Atascadero is the result of a century of organic community evolution that was the brainchild of E.G. Lewis. This artsy community is surrounded by wineries, vineyards and historic buildings. Read Guide >
This is one of the most expensive areas to live in in California, but for very good reason. In turn, though, you're going to need a portfolio to even consider applying for a place. Seriously, you need references, income proof, credit references, pet references and a letter from your guru wouldn't hurt. Most importantly, bring your checkbook and be prepared to write a check or two with a lot of zeros at the end of it.
What it Will Cost
Now that you are prepared for the worst, here is the good news: rent prices aren't bad here! If you were buying, that would be a whole different and expensive ball of wax, but prices to rent an apartment are actually pretty sweet. Expect to pay a lot more for a three-bedroom, while a one-bedroom should run you about half the price.
There is a grand total of 7 neighborhoods in Atascadero, but 5 are so small that you might miss them and the richness that they offer. Okay, you would also miss out on some great California wine, so be sure to visit these areas.
Route 46: One of the two largest neighborhoods in Atascadero, this is generally considered the retirement community. It's considered one of the best places in California to retire, so if you are heading in that direction soon you might want to check it out.$$$
Santa Margarita: This sparsely populated area is also a great retirement location and it's a great place to raise a family or a few goats. You will find vineyards and farms in this area, so if you are craving a more urban existence, look someplace else.$$
El Camino Real - Patria: If you are looking to rent among other like-minded souls, this may the place for you -- depending on the state of your mind. Not only are the majority of the residents renters, a large percentage of them walk or ride bicycles to work. This is especially interesting when you consider that everyone living here has about a 15 minute commute to work. Be warned: If you are looking for something larger than two bedrooms, it will be tough. Most of the rentals are two bedrooms or less here.$
El Camino Real - Viejo: Unlike the Patria neighborhood, this one is a little tougher to get into. The rentals are a bit larger, with 3 and 4 bedroom apartments dominating. Because of that there are few vacancies so prices are a bit higher and some new construction is necessary. Where Patria is more executive and couple orientated, Viejo is more family friendly.$$
Henry: This is great place if you are looking to rent, with lower rents for more space. There seems to be a higher than average number of vacancies and this is probably due to a slightly longer commute time by car. There is plenty to do in the immediate area so this is a great neighborhood for singles as well as those with older children.$
City Center: The city center has everything for everyone. Great rentals, plenty to see and do, and great places to eat. It's a little busy at times, which should appeal to those with a more urban vibe. Rental prices are on the lower end of the range here and the diversity level on the upper end.$
Portola Road: This is a less ranch/farm area (well as less as it can be in Atascadero) and more of a urbanish place (OK, ranch-urban). Here you will find plenty of parks, restaurants and cultural activities.$
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