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333 Apartments for rent in La Mesa, CA

Read Guide >
Last updated December 12 at 7:38pm UTC
The Palms of La Mesa
7481 Mohawk St
La Mesa, CA
Updated December 11 at 8:35pm UTC
1 Bedroom
2 Bedrooms
3 Bedrooms
Echo Pointe
4300 Echo Ct
La Mesa, CA
Updated December 11 at 6:47pm UTC
2 Bedrooms
3 Bedrooms
4343 Resmar Rd
Casa de Oro-Mount Helix
La Mesa, CA
Updated December 12 at 7:38pm UTC
3 Bedrooms
5706 Baltimore Dr #342
La Mesa
La Mesa, CA
Updated December 12 at 7:38pm UTC
2 Bedrooms
5455 Baltimore Drive #21
La Mesa
La Mesa, CA
Updated December 12 at 7:34pm UTC
2 Bedrooms
5024 Pine Street
La Mesa
La Mesa, CA
Updated December 12 at 7:31pm UTC
3 Bedrooms
4844 Palm Avenue
La Mesa
La Mesa, CA
Updated December 11 at 11:00am UTC
2 Bedrooms
9130 Johnson Dr
La Mesa
La Mesa, CA
Updated December 11 at 10:39am UTC
3 Bedrooms
5350 Baltimore Dr
La Mesa
La Mesa, CA
Updated December 11 at 10:39am UTC
1 Bedroom
7715 Saranac Place
La Mesa
La Mesa, CA
Updated December 11 at 7:37pm UTC
2 Bedrooms
4584 Harbinson Ave
La Mesa
La Mesa, CA
Updated December 11 at 10:24am UTC
3 Bedrooms
4914 Clearview Way
La Mesa
La Mesa, CA
Updated December 11 at 3:52pm UTC
1 Bedroom
3 Bedrooms
City Guide
La Mesa
Moving to La Mesa

Moving here is a snap. It's large enough to offer every amenity but still small enough not to go overboard on the documentation to rent a place. You will need proof of income, and letters of reference from past landlords always help. They will run a credit check but it's nothing to sweat. If you have pets, make sure you have documentation from your vet that they are healthy and have the required vaccinations; a reference letter about their character doesn't hurt either!

What it will cost
We are talking about southern California here, so don't expect Midwest-cheap when it comes to your rent. Funny thing is that by California standards it really is pretty inexpensive. If you are from elsewhere in the state, you will likely be surprised at what you get for a mild groan. Two to three bedrooms is fairly standard but there are some all bills paid executive suites as well.


Small places like this don't do the whole neighborhood thing the way you expect from larger places like Los Angeles. Here they are more city designations for voting and real estate matters.

Calavo Gardens and Grandview:This is an older and more established section of La Mesa. Many residents have likely lived here for five or more years. This is where you will find doctors, lawyers, executives and professors at the peak of their careers. It's a more expensive area overall but there are a fair number of rentals available and you can normally get a pretty good deal on them. $$$$$

Mount Helix:While many of the homes here are older, there are also newer townhouses and apartment buildings in this area as well. This is an upper income area, but to put it into perspective, you will find lawyers here that are junior partners. There are also quite a few doctors and IT people in this neighborhood.$$$$

Lemon:This area is primarily comprised of older large homes that were converted into smaller apartments. The conversion was well done and the homes are great, with all the modern touches you could want. You will find a lot of government workers here, as well as some active duty military, but mostly local city government workers. $$$

Gateside and Lake Murray:College students especially love this section of La Mesa. Interestingly, the rents are still reasonable even though many areas popular with college students are the opposite. The noise level in this part of town gets a bit high but nothing that shutting your windows can't fix. $$$

University:This is about middle of the road for La Mesa. It's about average on rents, average on income and average on people. Most of the people living here are middle income professionals with children. The schools are great and that is a big attraction. There are quite a few vacancies here so if you have kids be sure to give it a look. If you are single and looking for someplace with action, keep looking. This is a nice quiet neighborhood.$$$

