Like all of the San Francisco Bay Area, Oakland has a unique energy, history and social scene that is only found here.
The city sees 3,070 hours of sunshine per year — temperatures hover around 50 degrees in the winter and 75 degrees in the summer. Unlike nearby San Francisco, the ever-present "fog" is less of a factor. So if blue skies and temperate climate sound great to you, consider becoming an Oakland resident.
With neighborhoods by the constantly social Lake Merritt or up in the quiet enclave of the Oakland Hills, the city's 78 square miles truly represent a variety of geography.
If you're thinking of moving yourself or your family to a new city, maybe it's time to explore your options to see how moving to Oakland can benefit you.
It's always helpful to know what to expect while researching places to move to — Oakland is no exception.
With variation from neighborhood to neighborhood, Oakland's average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $2,887. While that price may seem steep, it's relatively comparable to other large cities in California.
Still, unlike many cities on the rise, the cost of rent in Oakland has decreased 14.24 percent on average from last year. So now is the time to relocate to Oakland!
Experts recommend you spend no more than 30 percent of your net income to live in Oakland comfortably. Therefore, with the average one-bedroom rent in Oakland hovering around $34,644 a year — aspiring residents for a one-bedroom should make around $115,480 annually.
Fortunately, the job market in the Bay Area accommodates income levels in the region. The San Francisco and Silicon Valley Tech industry employ many and boast high salaries, allowing many to afford the steep real estate prices.
If this isn't you, don't fret. There's plenty of variation in housing costs in Oakland, depending on the neighborhood and housing situation best for you. Additionally, if you happen to live in a one-bedroom with a roommate, there is much more flexibility in what you'll be able to jointly afford.
Once you've figured out what you'd like to pay for rent, it's time to move on to pay for other expenses. This includes food, healthcare and utilities. Before moving to a new city and examining finances, a smart measure of what you can afford comes down to looking at the cost of common goods.
In this case, Oakland's cost of living index is 54.7 percent higher than the national average. This is high, but compared to San Francisco's — 94 percent higher than the national average — it's downright reasonable.
The cost of living index often boils down to the essentials, which include:
Yes, Oakland is a bit more expensive than other cities in the United States. However, the city possesses a competitive job market and plenty of other social benefits. You will have a wide variety of activities, food and drink and recreational opportunities here.
Like any city, the cost of housing varies depending on location. Oakland is unique in its sprawling nature that covers a variety of terrain and lifestyles.
Upon visiting, you'll find that the Oakland Hills' geographic nature that brings residents farther from grocery stores and other amenities is much different from living next to Lake Merritt, which provides access to a multitude of shops and restaurants.
On the other hand, the view from the hills is an amenity in and of itself.
The neighborhoods closer to Alameda, such as the Embarcadero, take on a more suburban vibe when compared with the city feel of Lake Merritt, Downtown and Uptown. These locations have close proximity to amenities such as grocery stores, clothing stores and the famous Grand Lake Farmers Market.
A bonus to the previously mentioned up-and-coming areas is that there is no shortage of available units to rent.
The least expensive Oakland neighborhoods have reputations as some of the less social areas closer to the Oakland Hills. These neighborhoods appeal to families by emphasizing community, local schools and recreation.
The Lower Hills District, which includes the enclaves of Glenview and the Upper Diamond District, consists of families with younger children who attend local public schools.
These neighborhoods remain desirable because they're suburban feeling, walkable and provide easy access to Oakland's Downtown area and San Francisco. Just get on the freeway or Bay Area Rapid Transit.
An exception to this is the area that encompasses Jack London Square. This up-and-coming neighborhood near the waterfront is essentially a shopping district. Businesses here range from trendy vintage furniture stores to boutique clothing stores. You'll find a sense of community and a city feel in Jack London Square more comparable to Downtown and Uptown.
Like any big city, there are a variety of housing costs. In Oakland, the average rent cost for one-bedroom apartments is $2,967 in the Broadway Valdez District. In Redwood Heights, expect to pay around $1,615.
These prices may seem high, but remember, they're averages — not the lowest available prices in the city. Oakland is known for its assortment of housing opportunities.
A unit in a converted single-family home and a high-rise apartment building might have similar square footage and location. Still, the facilities and experiences differ — so consider what you're looking for in terms of space and amenities to find the dreamiest Oakland spot possible for your budget.
|Neighborhood||1BR Average Rent||YoY Rent Price Changes|
|Broadway Valdez District||$2,967||-11.19%|
|Jack London Square||$2,667||-15.78%|
|Lower Hills District||$1,615||N/A|
|Produce and Waterfront||$2,667||-21.73%|
When you're researching apartments in a new city, it's essential to find a place with fits your lifestyle. For some people, that's being close to recreation opportunities. For others, it means being within walking distance of the most social areas in the city.
Fortunately, Oakland can accommodate most living preferences. The city fulfills a plethora of social and financial needs while serving as a gateway to the rest of the Bay Area.
Remember, many residents live in Oakland while commuting to other parts of the bay daily. Although there is some crowding on transportation systems such as the freeway or the BART, it is realistic to hop on the BART in Oakland and reemerge in San Francisco approximately 20 minutes later.
If you're seeking a new city to move to, maybe it's time to embark on a move to a neighborhood in Oakland because the average rent in Oakland makes Bay Area even more worth it.