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2020’s Best and Worst Places to Rent Houses in America

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Written By Editorial

Over 36 percent of American households rent their homes instead of owning one. Some rent because they cannot afford the median cost of a home in the USA, and others rent because they like the flexibility and/or lack of responsibility when compared to buying a house.

Also, it is easier than ever to find rentals in your area on the internet and do all of your research from home.

There are sites to search through entire cities, and some even let you Search Dallas Apartments by Neighborhood! It truly is one of the best times to rent thanks to all the tools at your disposal. As a result, be sure to use them to scout out the best deals in your area.

Renting is possible across the country, and there is a lot of freedom when it comes to where you want to live. But which cities are the best and worst to rent in the United States? Well, that is exactly what this blog post is going to look at a little more closely.

While every city in the US has its pros and cons, we are going to judge mainly on the rental costs of a city. We will also look at the aspects of the quality of life such as the job market, things to do, safety, etc.

We will do this by looking at some of the results of a recent WalletHub study and analyzing them. So without any further ado, let’s look at some of the best and worst places to rent in the USA.

Best City: Lincoln, NE

USA Home Rental Costs: 2020's Best and Worst Places. Lincoln NEOne of the best cities for renters in the USA is in Lincoln, Nebraska. It ranks in the top 25 for its affordability and rental market as a whole.

No matter your income, you should be able to find a rental that works for your budget. The quality of life offered by the city falls in the top 15, thanks to a strong economy, good wage growth, and the fact that there is a lot to do and see.

So while it isn’t the cheapest city in the country and doesn’t offer the highest quality of life, it is very strong in both categories.

If you are looking for a good balance of cost and a strong job market and things to do, Lincoln is a great choice. It is also incredibly multicultural as it was deemed a refugee-friendly city back in the 1970s.

Worst City: Memphis, TN

While the cost of renting and the overall cost of living in Memphis, Tennessee is decent and the music/entertainment scene is great, it comes in as one of the worst places to rent in the country.

In general, this comes down to the quality of life, which is one of the worst in the country. It is brought way down thanks to the crime problem the city has been up against. The city has struggled to reduce crime in recent years and is among the most dangerous cities in the USA as a whole.

As you could imagine, this doesn’t bode well for renters looking to raise families in a safe and quiet environment. The economy of the city is decent, though the unemployment rate is quite a bit higher than the national average.

Sure, there are certainly some great areas to live in Memphis (like every city), but these often come with steep financial costs.

Best City: Lewiston, ME

USA Home Rental Costs: 2020's Best and Worst Places. Lewiston MEAnother great option for renters is Lewiston, Maine. It sits around the top 20 in both affordability, and the quality of life offered throughout the city.

In addition to the low costs of renting and living as a whole, the city also has great access to healthcare and offers quality schools and educational institutions. The quality of life is also bolstered by very low violent crime rates, and solid growth both socially and economically.

There is also a lot to do and see throughout the city. The architecture is attractive and the city has dozens of different places that appear on the National Register of Historic Places. If you are into arts and culture, Lewiston also has a lot of places worth checking out.

Worst City: Detroit, MI

Detroit, Michigan was once home to a very strong economy, but it has declined in recent years and decades.

Many people lost their jobs, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed and there is a fair amount of urban blight throughout the city. The crime rates are high in Detroit, and this has led to other issues like high car insurance rates due to the crime that is prevalent in some parts of the city.

You would think that with these issues Detroit would be a cheap place to rent, but that often isn’t the case. Sure, you can find some deals here and there, but the overall rental market and affordability rank of the city falls near the bottom of the list.

As a result, with relatively expensive rent, high crime rates, and a difficult economy, Detroit may be one of the worst places to rent in the USA.

Best City: Cedar Rapids, IA

Cedar Rapids, Iowa is another logical choice for renters in the USA. It is one of the top 10 most affordable cities, and even if you don’t make a ton of money, you will be able to find plenty of options when it comes to renting.

A great quality of life is also offered in the city. The city is very walkable, has great public transit and dozens of parks to check out. Whether you are a young professional or have a family, Cedar Rapids could meet your needs.

Along with this, the job market in Cedar Rapids is strong, with plenty of high-paying jobs available in different sectors. In particular, the corn and grain processing industry is huge in the city and creates thousands of jobs.

Crime rates are low and it is a relatively quiet and beautiful place to raise a family or be able to enjoy the great outdoors. 

Worst City: Cleveland, OH

USA Home Rental Costs: 2020's Best and Worst Places. Cleveland, OhioCleveland, Ohio is another city that is among the worst to rent in throughout the USA. While it offers its fair share of amenities and things to do, it ranks quite low both in terms of affordability and quality of life. While its costs might be cheaper than other similarly-sized cities, the economy leaves a lot to be desired.

The job market isn’t experiencing a ton of growth, average incomes are relatively low (especially for the costs) and the poverty and unemployment rate in the city is high. Add that to the crime in the city, and you have a place that isn’t very desirable for people to move to in most cases.

We hope this article has helped you learn a little more about some of the best and worst places to rent during 2020 in America.

Of course, everyone is different, so don’t take this article as gospel and do your research. Only you know the exact criteria for your perfect city and what you are looking for out of a rental.

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