The 10 Most Affordable Cities for Renters in the U.S.

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As much as you love the hustle of city life, you’re tired of shelling out thousands of dollars per month for a small studio with noisy neighbors and barely any closet space. It’s a dilemma many of us are facing right now, and if you’re considering upending your life to get more bang for your buck, you want to make sure your next destination offers just as much art and adventure as your current surroundings…while being more budget-friendly and, perhaps, with a less frantic pace of life. But does such a place exist? Yes, friends: Here are the 10 most affordable cities for renters in the U.S., according to They check off all of those boxes, making choosing your new address a (tiny) bit easier.

The 10 Coolest Cities with the Lowest Cost of Living in the U.S.

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10. Omaha, Ne

Maybe the big-city rent is not your problem, but you just need more space and cleaner air. If that’s the case, Omaha might be your best bet. With a population of 478,192, this midwestern city is perfect for the person who likes the fast life, but at a steadier pace. The average rent for a studio is $871, a one-bedroom is $954, and a two-bedroom goes for $1,236. There’s plenty to do here, too, from visiting Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium (home of the largest indoor rainforest in North America) to taking a bike ride across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. Also, legend has it that the Reuben sandwich was invented in Omaha (though New Yorkers will most likely beg to differ).

Airbnbs to stay at before you move:

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9. Bentonville, Ar

Nature lovers, this one is for you. Bentonville is known for its outdoor entertainment and nature tourism. From biking to hiking and even swimming in lakes, this little pocket in northwest Arkansas is any outdoorsy person’s dream. Oh, and it’s home to the Walmart Museum, so it’s not short on quirky attractions. The average cost for a studio apartment is $997, a one-bedroom apartment goes for $801 and a two-bedroom is around $1,071.

Airbnbs stay at before you move:

Fresh Updated Duplex (2 guests): $135/night

The Main Lodge (6 guests): $150/night

Entire House (10 guests): $135/night

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8. Des Moines, Ia

With a population of 214,237, Des Moines is the ideal place for anyone who is absolutely done with the hustle and bustle of a big city—and it has the lower-cost rent to match. On average, $935 can score you a nice studio apartment, while the average one-bedroom goes for $975 and $1,036 can get you a solid two-bedroom. It may be a small city, but Des Moines hosts some mighty tech companies. Facebook set up shop back in 2014, and according to Business Record, Microsoft Corp. is planning on constructing two new data centers in west Des Moines. It’s safe to assume that will mean plenty of job openings, too.

Airbnbs to stay at before you move:

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7. Albuquerque, Nm

Though well-known these days for being the home of Walter White and his methamphetamine empire in Breaking Bad, Albuquerque is so much more than that. With a population of 560,513, Albuquerque is not overcrowded, but it’s not so small either. What’s great about this buzzing city is the fact that it holds both historic traditions as well as innovative high-tech research facilities. The Sandia National Laboratories, an Intel manufacturing facility, as well as The University of New Mexico are popular fixations of Albuquerque, while Native American, Hispanic and Latino traditions are upheld and equally revered. If you’re the adventurous type, the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta—the world’s largest hot air balloon festival—will get your adrenaline pumping. And foodies will have their palates titillated with New Mexican staples, such as New Mexico red chile sauce and posole. The average rent for a studio apartment in this multifaceted city is $739, $1,025 for a one-bedroom and $1,167 for a two-bedroom.

Airbnbs to stay at before you move:

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6. Mobile, Al

If you want to be in a city loaded with history, Mobile is the place to be. Home to only 188,720 people, Mobile is located on the bay of the Gulf of Mexico. Not only was it the first capital of the French Colony of La Louisiane (aka Louisiana), but it’s also been under five other flags in addition to the French—the Spanish, British, Republic of Alabama, Confederacy and now the United States. It also houses eight nationally recognized historic districts. It’s also known for incredible seafood (the Gulf of Mexico is merely 392 miles away) and plenty of entertainment, from Mardi Gras celebrations to the Reese’s Senior Bowl and American Cancer Society’s Annual Chili Cook-Off. It’s all yours to indulge if you’re willing to part with $820 for a studio apartment, $983 for a one-bedroom and $1,074 for a two-bedroom on average.

