Relocation question - what does it cost to rent a 1 bedroom apartment in Silicon Valley?Moving to the San Jose or San Francisco Bay Area? You may be wondering what does it cost to rent a 1 bedroom apartment in Silicon Valley? (You can find a list of rental housing resources on this site here.)

The range in rental prices varies with location, condition, and amenities – exclusive or covered parking, air conditioning, dishwashers, a small yard for downstairs units, and pools are not all automatic.

  • In general, it is very difficult to find a decent 1 bedroom for under $2,000 per month (but possibly as low as $1800).
  • An average 1 bedroom is likely to run $2300- $2600 in most areas.
  • It’s not hard to find one at $3,000 per month, especially in nicer and more in-demand areas such as Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Saratoga, and Los Gatos.
  • If you move to one of the expensive areas and get to enjoy extra perks, you may be spending $3000, $3500 or more per month.

If you are working on a smaller budget, you’ll find a few studio apartments available and they will of course be more affordable. Apartments lacking air conditioning, pools, or other highly sought after amenities will also be offered for a bit less. Another option is to look a little further out and consider units without AC, pools, etc.

Apartment homes with a yard are renting for about 15% more than those with no outside space, from what I have seen.

Recently I saw a studio in West San Jose (fairly expensive area) for about $2100. The complex does have a pool, but the units don’t have air conditioning of any kind. I also viewed a 1 bedroom in Campbell for about the same price but it included a wall AC unit. It’s very similar to purchases in that if you get closer in, you get less home for your money.

A couple of things to beware of when looking for rental housing

Something to be aware of is that some houses have Accessory Dwelling Units that seem inexpensive, and often it’s because something is missing, whether it’s a decent amount of square footage, a kitchen will a full sized oven and stove, etc. Not long ago I saw such a place but the kitchen was really just a wet bar with a microwave and toaster oven. The old adage is accurate: if it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.

Along those lines, please be aware that there are scammers out there who will advertise properties they don’t own at a cut-rate price. They’ll demand that you pay a deposit before you can see the unit. Run, don’t walk, those kinds of things are not legit. I’ve spoken with people who lost more than a thousand dollars when falling for that kind of trick. Don’t be one of them.

What does it cost to rent a 1 bedroom apartment in Silicon Valley if you have a dog or cat?

Some apartment complexes permit pets, and some don’t. If you have or want to have a dog or cat, be sure to ask about the rules and fees. A few of the apartment communities charge a per-month pet fee in addition to the larger deposit. Others will limit dogs by weight (I’ve seen 25, 40, or 50 pounds), or limit which floor you are on with a bigger dog, or breed.

Please note: As mentioned elsewhere, I don’t do rentals since here in Silicon Valley almost all available rentals are offered “for rent by owner”. I’m posting this to help folks moving to the San Jose area get a sense of rental pricing, but I’m not able to assist anyone in locating or securing apartments to rent or lease.

Additional resource

RentCafe has a useful article on rental prices

San Jose Apartment Rental Prices