About one third of the homes in Brea are renter-occupied, and most homes are between 25 and 60 years old on average, with two to three bedrooms. The vacancy rate for the homes here is about 4 percent, so lazy looking won't yield much.
How Much to Budget
According to Sperling's Best Places, the cost of living in this city is a whopping 160, so budget accordingly when you begin your search for a rental property. Most one-bedroom apartments and 2 bedroom apartments start higher than the norm; maybe it's time to hunt for a roommate too.
When to Rent
There are several colleges in and around Brea, so search for rentals before all the students start doing the same. Here, the early bird gets the apartment. Start your apartment hunt sometime during winter or early spring. Since the vacancy rate is pretty low, count on needing at least two months to search.
What You Need
Since the rental industry here is fairly competitive, get all your ducks in a row before you head to the rental office. For best results, show up with at least one month's worth of paystubs to prove your income. Plus, be prepared to have your credit checked and references called before you get a place. Beat all those other apartment hunters to the finish by having a listing of your rental history and a deposit for the apartment on hand.
If youre looking for elegance and comfort, you won't have a problem finding it here. And if you're like the rest of us just looking for a decent place to stay in a fairly safe area, Brea can meet your needs. Here's an overview of the main neighborhoods in this city:
Olinda Ranch: This is known as one of the more expensive neighborhoods in Brea. The rent here is about 1.5 times more than the city's average. You'll find horse property, condos and parks in this neighborhood. Break out the piggy bank.
Brea Chem: This is an urban neighborhood with mostly houses and some high-rise apartments. Compared to most of Brea and SoCal in general, this area is pretty walkable, which fits with its hip reputation. Oh yeah, and its vacancy rate is practically zero, so you'd better start searching for rentals fast.
Country Hills: This area is within a short distance of Brea Mall, CSU Fullerton, and various golf courses, to name a few attractions. It is also near major freeways that include Highway 57 and I-5. Its close proximity to both the Brea Chem and Olinda Hills neighborhoods means these areas share some amenities.
Park Paseo: Most of the rentals in this area are on the small side, with one bedroom on average. The high rises and houses here tend to be about 40 years old, so this isn't exactly a new neighborhood. But like some of the other urban areas in Brea, it is possible to get around on foot, as long as you don't need to go far.
West Brea: The rental prices in West Brea tend to be affordable, and there are lots of high rise apartments and rental homes to choose from in this urban area. This is another walkable, trendy neighborhood with a mix of owners and renters living here.
Downtown Brea: This is one of the least-expensive parts of Brea, and the lower rent prices show it. And there's more good news if you're considering this neighborhood: Brea Mall is located downtown! In fact, this is pretty much the centerpiece of the area since it has more than a million square feet and is a premier mall in SoCal.
As in many Southern California cities, you need a car to live in Brea, especially if you don't live within walking distance of your job. There's some public transportation, mostly consisting of buses, but it could take days (okay, hours) to get to nearby cities by bus.
If you live and work in downtown Brea, you might just make it without a car. If you're lucky enough to live close to Brea Mall, you can easily walk to local parks, the library, and of course, lots of stores.
Many of the locals spend their days working, but they certainly make time to have fun on the weekends. When you live in Brea, it's a short drive to world-class shopping areas, famous theme parks, downtown Los Angeles, and the beach. So quit procrastinating; it's time to check out the rentals in this city!