The Cost of Living in Portland in 2021

From rent to healthcare, here’s what it costs to live in the City of Roses.

Portland is known for its free-wheeling, laidback lifestyle. It’s the place to go for third-wave coffee and craft brews. Its foodie scene is one of the best in the United States. It has the buzz of a major art city but is extremely close to nature. It’s the home of major corporations like Nike but also is great for small businesses and start-ups. True, it does rain a lot, but there’s no better weather for nursing a coffee and spending an afternoon browsing books at Powell’s.

But the Portland dream is shifting. Housing, rent and cost of living prices are on the rise following population growth, largely due to an influx of new residents.

The demand has made the local real estate market boom, with homes going for hundreds of thousands over the asking price. The pandemic pushed demand up even higher. Factoring in other costs of living categories like healthcare and transportation, the cost of living in Portland is 33.7 percent higher than the national average.

Even though living in Portland is expensive, it’s worth it for the culinary scene, access to nature, abundant arts and culture and diverse job opportunities.

From housing to transportation, here is the cost of living in Portland, Oregon.

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Housing costs in Portland

As mentioned above, Portland is pretty pricey these days, both for renters and buyers. The average rent in Portland for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,734. While high, the rate is down 7.59 percent from last year. And housing costs in Portland are 81.3 percent higher than the national average.

However, depending on what part of the city you want to live in, this average cost can widely vary. For example, the most expensive neighborhood in Portland with an average rent of $2,400 is Central Northeast Portland.

Another big-spender neighborhood is the Pearl. Last year, the average rent for a one-bedroom was $1,925. However, the pandemic hit the area hard and the average dropped nearly 43 percent to $1,093.

More affordable neighborhoods are found across the Willamette River in Buckman, the Hawthorne District, Hazelwood and North Portland. Average rents in these neighborhoods instead ranged from the $600s to the $800s

Neighborhoods that were close to the city-wide average include Old Town Chinatown, the Lloyd District and the Northwest/Nob Hill areas.

For home buyers looking to buy a home in Portland, be ready to both fight and pay through the nose. With so much demand, Redfin reported that in March 2021 the average home cost in Portland is $515,000. The Oregonian put it even higher at $542,000. Real estate agents say that the houses get jumped on immediately by potential buyers, offering significantly higher than the asking price.

Food costs in Portland

One of the best parts of living in Portland is the amazing dining scene. While casual dining at food trucks isn’t too costly, sit-down meals for two at a mid-range restaurant run an average of $60. There are so many great spots to try, it’s almost not worth cooking for yourself. With new restaurants and bars opening all the time, there’s always an incentive to dine out.

When you do go food shopping, be prepared for elevated prices. Portland’s average grocery and food costs are 12.6 percent higher than the national average.

A dozen eggs cost $2.36, bread will run you $4.68 and a half-gallon of milk will be $2.12. Meat-lovers will find steak, ground beef and chicken at averages of $11.98, $4.74 and $1.58 a pound, respectively.

Portland is an extremely vegetarian and vegan-friendly city. So there’s never a shortage of fresh, delicious produce at reasonable rates. A head of lettuce costs $1.76 and a five-pound bag of potatoes costs $2.34.

Utility costs in Portland

The Pacific Northwest has gorgeous weather. In the summer, it’s sunny and beautiful. While the winters are rainy and overcast most of the time, it’s rarely too cold. If you want proper winter weather with plenty of snow, Mount Hood is a quick drive away.

All that goes to show that, compared to other categories of cost of living in Portland, utilities aren’t the highest because the weather is typically agreeable.

The cost of utilities in Portland is 10.9 percent cheaper than the national average. Your energy costs for the month average about $143.85.

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Transportation costs in Portland

Ask both long-term and new residents and they’ll agree: Portland’s traffic problem is growing. Before the pandemic, Portland ranked 14th in the nation for bad traffic.

