Renter's Guide to San Marcos
San Marcos, CA is a small city (approximately 24 square miles) in foothills of North County San Diego. It is just 6 miles inland from the coast and approximately 30 miles from downtown San Diego. San Marcos is 98.4 miles from Los Angeles and 27.6 miles from Temecula. It’s known for having a diverse, older community and is one of the more affordable cities in the area.
San Marcos weather, like much of southern California, is sunny and warm for most of the year. The average high in July is 88°F while the coldest temperature in January hovers around 37°F and it never snows. Because of its proximity to the coast, summer heat tends to come in July and last until September, with May and June being more overcast.
San Marcos, CA Demographics
- Total Population95,099
Female 45,852Male 49,248
- Median Age36
Cost of Living in San Marcos, CA
San Marcos is served by the North County bus line called BREEZE, which is $1.75 for an adult one-way fare. In addition, there is the Coaster, which travels to downtown San Diego and the Sprinter which connects it to Oceanside and Escondido for $2 each way. There’s also Flex, which gives reservation-based rides and Lift for those with accessibility issues (fares vary depending on distance traveled). Still, most San Marcos residents rely on their cars, and the average commute time is 25.51 minutes, just a smidge above the national average of 25.44.
San Marcos has a variety of different restaurant experiences, from the low cost Pizza Hut to more upscale fare located on its restaurant row, where an average dinner for two will set you back about $60. Utilities for San Marcos (and San Diego County) average $107.58 a month for a 915-square-foot apartment, which includes gas, water, and trash.
Average Rent in San Marcos, CA
- San Marcos, CA Average Rental Price, October 2018$1,958/mo
- 1 Bedroom$1,607
- 2 Bedrooms$1,929
San Marcos, CA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,00027%
San Marcos, CA Rent Trends
|All rentals||Studio||1 Bed||2 Beds||3 Beds|
|Oct / 2018||$1,958||$1,775||$1,607||$1,929|
|Jan / 2018||$1,955||$1,775||$1,607||$1,923|
|Sept / 2017||$1,866||$1,600||$1,852|
|May / 2017||$1,826||$1,567||$1,815|
|Jan / 2017||$1,761||$1,491||$1,761|
|Sept / 2016||$1,770||$1,494||$1,740|
|May / 2016||$1,725||$1,427||$1,729|
|Jan / 2016||$1,652||$1,375||$1,655|
|Sept / 2015||$1,652||$1,355||$1,653|
|May / 2015||$1,658||$1,361||$1,654|
Average rent is projected to grow by 4% in 2018 compared to 2017.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Average rent values on this page are aggregated from data from the following zip codes: 9206992078
Living in San Marcos, CA
San Marcos has an excellent public transportation system and you are just minutes from the beach at Carlsbad or Escondido. Because of the coastal fog, it tends to stay a bit cooler than cities more inland. On the downside, there is a bit more violent crime in San Marcos than the national average, traffic and congestion can be an issue, and it’s still expensive to live there—at least compared to cities not in California.
San Marcos, CA is a fairly diverse city, with close to half of the population white, closely followed by the Hispanic community. Other ethnicities representing just over a tenth of the city’s population include Asian, African-American and Pacific Islander.
Things to do in San Marcos
There are a lot of things to do in San Marcos for for families, couples, as well as singles. Golfers will love that there are three courses within the city’s limits. Lake San Marcos offers boating and the brand new Sunset Park has an area for dogs and a majestic ocean view.
Old California Restaurant Row in downtown San Marcos is comprised of 18 different eating establishments for every taste and budget. You can bring the family to Acapulco’s or sneak away with your spouse for date night at Katsu Sushi and Teppan Grill.
The City of San Marcos has a wide variety of annual cultural events including San Marcos Summer Music Fest and and Free Concerts in the Gardens. Every spring, San Marcos Alive celebrates local artists with shows and craft fairs, and San Marcos Theater West gives kids 7-17 an opportunity to perform on stage at the community center.
Employment and Economy
San Marcos CA jobs are primarily centered around education as some of the top employers are its school district and universities. Other major companies in the area include Hunter Industries (responsible for commercial and residential irrigation), followed by UPS and Kaiser Permanente.
There is a strong push by the cities of North County for more businesses to develop and grow here with a program called Innovate 78 (named after highway 78 that runs through the corridor).
San Marcos, CA Households
- Total Number of Households31,496
Family 22,123Non-family 9,373
Children 11,577No Children 19,920
- Average People Per Household3.01
- Median Household Income$57,432
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,538
Education in San Marcos
Children under 18 are served by the San Marcos Unified School District, one of the largest in San Diego County, which rates favorably with both teachers and parents. Higher education choices are the two-year Palomar College as well as the new California State University San Marcos, which has a beautiful campus and a growing reputation.
San Marcos, CA Education Statistics
- No High School9%
- Some High School27%
- Some College22%
- Associate Degree15%
- Bachelor Degree19%
- Graduate Degree8%
Tips for Renting in San Marcos
San Marcos rentals are overseen by the Housing and Neighborhood Services Department, which makes sure housing is non-discriminatory and accessible to the disabled. While there is no rent control for San Diego, tenants in a year lease cannot have their rent raised until the term is up. Otherwise, 30 days’ notice must be given before any increase.
San Marcos also has a number of manufactured home communities (formerly known as mobile homes) that do have their own rent control ordinance. In these areas, rents can only be raised in conjunction with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Apartments for rent in San Marcos, Ca tend to be very competitive. Therefore, it is always best to show up on time for an appointment with as much of your documentation handy as possible (i.e. paycheck stubs and/or bank account information). And the best way to find a place to live in San Marcos, California is right here on RentCAFE.com – start your search today!
RENTCafé is your one-stop shop for finding a great new apartment in San Marcos, CA. Easily search through a wide selection of apartments for rent in San Marcos, CA, and view detailed information about available rentals including floor plans, pricing, photos, amenities, interactive maps, and thorough property descriptions. Property owners and managers are one click away, so feel free to contact them and find out all you need to know about the apartment you’re interested in. Browse San Marcos, CA apartments with rents starting from $1,425 and submit your rental application today!