If you look at a list of affordable cities to live, Yahoo Finance cites Deerfield Beach in Florida as a bargain. And if you do your research you’ll notice that Florida comes up quite often. Even though there are many lovely warm weather areas in which to nest, the problem is that many of these locales are great for retirees, not those fresh out of college looking for work. It doesn’t matter if rentals abound and can be gotten for a song if there are no jobs. Therefore cheap housing isn’t enough; it has to affordable and provide employment opportunities. Having some social and cultural advantages make an area even more attractive.
Millennials have special needs, such as affordable rent and job access. In the past, job seekers gravitated to New York City or Silicon Valley, but housing costs and the bust of the tech boom made these once desired areas lose their luster. So the young people of today will need to “think out of the box” and search out other affordable destinations.
Here are 10 such destinations.
10. Austin, TX
According to Realty Austin, Austin has more to offer than just a laid back city atmosphere, The University of Texas, and live music events. It is a great place for start up ventures and many established businesses are relocating to Austin and its surrounding suburbs like Round Rock, the headquarters of Dell Computers. While Forbes notes that the cost of living is rising, the employment opportunities with attractive salaries make it a bargain. The average rent is listed on Culture Map at $930; however, compared to San Francisco at $3,280 and New York $2,510 it’s a steal. Keep in mind that Austin is a “wired” city, so many apartment complexes include Wi-Fi and cable TV in the rental cost. Prices do vary according to which section of the city you choose. A one bedroom unit overlooking Town Lake will be far pricier than the same sized unit in the northeast corridor of the city. Still though, it’s no surprise that young people are migrating to Austin.
9. Dallas, TX
If you want the culture and warm winters of the Lone Star State but want cheaper rent, take a look at Dallas, TX where a one bedroom apartment only costs $750 per month. If you are a millennial, you’ll be happy to know that the Dallas Chamber of Commerce is courting you. According to Dallas Chamber, Dallas has been listed as The Best City in the United States for Millennials by, and Dallas is actively looking to attract and retain young residents. With a plethora of jobs in healthcare, tech, accounting, and other fields, Dallas’ low rents make it quite a bargain and a great place to start a career.
8. Louisville, KY
A CBS Money Watch article cites the rents in Louisville average $727 per month. Supply and demand dictates rental prices and Louisville, an up and coming city, has many attractive properties to offer. Taking a tip from Austin, Louisville promotes local businesses with the slogan “Keep Louisville Weird.”
7. Columbus, OH
CBS Money Watch also lists Columbus, Ohio on their list of most affordable cities for renters. With a median rent of $722 per month, and being the home of Ohio State University, it has its share of tech jobs and booming businesses just right for the just of out college millennial. A recent headline in The Columbus Dispatch reading Jobs Outlook “healthy” in Central Ohio, makes Columbus a relatively fertile job ground compared to many US cities.
6. Dayton, OH
Another bargain listed by CBS Money Watch is Dayton, Ohio where it’s possible to get a small one bedroom place overlooking the lake for only $570 a month. Many of the units are rent to own so you can save up a deposit to buy your nifty pad if you fall in love with it. The only challenge for millennials may be to find a job in their field, as this area is still affected by the dearth of jobs due to the recession.
5. Wichita KS
For those who telecommute, and want to live a greener lifestyle, USA today says that a little one bedroom on the prairie goes for only $470 per month. Like Florida, this is a BYOI (Bring Your Own Income) type of city, where you may not find the job of your dreams within the city limits, but if you have an outside income from a telecommuting job, or are able to settle for a lower paid entry level job outside of your field, your dollars will stretch far.
4. Tucson, AZ
With a median one bedroom apartment price of $540, it’s no wonder that Money rated Tucson number 4 of their best places for millennials. The article credits the city’s revitalized downtown area and ethnic restaurants as a draw for young renters. Tucson’s job growth is expected to rise 11% over the next five years.
3. New Bedford, MA
Many millennials are devoted to the arts, and value creativity. In an Bustle.com article, The Best Cities For Starving Artists, New Bedford combines all the perks of New England culture. Also easy access to galleries and museums, and an attractive $650 per month rent average make this city a no brainer for the young professional.
2. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
AroundMe.com has listed Sioux Falls on their list of Progressive Cities That Are Perfect For People Under 30. With low rent that has attracted businesses who are in turn, increasing available jobs, Sioux Falls is becoming an ideal destination for the millennial. Rent Jungle quotes that you can find a one bedroom apartments in Sioux Falls rent for $673
1. Cape Canaveral, Florida
With easy access on the 528 Beachline Highway to Orlando theme parks, and a thriving tourist trade, Cape Canaveral, Florida is a beach side bargain with apartments within walking distance to the waves at just $525-$575 a month, with a one bedroom going for $575 to $675 according to one local apartment site. Even in the days after the space program heyday, there are still some select tech jobs to be had in nearby Melbourne, Florida. There are also plenty of beach side opportunities in the adjoining town of Cocoa Beach for those who want to enter the travel/tourism trade.
Whether you are looking for bustling nightlife, an artistic haven, greener pastures, or beachfront bliss, any one of these affordable towns make it easy to pack up from your parent’s basement and head for a new adventure and your own apartment.