Estimated Housing Costs

We are currently experiencing an explosive growth in the local rental markets. Housing prices for long term rentals in the San Francisco Bay Area continue to be higher than other areas due to demand. In 2013 the San Mateo-Mt. View rental market rose an average of 11.5% (average asking rents, fourth quarter 2013 in complexes with at least 50 units – SF Chronicle, 3/9/14).

Estimated prices below are based on current averages ranging from the cities of San Mateo to Santa Clara. You will find some rentals lower than this and the Housing office will always strive to secure the lowest possible rates.

Typical Rental Rates

  • Studio apartment:  $1500-$2400/month (often furnished*)
  • 1 bedroom / 1 bath:  $2200-$3000/month
  • 2 bedroom / 2 bath:  $2800-$4000/month
  • 3 bedroom house:  $3000-$7000/month
  • Room in a private home (with or without kitchen privileges and private or shared bath):  $40-$90/night, $1000-$1800/month

* Furnished apartments are often more difficult to find, but we work with a furniture rental company and can help you arrange furnishings. There is also an IKEA store located in Palo Alto.

Lease Conditions

To rent a house or apartment you will need to give the owner a security deposit plus the first month's rent. Some owners may even ask for last month's rent, but this is rare. This deposit must be in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank, cash or travelers' checks. Credit cards are accepted at the Stanford Guest House and some of the larger apartment complexes but may NOT be used for rentals in private homes, apartments or houses.

A rule of thumb is not to spend more than 2.5% of your pre-tax income on rent and many landlords are now adhering to this.