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Renter's Guide to Fresno
It's not the biggest nor the most well-known city in California, but it's definitely got something to offer—like plenty of sunshine, great food, and an affordable cost of living.
Fresno County is the top agricultural county in the country, which means plenty of jobs in the industry and fresh produce for all the foodies in town.
Fresno is the 5th largest city in California by population and the 6th largest in overall size. At 111 square miles, Fresno is roughly 1/4th the size of Los Angeles and 1/3rd the size of San Francisco. Fresno sits basically smack dab in between the two, 208 miles from LA and 162 miles from San Francisco. If you want to spend the day in the big city, you can drive to either in just a few hours.
Fresno has what's called a semi-arid climate, with mild winters and hot, dry summers. Summer temperatures easily break into the 90s and sometimes 100s, while the average winter temperature is just 46°F.
The city is incredibly sunny almost year-round and receives very little rain. In fact, the sky is clear and filled with sunshine around 80% of the entire year.
Fresno, CA Demographics
- Total Population519,037
Female 254,417Male 264,620
- Median Age30.5
Cost of Living in Fresno, CA
One of Fresno's biggest advantages is its low cost of living compared to other cities in California.
Dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant costs about $40. If you're in the mood for a beer, domestics will set you back just $3 a bottle.
Meanwhile, utilities for a 915-square-foot apartment cost around $153 per month—that includes water, electricity and heating.
Owning a car is the most convenient way to get around in Fresno, but budget-conscious commuters can catch the bus for just $1.25, while children under the age of 6 ride for free. A monthly pass costs $48 for unlimited rides. And of course, there are also taxis—or just a little walk or bike ride in the sun.
Average Rent in Fresno, CA
- Fresno, CA Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,114 /mo
Fresno, CA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0002%
Fresno, CA Rent Trends
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Living in Fresno
What are the pros and cons of living in Fresno?
As we touched on before, rent and other costs are low. And the city is quite big—but not exaggeratedly so—while being close enough to LA and San Francisco for a day trip. In fact, Fresno sits right in the middle of California, making it convenient to everything.
With its large Hispanic and Asian communities, Fresno's also got tons of excellent food options. And the booming agriculture industry here means you have access to some of the freshest fruits and vegetables around.
On the other hand, Fresno's nightlife doesn't compete with places like Los Angeles or Las Vegas. It also suffers from high rates of unemployment and poverty compared to other major Californian cities.
Things to do in Fresno
Got the day off and looking for something to do? Fresno's got you covered with plenty of options.
If you're looking for something fun for the whole family, the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and Forestiere Underground Garden are attractions you shouldn’t miss. The more culturally inclined will want to check out the Fresno Art Museum or the annual Rogue Festival, a huge event for performing arts, where you'll find everything from theatre to dance and poetry.
Oh, and don't forget the Big Fresno Fair, which runs for two weeks every October. The Ferris wheels, cotton candy, and carnival games attract over 600,000 people every year.
And for the more outdoorsy, there's the Island Waterpark, to help you keep cool in the summer, and the Woodward Regional Park. You can zip down massive water slides or just take a nice walk in the sun.
Fresno State has a popular Division I football team, the Bulldogs. Game days can be a lot of fun.
Or if you just want to go on a shopping spree, swing on over to River Park. Here, you'll find a massive shopping center, along with a cinema and plenty of dining options.
Speaking of dining, Fresno has plenty of great restaurant options to check out. With the city's large Mexican population, there's tons of authentic Mexican cuisine to be had, along with Asian favorites, like Thai.
Working in Fresno
Fresno's biggest industry is agriculture, with around 20-30% of all the city's job being connected to agriculture in some way. In fact, Fresno sits in the middle of California's Central Valley, which accounts for a majority of the country's produce.
It's also a major manufacturing and distribution hub. Amazon, the massive online retailer, has one of their warehouses in Fresno too, which employs many.
Fresno, CA Households
- Total Number of Households165,107
Family 114,609Non-family 50,498
Children 68,120No Children 96,987
- Average People Per Household3.09
- Median Household Income$44,853
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,005
Top Colleges in Fresno
If you're interested in taking some classes in Fresno, there are a few different options to consider.
Then there's California State University, Fresno (also known as Fresno State) and the University of California, Fresno, if you're looking for a more traditional college experience.
Fresno, CA Education Statistics
- No High School11%
- Some High School35%
- Some College28%
- Associate Degree8%
- Bachelor Degree13%
- Graduate Degree6%
Tips for Renting in Fresno
Ready to pack your bags? Take a second to educate yourself on some of the renter's rights in Fresno, to make sure you're prepared.
Based on California state law, your landlord can not charge you more than two months’ rent for your security deposit. If the apartment is furnished, the limit increases to a maximum of three months’ rent.
If your landlord decides to evict you for any reason, they'll give you three days’ notice to either settle the dispute (e.g., pay your past due rent) or move out. After the three days, you'll be considered an unlawful occupant and the case will go to court.
California courts usually push through eviction proceedings quite fast, and you'll likely have a court date within 20 days.
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