"Tulare dust in a farm boy's nose. Wondering where the freight train goes. Standin' in the field by the railroad track. Cursin' the strap on my cotton sack." -- Merle Haggard
OK, you may get a little dusty in the hot, arid summers of Tulare, but youll also get a lot of moxie. Tulare not only burned down three times during its first 14 years, but residents were also left economically devastated when the railroad moved its headquarters away in 1891. Rather than kicking at the ashes and dust, the Tulare folks bounced back, rebuilding the city as needed and turning to farming for their livelihood. Heck, they even found ways to bring adequate water to nourish their crops and now thrive with a population of nearly 61,000.
Moving to Tulare
How much does it cost?
You are not likely to break the bank all that bad moving to Tulare, as rents are typically much lower than most of the rest of the state. You'll hear your wallet thanking you.
What would help my apartment search in Tulare?
Scouting out the neighborhood vacancy rates can help refine your search, as some areas of Tulare stay pretty well-packed. You also want to arm yourself with the usual lineup of helpful documents. These include a proof of income, your current credit report and even reference letters from people who can tout your fine tenant tendencies.
What else do I need to know?
One of the highlights of the city is its location, location, location. No, youre not on the cusp of the Pacific Ocean. Nor are you anywhere near San Diegos Seaworld. But you are in a central location that has easy access to plenty of major thoroughfares that can take you to either Los Angeles or San Francisco Bay in less than four hours. You also get immediate access to Freeway 99 and about a 40-minute ride to Interstate 5, which takes you up the California coast to Oregon and Washington state. Just keep your eyes on the road on I-5, as it is one sensationally scenic route.
The 16.6 square miles that make up Tulare have a very distinct population layout. The three neighborhoods that stretch to Tulares outer boundaries give you three massive areas of open space. Then you get 11 comparatively teeny neighborhoods all crammed in the middle of town. While the overall population density of Tulare clocks in at an average 3,668 people per square mile, opt for the outer neighborhoods and you'll have fewer neighbors in a zone that has 40 or fewer folks per square mile.
Tagus/Midvalley: Plenty of elbow room, two bedroom and studio apartments and smaller, single-family dwellings are the norm in this northwestern corner of the city. Youll also find extremely affordable rents and a high percentage of five or more cars per household. Guess you need to drive a lot with all that open space. $$
Waukena: Waukena sits directly below Tagus, making up the southwestern corner of the city. Once again you get a California address without the usual mind-boggling California rents. Heck, NeighborhoodScout says rental homes in this area are less costly than 98 percent of neighborhoods throughout the entire state. $
Swall: Head over to the third elbow-room-happy neighborhood that makes up the eastern half of Tulare and youre heading to a place called Swall. Even though Swall isnt that swell a name, it does seem to have a swell vibe with a vacancy rate that dips lower than five percent. You get a little less elbow room and a leap in the rent above the other sprawling neighborhoods. $$$$$
City Center: Move to the smack-dab middle of Tulare and you land in the appropriately named City Center. The City Center has about the same population density as Swall, but a higher vacancy rate and more affordable rents. Heres where you can finally find your apartment complexes and high-rise apartments for rent. $$
E. San Joaquin Avenue/N. Blackstone Street: Directly north of City Center and the rents are a shade higher yet still affordable. You can forget about the massive elbow room in this small chunk of land. This area is stocked with well-established homes and it stays pretty packed, with a vacancy rate that can dip as low as two percent. $$$
E. Cross Avenue/N. Blackstone Street: Hop north of N. Blackstone Street and you find some of the lowest crime rates in town on a triangular-shaped hunk of land. Rents are a shade higher than its E. San Joaquin Avenue neighbor but finding an apartment or rental property is easier with vacancy rates hitting about six percent. $$$$
Living in Tulare
If you dig cattle, goats, chickens, seeds, backhoes and all things farm-related, then youll instantly dig Tulare. Tulare still has a largely agricultural vibe, although folks do work in other fields (pun not intended). Youll find loads of residents working in service and sales jobs as well as the highest population of women working in the repair and maintenance industry in cities of 50,000 or more.
As you might guess, your own farming venture may be more successful in the outer areas with plenty of elbow room rather than in one of the more densely populated apartment complexes in the citys central areas.
What do people do for fun?
What, goats, chickens and backhoes arent enough fun for ya? Seriously, though, the City of Tulare website says the citys central business district has plenty of goodies for the taking. These include the quaint tree-lined streets and equally quaint gift and antique shops contrasted with a lineup of your usual big box stores and the only factory outlet in the region. Yes, it even adds that corner line about getting "the best of both worlds" - the small town charm and personalized service as well as the "big-city self-sufficiency." Sigh.
Why do some households have so many cars?
The high car population of Tulare may be a mystery, but it is a pretty well-known fact that most California cities require a car just to get where you need or want to go. True, Tulare County has a bus line and youre only 15 miles away from the nearest Amtrak station, but youll probably still want to take a cue from your new neighbors and keep at least one vehicle handy.
Do people like to visit Tulare?
While the city itself may not be a tourist trap per se, save for travelers who really dig cattle and goats, Tulare County is a veritable wonderland of, well, wonders. Tulare County is home to Sequoia National Park and National Forest as well as a wild range of wilderness areas that include Golden Trout, Domeland and Mineral King.
If youre big on hiking, biking, skiing, fishing or boating, then even if you didnt live in the county youd be big on visiting Tulare. Oh, and folks do visit both the city and the county when it comes to exporting all the farm-grown delicacies. Tulare County boasts being the no. 2 producer of agricultural commodities in the U.S.