"Location, location, location" applies not only to home-buying but to renting as well. Decide first where in the city you want to live and then the style of housing you prefer. Apartment complexes are easy enough to locate online with Google Search. However, if you prefer renting single-family homes, consider engaging a real-estate agent who specializes in leases. She'll hear about any available properties before they make it to the Internet, can negotiate more favorable lease terms, and may be able to turn a house-for-sale into a rental if you really like it.
Then decide on how much to spend. Most landlords like you to limit your rental dollars to about a quarter or so of your pre-tax income. One way to increase the amount of housing you can afford is by paying off as much of your current debt as you can, such as charge cards or student loans. Don't try to fudge any numbers when you're asked for your income and expenses on applications. Rental managers will check your figures against your credit report. So you're not flying blind, take a look at your own report by going to an online credit reporting site. You're entitled to one free download from each major credit bureau each year.
Don't be afraid to negotiate, especially if your credit is good. You can ask for breaks on monthly fees, security deposits or even how much of the utilities you cover. Such concessions may be more difficult to get during tight housing markets but ask anyway. You're more likely to get perks when talking with owners of individual housing rather than managers of big complexes.
Glendora lies about 24 miles northeast of Los Angeles in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, which lie on the city's northern and eastern border. From south to west, the city's neighbors are San Dimas, Charter Oak, Covina and Azusa.
As with much of the Southland, Glendora demands private wheels for getting around. The city connects east and west through Interstate 210 and south to Orange County through Interstate 57. The lanes are often jammed with vehicles during rush hour. The nearest train stations are in the nearby cities of Pomona and Claremont. Bus service is provided by Foothill Transit, which gets you where you want to go, if you have plenty of time.
You've got two basic choices when looking for apartment homes in Glendora. If convenience, social gratification and affordability are high on your list, then stay in the flatlands where the bulk of the population lives. You'll get your widest housing choices, including turn-of-the-century craftsman, mobile homes, ramblers, 2-bedroom apartments and space-efficient condos.
If you'd rather be in the thick of nature and away from it all, climb the hills. You'll luxuriate in custom architecture, drive on private roads and enjoy splendid isolation. The higher you go, the greater the view and the price. At these lofty elevations, expect to find houses for rent but no apartments, unless they're safely hidden inside a guesthouse at the back of an estate.
With the exception of the San Gabriel Mountains, you'll find rental apartments almost everywhere throughout the city. Common features include on-site laundry rooms, swimming pools with restrooms, fitness centers, garden landscaping with shade trees, parking in covered spaces or garages, and views of the mountains, which are hard to miss from anywhere in the city. Individual units can have balconies or patios, microwaves and dishwashers, air-conditioning and central heating (it can get cold in the foothills).
If you're more into standalone rentals, size, features and cost vary widely by age and style of the home. That 1920s Spanish Colonial may contain built-ins, high ceilings, and charming nooks and crannies. But it may not allow cable wiring and require you to maintain grassy lawns and drippy fruit trees.
Luckily, Glendora still has enough open space that new housing developments keep popping up. Stick with leases at these newer communities if you want the latest technological amenities. The Glendora Village Collection is one such example. Solar panels lighten your electrical utility bills while low-flow faucets and shower heads do the same thing for your water bill. You can bring your battery-operated buggy into the garage, which is pre-wired for electrical vehicle charges. The kitchen boasts more high-tech with an energy-efficient induction range and oven. You can spend all your time enjoying your rental rather than taking care of it: The Homeowners Association watches over fixes for your exterior and community amenities.
No, we're not talking about your favorite dog or kitty, although most complexes do allow them, albeit with a bit extra in rental fees. The city's location at the foothills means that animals still roam the relatively wild mountains. Sightings of mule deer, raccoons, cocoons, bobcats, and most frightening of all, skunks, are possible. Physical encounters should be rare if you don't go chasing after the mammals. Untamed creatures don't typically like people and will keep their distance from you. Take preventive measures by not leaving food outside where animals can access them. On no account should you feed any creatures that you see even if they look cute and cuddly. They're likely to hang out waiting for more goodies from you and may attack you and your loved ones.
Southern California has been in the middle of a drought for a while, so the city enforces mandatory water conservation. Ignore these measures and you're subject to fines that grow with each violation. Many of these rules apply more to your landlord, but if you're in charge of taking care of your yard, for example, you can only water it after 5 p.m. and before 8 a.m. Indoors, conserve water by taking shorter showers, not letting the water run when brushing your teeth or shaving, and by reporting any leaky pipes to maintenance people as soon as possible. As an added bonus, water conservation also reduces your utility bill.
The obvious draw for activity in Glendora consists of the San Gabriel Mountains, which encourage camping, hiking, horseback-riding and wildlife observation. The city's recreation department can clue you in to the best ways to enjoy the slopes. It also manages more than a dozen recreation areas, including the Carlyle E. Linder Equestrian Park, with a riding rink and trails, and the Glen Oaks Golf Course, which has nine holes and a professional staff that can teach you how to handle the links.
The best way to find out what the locals are all about is by running into them at city-sponsored annual events. White powder comes to Finkbiner Park in February during Snow Day, which include sled runs and snowman building. In the summer, you can groove to tunes during Summer Concerts in the Park or excite your eyes with Summer Movies in the Park. And during October, the Halloween Carnival provides a trick-or-treat alternative complete with a costume contest, food and games.