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The 20 Worst U.S. Cities for Renters

San Francisco

You know that it’s always better financially to buy a home than it is to rent one, but not everyone has the luxury of purchasing a home. Some people know that they’re only going to be somewhere for a very short period of time (military families, for example) and others aren’t sure they want to call a city home until they’ve been there more than a minute. With that in mind, we have a list of the most expensive cities for renters in the country. Some don’t look so bad at first glance, but the details of why they are such poor places for renters are predominantly self-explanatory. Read on to find out where you certainly do not want to rent.

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Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Why would you want to rent here when it’s so inexpensive to buy in comparison to so many other cities in the country? Additionally, it doesn’t make much sense financially to rent here when you consider the fact that the average income here has dropped .3% in the past few year, but rent is going up more than 6% on a regular basis. What this means is that renting is not an option for many who are worried that their income will continue to fall while their outgoing rental payments continue to rise. It just makes a lot more sense to buy here than it does to rent.

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honolulu

Honolulu

Known for being expensive as a whole, Honolulu is not a great place for renters. There is not much available all that often considering there is a military base on the island. Additionally, the area is quite busy but the cost of living is exorbitant. Those who can afford to buy a house here will not worry overly much about the cost of living since they can clearly afford it, but that means that you’re going to find it a poor financial choice to rent in the area.

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New Orleans

New Orleans

If you want to live in this fun and vibrant city, you’re going to want to buy. It’s not nearly as cost-effective to rent here considering the fact that rental prices have increased more than 9% over the past few years and incomes have dropped nearly 2%. It’s not the most staggering amount on the list you’ll continue to read, but it is enough to deem this the kind of place that’s just not that good for renters across the country. Go ahead and buy in this gorgeous city; you wouldn’t regret it even if renting was a better option.

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minneapolis

Minneapolis

This Minnesota city makes the list because it is the kind of place in which you pay more to rent an average apartment than you do to own a home. The average rent price is rather inexpensive coming in at only $965 per month, but it’s actually about $122 per month less expensive to just purchase a home and call that your own. And since it’s always better to buy and put your money into your home, which is nothing but equity, you should not rent here if you can possibly get away with making sure that doesn’t happen.

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stamford

Stamford

This lovely Connecticut city is quite expensive for renters, but it is much more affordable for those who are looking to buy a home. Buyers will find that there is more available to them here to purchase than there is to rent, and that’s something you cannot ignore when it comes to finding the perfect place in which to live. If you want to rent, there are other cities around the state that are slightly more affordable for renters than Stamford.

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kansas city

Kansas City

The Missouri version of this city is one of the worst in the country for renters. The cost of your average rent payment has increased more than 13% in the past few years, but the average income has dropped almost 1%. Again, it’s not a staggering income drop, but it’s enough to make the cost of living here just a little bit less inviting. It’s a good idea to consider buying here and forgo the rental process. You’ll get a lot more for your money and you’ll be much happier knowing no one can raise that payment on you without much notice.

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Albuquerque

Albuquerque

What makes this New Mexico city so unaffordable for renters is the fact that rent has gone up a staggering 10% in the past few years, but the average income level has fallen more than 12%. What this means for renters is that they cannot afford to live in their apartments as the cost of living in one goes up but their paychecks continue to drop. It’s more affordable to buy here since you can get a fixed rate and know that even if your income falls, at least your mortgage payment will stay the same unless you experience drastic insurance or tax changes at some point.

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oakland

Oakland

This California city has an average rent payment per month of $1,318. The rental amount increases on average around 3.5% each year, and it’s only $1000 and change less expensive to rent here than it is to just buy a home. Just outside of San Fran, it’s certainly more affordable to live here, but it’s not a good idea to rent here with the prices going up like they do. It won’t take long before people are able to buy a house for just as much as they are paying in rent when you do that kind of math.

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 Los Angeles

Los Angeles

The average rent payment renters in LA make is $1,398 per month. When you do the math to figure out if it is cheaper to rent or buy, you will find that the average mortgage payment is only $31 more than the average rent payment. Most people here do rent, but they take on a roommate or two to help offset the expense of an LA apartment. It’s even more expensive to find one in a great neighborhood, so the price just continues to rise when people sign leases around here.

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detroit

Detroit

Detroit makes the list of worst cities for renters for several reasons, including the fact that it’s the worst city for many things and no one wants to make a move here without a really good reason. It’s one of the most dangerous cities in the country. It has one of the highest crime rates in the country. The poverty level here is astonishing, and the job market is quite dismal. Selection is very minimal and it’s far less expensive to buy here than it is to rent anything around the city.

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omaha

Omaha

Many people know that Omaha makes its way onto a lot of favorite lists, such as best places to live for people in their 20s and 30s, best places to live when you consider the cost of living and even the safer cities list in the country. But that does not mean it’s a great place for renters. With rent going up more than 14% in the past few years, but incomes dropping as much as 7% in the time frame, that’s a 21% price difference to many families renting homes in the area. It’s far more affordable to just buy a home in Nebraska than to rent something.

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Washington

Washington DC

With an average payment per month of $1,419 for an apartment that’s not really anything exciting or worth writing home about, it makes more sense to buy in this area. To buy would only cost you an additional $205 per month if you were to purchase the average home in the area. Most people choose to live outside the city, but if you are looking to live in the city and still save money, buying a place would be far more cost-effective and financially savvy.

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rent

Santa Ana

The average amount you will pay here for rent in $1,516 per month, which is actually only $880 cheaper than just paying for a mortgage. You get a lot less for your money renting in this California city than you would making a purchase, especially when you consider that the average annual increase in rent payments is around 2.5%. Orange County is beautiful, but it’s expensive. This means you’re going to want to buy a house here when you find the right price, because it’s a great investment in the area.

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rent

Syracuse

This New York city is far more affordable for buyers than it is renters. The cost of rent has managed to increase around 12% in the past few years, but the income people make has dropped 7% in the same time frame. This means that buying is more affordable and renting is really not something in which you want to become involved. There are plenty of jobs available in the area, it’s not hurting, but the average paycheck has seen a decrease instead of an increase.

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San Jose

San Jose

The average amount renters pay for your basic apartment here in this California town equates to $1,520 per month. It is cheaper here to rent by around $1000 per month, but it’s also less financially intelligent to rent than it is to buy. Each year the average increase in rental payments is around 4.3%. It’s a great city, but it’s just so much smarter to buy. Sure, it’s a lot more expensive, but with the way rent is rising each year, it won’t take long before it’s far cheaper to buy than it is to rent, so go ahead and do it now while the market is hot.

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New Haven

New Haven

This Connecticut city boasts an average monthly rent payment of $1,604. This means it’s only $59 per month cheaper to rent than it is to buy an average home in the area, which is not making a good case for renting here. It’s a beautiful location, but it is not the kind of place in which you want to rent a home or an apartment when you could buy a house for just a few more dollars each month. It’s imperative you do the math and make the correct considerations before signing a lease here.

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boston

 Boston

Would you believe it is actually $58 per month less expensive to purchase a home and pay for a mortgage with insurance and taxes and all that fun stuff than it is to rent an average apartment in the city? That’s right; with average rent payments each month totaling $1,752, it’s just cheaper to buy. Boston is a lovely city, but it’s one in which you want to buy a home instead of renting one. You will get so much more to choose from when you buy than when you rent, and you’ll get a lot more for your money when it comes down to it.

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san fran

San Francisco

Paying $1,901 per month to live in an average apartment that doesn’t even boast amazing views or location is a bit much. This is especially high when you consider the fact that the rental amount most people pay increases over 5% each year. It is far cheaper to rent an apartment than it is to own a home in the city, but only by about $1,200 per month. It’s a truly beautiful city with so much to offer, but it’s not at all cost-effective to rent here with prices like this. You’d be better off living in the suburbs and commuting.

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providence

Providence

Living in Rhode Island is better for you if you’re planning on buying. This lovely city is experiencing an income shortage and a rental increase that’s pretty significant. Over the past few years since the recession and the economic crash, the average amount of a paycheck in Providence has dropped around 7%. But the cost of renting an apartment or home continues to go up around 9%. That’s a big difference when  you put it together, and it means that many people are simply unable to afford the lives they live here when they are in a rental.

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nyc

New York City

We all know that the cost of living here is quite high, but when you get down to business and realize that the average rental amount in the city is $2,902 per month, it’s shocking. It’s $217 per month cheaper to buy an apartment here than it is to rent one. According to information compiled by CNN, the average price of rent in the Big Apple has increased more than 50% in just five short years. That’s borderline theft if you ask us. That’s a lot of money to pay to live somewhere, especially when it was so much less expensive just a few years back.

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Written by Tiffany Raiford