: $1,331 (lower quartile is $1,023, upper quartile is $1,710)
  • Median contract rent in 2005: $1,206 (lower quartile is $898, upper quartile is $1,506)
  • (source)

Of course, if I "head" out of town, to say, Boise, ID:

  • Median contract rent in 2007: $628 (lower quartile is $531, upper quartile is $766)
  • Median contract rent in 2005: $577 (lower quartile is $473, upper quartile is $721)
  • (source)
But then the cost of living and wages are comparable.


The market conditions over the last few years has forced people to rent, and rental owners know this and take advantage of the situation. Particularly in the Bay Area. It can be viewed as pretty painful, financially, to live in area.

*I didn't do myself any good either by looking around locally. My next door neighbor is paying $500 less a month for the same identical home, and around the corner, someone has almost exactly twice the square footage and paying what I am. So it is where we put ourselves, the moment of rental search, situations, etc..

Regardless of the scenario, we are all in it feeling the pinch - homeowner and renter alike. But at least we have a pretty cool resource.

If you ever want to see the estimated value of the home you are renting, one resource that I like and quoted in this article, is city-data.com. They have a pretty extensive collection of facts about many things.

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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce