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Renters looking to buy homes
Apartment complexes have waiting lists
paseo three copy
The Paseo Villas courtyard includes a hot tub as well as a swimming pool. - photo by PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED

Tina Murphy can’t wait until her lease is over.

It isn’t that she doesn’t like where she lives. It’s pleasant enough. She has a view of a swimming pool if she steps out on her porch. Traffic isn’t necessarily heavy, parking isn’t a major issue and she doesn’t have any major neighbor issues to complain about like she did in other places that she’s rented.

But for the money that she’s currently paying for an apartment, Murphy said that she could rent a modest house. And with a possible job promotion coming up, she might even qualify under a first-time home buyer program to purchase one of those modest homes with a monthly mortgage that is equally affordable.

If she gets in now.

Rent is rising in Manteca.

Each and every year since the housing bubble burst and foreclosures outnumbered the amount of resale houses on the market, the rental prices of Manteca’s main apartment complexes has either held steady or increased year-after-year.

It’ll cost you almost $1,700-a-month for a luxury townhome at Paseo Villas – an attached garage with a split level two-bedroom above it outfitted with granite countertops and a dynamite floorplan.

That’s not exactly what Murphy pays every month, but a friend of hers just signed a one-year lease on a three-bedroom home and is paying less than she is – a move that is almost a wash when city services are included.

“I’ve never been somebody that wanted to move into a house. I like not having to cut the grass and take care of the landscaping and things like that and I like the grounds here,” she said. “But at this point why not? Things aren’t going to get any cheaper.”

Right now, however, there’s no shortage of people trying to get into those apartment complexes.

Depending on which apartment size, many of those surveyed for The Bulletin’s annual apartment survey either had waiting lists or no available spaces. Some, like Laurel Glen, recently renovated apartments to add elements like hardwood floors, and others like Vista Verde have been renovating units as they become available.

For those wanting to move in immediately, however, it’s a luck-of-the-draw kind of situation.

“I had to search for three different complexes before I found the one that had the unit that I needed,” Carlos Santos said. “I was pretty picky at first, but there wasn’t a whole lot out there with available space. When you’re looking for some place to live, you’re going to try and find whatever works for you at that moment.”