Cowles Mountain:If you are looking for a great place to raise a family and happen to be an IT professional, this is the neighborhood for you. Many people who live here are in the tech industry. There are also quite a few other professionals, namely doctors and lawyers, who are just starting out and and trying to pay off those pesky student loans. Plenty of vacancies here: the rate is the highest in La Mesa. You should have your pick of places so enjoy the hunt.$$

City Center:Older homes dominate this part of La Mesa. This is a hotbed of retired professionals, as well as young families just starting out. It's quiet, safe and the schools are good. Plenty of rentals here and most fall in the 2-3 bedroom range so you shouldn't have trouble finding a place that fits you and your family.$

Living in La Mesa

Lots to Do, Lots to See Living here is a treat, especially if you like hot summers and cool winters. Don't expect a white Christmas in La Mesa, but with a December average high temperature of over 76 degrees, don't be surprised if you can hit the beach! This incredible weather leads to the average person spending a great deal of time out of doors. There are several urban hiking and walking groups in La Mesa with divisions for every age and fitness level. There is also the public swimming pool, though many homes and apartment buildings have their own swimming pools. There are also several parks, such as the Aztec Park, that make great places for picnics and spending an afternoon with the family.

History has an important place in La Mesa, and in 2012 the city celebrated its centennial. There is also the Historical Society and several local historical attractions such as the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum and the Horseless Carriage Foundation. A popular shopping location in the city is the La Mesa Antique Mall on Palm Avenue. This mall showcases local antiques and crafts created locally.

Make New Friends, Eat Good Food
We need to discuss the social scene in La Mesa. It's a good one. Whenever someone relocates there are certain things that they need to start feeling at home in their new community. Most people need to find a place for Mexican and Asian food as well as a good pizza place and somewhere to get a great burger. You just don't feel like you belong until these particular ducks are in a row.

In La Mesa, Mexican food is on every corner. However, the best Mexican food is at Casa De Pico on Grossmont Center Drive. Everything there is great but their Shrimp Cobb Salad and Enchiladas Rancheras are outstanding. The salsa is made fresh daily. It's really great food and good prices.

There are two outstanding choices for Asian cuisine: Arigato, a Japanese place over on Baltimore, and Tamarind for Thai food on University. The Kao Pad Poo at Tamarind is excellent for anyone who loves both Thai food and crab. At Arigato, the sushi reigns supreme! Both places serve great food at terrific prices with quality service.

For absolutely the best pizza ever, you have to try D'Amatos Pizza on La Mesa Boulevard. This is old-world style pizza and it's incredible. They also have pasta, Calzone and specialty sandwiches. It's the pizza that is important. They deliver, which is nice and unusual for a family-owned place.

Burgers are very important. You need to know where to get one in your new community. The best place in La Mesa is BJ's on Grossmont Center Drive. The Classic is your regular burger, but if you are in the mood to branch out there are also a few other options, like the bacon, blue cheese and jalapeno burgers. They are served with fries, as they should be. There is a full menu here and the baby back ribs are the best you will find around. The meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and the sauce is addictive.

If you are looking for something different, like really different, head over to The Riviera Supper Club and Turquoise Room on University. This is a do-it-yourself steakhouse. You have a few drinks, grill your own meat and have a blast doing it! This might not be for everyone but you should probably try it; it will give you something interesting to post on Facebook.

December 2018 La Mesa Rent Report

Welcome to the December 2018 La Mesa Rent Report. La Mesa rents declined over the past month. In this report, we'll evaluate trends in the La Mesa rental market, including comparisons to cities throughout the metro, state, and nation.

View full La Mesa Rent Report
Rent Report
La Mesa

December 2018 La Mesa Rent Report

Welcome to the December 2018 La Mesa Rent Report. La Mesa rents declined over the past month. In this report, we'll evaluate trends in the La Mesa rental market, including comparisons to cities throughout the metro, state, and nation.

