KWith a vacancy rate of just over 3 percent, Newark, like the majority of the Bay Area, is a place wherein finding an apartment to rent takes time and research. Not to mention, you might not be able to get a lease on your first choice property. Be prepared to start looking as soon as you even consider moving, and be flexible--gymnast flexible. You won't likely need to sign off your first born, just don't be surprised when you are asked for high credit requirements and deposits. Take your search seriously and be prepared to give out more information than you might expect. Don't be late for showing appointments and remember to make the best first impression you can. It's important to remind yourself that it's likely every property you look at will have multiple applicants. Try to make yourself standout in positive ways to enhance your chances.
Newark has a population of around 43,000, making it a small player in the greater Bay Area real estate market. People seeking homes for rent in Newark typically work nearby or want easy access to the Dumbarton Bridge for a short commute. Another group of potential renters is made up by people who are just looking for a good place somewhere in the region. With the vacancy rate so low, that's a compromise that is frequently made. Winter is the slowest season when it comes to moving around these parts, so try to do your searching then, if possible. Even though it is relatively small, there are distinct neighborhoods in the city that offer different options. Here's a look at some of them.
Jarvis Landing:The residential areas are fronted by industrial zones and the big evaporation ponds of the Cargill Salt, one of the 10 biggest employers in Newark. Salt is literally taken straight from the sea through environmentally friendly evaporation processes. Monthly rent isn't inexpensive around the Bay Area but Jarvis Landing is a relative bargain. Condos and apartments for rent with all bills paid aren't easy to find.
NewPark Mall:The community to the south and west of Newpark Mall is fairly standard suburban mixed-use. There are quite a few complexes of different ages that do offer more choice than some surrounding areas.
Stonecress:To the west of the Nimitz Freeway (I-680) and on the north side of NewPark Mall is the established recreational area of Stonecress. Find leafy boulevards and quiet neighborhood streets for the most part.
Baine Ave:Follow Cherry Street to the northwest from Stonecress and find another nice residential zone with a nice mix of quality housing options. Civic Center Park and the Newark Square Shopping Center add flavor to the area.
City Center:The downtown area of Newark really isn't that recognizable as a downtown, it's more like a continuation of a suburban network of neighborhoods. You won't find any skyscrapers or A-list nightspots, but the central zone does have some of the more competitive rental pricing in town and it's possible to find places with all bills paid as part of the agreement. A big number of Asian restaurants help add culinary flavor.
Newark Boulevard, Orleans:This part of town includes the exclusive Lakeshore Park Community with its artificial island occupied by expensive homes. Rentals in the area aren't as plentiful as other parts of town and when you find one, don't be shy with the wallet.
KThe entire South Bay area is one of the most highly-desired metro areas in the United States. The weather is Mediterranean-seeming, meaning mild winters and dry summers. Unlike areas further inland, Newark is close enough to the cooling influences of the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean to stay relatively even over the season. Rain comes almost exclusively in the months between October and April. The quote "The coldest winter I ever spent was the summer I spent in San Francisco," incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain, doesn't apply as much here. Far enough away to stay out of the fog most of the time, summer temps are warmer but rarely too hot. It might not be paradise, but the weather sure is great!
Everything that makes the Bay Area so incredibly desired as a place to live is nearby when you put down roots in Newark. Drive across the Dumbarton Bridge and be on your way to professional sports, great educational institutions, beaches, redwood groves, and untold cultural opportunities. It's not hard to imagine spending each weekend exploring new sights and experiences and taking years to get back to where you started. Go to the coast and travel just a little south to see all the sea life of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and test your cornering skills on the Big Sur drive.
Everything that makes this little slice of North America desirable to live in also makes the rents higher than average. Once you get over the initial sticker shock, be ready to have more entertainment options than you might be used to - and be prepared to drive to get to them. Consider using mass transit or car sharing plans to get away from paying higher-than-average gas prices. No, it's not New Jersey - Newark, California might not be everything you think of that represents the California Dream, but hey, it's all within driving distance!