Luckily, Portlanders have an excellent mass transit system in TriMet. Operating throughout the metro area, TriMet offers affordable public transit via commuter rail, light rail and bus.

The easiest way to ride is with a Hop FastPass, which covers rides on all three transit options and also allows you to transfer to the C-TRAN and the Portland Streetcar. A day pass costs $5 and a 2 ½ hour stint costs $2.50. These fares apply throughout TriMet’s service area.

Frequent commuters like to save on transit by buying monthly or yearly passes. Instead of offering these types of passes that require upfront payment, TriMet Hop does things a little differently. You pay as you go and once you pass a certain spending threshold, you earn free ride passes. For example, once you’ve spent $100, the cost of a monthly pass, you’ll ride the rest of the month for free. This allows commuters to only pay for rides they use while still earning rewards.

A one-year pass is available for $1,100.

However, it’s still a good idea to keep a car. Popular nature areas like Mount Hood or the Oregon Coast are not readily accessible by public transit. So if you want to get out into nature a lot, you should plan on keeping at least one car. In April 2021, a gallon of gas cost $3.28. According to SpotHero, parking rates average $7 a day or $205 a month.

And don’t forget that in Oregon, you don’t pump your own gas. Gas stations have attendants to do that for you — it’s actually illegal for you to pump your own.

Portland’s overall walk score is 76. Some parts of the city aren’t the best to navigate on foot, namely around the highways and interstate. Compact neighborhoods like the Pearl, Hawthorne and St. Johns are great for strolling.

It’s also extremely bike-friendly, with a high score of 85. There are tons of urban cycling paths and most roads have bike-exclusive lanes. Drivers here are also very aware of cyclists, so it’s a safe environment.

Overall, Portland’s transportation costs are 29.2 percent above the national average.

Healthcare costs in Portland

Unlike other expenses, determining the cost of local Portland healthcare is a bit tricky. Everyone’s health is different and everyone requires different care, plus there is also a diversity of healthcare options ranging from private to public. Although there are a lot of variables, here are some averages that can give you a general idea of what to expect.

Portland ranks 16.3 percent higher than the national average for healthcare. But it also provides comprehensive and affordable healthcare options through public and private providers. Some top options include Oregon Health & Science University, Legacy Health and Oregon Health Plan.

A general check-up at the doctor will run you a bill of $168.67 and a trip to the dentist is around $101.75.

If you just need some Ibuprofen for a quick headache cure, it will cost $9.57. But for prescription drugs, without insurance, costs can cost an average of $495.37.

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Goods and services costs in Portland

As you’ve seen by now, most Portland-area costs are above the national average. The same goes for assorted fees for different goods and services are also higher. Miscellaneous activities like going to the vet or getting a haircut rank 19.6 percent higher than the nationwide average.

Take the example above: taking your furry friend to the vet. Portland is a great dog city. There are plenty of urban parks and most businesses are very pet-friendly. This is especially true of breweries since there’s nothing better than drinking beer on a patio with friends and your dog. An average vet visit will cost $64.50.

Need a haircut? Be prepared to dish out an average of $33.67 for a visit to the hairdressers.

Portland is also a very wellness-oriented city, so yoga is a big deal here. But it doesn’t come cheap with the average class costing $19.95.

And as for that most timeless of pastimes, movie tickets cost around $11.10.

Taxes in Portland

One of the best parts of living in Oregon? No sales tax! That applies to Portland as well. So if you go shopping at a Portland-area store and spend $100, your total will be $100 exactly.

Consequently, Oregon’s income tax rate is one of the highest in the nation. Oregon’s income taxes divide up into four different tax brackets. The taxable percentage runs from 4.75 percent in the lowest bracket to 9.9 percent in the highest.

Single filers making between $9,050 – $125,000 per year pay an 8.75 percent tax. Those under that income threshold pay between 4.75 percent to 6.75 percent. For example, if you make $50,000 a year, you’ll be in the 8.75 percent tax bracket and can expect to pay $3,524 in state taxes as a single filer.