La Mesa rents decline sharply over the past month

La Mesa rents have declined 0.7% over the past month, but have increased slightly by 1.5% in comparison to the same time last year. Currently, median rents in La Mesa stand at $1,420 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,840 for a two-bedroom. This is the second straight month that the city has seen rent decreases after an increase in September. La Mesa's year-over-year rent growth leads the state average of 1.4%, as well as the national average of 1.3%.

Rents rising across the San Diego Metro

Throughout the past year, rent increases have been occurring not just in the city of La Mesa, but across the entire metro. Of the largest 10 cities that we have data for in the San Diego metro, all of them have seen prices rise. Here's a look at how rents compare across some of the largest cities in the metro.

  • Encinitas has the most expensive rents in the San Diego metro, with a two-bedroom median of $2,470; the city has also seen rent growth of 1.8% over the past month, the fastest in the metro.
  • Over the past month, El Cajon has seen the biggest rent drop in the metro, with a decline of 1.1%. Median two-bedrooms there cost $1,640, while one-bedrooms go for $1,260.
  • National City has the least expensive rents in the San Diego metro, with a two-bedroom median of $1,530; rents increased 0.3% over the past month and 1.9% over the past year.

Many large cities nationwide show more affordable rents compared to La Mesa

As rents have increased slightly in La Mesa, a few large cities nationwide have seen rents grow more quickly. Compared to most large cities across the country, La Mesa is less affordable for renters.

  • Rents increased slightly in other cities across the state, with California as a whole logging rent growth of 1.4% over the past year. For example, rents have grown by 3.2% in San Jose, 1.8% in San Francisco, and 1.5% in Los Angeles.
  • La Mesa's median two-bedroom rent of $1,840 is above the national average of $1,180. Nationwide, rents have grown by 1.3% over the past year compared to the 1.5% increase in La Mesa.
  • While La Mesa's rents rose slightly over the past year, the city of Seattle saw a decrease of 0.4%.
  • Renters will generally find more expensive prices in La Mesa than most large cities. For example, Phoenix has a median 2BR rent of $1,060, where La Mesa is more than one-and-a-half times that price.

For more information check out our national report. You can also access our full data for cities and counties across the U.S. at this link.
City Median 1BR price Median 2BR price M/M price change Y/Y price change
San Diego $1,560 $2,030 -0.3% 1.0%
Chula Vista $1,650 $2,150 0.7% 3.6%
Oceanside $1,770 $2,300 0.4% 2.1%
Escondido $1,430 $1,860 0.8% 0.0%
Carlsbad $1,900 $2,460 0.8% 1.8%
El Cajon $1,260 $1,640 -1.1% 0.7%
Vista $1,430 $1,850 0.1% 2.0%
San Marcos $1,540 $1,990 -0.2% 2.4%
Encinitas $1,900 $2,470 1.8% 3.0%
National City $1,180 $1,530 0.3% 1.9%
See more

Methodology - Recent Updates:

Data from private listing sites, including our own, tends to skew toward luxury apartments, which introduces sample bias when estimates are calculated directly from these listings. To address these limitations, we’ve recently made major updates to our methodology, which we believe have greatly improved the accuracy and reliability of our estimates.

Read more about our new methodology below, or see a more detailed post here.


Apartment List is committed to making our rent estimates the best and most accurate available. To do this, we start with reliable median rent statistics from the Census Bureau, then extrapolate them forward to the current month using a growth rate calculated from our listing data. In doing so, we use a same-unit analysis similar to Case-Shiller’s approach, comparing only units that are available across both time periods to provide an accurate picture of rent growth in cities across the country.

Our approach corrects for the sample bias inherent in other private sources, producing results that are much closer to statistics published by the Census Bureau and HUD. Our methodology also allows us to construct a picture of rent growth over an extended period of time, with estimates that are updated each month.

Read more about our methodology here.

About Rent Reports:

Apartment List publishes monthly reports on rental trends for hundreds of cities across the U.S. We intend these reports to be a source of reliable information that help renters and policymakers make sound decisions, and we invest significant time and effort in gathering and analyzing rent data. Our work is covered regularly by journalists across the country.

We are continuously working to improve our methodology and data, with the goal of providing renters with the information that they need to make the best decisions.