If you’re looking to rent a home in the Burlingame, Hillsborough, or San Mateo area, you know that it can be challenging to find a home to rent. Not only that, but rental prices are pretty high too. This page will be helpful to you in your rental housing search.
How The Rental Market Works on the Peninsula
An overwhelming majority of homes rented on the peninsula are rented via Craigslist (over 95%). We know in New York, most of the entire rental process, from finding a place to signing the lease, runs through well connected apartment brokers. On the San Francisco peninsula, and in particular in Burlingame, Hillsborough, San Mateo, San Carlos, and the surrounding communities, we’d say 98% of the rental market is on Craigslist, principal to principal (meaning owner/landlord directly to the tenant). So if you’re looking for a place to rent, chances are it’s going to be on Craigslist, and if it’s a good home in a good location and priced fairly, it will probably rent within its first few days of being posted. To avoid “missing the boat” on a choice place, you may already be on Craigslist several times a day refreshing your screen trying to monitor new rental posts. If you’d like to save yourself some time and not worry about remembering to visit Craigslist to check, we'd recommend creating a Craigslist alert on their page. (you can also download an app like CraigsPro to your smartphone which will do the same thing). If you’re trying to get an idea where all the properties are on craigslist that you’re searching for, we recommend checking out a handy website called Housing Maps, which is a mashup of Craigslist properties for rent laid out on a simple Google map. You should also check out Zumper, which has verified listings from real brokers and owners.
Lastly, be aware of online scams via Craigslist - do not send money ahead of time to anyone for any reason until you've actually visited the unit and met with the landlord or leasing agent. If it sounds too good to be true, it definitely is. I've had clients tell me that they've found places in San Francisco that had "holiday pricing" or really good prices, and been asked to wire money ahead of time before seeing the unit. The fake listings will have the actual unit photos as they'll copy them from the actual listing by the owner.
Things to Keep in Mind Before you Sign Your Lease
Before you sign your lease, it’s important that you and your landlord complete some type of “Move In, Move Out” form. This extensive checklist lists all the rooms and things like appliances in your home and is designed to list the current condition so that you avoid any issues when it comes time to get your security deposit back. We recommend doing this in person with your landlord. It’s in your best interest as a tenant to go through the home and note all the things that may be a little broken, or basically the things you want to notate now about the condition of the home (holes in the wall, one stove burner not working properly, etc) so you prevent the landlord from holding your security deposit back when you move out. You could even shoot a quick video for your personal file of the empty home’s condition before you move in.
Short Term Apartment Rental Options
There are very few short term places to rent on the peninsula, including corporate housing. One of our favorite places is Archstone in San Mateo, a beautiful mixed use complex centrally located in San Mateo with its very own Whole Foods, several restaurants, parks, underground parking, and swimming pool. The rents are pretty pricey though it’s very convenient if you’re looking for a month to month rental (starting at around $2,000 a month for a 651 square foot one bedroom). In downtown Burlingame, there’s The Maurice, which has units as small as a studio and includes weekly maid service.
All of the below places have in-unit laundry and are pet friendly:
1. Bridgepointe Apartments, 1987 Bridgepointe Parkway, San Mateo, (650) 358-8511
2. Metropolitan Apartments, 338 S. Fremont Street, San Mateo, (650) 348-6130, luxury units a few blocks from downtown San Mateo
3. Water’s Edge Apartments, 1200 East Hillsdale Boulevard, Foster City, (650) 341-6700 (great views, and pet friendly!)
4. Foster’s Landing, 700 Bounty Drive, Foster City, (650) 574-3060, (shortest lease is 7 months)
Burlingame Apartment Buildings
There are many small and quaint apartments scattered around Burlingame, though most are concentrated in the downtown area and along the El Camino corridor. Below are several of the larger ones.
1. Burlingame Towers, 1469 Bellevue Avenue, (650) 343-0400; walking distance to downtown Burlingame
2. Northpark Apartments, 1080 Carolan Avenue, (866) 419-4734; right off Broadway near 101 and across from Broadway Caltrain
3. Skyline Terrace Apartments, 3133 Frontera Way, (866) 614-8286; up in the Burlingame Hills with easy access to 280
4. The Maurice Apartments, 255 El Camino, (415) 625-0127; across from Burlingame Avenue in Burlingame Park
5. Bayswater, 920 Bayswater Avenue, (650) 932-4292
Considering Buying in the Burlingame, Hillsborough, or San Mateo areas?
We are experts in the Burlingame real estate market, as well as all of the surrounding towns on the north peninsula. Raziel was born and raised in Burlingame (and now a proud homeowner!) and is intimately familiar with our special community, and would be delighted to share his knowledge with you as you consider all of your options. We invite you to check out more info about Raziel, and please drop us a line if we can help.