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32 Apartments for rent in Petaluma, CA

Read Guide >
Last updated March 20 at 1:15pm UTC
267 Wetmore Lane
Petaluma, CA
Updated March 6 at 11:22am UTC
1 Bedroom
Frances Estates 200 Frances Way
Petaluma, CA
Updated March 5 at 12:15pm UTC
4 Bedrooms
14 La Cresta Drive
Petaluma, CA
Updated February 22 at 11:38am UTC
3 Bedrooms
8454 Brand Lane
Penngrove, CA
Updated March 15 at 10:53am UTC
3 Bedrooms
Results within 5 miles of Petaluma, CA
708 Santa Alicia Drive
Rohnert Park
Rohnert Park, CA
Updated March 15 at 10:51am UTC
2 Bedrooms
215 Wilford Lane
Cotati, CA
Updated March 2 at 12:12pm UTC
3 Bedrooms
Results within 10 miles of Petaluma, CA
762 5th St. West
Sonoma, CA
Updated March 20 at 11:00am UTC
3 Bedrooms
1360 Bainbridge Ln.
Sonoma, CA
Updated March 20 at 10:57am UTC
3 Bedrooms
236 Tuscany Place
Sonoma, CA
Updated March 19 at 11:19am UTC
1 Bedroom
828 Wilmac Ave
West Novato
Novato, CA
Updated March 19 at 11:03am UTC
2 Bedrooms
185 White Oak Dr. B
Oakmont Village
Santa Rosa, CA
Updated March 16 at 10:23am UTC
2 Bedrooms
3 Pin Oak Place
Oakmont Village
Santa Rosa, CA
Updated March 16 at 10:20am UTC
2 Bedrooms
40 Temelec Circle
Sonoma, CA
Updated March 15 at 5:51pm UTC
2 Bedrooms
8956 Oakmont Dr
Oakmont Village
Santa Rosa, CA
Updated March 15 at 10:57am UTC
2 Bedrooms
18255 Cottonwood AVE
Sonoma, CA
Updated March 17 at 7:05pm UTC
4 Bedrooms
616 Austin Avenue
Sonoma, CA
Updated March 16 at 10:19am UTC
3 Bedrooms
498 Pepper Rd
Petaluma, CA
Updated March 15 at 9:41am UTC
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City Guide
Finding an Apartment in Petaluma

Even though the cost of living is less than San Francisco and other neighboring large cities, serenity comes with a price tag. Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but he likely left it there because of the high cost of living. Today, a lot of people are following his lead and leaving the big California cities for more rural areas where they can stretch their dollars. Keep these tips in mind when you are searching for your apartment, and you will be home before you know it!

How Much Will It Cost?

You should be sitting down before you read this. No, really, take a seat. With so many families moving out of the San Francisco and San Jose areas due to high rent and housing shortages, you will have to dig deep into your pockets to rent in certain areas of Petaluma. The good news is that, although Petaluma can be expensive, it's still cheaper than the large cities around it. You may be dipping into the piggy bank, but it will go a lot farther in Petaluma!

The Best Time to Rent

Summer is always a great time to find rental discounts and incentives in the Petaluma area. This is when many people are transitioning from local cities after graduating college. Lots of families move into new apartments at the beginning of the year when they receive income-tax refunds, so checking for vacancies and specials around February and March is also a good idea.

What You'll Need

As a general rule, you will need pay stubs for proof of income and employment. Also, if you have a pet, you may need to provide vaccination records, and be prepared to pay a non-refundable security deposit for your beloved furball. You may love Fido, but the person that you are renting from probably sees Fido as the enemy.

The Best Neighborhoods in Petaluma

Because urban growth limits were imposed a few years ago, there are no bad neighborhoods in Petaluma. Whether you are interested in country living or prefer a riverfront cityscape, the options are plentiful.

