Tedious task, wouldnt you think? Not to mention, most renters dont know what to expect. Lets make it a bit easier for you with these tips:
Count the Cost
Lakewood boasts of housing options that range from the moderate to the ridiculously high. You can pay well below or well above the national average for a two-bedroom apartment in this city. Be prepared to pay a months advance, deposit, and maintenance fee if you’re renting a condo or an apartment complex.
Mind Your Schedule
With Lakewoods low vacancy rate, it’s wise to look for an apartment at least 6 weeks in advance. Also take note that some neighborhoods are just like good bars that college students are naturally drawn to it. Thus, if you wanna make sure you have a place to move to, better beat the school season.
Cut the Chase
If youre the type of person who just doesn’t have the time to go through the painstaking task of looking for your own apartment, better get the services of a professional real estate agent. Sure, youre gonna have to pay an agent fee; but hey, beats scouring the area when you have more important things to do. Not to mention, youll be provided with many options even at short notice when you hire a professional to do the searching for you.
If the company you keep reflects who you are, then choosing a neighborhood should be done with the same careful discrimination as choosing your friends. Fortunately or perhaps, unfortunately in this case Lakewood has many excellent neighborhoods for you to choose from. Here are the most popular ones:
City Center: How much action can you take? With the Lakewood Center and Mayfair Park within this neighborhood, you’d better have a high tolerance for some hustle and bustle if you wish to live in this area. It’s very walkable and just about everything you need and want is just a couple of minutes away. However, you’d better be prepared to face a lot of competition since many renters are eyeing for homes for rent in this area as well.
Arbor Rd/Levelside Ave: With the Lakewood Golf Course, Lakewood Tennis Center, and Simon Bolivar Park within this area, its not a surprise why many people consider this a prime residential neighborhood.
Hackett Ave/Harvey Way: Notable landmarks in this area include the Monte Verde Park, Boyar Park, and West San Gabriel River Parkway Nature Trail. If youre hell bent on living in this neighborhood, better make your move fast. With its 1.2% vacancy rate, you’re slated to face many other renters vying for a home in this side of Lakewood.
Harvey Way/Palo Verde Ave: This neighborhood is home to the John Ford Stadium and Weingart-Lakewood Family YMCA. Looking for an apartment for rent in this area is pretty much like looking a needle in a haystack you’d need to have time on your side, not to mention boatloads of luck. With the area’s almost nonexistent vacancy, you wont be seeing the "for rent" sign anytime soon.
Downey Ave/South St: With the Lakewood Regional Medical Center in the neighborhood, you can expect that a good number of residents here work at the hospital. And that is why, like some areas in this city, it is tough to look for an apartment in this neighborhood as well. But when you do manage to find one, itll be most likely the small to medium-sized flats or apartments. Michelson Park is also in this neighborhood.
Bellflower Blvd/Hedda St: Located adjacent to the City Center, if you can’t manage to find an apartment there, you may want to start a search here. For one, rental rates are way lower in this neighborhood and with its 9% vacancy rate you have better chance of finding a suitable home for rent in this area. That is, if you dont mind having college students as your next door neighbors.
Palo Verde Ave/Candlewood St: Residents of this neighborhood develop deep social ties with their neighbors. If you live here, dinner at your neighbor’s house can be a common thing. Even dogs and cats have their own social life in this area. Candleverde Park is also just up the street.
Arbor Rd/Albury Ave: Don't count on seeing the "for rent" or "for sale" sign on this area anytime soon. Housing supply just couldn't meet the demand in this neighborhood. So either you're extremely lucky or you've been looking for months on end in this area. Either way, odds are definitely not in your favor here. But if you do somehow manage to bend it in your favor, you'll be living in a melting pot of culturally diverse people.
South St/Palo Verde Ave: If you love the charm of established and older homes -- think 40s and 50s start your search for an apartment here since theres an abundance of these types of homes in this area. Mayfair High School and Lakewood Marketplace Shopping Center are also within the vicinity.
Bloomfield Ave/Del Amo Blvd: If you are fond of the Asian culture, this is the perfect place to immerse yourself in it since there’s a good chance that your next-door neighbor or the people living down the block have Asian roots. This is one of the densely urban and walkable neighborhoods in California as well.
Carson St/Paramount Blvd: Aside from the fact that the rents not bad, relatively speaking, this area is pretty walkable making it an attractive neighborhood for college students. In fact, this area is rated as one of the top college-friendly areas in California. If you want to live here, a piece of advice: look for a rental apartment during school breaks. It’ll make your life easier.
Lakewood has the luxury of being served by excellent public transportation. Three bus systems, namely, Long Beach Transit, Metropolitan Transit Authority, and Orange County Transit District will take you to different parts of the city. From the post-war trolleys, the rails system has evolved to become the efficient commuter railway system. Boasting of blue, green, red lines, and counting, you dont need your own ride to go to LA or go exploring Long Beach, and several other attractions.