The cheapest cities for renters should be on your radar if you're considering moving somewhere new and either can't or don't want to buy yet. Often, even if you plan to eventually buy in a new area, it's a good idea to start by renting to get a feel for the place. Or, if you're a remote worker and are looking for maximum cost efficiency on your rental, these cities* are not to be missed. Not only do they have cheap rents, but they're also pretty decent all-round, too.
- Thinking of buying? Consult our housing market forecast first
1. Springfield, MO
If Springfield isn't a helpful city name and you're wondering which one this might be, that because there are 24 Springfields in the US. The Missouri Springfield is actually quite a large city of 150,000 inhabitants and the third-largest city in the state after St Louis and Kansas City.
It has not one but two university campuses, a zoo, and an attractive downtown area with tramlines. What's really great about this place, though, is the cheap rents: you can rent a two-bed here for just $826 a month, or a studio apartment for $615. We could definitely live with these prices.
2. Fargo, ND
No, it's not the Fargo immortalized by the Coen brothers, but this place is pretty cool, too. It's been named as one of the most liveable places in the US by Livability, which praises the city's 'gorgeous historic homes on wide, tree-lined streets.'
Yes, Fargo's downtown is gorgeous – but the 122,000-strong city also has a thriving jobs scene and is particularly popular with start-ups. We can see why: living in this pretty place is easy and cheap – you can rent a two-bedroom apartment here for $826 a month, or a studio for just $604.
3. Greensboro, NC
There's a lot going on in Greensboro, which has a substantial downtown area and a population of 291,303. Residents rate the city's green spaces, public schools, and restaurant scene highly – it's no surprise this vibrant place is especially popular with young professionals and families. If you want to try out living here for yourself, you could do a lot worse than renting a one-bed apartment here, which will only cost you $839 per month.
4. Tuscon, AZ
America's Biggest Small Town will never bore you – no wonder even Californians are moving here. It's home to the University of Arizona, it's got the most affordable rents in the West (only $1,044 for a two-bed apartment), but, honestly, we'd move here just for the food. This place isn't a UNESCO 'World City of Gastronomy' for nothing, and we'll wager that it may well have the best tacos in the US (it's quite a claim, we know).
5. Grand Forks, ND
If you prefer the quiet life – and don't mind cold winters – then you could do a lot worse than the lovely and small Grand Forks, only an hour from the Manitoba border. Consistently voted one of the best places to live in North Dakota, the town has a lively coffee shop and bar scene despite only having 56,500 residents.
It's one of the best places to rent a one-bedroom apartment, which will cost you on average $797 per month. Movers, many of whom are young professionals looking for something different, praise 'an incredibly laid back and slower way of life' that they just couldn't get in bigger places.
* Stats on cheapest rents courtesy of Rent.com.