The highest rate applies to single taxpayers who make at least $125,000 a year.

For Portlanders, there are also some city taxes you’ll need to take into account. For example, you’ll have to pay an annual Arts Tax. This $35 per person tax supports public school teachers and non-profit art programs in the city.

Taxes from payroll and self-employed individuals also support the operation of the TriMet mass transit system.

How much do I need to earn to live in Portland?

Between rent, food and other costs, living in Portland is on the expensive side. As we said above, the average cost for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,734.

Based on wanting to only spend 30 percent of your income on housing, you’d need to make at least $60,195 to live comfortably in Portland. However, as seen in the housing section, there are many neighborhoods that offer cheaper housing and rental options. So there are many different ways to live comfortably in Portland on lower incomes.

According to the U.S. Census, in 2019, the average household income was $71,005.

To see if a Portland lifestyle will fit your goals and budget, use our rent calculator to learn more about your options.

Living in Portland

Portland is definitely not the cheapest option for city living. Many of its cost of living expenses are above the national average. But you’ll find the residents agree that it’s worth it.

You get amazing food and drink available throughout the city, not just in one or two trendy districts. You can realize your own small business dreams or work for top-tier corporations. There is endless art, culture, music, theater and other forms of entertainment. And when you tire of cosmopolitan amenities, the great outdoors is right there in the nearby forest, mountains and coastline.

Browse through great Portland apartments and homes for sale to see what’s available.

Cost of living information comes from The Council for Community and Economic Research.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments in April 2021. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Source: rent.com

Puppy Proofing Your Apartment in 13 Simple Steps

A dog is a man’s (or woman’s) best friend. Those four-legged, fluffy creatures with wagging tails and endless loyalty are hard to resist, especially as puppies. For as cute as puppies are, they can also be a lot of work and cause a lot of damage to an apartment.

If you’re thinking about getting a puppy, you also need to think through puppy-proofing your apartment. That way, when you bring Rover home, your home is now a puppy apartment.

Here are 13 ways for puppy-proofing your apartment that’ll keep your doggie safe and help ensure you get your security deposit back at the end of your lease.

Creating the perfect puppy apartment

You’ve found the perfect pup to bring home to your apartment. Now, it’s time to turn your place into a puppy apartment. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on puppy-proofing products to create a safe and secure place. With a little puppy feng-shui and a few simple hacks, your puppy apartment will be ready to go.

1. Troubleshoot potential problems

The first step when puppy-proofing your apartment is to walk through it and scan for potential problem areas.

Remember, puppies are small and can maneuver their way into small spaces like the area under the couch or behind a dresser. Notice all the areas where your new friend could hide, assess if it’s a hazardous area and if so, find ways to block it off.

Once you’ve made a list of all the areas in your apartment that could cause problems for you and your puppy, you can start to solve them.

Dog that made a mess.

2. Tidy up daily

Like babies, puppies like to chew anything they can get their paws on. So, you’ll want to tidy up your apartment and get any small objects off the floor so your puppy doesn’t chew and choke on them.

You’ll want to make sure you tidy up frequently. A puppy is a lot of work, but at least you’ll have a clean apartment free from clutter.

3. Hide cords and chargers

TV cords and phone chargers are tempting to chew for puppies. Not only is it annoying if your puppy chews through your laptop charger but it’s also dangerous.

When puppy proofing your apartment, make sure you hide or remove all cords that are at eye level for your dog. You could bundle the cords together and place them out of reach, tape them to the back of the TV or piece of furniture, or buy protective casings to wrap them in.

No matter which option you take, you need to make sure cords are not a temptation for puppies.

4. Spray your furniture with bitter spray

Dogs love sticks. It’s a cute trick at the park, but it’s not so cute when your dog starts to chew your wooden kitchen table or the legs of the chairs.

