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Although there are many reasons for moving, one of the most common is financial. Over the last few years, the explosion in remote work has allowed many people to move to take high-paying jobs to more affordable areas. If you’re a 20-something renter who’s just started working, locations with low rent are probably high on your radar. However, you should think about more than just the cost of living before committing to a move. It’s also important to consider the quality of life in a city – what age groups live there, job opportunities and whether there’s anything to do on the weekend. Here are four of the cheapest cities in the U.S. cities that have great options for young renters on a budget.
1. Wichita, Kansas
If you’re looking for a nice city with super-low rent, Wichita may be perfect for you. This city is located near the center of the United States, which means you’re far away from expensive coastal cities. The population was nearing 400,000 in 2020 and a significant portion of residents are between the ages of 18 and 65, according to U.S. census data.
In early 2022, the average cost to rent an apartment in Wichita was only $703 a month. This is much lower than the national average, although you’ll find low rent prices throughout the state. Wichita experiences all four seasons, with temperatures ranging from the high 90s in summer to the low 30s in the middle of winter.
2. Grand Rapids, Michigan
According to U.S. News, Grand Rapids, Michigan, is one of the most affordable places to live right now. The area is full of beautiful parks and located on the Great Lakes, next to Lake Michigan. This city also experiences all four seasons, ranging from humid summers to cold, snowy winters. Over half the population is between the ages of 20 and 65.
RentCafe reports that the average price of an 870-square-foot apartment in Grand Rapids is $1,324 a month. This is nearly identical to the national average, but remember that this is an average. If you live with a roommate and are flexible about what part of Grand Rapids you live in, you can enjoy the city’s many amenities for a low price compared to similar major cities.
3. Lexington, Kentucky
Rent in Lexington, Kentucky, is several hundred dollars cheaper at $1,068 a month. This beautiful city is located in the heart of horse country, allowing you to enjoy the perks of city and country life. Lexington has a rich history and you can visit historical sites dating all the way back to the Revolutionary War there.
The topography in this part of Kentucky is beautiful. There’s also a strong job market, so paying your rent shouldn’t be a problem. Lexington has a diverse food scene and there’re many amazing restaurants in this city if you enjoy eating out. However, Lexington is known for bad weather and there’s a lot of traffic during the workweek.
4. El Paso, Texas
If the prices of rent in Grand Rapids and Lexington left a bad taste in your mouth, consider moving to El Paso, Texas, instead. Rent here is very low at only $954 a month on average. This city has beautiful weather and is located near several gorgeous state parks. The job market here is good, which means that low rent is truly affordable.
This city is huge, at an estimated 867,000 in July of 2021. According to census data, roughly half of this population is between the ages of 18 and 65. There’s a lot to do in El Paso. The city is well known for its delicious food, holds festivals throughout the year and has access to beautiful hiking trails. El Paso is also one of the safest cities in the country.
Work to Live
As a young professional, you’re trying to establish a solid financial foundation for your future. If you’re planning a move, it’s wise to consider rent prices and job opportunities before you pack your bags. However, there are other important factors to consider as well. Saving money won’t do you much good if you don’t enjoy where you live.
To search more efficiently, make a personal list that describes the place you’d love to live. Include details like fun activities, rent costs and prime weather conditions. Then, check affordable cities against this list to find the best option for you. Consider these four cities as a starting point in your search for an affordable, fun place to move in the U.S.