Rent Across the Nation

Rent Across the Nation

My husband and I are gearing up to move to another rental house by the end of summer, beginning of fall. We’re just not quite ready to purchase our own little house in the valley, so for now we must settle for living in someone else’s little house. We currently rent a small, run-down house for $1,800 a month. We’re hoping to move to a nicer neighborhood and into a much nicer home for about the same amount. We’ve been scoping out a few prime areas and rent seems to have stablized, though hasn’t dropped much from 5 years ago when we first rented our current house. Reading other blog posts about average mortgages and keeping one’s living expenses low, made me decide to research rental costs in other parts of the USA. Here are a few random metros I chose to compare, with the range factoring in 2-bedroom apartments and small, 3-bedroom rental homes:

West

  • Los Angeles: $1,100 – $2,400 a month
  • San Francisco: $2,100 – $3,500 a month
  • Scottsdale, AZ: $1,000  – $1,800 a month
  • Las Vegas, NV: $800 – $2,400 a month

MidWest

  • Denver, CO: $500 – $1,700 a month
  • Omaha, NE: $550 – $2,500 a month
  • Dallas, TX: $650 – $2,800 a month
  • Chicago, IL: $725 – $2,600 a month

East

  • Newark, DE: $600 – $1,300 a month
  • Baltimore, MD: $700 – $3,500 a month
  • New York, NY: $2,995 – $20,000 a month
  • Boston, MA: $1,200 – $3,750 a month

Much of my data came from Zillow.com, then I cross-checked those prices through Craigslist.com to verify they were in the ball park. What my data doesn’t tell me is the condition of the house or the decency of the neighborhood. Choosing larger metros also may not be a good indication of rent prices in the outlying suburbs. I live in an outlying suburb of Los Angeles, so my rent range is based on that area, not within the city of Los Angeles. Using Zillow, I could have scanned outlying areas, but then I wouldn’t have any clue as to the economic status of those areas. For instance, the lower priced rentals in all of the above cities may be located in shady areas of the city, where the higher priced rentals may be in more prestigious areas. There’s just no way for me to know for sure without visiting these cities myself.

However, it looks like rent varies within each city, and this could be based on neighborhood crime rates, poverty levels, and demographics. I don’t feel like I’m paying too much in comparison to New York and San Francisco. Yet, Scottsdale and Denver seem like bargains!

My next research project on rent across the nation will be looking at monthly rent prices as opposed to mortgage payments in the area. I’m guessing some cities deeply discount their rent in comparison to what one might pay on a mortgage, while other cities cost about the same or more.

Do you rent? What are you paying? Do you live in a suburb, metro, or rural area? Do you think you pay a fair price?