When I was a boy growing up in Brooklyn, like many other boys I spent most of my time life within a few blocks of my house. Every once in a while I would go into a hole in the ground called the Subway and come out someplace else, but that was about it as far as my travel experience went. That experience is not much different from many other urban youth and as a result there is often very limited knowledge about how people live and the cost of living in other places except for what is seen on television. This article sheds some light on the cost of living in different areas of the country, specifically how much it costs to rent a home or an apartment.
For most, the cost of rent or a mortgage is the largest household monthly expense. If you are looking to make serious changes in your financial situation, changing where you live is the first thing you should consider. The chart below from Census.gov (via RentersInsurance.org) shows the cost to live in each state in the country.
The average cost to rent a place in America is $824 per month, with California having the highest average rental cost of over $1,100 per month. It is important to note however that these are AVERAGES. The cost to live in each state can vary greatly from city to city as well as within different areas of a city. It is not uncommon for the cost of a 1-bedroom apartment to vary by more than $1,500 based on neighborhood alone. Once you have selected a state you can use an apartment-finder tool that can help you narrow your search. Zillow.com offers an excellent apartment/home finder tool that allows you to locate a place by region and price as well. The great thing about their tool is that it will also provide valuable information about what is in the neighborhood (schools, coffee shops, public services, etc.) so you can really make an informed decision without traveling all over the country looking at apartments.
Using Zillow.com Apartment Finder to find out neighborhood information
It is much more expensive to live on either coast than it is to live in the middle of the country. Expect to pay almost 3 times a s much rent to live in California than in Arkansas.
California is the most expensive place to live in the US, with rental rates as much as 5 times as other coastal states like Georgia, North Carolina and Oregon
Living in a big urban city does not automatically mean that your rent will be high.
The average cost of rent in the US is $824/month (source: www.census.gov)
Although the average cost to rent in a state may be low, the cost in specific areas of that state may be very high. For example the cost to rent a home in San Francisco is more than double the cost to rent the same home in Bakersfield. Make sure you check out the prices within a specific neighborhood in a city before making a moving decision.