If you could live anywhere in the United States, where would you choose?
If you’re reading Money Under 30 and you are in fact 20-or 30-something, you probably can’t afford a mansion, and that’s okay! Part of starting off right is living in a place that you can truly afford and saving up money.
Let’s take a look at what $1,500 a month (actually $1,400) can get you throughout the country. You may be thinking, “I could never afford that!” or “What? My rent is $2,600!” Keep in mind, this is simply an average we picked to show you how apartment rentals vary widely across the country.
Note that in this analysis of rental properties available, “rent to own” or “lease option” listings are not included. If you see an ad for a rent to own property that seems like an amazing deal compared to other rentals in the area, you probably aren’t getting the whole picture.
A Snapshot from Realtor.com
I’ve chosen to use the public syndicated listings and photographs from Realtor.com for the following rental properties. I used Realtor.com because in my opinion, it is much more accurate when it comes to details and is more frequently updated than some of the other real estate websites out there. As examples, however, keep in mind that these properties may not still be available.
New Orleans, Louisiana
For $1,400 per month, you could live in the boisterous and entertaining town of New Orleans, Louisiana, on St. Charles Avenue in the Garden district.
This two bedroom, two bath apartment is approximately 1200 square feet. It comes with basic appliances and although the apartment complex is 50 years old, it is in walking distance to a variety of places to see, shopping stores as well as several elementary and middle schools.
Each apartment has a wall unit for air conditioning, plus the complex features a community swimming pool for those hot days when you need to cool down.
Charlotte, North Carolina
In Charlotte, North Carolina, you can rent a 3 bedroom, 4 bath family home for only $1,375 a month.
With just under 1,700 square feet, you’ll have plenty of room to start a family or create the man cave you’ve always dreamed of. This property also comes with over a quarter of an acre and a two-car garage.
Charlotte is a popular place to work for those in the financial industry, as it is home to Bank of America and divisions of Wells Fargo. If you can get through the chilly winter weather, you’ll find it to be an affordable living place, with a University nearby as well as landmarks such as the Billy Graham library and the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Attention baseball fans, marathon runners and genius college students: Boston, Massachusetts, can become your new home if you can swing $1,500 a month.
At 1,100 square feet, 3 bedrooms and one bath, this apartment in the Dorchester neighborhood isn’t huge, but it’s a historic 1912 building in an undeniably popular location.
Boston is home to a number of medical and research facilities and Harvard University is nearby, in Cambridge. This apartment is not far from public transportation (You’ll be thankful each winter!) and though it has no air conditioning it does have a porch and community laundry facilities. Not a bad place to start your career.
In the iconic town of Denver, Colorado, you can rent a place right on Market Street with all the amenities and both a mountain and downtown view for only $1,440 a month.
“The Martini” at TwentyOne apartments includes a kitchen with an island, a living room and a walk in closet. There is also a parking garage and a fitness center, plus the whole apartment structure is only 3 years old.
The drawback of downtown Colorado living? As with downtown living in most states, the square footage is not so great. This apartment is a one bedroom, one bath and a whopping 784 square feet. Not bad for a bachelor pad, and it’s close to all the nightclubs, stores and restaurants you need, but not exactly an affordable family dwelling.
If you love the beautiful California coast but can’t afford some of the higher priced areas, consider Riverside.
You can rent a 3 bedroom, 3 bath, 1247 square foot single family home for only $1250 a month. This house was built in 1984, has central air and a two-car garage. There are two stories and a fireplace in the living room.
Although it needs a little TLC (think carpet cleaners), sometimes putting a little money into making a rental property how you want it to be (within the confines of the lease, of course) means you’ll be saving money in the long term by not going with the more expensive property.
How do these properties compare to the one you’re renting right now? How much do decent rentals go for in your area?