Apartment rentals and the cost of living


I was mind-boggled to read about the costs of an average apartment in many US cities.  RentCafe asked, “How Much Apartment Space Does $1,500 Get You in America’s 100 Largest Cities?“, and set about finding out.

Wichita, KS apartments are the largest in the nation. Here, $1,500 per month will rent you 1,597 square feet. This means that, for $1,500, Wichita residents are able to live in a four-bedroom apartment, while still enjoying the perks of urban life. The largest city in the state of Kansas is a tenant’s paradise, with as many as 41% of its units being renter-occupied — 25% more than the state average.

. . .

While a larger apartment with more amenities might seem appealing, many city-dwellers are willing to give up that extra space for the hustle and bustle of major urban conclaves. In fact, in places like Brooklyn, NY, San Francisco, CA, Boston, MA, and Manhattan, NY, $1,500 will get you less than 400 square feet — which only leaves renters in this budget range with the option of a larger apartment shared with roommates. However, another option is a micro-unit — a concept that’s become increasingly popular as apartment developers figure out different ways of making more budget-friendly rental apartments available in the hottest renter hubs.

There’s more at the link.

Of course, my wife and I haven’t been in the rental market for several years.  On a whim, I added up our rent-equivalent costs in our present house (mortgage repayment, property insurance, county and school district taxes on our property, etc.), and found that for a house about as large as that Wichita apartment, we’re paying less than $1,000 per month – a much healthier figure, IMHO.  It helps that housing prices around here are rather lower than many other parts of the country, of course.  We have a decent-size garden, too, making our living conditions even more spacious.

Frankly, the thought of having to exist in a cramped space like that Manhattan apartment appalls me – particularly when it costs an arm and a leg like that.




  1. In 2015 I was paying $2500/mo for an 850 sqft 2 bedroom middle grade apt inside the beltway in NOVA. An upscale one bedroom was $3000/mo and a 3 bedroom was $6-7000/mo. And it has only gone UP!

  2. Where I live it's cheaper to buy than to rent! House prices are through the roof here in the Wild West. I have two of my sons living at home because they can't afford to rent and can't afford to buy! A two bedroom apartment costs more to rent than a mortgage on a 2000 square foot house! Of course, this will lead to a conga line of people being pumped into low-income housing, …which is all part of the plan…

  3. That Manhattan sized apartment or even something smaller is what the Davos crowd thinks all of us "little people" should live in. The apartments need to be stacked 40 stories high with only a little outside window and certainly no balcony. If we don't live in the big cities already, we need to be herded into them for that "lifestyle"; if you own property outside the big cities, they will just tax it until you can't afford to pay the taxes and then sell to the "Elites" for a pittance that is well below the taxes owed because they are "special".

  4. If everybody is in cities, there won't be anyone to grow food, run mines, maintain roads and powerlines, etc.

  5. I suppose that micro-apartment makes sense if you're young and chronically single, and consider "home" to be the place where you sleep and keep a week's worth of clothes.
    For me, though, "home" is not just where I sleep, and wasn't even when I was much younger. It's also where I cook, and keep some supply of foodstuffs, not to mention a few shelves full of books.
    Nowadays, "home" has to include an office, a workshop or two, a few thousand books, and storage for doomsday supplies. Where I live now, there's even some farmland: bonus!
    (No, I don't move often. The last move was quite enough adventure for this decade. I figure on one more move, shedding a lot of baggage in the process, circa 2040. Most likely destination is just about 180 Smoots from here, and has glorious views but no house yet.)

  6. Part of the expense of an apartment is maintenance, taxes and other fees that the local authority toss onto dwellings in the local authority's area of control.

    I went from a house at $1,400 that I wasn't able to keep up to a nice 650sqft apartment that is now at $725. Not having to pay for upkeep, to mow, to deal with garbage cans(a dumpster is sooo nice, no restrictions on amount tossed) and other bullscat. Small maintenance like toilet flushers and little things I'll do, but the AC and other appliances being their responsibility is so damned nice.

    That said, if I could afford a small house in the country, well, I'd be there.

  7. This inspired me to look at the complex where my last apartment was outside Boston, 9 years ago, in a very undesirable community southwest of the city. These days they're $3095 plus utilities for a 2br 1bath apartment.

    There was a kidnapping in the complex the month I left and moved south to America, 9 years ago. Police shot and killed someone else there last year, apparently, in a warrant raid.
    Meanwhile in my neighborhood this year, the school cop was scandalously found to be having relations out of wedlock with a 1st grade teacher. Many pearls were clutched until they got properly engaged.

  8. Camper baby.I lived in a 35ft. For 2 years at a campground in Ohio.$800 for the summer.If in the south could all year. But bought 2 acres in fla in 99 .Sweet homestead

  9. Can ya raise chickens on your property, Peter? Kinda goes with the garden, and canning what you grow…

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