Rentals in San Jose>Question Details

Peter, Renter in San Jose, CA

Can anyone tell why the prices for single family home rentals vary so much!?

Asked by Peter, San Jose, CA Fri Sep 28, 2012

I see one single family home for $1200 (e.g. 1800sqft), and next one can be well beyond $3000 (!). The first home/house looks ok and nice, and is large. But it is about the same price as a small apartment! Why?

Could it be that they are renting only one room for this cheaper price...? Shouldn't they say clearly say that it is only one room, not quote the size of the whole house!?


0 votes Share Flag Rentals in San Jose

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What I have found since I started looking a few weeks ago is that the low priced ones are usually scams hoping to draw you in. They then want you to send them a depsoit electronically. Beware of the ones that sound to good to be true.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 5, 2012
Hi Peter, and thanks for the post.

After having worked with my colleague who just happens to be looking for a rental too, I am firmly convinced that both Elena and Charles are spot on this time. For whatever reason, the scammers absolutely "adore" the number $1200 for a monthly rental fee, so when you see it along with other tell tale signs of fraud (you know..."hey we live out of town, can you mail a security deposit check to us and we'll send you a key"), then side step the listing in favor of something a bit more "real."

Also if the listing appears here on Trulia, flag is to that the moderators see it and it can be removed.

Thanks again for your questions. It's a good one, and emphasizes how very important it is for consumers to protect themselves against rental scams.

Grace Morioka
Allison James
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Scam and fraud. I recently listed a home for rent and the ad was copied with greatly reduced price. So, the address may be real but the price is there to get your attention and to scam you. You have to be careful about who you are dealing with.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Hi Peter

It can be for the following reasons:

1.) the place is run down
2.) it is a scam
3.) the neighborhood supports only $1200 for like homes

Good luck
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
Landlords have different goals but it is very unlikely they would price at 50% of the typical rental rate.

The best you could hope for is that the home is incorrectly described but would meet your needs and is offered somewhat below a comparable home. The apparent great deal isn't as great because it isn't the home you think from the advertisement.

Of course it could be a waste of time to visit the house but if you are having difficulty finding an acceptable house and are open to dealing with something less than ideal, it could be worth investigating.

If the advertiser asks for money up front for anything other than a credit report, be very cautious.

Juliana Lee, MBA, LLB
Top 3 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty
Over 20 years experience
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
Thank you for your question Pete:

In San Jose, if you see an advertisement for an 1800 square foot single family home for $1,200 per month,that is far below the market value for the rent. The advertisement that you are looking at is almost certainly a scam that is designed to steal your deposit money and your prepaid rent money, and/or it is designed to steal your personal information that can be used to steal your identity.

Essentially the rentals that are advertised far below market value are scams and are not really properties for rent.

Unfortunately in San Jose there are so many people who need a place to rent and there are so few properties available for rent that the scam artists have come out of the woodwork.

A few of the scam artists have been caught and prosecuted, but most of the scam artists just disappear with your money and are never caught.

Your best protection is to make certain that the person that you are dealing with is licensed by The State of California Department of Real Estate. Ask the person that you are dealing with for their DRE number. If that person cannot provide you with a valid California DRE number, that is a huge Red Flag, and you would be wise not to deal with that person.

Thank you,
Charles Butterfield MBA
Real Estate Broker/REALTOR
American Realty
Cell Phone: (408)509-6218
Fax: (408)269-6218
Email Address:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Thank you for your reply Pete:

If you are dealing with a private party, you definitely want to verify that they actually own the home. To verify the ownership of the home you can go to The Santa Clara County Recorder's office on 70 West Hedding Avenue and look up the names of the owners of the house.

Make absolutely certain that the name of the person that you are dealing with matches the name of the owner or at least one of the owners. Also, if there are multiple owners insist that you at least meet with all of them and that they all sign your rental agreement.

Also you need to make certain that the owners keep your security deposit and prepaid rent in a trust account so that the money is available to be refunded to you when you move out to another home.

Many private landlords spend the deposit money and prepaid rent as soon as they get it, and then do not have that money to refund to you when you move..
Flag Wed Oct 3, 2012
Thanks for this!

How about, what if the person I'm dealing with is a private party, then he/she does not have a DRE, right? Anything else I could try to do when renting from private party?

Flag Fri Sep 28, 2012
Because every property and every landlord is different. The condition, amenities, location, schools, etc. are all different. Everyone has a different idea of what their home is worth and the actual cash flow requirement for every landlord is different as well. Additionally, there is no centralized source for rentals/rental rates such as the MLS we use for property sales. There are no constants, therefore, it’s a wide open field and exceptionally varied.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Consider that if there are 4,000 rentals in the Valley,
that is like 4,000 independent business; who don't communicate with each other:
Each place has its own costs and expenses, and each has owners expecting different ROI.
Some might have been purchased in the '50's and some, last month.
Some are big and grandiose, and some are small and simple.
Some are refurbished nicely, and some are run-down and smell.

Oh, and don't forget that some people exaggerate!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
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