Airbnbs to stay at before you move:

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5. Grand Forks, Nd

Home to only 55,839 residents, Grand Forks is the quintessential small town. With particularly brisk winters—temps in January are below zero on average—Grand Forks makes up for its icy weather with its alluring rental prices. On average a studio apartment will cost you $827, while a one-bedroom is even lower than that, at $797. A two-bedroom apartment isn’t that much higher, costing $1,039 on average. In terms of things to do, well, Grand Forks’ arts, entertainment and sports culture are pretty much centered around the University of North Dakota. However, for lovers of the outdoors who prefer taking long strolls in the park rather than long hikes in the woods, there is the Greater Grand Forks Greenway—a 2,200-acre greenway built after the city was devastated by the Great Flood of 1997. The Greenway is said to be nearly twice the size of Central Park, offering plenty of places to relax, unwind and get your friluftsliv on.

Airbnbs to stay at before you move:

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4. Tucson, Az

Fancy spending an afternoon horseback riding, rock climbing or bird watching? Then Tucson is the place to be. And if all that doesn’t get you, Tucson’s observatories should surely win you over. Thanks to its beloved clear skies and high mountains, this city houses renowned observatories such as the Kitt Peak National Observatory and the Spencer's Observatory. With all that activity going on, you’ll mostly likely work up a hefty appetite and thankfully, Tucson is at your service. Home to The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food—a 23-mile strip of Mexican food restaurants located in the Sonoran desert—even the pickiest eaters will find some grub. If you decide that Tucson is the city for you, prepare to shell out only $684 for a studio apartment on average, $837 for a one-bedroom and $1,044 for a two-bedroom apartment.

Airbnbs to stay at before you move:

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3. Greensboro, Nc

With 296,710 residents, Greensboro is not only the third-largest city in North Carolina, but it’s the cheapest city for renters on the east coast, reports Average rent for a studio apartment is $613, for a one- bedroom it’s $839 and for a two-bedroom it’s $1,026 so…New York who? Greensboro boasts a ton of arts and culture with the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro Science Center, International Civil Rights Museum and Greensboro Arboretum stationed in the city. However, of all its amenities, one of the cooler features is the fact that Greensboro is home to Kontoor Brands, the parent company of Lee, Wrangler, the VF outlets and Rock and Republic. It’s basically a denim lover’s dream.

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2. Fargo, Nd

Dubbed “The Best Small City for Business and Careers” by Forbes, Fargo is probably the best destination for a recent graduate or anyone new to the job market. Its rental prices are super entry-level salary friendly, with the average rent for a studio apartment coming in at $604, a one-bedroom going for $776 and you can snag a two-bedroom for $851. Fargo is also a hub for small tech startups such as Bushel, Botlink and FarmQA which cater to the agricultural and industrial economy of the city. With plenty of young people there, Fargo offers a wide range of entertainment. From cool bars and restaurants to the various wineries and distilleries, as well as constant concerts at the Fargodome and Civic Center, Fargo offers those big city vibes without the big city pressures.

Airbnbs to stay at before you move:

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1. Springfield, Mo

Springfield easily snatches the top spot with average rents that don’t go above $1,000. The average studio apartment in the Queen City of the Ozarks will set you back $615 a month on average, while a one-bedroom goes for $636 and a two-bedroom averages $826. As the home to two big schools—Missouri State University and Drury University—Springfield is not lacking when it comes to entertainment. You can catch local talent honing their skills at one of the many restaurants and bars located in the city. While there are plenty of hiking trails and museums to visit, one of the coolest attractions in this darling of the Midwest is the Fantastic Caverns—the only ride-through cave in North America.

Airbnbs to stay at before you move:

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