The pricing in Santa Clara, as with much of California, is a bit higher than other areas in the region - but relative to the cost of living in the area.
Agnew (95054): Agnew is an established neighborhood. The homes and complexes here were built in either the 1970s-1994 or 1995 and later. The area is comprised of apartments, condos, and single-family homes (3-5 bedrooms). Apartments around here range from average to luxury, with some offering penthouse options. Living here means about a 15 minute commute to work if you're heading into downtown Santa Clara.
El Camino Real:/The Alameda: Great walkability and a lot of character. Single-family homes (built in the ‘40s-‘60s, some even earlier), apartments, and condos make up the dwellings here. It is a growing neighborhood with residents who can walk to work, entertainments and eateries. The apartments here tend to lean a bit toward luxury and the area is close to parks, and shopping at Santana Row.
Lawrence (95051): This is what some would call an “Urban Suburbia.” Made up of studios, apartments, and small single-family homes. Many of the houses here were built between 1940-1960s (some between 70s and 1994). Most units have a washer/dryer included, as well as fitness centers and other state of the art amenities for their renters.
Downtown/City Center (95050): The area features apartments and single family homes. There are some older/historic homes here to choose from (largely Victorians) as well as newer, luxury apartments. Arguably the best part of living downtown is its proximity to everything and the availability of activities. From here it's also easy to hop on the freeway and make your way toward San Francisco or the neighboring city of San Jose. Other nearby recreation includes golf courses, historic walking tours, parks, & farmers' markets on the weekends.
Renting in Santa Clara means saving money on your utility costs. As a renter you can look forward to saving 30-40 percent on electricity payments. Santa Clara prides itself on offering the lowest utility costs across the board, compared to the surrounding areas.
If you are moving with a four-legged friend or are looking forward to purchasing a pet when you move, Santa Clara is the place to live. Most pets are allowed at the majority of rental communities. Of course some buildings will require you to pay extra for certain weights and breeds, but overall Santa Clara loves pets.
The weather here is virtually (high tech!) perfect for the most part. It does get hot between June and August but average temperatures are in the 70s and winters are moderate compared to elsewhere-USA. That being said, be sure your apartment has A/C and heat, but don’t be surprised if you spend days/nights with your windows open.
Getting around town in Santa Clara is largely done by car. The good thing is that Santa Clara is perfectly located near many major freeways and expressways, enabling you to get to San Francisco in 45 minutes, San Jose in 15, Oakland in about 50 or any other ‘ol place your little heart desires.
There are a few options as far as public transportation in Santa Clara. The ACE has morning and evening trains for commuters going to and from areas like Stockton and San Jose. For a quick trip to San Francisco or San Jose, hop on CalTrain. It stops at virtually every city between Santa Clara and those two destination points and operates seven days a week. This is great for commuters or for those who are heading into San Francisco for entertainment, art or shopping. The VTA (Valley Transportation Authority) is a bus and rail service that operates in and around Santa Clara and the Silicon Valley. The light rail service comes in quite handy for theme park days, as it has a stop right outside of Great America, as well as a stop at the Convention Center. For those looking to go a bit further, there is an AMTRAK station which leaves seven times a day with various end points.
The center of the Silicon Valley, Santa Clara is the perfect spot for the person who wants it all in one little town. Santa Clara offers something for everyone. Make it your mission to get here as fast as you can.