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Renter's Guide to Bakersfield
Welcome to Bakersfield, California! With its lower-than-average cost of living, down-to-earth community, and large school system, Bakersfield can be a good place to raise a family. Parents will benefit from the city’s strong job growth, as well. The city ranks as the 20th best in California for family life and fun.
Meanwhile, you're just a short trip from cities like Los Angeles, for those times where you're feeling a little bored. Want to know more? Let's take a look.
Bakersfield comes in at about 143 square miles wide, which makes it just over half the size of San Francisco and a third of the size of Los Angeles.
Bakersfield has a desert climate, though the city itself doesn't look much like a desert. But it does have long, dry summers and cool winters.
Despite the hot weather during portions of the year and the lack of rain, Bakerfield's mild falls and springs make it great for agriculture.
Bakersfield, CA Demographics
- Total Population372,680
Female 182,701Male 189,979
- Median Age30.5
Cost of Living in Bakersfield, CA
If you're wondering what it costs to live in Bakersfield, we've got some info for you. For starters, Bakersfield is the 32nd most affordable city in California. For $50, you can enjoy dinner for two at a local, mid-range restaurant. And $4 will get you a pick-me-up cappuccino after.
Public transportation in Bakersfield is provided by Golden Empire Transit (GET). You can ride the bus for $1.50, or buy a 31-day pass for $40.
Utilities for a 915-square-foot apartment will average out at about $142 a month, which is just below the national average.
Average Rent in Bakersfield, CA
- Bakersfield, CA Average Rental Price, September 2019 $1,020 /mo
Bakersfield, CA Apartment Rent Ranges
Bakersfield, CA Rent Trends
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Living in Bakersfield
Like any other city, living in Bakersfield has its pros and cons.
For one, it's less crowded, has less traffic, and is cheaper than bigger California cities like Los Angeles and San Diego. Though Bakersfield is fairly conservative, there's plenty of diversity. The large Hispanic community here means lots of Tex-Mex specialties and plenty of margaritas to wash it down.
On the other hand, the city has less nightlife, restaurants, sports, and other amenities than the bigger cities mentioned above. Bakersfield also has some of the worst air pollution in the US.
It all depends on what you're looking for. But if you prefer to save money and avoid crowds, Bakersfield can be a good bet.
Things to do in Bakersfield
If you're going to live here, you're going to want some things to do. Don't worry, we'll give you the run down.
Bakersfield has a few cool museums to check out, which includes the Kern County Museum, Bakersfield Museum of Art, the Crystal Palace and Museum, the California Area Living Museum, and the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History.
Crystal Palace also serves as a rocking music venue, while the California Area Living Museum (or CALM) puts on an awesome light show every holiday season.
The Kern County Fair is another annual event worth visiting. There's rides, rodeos, and concerts to keep you and the whole family entertained.
For sports, Bakersfield has two minor league teams, the Bakersfield Blaze baseball team and the Bakersfield Condors hockey team. Two of the local colleges—Bakersfield College and California State University, Bakersfield—also have robust sports programs.
If you just want to take a stroll, head on over to The Park at River Walk. Or you can hop on your bike and pedal over to the Kern River Parkway Trail.
Shoppers can check out Valley Plaza Mall and The Marketplace for all their needs, whether it's new clothes or fancy electronics.
Employment and Economy in Bakersfield, CA
Bakersfield's biggest industries are agriculture, energy and healthcare, so you're in luck if you work in any of these domains. The city also ranks 13th for teleworking among small metro areas.
The city also shows higher-than-average job growth. Forbes ranks it among the top 30 cities in the country in this regard.
Bakersfield, CA Households
- Total Number of Households115,355
Family 85,803Non-family 29,552
Children 51,964No Children 63,391
- Average People Per Household3.19
- Median Household Income$60,058
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,200
Top Colleges in Bakersfield, CA
Bakersfield is part of California's largest high school district, Kern High School District. The city alone has 15 public high schools.
Bakersfield, CA Education Statistics
- No High School9%
- Some High School37%
- Some College28%
- Associate Degree8%
- Bachelor Degree13%
- Graduate Degree6%
Tips for Renting in Bakersfield
It's always good to know what you're getting into, so let's take a look at some of Bakersfield's tenant laws to make sure you're prepared if you choose the city as your next place to call home.
Let's say you want to break your lease—for whatever reason. Under California state law, there are a variety of legal reasons for you to get out of your lease. These include things like roach infestations, an illegally converted garage, or even noisy neighbors.
If you don't have a legal reason to break the lease, you may have to shell out some cash. But fortunately, your landlord is required by law to minimize the losses that he takes when you move out. That means that if you can refer new tenants who are willing to lease the property after you're gone, you can minimize or even completely eliminate your financial liability.
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