Rent is an unfortunate necessity for many city dwellers. The problem is worst in desirable cities.  Major urban metros with a “cool factor” often carry a price tag to match. You may favor the city, but what about the rental market?

Why $875? America’s median household income is $50,502. After taxes and retirement savings, that amounts to $31,500. Employing the adage that “rent should be roughly 30 per cent of your net income,” you have $875 to pay toward rent every month. These calculations are, of course, general. This inquiry only serves to contextualize your rental situation.

We’ve rounded up rental listings in 10 American cities known for their culture and general good vibes. How do they compare?

1. Minneapolis, Minnesota

For $850, this studio apartment in a North Loop high-rise offers downtown views and a suite of building amenities, including a gym, pool, and tennis courts. A host of nearby bars and restaurants makes this a walkable spot.

Minneapolis studio apartment

Minneapolis studio apartment living room
This cozy hideaway captures great views and bright Minnesota sunshine.

2. San Diego, California

Find a roommate and take advantage of this 2-bedroom condo in North Park for $1600. The apartment is carpeted but advertises new tile in the kitchen and a remodeled bathroom. San Diego’s “cool kids” neighborhood boasts coffee shops, breweries, and restaurants all within biking distance.

San Diego apartment building

Sand Diego inside of apartment building
This California lookout includes a working fireplace — not likely to be in heavy use.

3. Asheville, North Carolina

This charming one-bedroom one-bathroom apartment in Five Points is available for $850. It features hardwood floors, ample natural lighting, and fresh paint. Communal laundry is available onsite. The location is walkable to downtown, another nice selling point.

House in Asheville
Immerse yourself in the new artistic South — forget mint juleps, think micro-brewed beer

House in Asheville living roomHouse in Asheville kitchen

4. Portland, Oregon

You’ll need a roommate for this $1,595 two-bedroom apartment in Buckland. The apartment has nice details with marble countertops, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and a gas range. There’s a covered bike locker located onsite. Multiple bars and coffee shops are located nearby.

House in Portland
Live like a West Coast baron in this column-adorned classic at the end of the Oregon Trail

House in Portland kitchen livingroom in Portland

5. Austin, Texas

For $859, you can call this studio on Manor road home. The apartment boasts a half wall that makes it “just like a one bedroom.” The complex has onsite laundry, parking, bike racks, and a fenced dog park. You’ll enjoy close proximity to trendy East Austin and Downtown.

House in Austin
A cool space in a hot town, home to Willie Nelson and Michael Dell

House Austin living room Austin House

6. Seattle, Washington

This $875 apartment in Ballard bills itself as a “micro-studio.” The apartment is brand new and includes all utilities, Internet, and furniture in the rent. The location is solid, which is good because you’ll need to get the most out of your neighborhood when your apartment is… extremely efficient.

House in Seattle view

House in Seattle
Room enough to sip great coffee and contemplate the crystal blue skies over Puget Sound

7. Boulder, Colorado

You’ll need a roommate for this 2-bedroom home near North Boulder Park for $1,600. The house is newly remodeled and provides ample living space plus a large backyard. Yet pets are not allowed.

boulder kitchen boulder living room

8. Ann Arbor, Michigan

This 700-foot square foot one-bedroom apartment in Kerrytown has retro appeal and vaulted ceilings in the bedroom with a separate living room, kitchen, and side yard. It looks cozy and kooky, in a good way.

ann arbor living room
This rental catches the morning light as well as the lively sights of nearby University of Michigan.

ann arbor awesome kitchen ann arbor window views

9. Portland, Maine

This $850 studio corner-unit is located in a historic building downtown. The apartment has serious old world charm. The building includes free WiFi and a communal laundry, not to mention close proximity to the best downtown has to offer.

portland housePortland bathroom

Portland house entrance
A bold arch invites guests to a place of quality

10. New York, New York

You’ll need 2 roommates to make this $2,600 3-bedroom apartment in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn fit the budget. The apartment has hardwood floors and a large common space. One bedroom does look smaller than the rest, however.

NYC apartment NYC apartment living room

NYC apartment kitchen
A great perch to enjoy the dazzling resurgence that is today’s Brooklyn

That ends our apartment roundup. Which city offers the most value for your $875? Where are you willing to trade square feet for a great living experience?


My target were 20-30 year olds, people starting their professional lives (or established yuppies looking for a new city) and wanting to live in a “happening” neighborhood. Most places were one bedroom or studios. These rentals were all published on Craiglist.

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