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Renter's Guide to Fontana
Just 50 miles east of Los Angeles, Fontana, California was primarily rural until after World War II when industrialist Henry Kaiser built a steel mill just outside the city limits. The city has grown considerably since then, and today it serves as an important regional truck hub. Given its location, a flight to Phoenix takes just over an hour, as does a flight to San Francisco. San Diego, 100 miles away, is a mere 2-hour drive. Weather in Fontana tends to be hot and dry due to the Santa Ana winds blowing through the nearby San Gabriel Mountains. Fontana temperatures in summer months average 90-95°F, while winter temperatures stay around 50°F. Despite a large population, the city was ranked as the 15th safest in America in 2013, according to Business Insider.
Fontana, CA Demographics
- Total Population207,086
Female 102,373Male 104,713
- Median Age30.6
Cost of Living in Fontana, CA
Cost of living in Fontana compares quite well to its neighbor to the west, with rent prices 55% lower than Los Angeles and food prices over 5% lower. Public transportation is provided through San Bernadino County’s Omnitrans system, with bus fares beginning at $1.35, with discounts available for seniors. Fontana is serviced by commuter rail connecting it to both Los Angeles and San Diego, and using a distance formula between stops to calculate fares. Taxis in Fontana are plentiful with fares easily calculated using the TaxiFareFinder application. Uber and Lyft also provide service in the city. Meals at inexpensive restaurants in Fontana average $13.50 and $50 in a mid-range eatery. Monthly utility costs for a 900-square-foot apartment average $131 with Internet bills costing $50 on average.
Average Rent in Fontana, CA
- Fontana, CA Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,357 /mo
Fontana, CA Apartment Rent Ranges
Fontana, CA Rent Trends
|Nov / 2016||Mar / 2017||Jul / 2017||Nov / 2017||Mar / 2018||Jul / 2018||Nov / 2018||Mar / 2019||Jul / 2019||Nov / 2019||Dec / 2019|
Average rent is projected to grow by 5% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Living in Fontana, CA
Being a short drive from the entertainment capital of the world gives Fontana’s residents the best of both worlds—lower cost of living in a mid-sized town and the attractions of a world-class city like Los Angeles. Interestingly, though, Fontana has an even more diverse population than its neighbor, with three quarters of the population being either Hispanic or African-American and over 6% claiming Asian heritage. Weather can be a bit uncomfortable in the summer but winter months can be quite pleasant. This is not a city to be without a car, though that profile fits most of southern California.
Things to do in Fontana
Aside from driving to Los Angeles for fun, there are many things to do in Fontana beginning in the city’s extensive park system. There are over 40 parks in Fontana, as well as tot lots and sports facilities. One of these, Fontana Park, offers a wide range of amenities on its 38 acres, including a health and fitness center, aquatic center, skating and BMX park, sports pavilion, and dog park among other activities. If indoor activities are appealing, movie theaters in Fontana and the surrounding area are abundant, with the largest in the city being the Regency Theater Fontana 8. Of course, like any city its size, Fontana offers many great restaurants to choose from like Pancho Villa’s Restaurant, billed as the home of the “World’s Greatest Mariachi” and where one can enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine alongside on-stage entertainment. With all the hotels in Fontana, one can make a night of it at Pancho’s by staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Fontana only a few blocks away, and during the day take in NASCAR racing at the ever popular Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.
Employment and Economy
Fontana’s unemployment rate has dropped a full percentage since April of 2015—from 6.6% to 5.6% in May of 2016— and thus jobs in Fontana have become more available. The city of Fontana is also the original site of the Kaiser Permanente medical facility, built initially for the Kaiser steel workers' health needs and now the largest managed health care company in the country and one of Fontana’s largest employers. Together with the Fontana Unified School District and the California Steel Industries, they employ over 10,000 people. Couple that with the fact that San Bernardino County has some of the largest employers in the state, together employing well over 100,000 residents, and you get the picture that this is indeed a healthy economy.
Fontana, CA Households
- Total Number of Households51,946
Family 43,931Non-family 8,015
Children 27,920No Children 24,026
- Average People Per Household3.98
- Median Household Income$68,304
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,534
Education in Fontana
Fontana’s Unified School District of 45 public schools serves students from preschool through adult education in a diverse learning environment. Its schools have been recognized for their exceptional growth in student achievement. As an example, Summit High School in Fontana ranks in the best high schools in California, according to a study by U.S. News and World Report. Schools such as Sequoia Middle School in Fontana, an Academics Plus charter school committed to a high level of academic achievement, offers an academically challenging college preparatory program for all students, whereas at Truman Middle School in Fontana students learn how to use technology from topics such as robotics, video production, animation, web development.
Fontana, CA Education Statistics
- No High School12%
- Some High School42%
- Some College25%
- Associate Degree6%
- Bachelor Degree11%
- Graduate Degree4%
Tips for Renting in Fontana
Those looking for apartments or houses for rent in Fontana are protected under California Landlord-Tenant laws, which include a tenant’s right to withhold rent, move out without notice, sue a landlord, contact state or local health inspectors, or exercise the right to “repair and deduct” if a landlord fails to make significant repairs.
If you have moved from a city offering a wide variety of live theater, expect to go to neighboring towns to get your fix since the Center Stage Theater is one of few that specialize in Broadway musicals and cabaret shows. However, if you prefer engaging in art then The Art Depot not only offers a gallery but also classes for all ages, open studios, and special events. If you prefer engaging with nature, then in addition to the many city parks, the Mary Vagle Nature Center offers three miles of hiking trails, a one-acre pond and a variety of educational programs.
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