Renting in the US has become increasingly expensive, despite still being cheaper than buying a home. Rent has risen across the nation, with the biggest cities seeing the highest increases. With this in mind, many people are looking for a city that they can afford to live in.
It will come as no surprise that Chicago is a lot cheaper in terms of rent than NYC and LA. Even when you take into account renters insurance in Chicago and other monthly expenses like utilities, Chicago remains far less expensive. However, is price the only reason you might choose to rent in Chicago?
Actually, Chicago has a better renters market in a number of other ways as well. Take the following into account if you are deciding where to rent.
Apartments are available
There is an obvious reason that apartments in big cities are more expensive than elsewhere. Space is at a premium and is therefore highly coveted. If you want a place that meets all your needs, you’re going to have to pay for it.
However, the problem in NYC and LA has gotten worse, to the point that being willing to pay a bit extra is not enough. You may struggle to find a place to live even once you take off the filters.
Recent reports have suggested that there are more Airbnb listings in New York than long-term rentals. When it comes to LA, the Los Angeles Times recently called finding a place to rent a competitive sport.
Chicago, on the other hand, has options. You may struggle to find something that perfectly suits your needs, and there is a housing crisis throughout the country, but it won’t take too long to find somewhere you can feel comfortable.
There’s more space (and comfort)
Even in times when apartments are readily available in NYC, what you are able to get is generally inferior to what you can get in Chicago. This is because space is not at such a premium, and apartments are therefore more spacious and comfortable. Instead of being cramped into a tiny studio apartment and being thankful to have found anything at all, you can spread out a little more.
This is not to say that you’re going to have acres of room in Chicago. It is a busy city, after all. But the confines are not comparable to a place like NYC.
Living with roommates is easier
For the same reason, living with roommates is easier in Chicago. You may have little choice but to find roommates if you are not earning enough to rent a place on your own. Whether you are in Chicago or anywhere else, chances are you’re not actually staying in the same room as them. Nonetheless, the common spaces in Chicago will be larger and more accommodating than elsewhere.
This is especially important if you prefer not to socialize with your roommates daily but still want some space outside of your room.
Rent is not just cheap but affordable
One of the problems with looking at cost-of-living stats and comparisons of the cost of rent in different cities is that earnings differ across the country. What you are able to earn in NYC or LA may far exceed what you can earn in Chicago. So, saying that rent is cheaper in Chicago means nothing without context.
However, if you do take context into account and look at what people earn in Chicago, the ratio is still far superior. Your rent in Chicago will eat significantly less of your salary than your rent in NYC or LA. What you spend on your basic necessities such as bedroom sets will not drain your salary either.
You can look at this from the opposite angle as well. Many people think that moving to a city like New York will allow them to earn more money. But once you take the cost of rent and the cost of living into account, living in New York may ensure that they actually save less. Rather than having some cash left at the end of the month, they struggle to make ends meet.
These are just some of the reasons renting is easier in Chicago than in other big cities. You may just find that Chicago is the place you’ve wanted to be all your life.