Places to Rent in Santa Barbara

• Places to Rent in Santa Barbara •

On the Hunt for the Perfect Rental in Santa Barbara?

~ Your Ultimate Guide ~

Are you dreaming of moving to Santa Barbara? With its stunning coastal views, intimate size yet vibrant cultural scene, and idyllic weather, it's no wonder that Santa Barbara is a top choice for many. Finding a rental in this beautiful city can be a challenging adventure, and we're here to help you on your way. For starters, here’s a comprehensive guide to finding the perfect rental in Santa Barbara, including valuable resources and tips to make your move smoother.

1. Know Your Neighborhoods

Santa Barbara is known for its diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. Here’s a quick overview of some of the neighborhoods people consider when moving to Santa Barbara. You can find more options - including descriptions - on our website in the Community Pages.

  • Downtown Santa Barbara: Ideal for those who love being in the heart of the action. Enjoy walking to shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.
  • The Mesa: Offers a relaxed beach vibe with stunning ocean views and easy access to the coastline.
  • The Riviera: An elevated neighborhood known for its European feel and magical city, island and ocean views.
  • The Westside: Known for its slightly more affordable cottages and proximity to downtown.
  • Goleta: A suburban area with a mix of residential and commercial properties, perfect for a variety of living needs.

2. Understand Santa Barbara’s Microclimates

Santa Barbara’s weather can vary significantly from one neighborhood to another. The coastal areas are cooler and often foggy in the mornings, while inland areas like San Roque or the Foothills can be warmer. Consider the climate that suits you best when choosing a neighborhood. And realize that early coastal summer in Santa Barbara can be overcast with "May Grey" and "June Gloom", which often comes as a surprise to people relocating to California.


3. Join Local Online Communities

Connecting with locals is a great way to get insider information and find rental opportunities. Join Facebook Groups such as:

  • Santa Barbara Moms (for family-oriented tips and resources)
  • Santa Barbara Swap (for buying, selling, and renting items and properties)

These groups can be invaluable for finding rentals that may not be listed on traditional platforms. 

View from the MOXI Museum

4. Explore Alternative Websites Featuring Rentals

In addition to browsing popular rental websites like Zillow and, consider using:

  • Nextdoor: A neighborhood-focused, social platform where locals share information about miscellaneous neighborhood topics, including possible house vacancies. Tip: Proactively post about your search with a personable description of yourself.
  • Facebook Marketplace or SB Housing & Rentals: A great resource for finding both short-term and long-term rentals.
  • Craigslist: Still a valuable resource for local listings. However, beware of possible scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

View of the Santa Barbara Courthouse

5. Contact Property Management Companies

Reaching out to local property management companies can help you find listings at the time they are just hitting the market, by signing up or joining wait lists. Find a complex you are potentially interested in and research which management company is handling the leasing process. Here are a few examples in Santa Barbara:

  • Meridian Group Real Estate Management
  • Sandpiper Property Management
  • Blue Horizon Management Company

These companies often have information on upcoming vacancies and can assist with the application process.

The famous Paseo Nuevo Stairs

6. Consider Seasonal Rentals

During the off-season, you might find some excellent deals on Airbnb or other vacation rental platforms. Reach out to hosts and negotiate long-term stays at desired rates. This can be a great way to secure a temporary rental while you search for a more permanent solution.

7. Leverage Local Clubs And Organizations

Joining local clubs like the Newcomers Club or Santa Barbara Young Professionals can help you meet others who are new to the area and share rental leads and tips. Engaging with these groups can make your transition smoother and more enjoyable. And help you make new friends right from the start.

8. Bonus - Get Our Book Of Recommendations

Dealing with a multitude of clients over the years we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide of local recommendations for nearly everything Santa Barbara has to offer. From the best coffee shops to trusted service providers, our book of recommendations will help you feel at home in no time. Reach out to us! We like to help anybody moving to Santa Barbara feel right at home.


Congratulations on your decision to join us here in Santa Barbara – you’re about to enter paradise! With its picturesque landscapes, vibrant communities, and endless recreational opportunities, Santa Barbara is truly a place like no other. By following these tips and utilizing the resources mentioned, you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect rental and starting your new life in this beautiful coastal city.

And if you decide to make Santa Barbara a more permanent home down the road:

Our Team is dedicated to helping you with your future home purchase

If you have any questions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Contact us HERE.

Happy house hunting! 🏡

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