Rent prices have been skyrocketing, BAUCE readers. According to research from the New York Times, a dramatic discrepancy between supply and demand has put renters in a tough spot as there is a scarcity of housing in a sense. The cost of living is especially pronounced in metropolitan areas. For example, median rents in Manhattan reached a staggering $4,000. Miami saw year-over-year rent for single family homes increase by over 40% according to CoreLogic. This all sounds acutely overwhelming. However, rents become more attractive once you look outward to other geographies that are often overlooked. Below is a helpful list of states with the most affordable rent.
According to Stessa, a real estate management firm, the median studio in Arkansas costs $616 while the median one bedroom is $651. In particular, BAUCEs may be interested in exploring places such as Fayetteville and Bentonville. This region is attracting more people of color, houses global employers such as Walmart, and boasts several museums and theaters. Jonesboro, which is a small town of fewer than 80,000 residents, is especially affordable as the average rent is $760.
Don’t let the cold winters deter you from considering a home in this state. South Dakota can be an extremely affordable place to live. The median studio costs $623 and the median one bedroom costs $686. In terms of the size of the Black community, South Dakota does have room to grow. Between 2010 and 2020, the Black population increased from 1.8% and 3%. This is an ideal part of the country for BAUCEs who adore the outdoors. Mount Rushmore, stunning waterfalls, and the Badlands are all within the state’s borders.
Mississippi has a median studio cost of $659 and a one bedroom costs $712. Livability, an organization that helps users research quality of life in different states, noted Horn Lake, Mississippi as one of the best places in the country for Black Americans.
Alabama is a multi-faceted state. And, fortunately, it houses several cities that will not break the bank for renters. The median rent is $691 for a studio and $743 for a one bedroom. In particular, Tuscaloosa is an economical choice as rent has averaged $912 in 2022 overall. The University of Alabama is a major part of the town’s culture. On-campus lectures and sports events provide social outlets for residents. In addition, there are a handful of cities that are ideal for young Black professionals according to al.com. Homewood, Hoover, and Madison are all cities at the top of the list.
While Missouri overall does not have the lowest median rents (median studio is $678 and a median one bedroom is $741), however, Springfield, MO is one of the cheapest places to rent according to Rent.com. Several gardens, caverns, and breweries can be found within the city. Saint Louis is a pricier alternative, but there is more to do as commercial centers and universities reside in this part of the state.
The above states can offer a fresh start and some relief to your bank account. It is worth noting that the above states have varying levels of diversity and economic opportunity. The job search, combined with navigating lower Black populations, can certainly complicate this new chapter of life. Nevertheless, once you find your people, you can start to write your story in a new environment.