So now that you’ve got a feel for the city itself, let’s talk about the rental market. You’re lucky in this area, because not only is Salinas a veritable garden of rentals (pun definitely intended), but it’s also decently cheap compared to rental prices for the rest of California. Most places will still be over a thousand dollars per month on average, but may end up being cheaper than similar places nearby. The feel of the city is very suburban, with pockets of neighborhood streets joined together by major artery roads with shopping centers.
Varieties: Based on the needs of the population, many single-family rental houses are available in Salinas. The majority of these are smaller, older bungalows though in some areas (especially around the outskirts of the city) you’re likely to find more new construction and spacious houses or townhouses that will be a bit more expensive. Apartments in Salinas are usually small, low-level complexes nestled in amongst single-family homes. Don’t expect to find a lot of pristine luxury high-rise type digs in this city.
Unique Things and Utilities: A lot of what you’ll find depends on where you’re looking. With any place, you can expect at least a little bit of yard nearby and more than likely somewhere to put your car, whether it be a garage, a car port or a parking lot. More expensive places will be more spacious and may have better quality appliances, but on the whole, rentals in Salinas come equipped with your standard basics for living. Finding utilities included in your rent is easier if you’re looking for an apartment, but it’s not unheard of for the occasional rental house to throw some of those in, as well. Another interesting quirk you may find is that it’s a little easier to find a furnished apartment in Salinas. Of course, these types of places are a little pricier and may require a bit of extra searching, but they do exist.
Extras and Fees: Despite being the cheaper option, you may find renting in Salinas to be a bit trickier than some other places. Many landlords or rental companies require a credit check (which usually means an extra fee tacked on) and can be strict about past rental and financial history. Then again, this can depend on what area of the city you’re actually looking in, as many places may do the exact opposite. One last fee to look out for is the pet fee. A pet deposit and some restrictions are usually required, and you may even be asked to pay a monthly “pet rent” in some buildings.
Salinas doesn’t have any official neighborhood boundaries, per se, but many people refer to the different sides of the city, so we’ll give you a quick overview of them to get you familiar. Salinas is really a mixed bag. Make sure to do plenty of your own research, and always check out the place for yourself before making a decision.
Downtown/ Old Town The center of the city is more a commercial area than anything else. Though there are a lot of rentals here, they tend to be smaller. On the whole, the downtown area is cheaper. A portion of downtown, called Old Town, has restaurants, shopping and the Steinbeck museum, among other things.
East Salinas Especially closer to the outskirts of town, houses get a little larger and may run more expensive.
North Salinas Both the North and East sides are dense with cheap rentals.
South Salinas Many refer to South Salinas as if it were its own little town, separate from the rest of the city, but it's an area of mostly single-family homes.
Salinas has a literary history, being the hometown of famous author and Nobel laureate John Steinbeck. Though the city has definitely changed a little since Steinbeck’s last spin around the park, his influence still shows downtown at destinations such as his boyhood home and the Steinbeck Center. Salinas is also a major stop on the national rodeo circuit. At least you know you’ll have some variety, so here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re checking the place out for living potential.
Like much of California, beautiful scenery isn’t far from reach. One side of Salinas is bordered by snow-capped mountains, yet if you head just eight miles in the other direction you’re bound for the sandy coast. Nearby Monterey Bay lets cool ocean air into Salinas Valley, making for a moderate climate. Summers are milder and wetter (also foggier!) than surrounding areas.
Salinas and its rentals are quite car-friendly. Interstates to nearby cities run right through downtown, making commuting by car one of the easiest ways to get around. It isn’t a big city for walking, though there are bike lanes and bike trails if that’s your preferred commute style. Monterey-Salinas Transit also operates a bus system that includes routes through Salinas, as well as through neighboring cities.