The cost of rent across the United States is as varied as it’s population. A multitude of factors will influence monthly rental rates. Adequate availability of apartments, proximity to metropolitan areas, developed public transportation system are just a few factors which can determine what you can expect to pay.
When considering an apartment, you should have a comfortable range in mind. However a lot of people, especially first time renters, have no idea what they can afford. There was a time when the ‘experts’ suggested 30% of your monthly income could go towards rent. But this blanket statement simply does not hold water. Your base salary, cost of living, amount of debit you have, and the number of people in your family all effect what you can afford.
With those thoughts in mind, one influencing factor on rent that you may or may not have control over is where your apartment is located. Below is a listing of the most expensive places to live in the United States. When making the comparison of rents, only single bedroom rates were used.
- San Francisco, CA $3,460
- New York, NY $3,000
- Boston, MA $2,300
- Washington, DC $2,000
- Oakland, CA $1,980
- San Jose, CA $1,900
- Los Angeles, CA $1,760
- Miami, FL $1,750
- Chicago, IL $1,670
- Seattle, WA $1,630
As to be expected, the Mid-west offers a break on the high cost of apartments. Still, two surprising larger cities still made the cheap list: Columbus and Detroit for example.
- Kansas City, MO $739
- Louisville, KY $727
- Columbus, OH $722
- Arlington, TX $713
- Memphis TN / Indianapolis, IN (tie) $692
- Detroit, MI $678
- Tulsa, OK $672
- Tucson, AZ $628
- Wichita, KS $623
These lists really put into perspective how location can affect what you pay for rent. Before your pack up and start heading for the heartland, consider also the rates of pay in these areas. Most of the time they too, are less than what you could earn in a larger city. But with the increase in jobs offering telecommuting opportunities, you may just luck out. Don’t base your decision on just rent and income. Be sure the community you choose offers you the amenities you are looking for.
Jonah Engler is an entrepreneur from NYC with a background in real estate and finance.
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