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How Much It Costs to Rent in Normal Heights

Cody and Jamie share what it's like—and how much they pay—to rent a two bedroom
From left: Jamie and Cody | Photo by Dewey Keithly

By Erin Meanley Glenny

Jamie Allender

31, Cinematographer

Cody Brown

30, User Interface Designer


Layout: Two bedrooms, one bath; second-story unit

Square Footage: 750

Each Pays: $997.50

Amenities: Washer, dryer, dishwasher, a/c, heat in unit; one parking spot; remodeled in 2018

Living together since:

May 2018

How they met:

Playing pool in Ocean Beach in 2017, when Jamie first moved to San Diego from Ohio.

Best thing about this apartment:

CB: “The fact that we’re upstairs and we have a nice view of the neighborhood. You can catch the sunset through this kitchen window. And we have a great breeze that rolls through.”

JA: “We can walk two blocks and we’re on Adams.”

The owners:

JA: “We’ve never met the landlord; we go through a property manager. They didn’t raise the rent after a year.”

Why Normal Heights:

CB: “I’ve lived in Normal Heights for eight years, on and off. I knew Jamie would probably like it because it’s very walkable. He said, ‘I don’t care, just pick somewhere.’ I found this place on Zillow.”

JA: “I like Normal Heights a million times better than UTC,” where he lived previously. “My apartment was way bigger but it was outdated. There’s no community in UTC; it’s just apartments for college students.”

How they divvy up chores:

JA: “It’s unspoken.”

CB: “If you see something that’s weird, clean it. Earlier I was sweeping and Jamie just took the trash out. I think we mirror each other, like, if I’m a little dirty, he gets a little dirty.”


JA: “I have plants all around my computer. Cody has some in his room.”

CB: “I want to get some big Monstera leaves.”

Neighborhood recs:

Triple Crown Pub, Sycamore Den, The Rabbit Hole, Cantina Mayahuel

Long-term housing goals:

CB: “I’m saving to buy a house in the next five years. Because of San Diego prices, I’ve thrown out the idea with a friend like, dude, we should buy a house together. We could co-live in it or rent it out. Jamie and I make pretty good money, but it’s still impossible out here.”

JA: “It’s just scary, yeah. In Cincinnati, $500,000 will get you a mansion, probably a giant yard too. But I’d like to live in this neighborhood—I don’t want something big.”

On real estate envy:

CB: “It’d be nice to put your money into something you can own, but I try not to get too hung up on that because I’m saving money and I’m doing the type of work I want to do. A house will come someday.”

JA: “I’m in no rush. It’s not bad to rent. It’s just something I have to pay for. And repairs are free.”

A Snapshot of Normal Heights

How Much It Costs to Rent in Normal Heights

How Much It Costs to Rent in Normal Heights

Households: 16,681

Households without kids: 84%

Median age of pop.: 35

Pop. never married: 49%

Homes built in 1939 or earlier: 28%

Median sale price of a house: $404,000

Walk Score (out of 100): 86 rating (out of 10): Adams Elementary, 4; Normal Heights Elementary, 6; Wilson Middle School, 3; Hoover High, 3

Demographics statistics from; housing price from; Walk score from

How Much It Costs to Rent in Normal Heights

From left: Jamie and Cody | Photo by Dewey Keithly

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