These are the deal breakers:
Noise. There are many culprits of noisiness here. There is the train, the bars, the cars blaring rap with an earthshaking bass and peeling out with no muffler, the fiestas, the college parties, and of course, the nightly fireworks show at Disneyland. However, all that pales in comparison to living underneath a two bedroom apartment with six kids and no bedtime. Apartment features such as daycares, pools, and playgrounds will also contribute to your background noise, so unless you love the constant laughter, crying, screeching, and yelling of children, try to find a nice quiet unit far away from these areas of the complex.
Safety. For some reason the Anaheim gangs just can't get along. They can't stop stealing, dealing, and trying to shoot each other, and for these reasons it’s extremely important that you find an apartment that will place you far away from this needless violence. When judging the safety of your new home, follow these four easy steps: 1) Make sure the apartment includes security features such as gates, cameras, and a competent security guard; 2) Visit the place at night; 3) Ask the neighbors; 4) Call the Anaheim Police Department and ask about the neighborhood.
Parking. Anaheim is easily one of the most difficult places to find an apartment with decent parking. The number of available spaces for residents and guests can be maddening and many residents end up having to make their guests park miles away, often in dangerous areas. Other residents face danger when going into their own dimly-lit underground parking garages, many of which flood every rainy season. Ask about parking, second only to security.
Commute. You will want to avoid the 91 freeway, Angel Stadium, and Disneyland at all costs.
Management. In a city overrun with kids, gangs, parties and fiestas, cheap apartment buildings, graffiti, and pests of all kinds, it’s key to know who your property manager is and how good they are at their job. You want to find that super-hero of a manager who deals with noise, crime, drunken confrontations, mold, infestations, trash, and all the maintenance issues that can really make life rough, such as a broken toilet or a flooded garage. Make sure your apartment manager is present and hands-on when enforcing necessary restrictions, especially the number of people allowed to live in one apartment. This is often the root of all evil when renting in Anaheim, from the number of available parking spaces, to the presence of unsavory neighbors, to the noise level of having a group of kids, teenagers, or adults raising hell throughout the night.
Neighborhoods, Nooks, and Crannies
West. Located in west Anaheim is the 1,100-acre resort district of Disneyland. This sunny southern California environment is filled with palm trees, tourists, trolleys, hotels, shopping, dining and nightlife. However, outside the gates of Disneyland is a completely different environment. Residents spend the big bucks here for a safe apartment. Walking the streets at night is not advised. They also have to deal with the nightly thunder from Disneyland's fireworks. And, if you live near the resort area, make sure your apartment has air conditioning, because many places will restrict the use of window units to make their complexes look nice and uniform for the tourists staring down from five star hotels. There are some affordable places, but you will have to compromise safety to live anywhere reasonably priced. $ - $$$$$
North Euclid. Just north of downtown, this area has its fair share of crime. If you’re attracted by the prices of this area, then try to find a street filled with families, and an apartment complex where people go to work during the day. It is a highly desirable area for those working in the resort district and at Angel Stadium. Also, be sure to check out DK's donuts while you're in the hood. $ - $$$
Historic District. The areas surrounding downtown can be a little rough. But, with the ice skating rinks, the art crawls, the music, the farmer's market, the car shows, and the Center Street Promenade, it is certainly a popular place to be. Old downtown is located between North, South, East, and West Streets, with newly built places located throughout the rest of the area. $$$ - $$$$$
Platinum Triangle. The area surrounding Angel Stadium is the Platinum Triangle district. Apartments here can get pretty expensive, but the luxury and safety are worth the price. Features like organized social events, movie theaters, gyms with free private fitness trainers, and resort-style pools and public areas make for an extremely spoiled lifestyle. The one downside comes with the ridiculous game day traffic around Angel Stadium. Going a couple of miles for a quick beer run can end up taking hours. $$$$$
The Canyon. Located east of the Orange Freeway and north of the river, this neighborhood is a great location for price and convenience. Residents enjoy easy access to highways 91, 55, and 57, as well as the Metrolink Anaheim Canyon Station. Because of the distance from downtown and major tourist attractions, parking is much easier. And, you don't have to travel far for entertainment. That's right, this neighborhood comes complete with sports bars, art galleries, and live music for your visual and auditory indulgences. $ - $$$$
Anaheim Hills. By far the safest neighborhood... and by far the most expensive. The people of the hills are your typical Orange County reality show cliché. Rich families in mansions with pools and tennis courts will be your neighbors. But, it's all good because any apartments you find around here are sure to be just as luxurious. $$$$$
Best of Luck
With all of these apartment hunting tips, there is still so much more to discover. If you keep the deal breakers in mind and know your neighborhood, then you will only need luck in finding all the criminally underrated events happening in this sunny southern California city.
-By Kera Zacuto
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