Accommodation in San Jose

Finding suitable accommodation in San Jose is one of the biggest challenges facing expats moving to the city. Those lucky enough to be headhunted by tech companies in Silicon Valley will find that the company will often provide accommodation or assist them in finding a suitable home. However, for many others, finding the perfect home in San Jose can be a bit of a struggle.

San Jose is one of the largest cities in California and as such there are plenty of housing options available for new arrivals. However, with the influx of high-income earners moving to the city because of its proximity to Silicon Valley, property prices and rental rates in San Jose are continuing to rise each year.


Types of accommodation in San Jose

There is a variety of different housing options available in San Jose. Whether one is looking for a luxury apartment in the city centre, a large family home in a leafy suburban area or a skyscraper condo unit, San Jose has plenty to choose from.

Young professionals and single people often choose to live in Downtown San Jose because of the area's proximity to most of the city’s major attractions and facilities. However, residents living in central areas of San Jose can expect to pay a premium as property prices here are incredibly high. Japantown is also a popular option for those wanting to live close to the city centre. While the buildings in this area are a little older than elsewhere, they certainly have a lot of character. Those looking to raise a family in San Jose opt for housing in the West San Jose neighbourhood. Although properties are by no means cheap, residents do benefit from larger houses and a lot more open spaces.


Finding property in San Jose

Expats intending to settle down in San Jose usually opt to buy property. However, the majority of expats initially rent accommodation for a few years before they make the decision on whether to remain in the city for the long-term. Expats looking to buy property in San Jose should be aware that demand is very high, and good properties tend to sell quickly so it’s best to have proof of funds before searching for accommodation.

Whether expats plan on renting or buying property in San Jose, they can get a headstart by trawling the internet, even before they arrive in San Jose. There are a large number of useful real estate sites, classifieds and online versions of local publications which have property sections. New arrivals can also approach property management companies to assist them in their search for a home.

However, expats should always view accommodation in person before committing to anything. While in the city, expats may also stumble on some great housing options simply by exploring a neighbourhood they like on foot and taking note of any sale or rental signs.

Those looking to find their ideal home fast should enlist the services of a real estate agent. These professionals are able to narrow down accommodation options according to an individual’s specifications, provide photos and answer many questions one may have about a property and the rental or buying processes.

Agent fees are generally paid by the person selling the property or the landlord. However, it is advisable to check with the real estate agent before using their services, simply to avoid any hidden fees at the end.


Renting property in San Jose

San Jose’s rental market is presently controlled by the landlords. The demand for property in San Jose is high and due to the fact that many of the city’s residents are high-earning professionals working in Silicon Valley, landlords are in a position where they can charge high prices for accommodation.

As in most of the USA, to secure a rental property, potential tenants will need to obtain an application form from the landlord. Subsequently, the landlord will contact their chosen tenant and together they will sign a standard lease agreement. Having a US bank account will act in one's favour when applying to rent accommodation in San Jose, especially for expats without a social security number. Most rental contracts are valid for a year and tenants will be required to put down an amount equivalent to a month’s rent as a security deposit.


Utilities in San Jose

Regardless of whether expats are looking at renting or buying property in San Jose, they will need to consider making arrangements for utilities and the associated costs.

Those buying property in San Jose will need to sort out all the utilities themselves. Expats are advised to do their research as there are a number of gas and electricity providers servicing San Jose and the surrounding Bay Area.

Expats renting property in San Jose should consult the conditions of their lease to find out the details on utilities. The landlord may assume responsibility for utilities like gas, electricity and water, but tenants will usually be expected to pay for extras such as telephone services, internet and cable TV packages. Expats should spend some time looking into different service providers as one can often find a good range of inclusive deals for telephone and internet services.

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