Top 5 most popular Reno neighborhoods for renters
An influx of new jobs and workers has Reno in the midst of a tight housing market.
If you’re one of the folks who gravitated toward apartments after reading our analysis on whether to rent or buy in Reno, you’re likely curious about the various neighborhoods in the Biggest Little City.
Rental search business Apartment Guide released a list of what it describes as the "Top 5 Most Popular Reno Neighborhoods for Renters." More specifically, these are the five most-searched neighborhoods in the city, according to the company. The analysis is based on search activity on ApartmentGuide.com combined with generic keyword data from Google.
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The Reno Gazette Journal also reached out to Aiman Noursoultanova, senior vice president of investment properties at the Reno office of commercial real estate services firm CBRE, for a local take on the areas mentioned in the Apartment Guide list. Here is a rundown of the five neighborhoods, including rent figures and a quick description from Apartment Guide. The list is limited to Reno and does not include Sparks.
5. Virginia Lake
Virginia Lake boasts a landscape that is ideal for those seeking to spend time outdoors without being too far from the city’s happenings. — Apartment Guide
- Average rent, 1 bedroom: $1,056 (vs. Reno average: $1,118)
- Average rent, 2 bedroom: $1,217 (vs. Reno average: $1,309)
Virginia Lake hearkens back to a time in Reno when space for development wasn’t as big an issue as it is now, said CBRE’s Noursoultanova.
“Reno had so much land, you didn’t have density and traffic to worry about,” Noursoultanova said. “Most of these are also going to be ’70s and early ’80s construction. Back then, the (apartment) units were larger.”
Add Virginia Lake and a central location that also feels unique and you have that specific Virginia Lake vibe that its residents love.
“You have a lot of green lawns so it has this relaxing atmosphere,” Noursoultanova said. “It feels like a quiet neighborhood that’s tucked away but it’s still near where major developments are happening.”
That unique Virginia Lake charm, however, has also come with a price. As more people are attracted to it, demand has increased for the location.
“It’s not that affordable anymore,” Noursoultanova said. “It’s no longer a secret so demand has definitely kept the price up.”
Smithridge offers some of the most affordable housing in the Reno area. This neighborhood is mainly residential with retail shops and a park interspersed throughout. — Apartment Guide
- Average rent, 1 bedroom: ($840 vs. Reno average: $1,118)
- Average rent, 2 bedroom: ($948 vs. Reno average: $1,309)
The southeast Reno neighborhood borders the Meadowood neighborhood and offers value at a time when area rents are skyrocketing.
“It’s a working class neighborhood,” Noursoultanova said. “There isn’t a large stock of units there but because it’s an older neighborhood, it makes pricing more affordable.”
Meadowood offers a more suburban experience that attracts families who want affordable living in a quiet setting but still be close to the bustling area of Downtown. This neighborhood has easy access to the highway and is the central hub for shopping in the area. — Apartment Guide
- Average rent, 1 bedroom: $1,088 (vs. Reno average: $1,118)
- Average rent, 2 bedroom: $1,264 (vs. Reno average: $1,309)
The Meadowood neighborhood is easily one of the more popular areas for renters in Reno. Noursoultanova chalks it up to plentiful amenities, proximity to offices, ease of commute and walkability.
Meadowood also has a good selection of older properties, which translates to lower rents compared to newer apartments.
“There’s a value proposition in having older, more established properties,” Noursoultanova said. “There’s a large segment of the population that’s very sensitive to rent increases.”
2. Idlewild Park
Idlewild Park is one of the more sought-after neighborhoods in Reno, with slightly above average rental prices. It has direct access to the Truckee River and close proximity to the hip Midtown and Downtown districts. The neighborhood hosts many large-scale events throughout the year. The actual 49-acre park includes a pool, duck pond, skate park and diverse selection of fruit trees and flowers, which adds to this neighborhood’s appeal for families. — Apartment Guide
- Average rent, 1 bedroom: $1,250 (vs. Reno average: $1,118)
- Average rent, 2 bedroom: $1,913 (vs. Reno average: $1,309)
The west Reno neighborhood bordering downtown boasts a “best of both worlds” vibe thanks to its nice mix of urban and suburban options. These include the Fourth Street corridor, which Noursoultanova describes as a big component of the area.
“You have redevelopment and revitalization going on everywhere along this corridor,” Noursoultanova said. “You also have a lot of cultural things going on there.”
At the same time, Idlewild also has plenty of things to offer folks who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of life.
“There’s also a serene, quiet part of town that has more walking trails right along the river, especially closer to the west side of the corridor,” Noursoultanova said. “It really gives you that nice blend of urban and suburban flavor.”
1. Downtown Reno
Downtown Reno offers affordability and access to those looking for a vibrant atmosphere with plenty to do. This walkable neighborhood provides 24-hour access to entertainment and gaming, and features a great nightlife and dining scene. Rental prices are below average for a one- and two-bedroom space. But keep in mind, if you’re looking for a quiet night, the downtown area never sleeps. — Apartment Guide
- Average rent, 1 bedroom: $987 (vs. Reno average: $1,118)
- Average rent, 2 bedroom: $1,201 (vs. Reno average: $1,309)
Downtown living speaks to a certain slice of the population, one that Noursoultanova expects to grow in the future.
As with many downtown areas in other cities, parking can be a challenge. But that’s a hassle people are willing to deal with to enjoy a certain lifestyle. These include proximity to certain spots, with the Midtown area south of California Avenue being especially popular among folks who love the urban experience.
“The urban core offers lots of walkability and is very connected,” Noursoultanova said. “The more urban an area, the more people around you and the more social they become. Those are the features that a lot of renters are looking for now and also where future demand will be coming from.”