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The 10 Most Affordable Cities for Renters in the United States AP Photo/Jeannie Nuss
AP Photo/Jeannie Nuss

As a California native originally from the Bay Area near San Francisco and now living in Los Angeles, I know a thing or two about high rental prices. The cost of living here is so high, and American renters often struggle to find affordable cities to live in. And with the pandemic coming to a close, people are ready for a new change of scenery.

If you’re tired of paying too much and hoping to get more bang for your buck, here are some cities around America to consider moving to when your lease is up. And surprisingly, we’re not covering the usuals, such as Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, New Orleans, San Diego, New York City, etc. You get the idea.

Texarkana, Arkansas 

Possibly the most famous twin cities, Texarkana sits on the border of Texas and Arkansas. If you are looking for a small-town feel, this is the spot for you. The whole city only has one post office, federal building, and courthouse. Not too far from its famous neighbors, Texarkana’s affordability is appealing. A one-bedroom apartment starts at roughly $542 per month!

Albuquerque, New Mexico 

Albuquerque is a city with a rich history. Many of the adobe buildings from the 1700s are still standing. Located in the high desert, this affordable city is an up-and-coming hot spot. If you are looking for a fun downtown area with a dry climate, this U.S. city is for you. The price of a two-bedroom apartment comes in at $1,001 dollars on average.

Indianapolis, Indiana 

Indiana’s state capitol, Indianapolis, is the most populated city in the state. In this city, you can enjoy a football game, visit the zoo, or watch a race at the Indianapolis Speedway. With rent for a one-bedroom apartment coming in at $831, it’s hard to say no!

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St. Louis, Missouri

There are few greater sports towns than St. Louis, Missouri. If you like hockey or baseball, this is the city to move to. You can take in that spectacular arch after watching a St. Louis Cardinals game, then head home to your two-bedroom apartment that costs $1,066 a month! 

Memphis, Tennessee 

With the recent influx of people from all over the country moving to Nashville, Memphis hasn’t been getting as much love. That’s a good thing for the rental market, though. If you want to be only a few hours from the big city, Memphis is a great option. You can enjoy sports or visit Graceland while the average rent is about $829 for a one-bedroom apartment. 

Baton Rouge, Louisana

Just a few hours from New Orleans, Baton Rouge sits right on the Mississippi River. The capital of the state offers great dining, fascinating museums, and activities for the kids! According to the U.S. Census, Baton Rouge is home to about 225,362 people. The median rent is $973, making it one of the cheapest cities with so much to offer. 

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Louisville, Kentucky

Lousiville is the largest city in Kentucky. Famous for its college-town vibes and the invention of the Louisville slugger (which has its own museum in the city, by the way!), this metropolitan area has a lot to offer. With rent prices averaging at $783 for a one-bedroom apartment, it’s worth checking out!

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Given all there is to do, Pittsburgh is one of the cheapest places you can live as a renter. Home of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pirates, this sports mecca offers fun for the whole family. Between the zoos, museums, and amusement parks, you can get the most bang for your buck in this metro area. A two-bedroom apartment runs at around $962 per month. 

Tulsa, Oklahoma 

Famous for its art deco architecture, Tulsa sits on the Arkansas River. The city has a lot of history and interesting museums to go with it. With affordable home prices, you could eventually go from a renter to a homeowner in the city of Tulsa. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment is roughly $722 per month. 

Columbus, Ohio

This midwest city offers a beautiful outdoor landscape with trails and fountains to enjoy. There is even an area in town that features restored brick houses from 1800’s settlers. The history and quality of life make Columbus a fun place to call home. Plus, with the average rent at $810, it’s hard to say no!

Watch: 5 Reasons to Keep Renting

Part-time writer, full-time pet parent Haley Van Horn calls sunny California home. She's a self-proclaimed Alfred Hitchcock specialist, a Dave Grohl enthusiast, and a sports fanatic.
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