Historic Riverfront Downtown and the Westside:Once neglected and not considered a good residential location, the historic riverfront area of Petaluma was revitalized in the late '70s and early '80s. The Victorian architecture, waterfront access, and local businesses make a great location for young hipsters and families alike. Whether you are looking for a nightcap or want to spend time with your children at the local park, everything downtown is within walking distance.$$$

Outside the City Limits:Just a short distance out of the city are wonderful greenbelts for those who prefer country living. Wine country is beautiful, and Sonoma County is not without its share of aesthetic presence. Honestly, some of us prefer to live quietly without the drama of the big city to the south. Fresh air does come at a price, though. Be prepared to smash your piggy bank for country living.$$$$$

The Eastside:Petaluma is separated into the Eastside and Westside. The Eastside has a retro feel with lots of homes and apartments from the '60s and '70s. Its like strolling through history until you see a Starbucks or sushi bar. Whether you are single or have a family, there are always lots of things going on to keep you from being bored.$$$$

Life in Petaluma

Life in Petaluma is definitely lived at a slower pace than in the larger cities nearby. Even though most residents rely on personal automobiles for their travel needs, mass transit is readily available, and many travelers take advantage of affordable monthly passes.

There is never a shortage of things to do in Petaluma. For the history geek, Petaluma has a number of buildings on the National Historic Register. Petaluma was fortunate to escape the earthquake that devastated San Francisco in 1906. You could spend days or even weeks looking at all things yesteryear. For greenies, the outdoor space is endless. If hiking trails and state parks are your thing, you will not be disappointed. If you aren't interested in history or hiking, perhaps you prefer to eat, drink, and be merry. The city doesnt fall short here either.

The crime rate in Petaluma is very low. Not having to worry about your children playing in the backyard while you cook dinner is a huge plus. The city is very family friendly and has lots of young families.

The city is divided into two cool and diverse sides, separated by the Petaluma River. How cool is that? You are probably thinking, way cool! The Eastside is full of family housing and a suburban vibe, whereas the Westside is filled with history and has a very energetic nightlife. Petaluma is not a big city, but drive a short distance in any direction, and you'll be in one. Being centrally located to everything is a big plus. Living in a small town may be great, but we all need to get away sometimes and see what is going on outside the bubble. San Francisco is only 40 miles south, and Sacramento is a little more than an hour east.

The cost of living may be a bit high, but the suburban utopia of Petaluma is well worth the money. It is a great city with a thriving downtown and waterfront access. You will not regret choosing one of the best small cities in California to live in.

Rent Report

March 2018 Petaluma Rent Report

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

Petaluma rents declined over the past month

Petaluma rents have declined 1.6% over the past month, but have increased significantly by 4.8% in comparison to the same time last year. Currently, median rents in Petaluma stand at $2,080 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,660 for a two-bedroom. This is the second straight month that the city has seen rent decreases after an increase in December of last year. Petaluma's year-over-year rent growth leads the state average of 3.6%, as well as the national average of 2.3%.

Rents rising across cities in California

Throughout the past year, rent increases have been occurring not just in the city of Petaluma, but across the entire state. Of the largest 10 cities that we have data for in California, all of them have seen prices rise. The state as a whole logged rent growth of 3.6% over the past year. Here's a look at how rents compare across some of the largest cities in the state.

  • Looking throughout the state, San Francisco is the most expensive of all California's major cities, with a median two-bedroom rent of $3,040; of the 10 largest California cities that we have data for, all have seen rents rise year-over-year, with Sacramento experiencing the fastest growth (+8.6%).
  • Anaheim, Oakland, and Fresno have all experienced year-over-year growth above the state average (6.4%, 5.8%, and 5.7%, respectively).

Many large cities nationwide show more affordable rents compared to Petaluma

As rents have increased significantly in Petaluma, a few large cities nationwide have seen rents grow more modestly, or in some cases, even decline. Compared to most large cities across the country, Petaluma is less affordable for renters.

  • Petaluma's median two-bedroom rent of $2,660 is above the national average of $1,160. Nationwide, rents have grown by 2.3% over the past year compared to the 4.8% increase in Petaluma.
  • While Petaluma's rents rose significantly over the past year, the city of DC saw a decrease of 0.1%.
  • Renters will generally find more expensive prices in Petaluma than most large cities. For example, Detroit has a median 2BR rent of $890, where Petaluma is more than three 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.

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.