10 Cheapest Places to Rent in the United States
10 Cheapest Places to Rent in the United States.
The cities of New York and San Francisco are famous for their costly rental prices and
high cost of living.
This raises the question of where the most affordable places to rent a home are located.
The website GOBankingRates.com compiled data from 2017.
Using rental prices on Zillow, the site ranked the 150 most populated cities to find the
least expensive ones for renters.
Ranking is based on the median prices of one and two-bedroom apartments, as well as single-family
These 10 cities are worth checking out if you are a senior living on a fixed income,
a fresh graduate, or someone who just wants find a cheaper place to rent or retire early.
1: Toledo, Ohio.
Toledo took the top spot for cheapest rent.
The median rental price of a one-bedroom was $442.50, a two-bedroom was $650.
A single-family home was $750.
The price of the one-bedroom was the cheapest of all the cities considered.
Prices have risen slightly since 2014, but are still some of the most reasonable in the
Some of the more affordable neighborhoods are Franklin Park, Birmingham, and Scott Park.
Some positives to living in Toledo include the opera, art and science museums, arboretum,
zoo, and park system.
On the downside, the city struggles with the crime rate, the downtown area is not a huge
draw, and winters are pretty bleak.
Glass is a major industry.
It was once a major automobile manufacturer, but it has struggled in recent years, so the
city is now focused on attracting the solar research industry.
2: Detroit, Michigan.
Detroit took the top spot for single-family rentals with a median price of $750 per month.
One-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments had median rental rates of $625 and $650 respectively.
Rental costs vary widely amongst neighborhoods, however.
Barton-McFarland was less than $500 per month, while downtown could run as much as $1,800.
Detroit has gone through some notoriously difficult times with the decline of the local
Countless homes still sit empty and the city declared bankruptcy in 2013.
There are parts of town seeing a resurgence, the return of small business, and an artsy,
urban crowd is migrating to the downtown area.
The poverty level is high and mass transit is limited.
The current unemployment rate is the best it has been in 15 years, but is still higher
than the national average.
The crime rate is also high, though there are pockets where it is significantly lower.
3: Wichita, Kansas.
Wichita’s median rental rates were $547.50 for a one-bedroom, $700 for a two-bedroom,
and $895 for a single-family residence.
Wichita also came in at number 68 on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Places to
The cost of living is below the national average as far as housing, food, and utilities, though
they do pay hefty sales taxes.
There are four seasons, all of which are windy.
Winters can be icy and spring can deliver tornados.
Residents need a car to get around, but Wichita has reasonable average commute times under
The city has a good reputation for raising a family, though the cost of living is also
a draw for single working professionals.
Entertainment options include the theater, opera, and ballet, as well as monster truck
rallies, country music venues, a zoo, and science museum.
4: Fayetteville, North Carolina.
The median rental cost of a one-bedroom in Fayetteville was $585 and a two-bedroom was
A single-family residence was the best deal at $900 per month.
Fayetteville is 90 miles from Raleigh-Durham and has a cost of living lower than the national
The unemployment rate is higher than the national average, as is the average commute time.
There is a considerable military presence here since both Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force
Base are nearby.
In fact, in 2008, the city and Cumberland County declared that they were “Sanctuaries
for Soldiers,” meaning they go out of their way to provide services for members and their
Unfortunately, large-scale entertainment options are lacking.
The Department of Defense, school system, and health care system are the biggest employers.
It has won the All-America City Award three times.
5: Augusta, Georgia.
While Atlanta rental prices continue to skyrocket, Augusta remains much more affordable.
The median rental for a one-bedroom came in at $614 and a two-bedroom for $775 per month.
A single-family home was $895.
U.S. News & World Report ranked the city the 72nd “Best Place to Live.”
Cost of living is lower than the national average, though groceries tend to be a little
Augusta is famous for hosting the annual Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.
The Savannah River is a huge draw for residents with the Riverwalk running alongside it, and
the nearby farmers’ markets and outdoor concerts.
The unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national average, but there are increasing
opportunities in healthcare and education.
There is also a strong military presence due to nearby Fort Gordon and the U.S. Cyber Center
6: Columbus, Georgia.
Columbus was a bit of an oddity in that the median rental price of a one-bedroom was higher
than a two-bedroom apartment, at $725 and $673.50 respectively.
A single-family residence was $900.
The city, which is the second largest in Georgia, has a strong military presence due to Fort
Benning and the United States Army Infantry School.
Columbus developed along the Chattahoochee River and is home to the longest urban whitewater
rafting course in the world, a major draw for tourists.
The army base, Muscogee County School District, credit card company TSYS, and Aflac are the
Movoto.com compiled a list of reasons to love Columbus and included the farmers’ market,
the large number of fountains around the city, the river-walk, the Dragon Boat Festival races,
and the Space-Science Center.
Columbus is right on the Alabama border.
7: Knoxville, Tennessee.
The one-bedroom apartment was a particularly good deal in Knoxville, with a median rental
cost of $600 per month.
A two-bedroom was substantially more at $800.
A single-family home, however, was a reasonable $950.
The city ranked 61st on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Places to Live,” with
affordability and proximity to many appealing destinations.
Highways connect it directly to Atlanta and Chattanooga, and both the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park are within 90 minutes.
Downtown is full of eclectic shops and the University of Tennessee gives the city a young
vibe and a strong love of college football.
The average annual salary is lower than the national average, but so is the unemployment
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a major employer, as is the healthcare industry.
8: Memphis, Tennessee.
Tennessee makes the list again with the musical city of Memphis.
A median one-bedroom was $683 and a two-bed was $750.
A single-family home runs $900.
U.S. News & World Report ranked it 93rd on its “Best Places to Live” list and it
has one of the cheapest costs of living of any large metro area in the country.
Residents have a lot to do, too.
There are tons of restaurants, bars, and unique shops.
Live music shows can be found every night of the week.
The city is also home to museums, a zoo, and a professional basketball team.
The low cost of living compensates for an average salary below the national average,
but Memphis also has an unemployment rate slightly above the national average.
Three Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here and are major employers: FedEx, International
Paper, and AutoZone.
9: Greensboro, North Carolina.
Though Greensboro isn’t as cheap as Fayetteville, it is significantly cheaper than Charlotte.
The median rental cost of a one-bedroom was $655, a two-bedroom was $740, and a single-family
home was $962.50.
Greensboro is also another inexpensive city to make the “Best Places to Live” list
by U.S. News & World Report in the 51st spot.
Grocery and transportation costs are on par with the rest of the country, but housing
offers great savings.
The last few years have seen the downtown undergoing a revitalization as breweries,
art galleries, and nightclubs were built.
Winters are mild and give ample time to enjoy local golf courses and 90 miles of walking
The average salary is lower than the national average and the unemployment rate is a bit
Major industries include education, healthcare, and technology.
10: Tucson, Arizona.
The median one-bedroom in Tucson came in at an incredibly low $575, while the two-bedroom
A single-family home was a bit pricier at $1,100.
Tucson is yet another city on this list to also make the “Best Places to Live” ranking.
It’s the perfect place for those seeking warm weather, mountain views, and desert landscapes.
People of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds blend here, with its reputation as a retirement
destination drawing older folk and the University of Arizona drawing younger.
Nearby national parks, hiking trails, skiing, ample Mexican restaurants, and nightclubs
keep locals entertained.
The unemployment rate has improved but is still higher than the national average.
The average salary is lower than the national average.
The university, defense-contractor Raytheon, and the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base are the
Hospitality and tourism are also major industries.