If you know where to look, you might find great deals on apartment rentals. Despite the recent increases in rents across the country, there are still many surprisingly affordable living options right here in the United States.
No list of affordable places to live in the United States would be complete without Florida. While South Beach and Miami can present some of the country’s most expensive beachfront living (and home to stars such as Matt Damon), there are many more affordable places to live in central Florida, especially near Orlando and Disneyland.
In-between Orlando and Tampa, lies the quaint little Dade City, FL which sports a one-bedroom apartment for $305 a month, in a modern building. Dade City is known for their antique stores and annual kumquat festival.
A favorite for snowbirds from Canada and the upper Mid-West, there is so much affordable inventory in Florida that many people simply leave their second homes there empty for half of the year. Like this place in Tallahassee, the state’s capital, for $400 a month.
In Florida, Your dollars go further without having to pay the expensive home heating costs of the states with harsh winter. Kissimmee, in the shadow of Disneyland (and also home of an excellent movie), is home to many rentals at a lower price point. “Lake City” is also affordable, but was formerly Alligator Florida, so be sure to watch out for those critters. More major cities might push your budget into the $1,000+ a month range, such as Jacksonville, Fort Myers, or Cape Coral.
Texas offers a respite from harsh winter climates, with many towns and cities that have low costs of living. From the hustle and bustle of San Antonio, Houston and Dallas to the prairies and ranches of the old West, Texas has it all from mesquite style Bar-B-Que to very modern and progressive cities.
In Dallas, less than 8 miles from downtown, you can find one-bedroom apartments for $300 a month (though income restrictions apply). Elsewhere in Texas, you can find other income-restricted one-bedrooms for $350 a month, and a two-bedroom for $412 a month, in an absolutely gorgeous building.
There are numerous places in Texas where one can handily rent in the $700 a month range (and that’s no Texas-style Enron accounting snafu). Brownsville and Lubbock are two such cities. Corpus Christi, a bit larger and on the Gulf of Mexico, has an average rent of $965 per month. If you are a political buff, you might enjoy museums associated with Ross Perot or the former president Bush; you can also pay your respects to JFK at the Memorial Plaza. And, indeed, some of Texas’ major metros are highly affordable. America’s fourth largest city, Houston, sports an average apartment rent of about $1100 a month. Houston is home to major sports teams and numerous museums and a zoo. If you are selective about where you look, you can even find rentals in Houston for under $700 per month.
At the polar opposite of affordable, California takes claim to the most expensive housing market in the continental United States and where 39 million people call home. Famous worldwide for Silicon Valley, and Hollywood stars, it is also the avocado capital of the US, and birthplace of the internet, dating back to 1969. Their major cities are known for crazy rents, but if you look carefully, you can find some deals. How about a small studio in Los Angeles’ Fashion District for $650 a month?
Just north of the state’s capital of Sacramento, lies Chico, a city of 100,000 residents known for their extensive woodland trail network, and friendliness to bicycles. Here, you can get a small 2 bedroom for $520 per person per month. At the opposite tip of the state, down in southern coastal San Diego, there’s a well maintained active-living community with private apartments from $907 a month for those aged 55+.
Ohio is one of the country’s most populous states, and was home to America’s richest-ever man, John D. Rockefeller. Yet, Ohio today still has many affordable places to live.
Piqua, Ohio has a brand new apartment complex being built with one-bedroom apartments starting at $351 a month and two-bedrooms starting at $421 a month. (Income restrictions apply.) A more major city such as Cincinnati sports an average apartment rent of $944, or Columbus (home of the Buckeyes) with an average rent of $918; and it even has a number of large companies for whom you can work, such as Proctor and Gamble.
Toledo sports rents as low as $550; quick searches will steer you to these very cheap rentals. There are plenty of activities in Ohio’s numerous metropolises, or perhaps you might enjoy the many water sports available on Lake Erie. Check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or the Cincinnati Zoo for fun weekend activities, and don’t miss the brick Victorian houses in downtown Columbus’ German Village.
Boston is one of the country’s most expensive cities, so you might be surprised to see this New England state make the list, however it is also home to many formal mill communities and towns and even Emily Dickinson once upon a time. Once you get out of Boston, this tiny state can be a surprisingly affordable place to live with excellent social services, schools, and healthcare. Massachusetts has some of the top universities and academic hospitals in the world.
From small cities like that of Worcester to other small towns in the Berkshires, there are a great number of rentals in Massachusetts available in the $800 to $1,000 a month price range, like this 500sq ft one-bedroom apartment for just $755 a month.
Once founded by Puritan refugees, Massachusetts became known for sparking the American industrial revolution, building the world’s first subway system, America’s first university, opening the first public park, and implementing the first zip code. If you go, don’t forget to order yourself a bowl of clam chowder.
Renting in the United States doesn’t have to break the bank. Enjoying the finer things in life without the nosebleed prices of New York City is still possible in the land of opportunity, you just have to do a little research and know where to look.