Officially, Charter Oak has a population of about 9,100 people, according to the 2010 Census, but when you add together the populations of the Greater Los Angeles Area the community, which is located about 25 miles from downtown, is surrounded by almost 20 million people. If you're looking for a rental home in Charter Oak, boy are you in luck! There are countless options to consider, including one-, two-, three- and even four-bedroom apartments, as well as single-family homes, luxury apartments, duplexes, and townhomes, all available for rent in Charter Oak.
True, the price for apartment rentals in Charter Oak may be higher than what you are used to for similar-sized options in many other regions of the country, but hey, we're talking about the San Gabriel Valley here! Southern California is known for having a higher cost of living than most areas of the U.S., and higher-than-average rent is just another fact of life when you're looking at apartments to rent in Charter Oak.
You're going to want to take your time looking around the area, too. Many of the apartments for rent in Charter Oak were constructed several decades ago. That doesn't mean you're not going to find anything good. Quite the contrary in some locations, but the truth is some Charter Oak rental properties are just going to be in better condition than others. Also good to know, while the community of Charter Oak may not have its own police department, the crime rate here is significantly lower than other cities in California.
Doing a drive-by to get a feel for a particular rental home or apartment is not going to work in this community. The charm and character you will find on the inside of many of the available rental properties in Charter Oak are not obvious by simply surveying a building's exterior. So, keep in mind while you're doing your research and considering different apartments to rent in Charter Oak, you're going to need to set appointments with each unit's landlord, property manager or individual owner.
Also, don't forget (how could you, right?), when it comes time to initial the highlighted areas on your lease, you're going to want to have your driver's license, state ID card, passport and social security number handy because the landlord may want to collect this information in order to conduct a background and/or credit check on you. Also, bring along your rental history, contact information for references, and proof that you are working somewhere because your landlord's going to want to make sure you can afford the joint. Of course, you'll have to put down money for first and last months' rent before signing your lease, but keep in mind many rentals in Charter Oak require security deposits, too, which can be as much as an entire month's rent. Finally, make sure you ask if there are any additional fees required for having pets or for cleaning the carpets when it's time to move out.
Although there are no distinct neighborhoods in Charter Oak, It's the sprawling suburbs, so there has to be something fun to do here, right? Well, honestly, yes and no. If you're idea of fun is an off-the-rails nightlife then Charter Oak is going to seem dead. If you're not always looking to be dazzled by the glitz and glamour associated with much of the greater Los Angeles area, Charter Oak does have many options for playing outdoors.
Northeast: In the northeast corner of town you'll find Dawson Park's six tennis courts. Across the street is the Glen Oaks Golf Course, a fun Par-3 course that also has a driving range. Charter Oak's northeast quadrant is also home to the Louie Pompei Memorial Sports Park where many locals play organized games of softball and soccer weekends. Close by is Lone Hill Park with its playgrounds, baseball fields and basketball courts, and right around the corner from that is a large shopping center with a Kohl's, Sam's Club, The Home Depot and Best Buy, as well as a Barnes and Noble Booksellers and an AMC movie theater.
North: The north end of town has Gladstone Park, which has two playgrounds for the kids, a basketball court and a handball court (does anyone even play handball anymore?). It's also where you'll find access to South Hills Park, a good area for hiking and short mountain bike rides.
City Center: At the geographical center of Charter Oak you'll find Charter Oak Park and nearby Kahler Russel Park, both of which have several baseball diamonds and playgrounds.
Southeast: The southeast corner of town is home to the heavily-wooded Wilderness Park, which also has a wide-open grassy area, and Walnut Creek Park, both of which have well-manicured walking trails. Both of these parks are nice places to catch some fresh air -- well as fresh as you're going to find in L.A. at least.
The community also is home to Glider's Charter Oak Gymnastics, a US National Team training center that has produced renown athletes, including Vanessa Atler, a US national gymnastics champion, and Jamie Dantzscher, a member of the bronze medal-winning US Olympic team. And although it's technically in San Dimas, the Via Verde Country Club 18-hole golf course is located at the southeast corner of Charter Oak.
Charter Oak itself may not be a hotbed of entertainment options, but its central location in the San Gabriel Valley puts it within reasonable driving distance of many dining, arts and entertainment, and musical events at all times of the year. Don't forget to venture north into the San Gabriel Canyon, either, which is paradise for outdoor recreation lovers. It's easy sometimes to forget how cool of an area you live in, and what lies outside right at your fingertips, when you drive past it everyday on your commute to work across Los Angeles County.