Renting an apartment in one of the country’s largest cities is not for the faint of heart—nor the light of wallet. As Trulia’s internal data shows, rents are so high among the U.S.’s biggest 100 metros that it’s still cheaper to buy than to rent—ranging from just over 50% cheaper to buy than rent in Baton Rouge, LA to a mere 3.5% cheaper in San Jose, CA.
However, thanks to a small uptick in mortgage rates, slowed rent price growth, and increased home values—in all 100 metros—renting is looking increasingly attractive in the nation’s biggest cities. To show you what’s available in some of the very top markets, Trulia identified the most expensive rental markets based on the median rent in March 2017 from among the top 100 largest cities. Then we looked for a selection of apartments available for under $1,500 a month in the top 20 markets. From a remodeled apartment in Brooklyn to a Chicago loft with lake views, here’s the best of what we found.
Seven budget-friendly one-bedrooms for rent in the U.S.’s top markets
1. Light-filled loft in Philadelphia
2617 W Girard Ave #5C Philadelphia, PA 19121
With granite countertops in the kitchen, stainless steel appliances, and a wide center island, this 600-square foot open-concept apartment is likely to appeal to Philly foodies. Sun streams into all corners of the 1-bedroom, and in summer months, the building’s roof deck is a perfect place to survey the local scene in nearby Brewerytown, also known as North Philadelphia West.
2. Spacious luxury studio in Houston
4308 Leeland St #2 Houston, TX 77023
It doesn’t get much ritzier in a rental than this 2,630-square foot studio apartment, which comes complete with a spacious bathroom, open kitchen, and tons of French-style accents and moldings. Perfect for young urbanites, this spot in Greater Eastwood is less than a 10-minute drive to downtown Houston, where you can catch Kendrick Lamar or Ed Sheeran performing at the Toyota Center or a traveling Broadway show at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
3. Bi-level apartment in gated Dallas community
5200 Martel Ave #11P Dallas, TX 75206
With its modern housing developments and affordable rents, Dallas’s Glencoe Park neighborhood is popular with young, well-educated singles—any of whom would dig this newly-updated, two-story apartment. Equipped with a full bathroom, granite kitchen, breakfast bar, private balcony, fireplace, and in-unit washer-and-dryer, it’s an apartment worth showing off to friends.
4. Lakefront Chicago loft
5701 N Sheridan Rd #8Q Chicago, IL 60660
Along with its sweeping views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline, this 825-square foot stunner in Chicago’s Edgewater district has south-facing windows, an oversized kitchen, and a bedroom with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and ample closet space. Building residents also have access to a shared private pool, sundeck, fitness center, and party room—all of which can come in handy if you’re looking to mingle with your Edgewater neighbors, 65% of whom are single and 59% are college educated.
5. Charming Los Angeles apartment
$1,495/month (including utilities)
1057 S Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90006
This recently renovated one-bedroom has a full bathroom, refinished hardwood floors, an L-shaped kitchen (with shaker-style cabinets and quartz countertops), and an exposed brick façade in the living room. The apartment is located in Mid City LA, where you can bond with your neighbors over the horrible commuter car traffic and where to go for the best kalbi in nearby Koreatown.
6. Pet-friendly one-bedroom in Brooklyn
799 Putnam Ave #2A Brooklyn, NY 11221
Apartments in Brooklyn’s most desirable neighborhoods generally command astronomical rents. Even in up-and-coming Bedford-Stuyvesant, the average rent for an apartment is a whopping $2,400 a month—which makes this newly-remodeled unit a total value at $1,500. You’re not compromising a lot, either. The space, close to several subway lines, comes complete with a cute checker-tiled bathroom, spacious kitchen (with stainless steel appliances), and a queen-sized bedroom.
7. Seaside apartment in San Diego
La Playa San Diego, CA 92106
What locals love about San Diego is that you’re never too far from the ocean (or a delicious breakfast taco). So it makes sense that La Playa Village, a seaside community located along the San Diego Bay on the Point Loma peninsula, is a popular spot for renters, when a place actually opens up. This cozy apartment is in a multi-family home and comes with off-street parking, a shared laundry room, access to a roof deck with views of the bay, just a block away.
Ready to jump on one of these prime values? Which is your favorite? Tell us what you think in the comments.