Vacancy rates hover at 4%, indicating that most of the residents enjoy the city. But you should know that a lot of the vacancies are seasonal or for sale, leaving precious few rental houses and apartments for rent. That means you should start your search as soon as possible: bring your checkbook, proof of income, and lots of patience during your quest to find your next home.
Oh, and one other thingbe prepared to spend your life savings on a home here. After all, the median purchase price is more than double California's average and five times the national average. The rent is also about three times the state's median. But once you visit and take a look around, you'll pay pretty much anything to live in this beautiful Southern California community.
City Center: This neighborhood is technically on the western end of the city, so don't take the title city center literally. It is the more expensive of the two neighborhoods, most likely because of its close proximity to the beach. Here you will find mostly detached homes, with a few townhouses for rent here and there. This is the home of Lacy Park, along with the all-in-one Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. This neighborhood makes a great hotspot for anyone who loves books, art, flowers, or the outdoors.
South San Gabriel Boulevard and Huntington Drive: This area is more affordable, but it has the smallest variety of housing options--expect to find many single-family homes here. Residents here get a few convenient places to shop and eat, including CVS, San Marino Toy and Book Shoppe, and B-Man's Teriyaki and Burgers.
One of the most appealing attractions you'll find in any California city is a great freeway, and San Marino sits near several major roads. If you plan to drive around Los Angeles County, take a drive on the nearby Foothill Freeway, Interstate 5, or Interstate 10--perfect for a half-hour drive to Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood, or downtown L.A.
San Marino itself has a few businesses too. Shop for clothes, accessories, or unique gifts at Serafina or Simply Fresh, or get caffeinated at Starbucks instead of commuting elsewhere. Who knows? You might start out going month to month with your lease and end up making San Marino your permanent home.