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Hunting down the right price for your first apartment
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Hunting down the right price for your first apartment

Congratulations, you’re ready to get your first apartment! As exciting as that may be, it’s also serious business with some seriously high expenses attached to it. Before you make the move, you’ll need to budget carefully for furniture, appliances, utilities, and of course, rent. Depending on where you live, your income and your roommate situation, your rent could be as high as one full half of your monthly income.

Before you set your sights on a particular city or neighborhood, do your research. Your dream pad might not be as attainable as you thought, unless you’re willing to share it with at least one other person.

Los Angeles

As of 2015, the average cost of an apartment in Los Angeles is $2,296. A one-bedroom will run you about $1,950 a month and two bedrooms rent for an average of $2591 per month. As if that’s not enough to make you sweat, the prices of rentals in LA are rising fast. In just the last six months, average rents have increased 13% in Los Angeles. It’s true that there is a heavy price to pay for 72 degrees and sunshine year round.

San Francisco

Some of the hottest companies are located in the San Francisco Bay Area making it a very popular choice among new college graduates and young professionals. For that very reason, affordable housing is hard to come by, but not impossible if you’re open to having a few roommates or moving to burbs. On average, an apartment in San Francisco, CA is $3803. Just one bedroom averages $3213 a month two bedrooms go for an average $4385 per month.

San Jose

Not willing to shell out nearly $4K for an apartment in San Francisco? Totally understandable. Another option is San Jose, which sits at the southern tip of the lucrative Silicon Valley. Apartments in San Jose, CA are much more affordable than those to the north. For example, a one bedroom unit in San Jose costs $2343 a month on average and a two bedroom apartment rents for $2917/month.


Chicago is a beautiful city bursting with plenty of fine dining, nightlife, history and culture. Despite the frigid winters, it’s still one of the country’s best cities to live in. If you want to live within 10 miles of Chicago, you can expect to pay an average $1697 a month for a one bedroom apartment and about $2134 for a two bedroom dwelling.


Over the last decade or so, people have been flocking to Austin, TX, favoring it over older, more densely populated Lone Star cities like Dallas and Houston. Austin offers its residents an air of charm, lots of culture, and a youthful vibe. While rent prices in Austin aren’t as high as in other cities, they are on the rise (up 12% in the last six months). Today, you can find a one bedroom apartment for an average $1155 a month and a two bedroom will cost about $1562 a month.

New York

New York, NY is notorious for having ridiculously expensive housing, but if you ask anyone who lives there, they’ll tell you it’s worth it. There’s no city like New York City. Each year, young professionals head to New York with hopes of making it big on Wall Street and many of them never leave. Housing is tight and pricey in the city, with the average apartment costing about $3432/month–$3030 for one bedroom and $3805 for two.

Charlotte, NC is a nice choice for those who want many of the perks of living in a big city without the crowds, pollution and high cost of living that goes along with. You can find a one bedroom apartment in Charlotte for about $888 a month. Two bedrooms will cost you just a bit more at an average $1100 per month. Charlotte offers a bit of old southern charm with a modern twist.


If you yearn for the Florida sun, but can’t see yourself living in Miami or a retirement community, Jacksonville might be the place for you. Housing in Jacksonville, FL is relatively affordable and residents can still enjoy all the best the state has to offer, including beautiful beaches and lots of outdoor activities. For 2015, the average cost to rent an apartment in Jacksonville is $1007. That’s $850/month for one bedroom and $1005 for two bedrooms.
San Diego

No matter where you live, weather has a big impact on the cost of living, as is true in San Diego, CA. Living on or near the southern California coast isn’t cheap, but it is more affordable than living in Los Angeles. For a one bedroom apartment in San Diego, residents pay an average $1582 a month. A two bedroom will cost you $2015 per month on average.


Detroit has gotten a lot of bad press for a long time, but recent urban initiatives have once again made it an attractive place to live. Although rent prices are rising faster than in other cities (up 23% in the last six months), apartments in Detroit are still quite affordable. For an average $738/month, you can rent a one bedroom apartment. Two bedroom apartments run an average $817/month.

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