Best cities for renters and new grads
Zillow and Apartments.com used different criteria to come up with their '10 best' lists. Columbus, Ohio, was the only city to make both lists.
We’ve written many times about the growth in renter households, among young people and baby boomers.
Zillow has rounded up the 10 big cities where you can get the most bang for your rental buck. To do the calculations, the real-estate portal looked at current rental prices, cost per square foot, the change since last year in rents and the rent-versus-buy equation. The company even picked out a representative house for rent in each city.
And the winner is: Kansas City, Mo., ranked as the top market for renters – though other rankings pick it as a top spot for buyers.
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In Kansas City, Zillow found a two-bedroom, 2.5-bath house for rent with a partially finished basement, cedar deck and professionally landscaped yard for $1,100 a month. While the home is lovely, the location may not be the most desirable, unless you work at Kansas City International Airport, near this remote subdivision.
The second-ranking city was Wichita, Kan., where a 900-square-foot walkout basement apartment with one bedroom and one bath was going for $900 a month. Again, we think you can do better in Wichita, which does have affordable housing.
- El Paso, Texas: three-bedroom, two-bath house for $950.
- Las Vegas: three-bedroom, two-bath house for $1,150.
- Virginia Beach, Va.: three-bedroom, three-bath house for $1,500.
- Tucson, Ariz.: two-bedroom, two-bath apartment for $715.
- Fresno, Calif.: two-bedroom, one-bath house for $945.
- Columbus, Ohio: three-bedroom, one-bath house for $800.
- New Orleans: three-bedroom, one-bath house for $1,100.
- Milwaukee: three-bedroom, one-bath-plus house for $1,500.
If those cities don’t suit, Apartments.com came up with a list of its top 10 cities for new college graduates, who are presumed to be renters. The list was based on affordability, with a one-bedroom apartment rent costing no more than 25% of gross income, as well as employment rates and cities with a higher number of residents ages 25 to 29.
The only city on both lists was Columbus, Ohio, the home of Ohio State University and the state capital.
Based on those criteria, the top cities, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment, were:
- Phoenix, $708
- Orlando, Fla., $857
- San Antonio, $794
- Columbus, Ohio, $634
- Austin, Texas, $1,006
- Raleigh, N.C., $788
- Oklahoma City, $722
- Fort Worth, Texas, $795
- Dallas, $983
- Minneapolis, $1,177
I just bought a 2,200 square foot home for 22,200. Paid Cash and moving from phoenix, AZ to Ludlow, KY with a great view of the Ohio River, Green, and a lot of fishing.
Things are crazy here in Arizona when it come to cost. All of your people rent cost more than my mortgage did.
You can get a great 2 bedroom in Atlanta GA for 900-1100 with pools etc. And its a much better climate than Columbus Ohio , 250 miles to Florida and a lot more to do than Raleigh NC
Plus the sheer size of Atlanta's DMA gives you great choices. Yes we have traffic but you learn when NOT to drive around. I am an hour from spectacular mountains and lakes and 6 hours from beaches on either the Atlantic or Gulf. Winters are mild (53 average Jan high) Springs and Fall with great colors and temps, and a not so bad summer with lows in the 60s, highs 80s to 90. Has not topped 90 yet this summer. Plus we are the most heavily forested city on the PLANET. A lot of people put Atlanta down but it is pure envy. That is why even at 66 I live here.
Oh, almost forgot. The people are nice and polite.
Don't come to metro Denver. The economy is rising above the national average with building going on everywhere. House prices and apartment rents have jumped 10% in just the last year.
Frankly the mountain views aren't worth it. The traffic congestion here is very bad and getting worse by the month.