Only one in three residents in San Marcos rents rather than owns, but that doesn’t mean apartments are difficult to come by. The city’s population has spiked nearly 50 percent in the past decade and plenty of new apartments, lofts, and condos have been erected to keep pace. You’ll find that your options are plentiful. Waiting lists are rare and move-in specials do pop up, so scour the market thoroughly to make sure you get the best bang for your buck and pow for your dinero.
If you’re the hermitic type who doesn’t like to venture outside the comfort of your humble abode unless absolutely necessary, we hate to tell you that you’ll be missing out on the best of San Marcos. The city is dotted with parks, hiking and biking trails, and golf courses that can be enjoyed year-round; a 15-minute drive can put you on the majestic Pacific shoreline, while San Diego’s numerous outdoors attractions are only a 30-minute trek away. The city also features monthly concerts in Woodland Park from May through September, several annual festivals and celebrations, and tons of wildlife-viewing hotspots.
Night owls, meanwhile, aren’t likely to be disappointed by the various live music venues, vino bars, and sports pubs that keep things hopping after the sun’s gone down. But whether you prefer to get your kicks under the sun or moon, be sure to bring a hearty appetite along, as the city’s well-known Old California Restaurant Row features quality cuisines from all over the globe that are sure to keep your taste buds watering.
The best way to bum around San Marcos is obviously via your own set of wheels, but foot soldiers will be glad to know the city is served by an above average bus system with an above average name (there are certainly worse things in the world than riding the “Breeze” to work each morning). The Sprinter light rail, which runs from Oceanside to Escondido, stops in San Marcos as well and is a viable option for commuters living in one of the apartment complexes situated nearby.
A few quick things to keep in mind before signing your John Hancock on the dotted line of an apartment lease:
Most leases in San Marcos are good for a full year, although a limited number of properties offer short-term and month-to-month leases as well (usually at a slightly steeper price). Nearly all landlords charge an initial security/good faith deposit (which is often refundable if you keep your digs in tip-top shape) and some charge additional (dare we say “mystery?”) move-in fees.
It’s typical for landlords to run a credit and background check on tenants before extending a leasing offer to make sure they don’t have a history of being deadbeat renters. Obviously, if you’re credit/renter’s history is questionable or nonexistent you’ll likely need a co-signer to score your dream dwellings in San Marcos.
Some larger complexes use showrooms/prototype apartments when showing off their property, but if at all possible, ask to see the actual unit you’ll be renting. Sometimes this isn’t an option (especially if the previous tenants haven’t moved out or the apartment hasn’t been properly cleaned or fixed up yet), but it’s worth a shot. Either way, when it’s time to fill out your move-in checklist, mark down even the most seemingly insignificant and minor blemishes and give your new place a thorough inspection to make sure everything is up to par as promised.
And now for the fun part: scouring paradise for the lodgings of your lives! Welcome to North County, bienvenido a San Marcos, and happy hunting!