Location, Location, Location: Which Cities Fit Your Budget?


Looking to buy or rent a home? Much depends on your budget and where you want to live. Costs vary by area, of course, so be realistic when it comes to your search. We did some legwork for you and compiled a list of U.S. cities that offer affordable, as well as expensive, options.

Average Apartment Rent

According to the New York Times, rent is typically considered affordable if it’s no more than 30% of your household income. That may seem unrealistic for many large cities you may like; but not to worry, these 10 major cities have the least expensive rent prices in the country – all falling below the national average of $1,231 per month.

10 Cheapest U.S. Cities to Rent

City Average Rent
Oklahoma City, OK $543
Columbus, OH $677
Indianapolis, IN $675
Kansas City, MO $701
Fort Worth, TX $718
Cincinnati, OH $710
Denver, CO $887
Greenville, SC $630
Houston, TX $710
Dallas, TX $814


Now for the more expensive end. ApartmentList.com compared median rental prices in 50 of the most populated American cities. The results show these cities are the most costly for renters – with rates at least 36% above the national average.

10 Most Expensive U.S. Cities to Rent

City Average Rent
San Francisco, CA $3,396
New York, NY $3,344
Boston, MA $3,190
Washington D.C. $2,699
Los Angeles, CA $2,177
San Jose, CA $2,165
Oakland, CA $1,812
Miami, FL $1,742
Seattle, WA $1,718
San Diego, CA $1,670


Average House Price

A report by Coldwell Bank found the national average listing price of a 4-bedroom, 2-bath house in 2013 was $301,414. Here are the cities with the most affordable options:

10 Cheapest U.S. Cities to Buy

City Average Price
Cleveland, OH $63,729
Garfield Heights, OH $66,075
Flint, MI $84, 437
Saginaw, MI $87,181
Jackson, MS $94,155
Sioux City, IA $97, 969
Jonesboro, GA $98,332
Moberly, MO $99,593
Buffalo, NY $101,631
Kankakee, IL $103,187


If you have a bigger budget, you may be able to find a home in one of these areas:

10 Most Expensive U.S. Cities to Buy

City Average Price
Malibu, CA $2,155,900
Newport Beach, CA $1,773,824
Saratoga, CA $1,684,261
Los Gatos, CA $1,360,497
San Francisco, CA $1,309,599
Stone Harbor, NJ $1,301,727
Cupertino, CA $1,292,400
Orono, MN $1,251,873
Weston, MA $1,229,000
Redwood City, CA $1,132,523


No matter what your budget, there may be a home for you. Still unsure if you should rent or buy? Use this rent vs. buy calculator to compare costs.