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Caught on the rent escalator
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A two bedroom, two bathroom unit at Stonegate Apartments rents for $1,455 a month. - photo by Photo Contributed

Molly Mitchell is paying $100 more a month for her apartment than she did at this time last year.
And as anybody who rents as part of a multi-family unit in Manteca knows, it’s just par for the course in a market where supply and demand has driven prices to their highest point ever.
And in a sense, Mitchell is lucky that it’s only gone up $100.
The most sought after apartment in Manteca – the 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom townhome at Paseo Villas – rose from $1,775 in January to $1,920 this month.
That’s not even the biggest increase.
The two-bedroom, two-bath apartment at Laurel Glen – which is upgrading every apartment that comes onto the market before its turned over, is in the process of completely overhauling its pool, laundry facility and workout room and may soon be gating the entire community – went from $1,435 in January to $1,655 this month. The $220 increase for their most expensive apartment unit is the steepest increase in all of the units that were surveyed.
Still, Mitchell said that she can’t help but think that she’s throwing away money when her rent increases every year – money that could easily cover a mortgage on a single-family home.
“I think it’s a situation that a lot of people are caught up in – you have enough to pay rent on a nice apartment, but it’s too expensive to allow yourself to save for the down payment so that you can move on to a home of your own,” Mitchell said. “It’s different when you own your home because every payment goes towards the equity that continues to build, but you don’t get that in an apartment – you just pay your rent and then they come back to you and tell you it’s going to be more expensive this year.
“I don’t fault them because it’s their building, but it’s a situation that I wish I wasn’t caught in.”
The average price for a one-bedroom apartment in Manteca based off the units that were surveyed is now $1,225 – the most expensive being Paseo Villa’s at $1,590-a-month and the cheapest being Vista Verde $845-a-month. The average price for a one-bedroom apartment has increased by more than $118-a-month since January.
According to federal guidelines, roughly 30 percent of one’s income should go towards their overall housing cost – which is becoming even more difficult for apartment renters in Manteca to achieve with the price for their housing increasingly so drastically. Based off the $118 increase, the average renter in Manteca over the course of the next year will pay $1,418 more in rent by year’s end than they would have at the start of this year – roughly an extra month’s worth of rent depending on where it is that one lives.
For people like Mitchell – who pays more like 65 percent of her income to rent every month – every dollar is accounted for to keep the lights and the gas on inside of her apartment and make sure that the refrigerator is stocked for her and her kids.
And that’s not even counting the phone bill, the car insurance or the car payment that also have to be factored in.
“For most people coming up with $100-a-month when they’re given notice isn’t a really big deal to them because they can plan around it,” she said. “But to me that’s a bill. That’s a trip to the grocery store. That’s two tanks of gas every month. And I know that I’m not alone in this.
“I know that there are other people out there that are facing the same thing as me, and it feels like all that we’re doing is treading water and trying not to sink.”