To prevent furniture from being damaged by an eager puppy, buy a spray that you can use to deter chewing. Simply spray it on the furniture and it’ll taste bitter to the puppy and they’ll learn not to chew that item.

5. Remove rugs

When you first bring a puppy home, you may want to remove rugs so they don’t go to the bathroom on them or drag them around the house.

You can re-introduce rugs to your home once your puppy is a little older, but it can save time and stress if you put your expensive rugs away to start with.

6. Get puppy pads for potty training

Like children, puppies need potty training. While you’ll probably have a few accidents at first, there are ways to keep your apartment clean and minimize accidents around the house.

First, buy puppy pads and place them throughout the house so when your dog needs to do his business, he knows where to go. Second, you can buy a pet deodorizer to remove the smell off the carpet if he has an accident.

Having the right equipment for potty training from the beginning will save you time.

Dog playing with ball.

7. Buy the right toys

Puppies love to chew and play. If you want to train them to chew the right things—and avoid the walls, baseboards and furniture — buy the right toys upfront.

Get toys specifically made for puppies. These include toys that squeak or that are fun to chew. You can positively reinforce what toys make great toys for your pup to avoid them from going after less than desirable objects.

8. Create a dog-friendly zone

When puppy-proofing your apartment, you need to decide which areas are dog-friendly and which areas are off-limits.

Once you’ve created your boundaries, you can create your dog-friendly zones. Simple things like closing doors to off-limit areas or installing baby gates to block off certain rooms will teach your puppy that she can play in some rooms but cannot enter others.

Your puppy will soon learn that she has her own safe space if you teach her which areas are on and off-limits.

9. Get a kennel or crate

Speaking of safe spaces, dogs like to have their own area where they can relax.

When your dog is a puppy, they need to have a kennel or crate. This is a great space for your puppy to hang out when you’re leaving the house, when they need a nap or when they need a time out.

A kennel or crate can become your dog’s designated bedroom and it enables you to leave them without worrying that they’ll destroy the apartment.

Dog in a crate.

10. Close the toilet seat

You’ll likely have a water bowl set out for your dog, but a toilet bowl is often oh so tempting to a thirsty puppy. Remember to always shut the toilet seat so they can’t get water that way and will learn to go to their water bowl only.

11. Remove toxic materials from easy reach

There are obvious items that are toxic to pets, for example, cleaning materials and medications. But, there are other things like essential oils, plants and certain food items that are also deadly to pets.

Before you bring a curious puppy home, walk through your apartment and remove all toxic materials from places that your puppy could get to.

Remember, puppies are curious and want to get into everything. So, if it’s not at human eye level, it’s fair game for your pooch.

12. Have your vet’s number on hand

Accidents happen. So, it’s important to have your vet’s number easily accessible so you can quickly call if your puppy gets into something he wasn’t supposed to reach.

Post your vet’s number or the pet poison control number on your fridge or in your contact list. This will make puppy training easier and keep your dog safe.

13. Consider hiring a trainer

These hacks are all DIY. But, you may want to consider hiring a dog trainer to come and teach you ways to train your dog, too.

Dog trainers can teach you tools that’ll make raising a puppy easier and make you feel more comfortable with your new friend more quickly.

Welcome home puppy

Now that you’ve gone through every nook and cranny of your apartment and created a safe puppy apartment, it’s time to bring that bundle of joy home!

Puppies are great and if you’ve done all the steps for puppy-proofing your apartment, you’ll be able to enjoy your new friend so much more. These hacks make it easy to create a safe space for your dog without having to worry that he or she will ruin your place. Woof woof!

Source: rent.com

The Best Cities for Hipsters in America

Do you listen to indie rock? Are your politics progressive? And have you ever rocked an ironic mustache or dyed your hair gray — on purpose? As much as you loathe labels, you, my friend, are a hipster.

Look, we get it. You’re unique. A true individual. And you should never be lumped into a group of like-minded folk. How is it even possible to determine the best cities for hipsters?

Well, since you asked …

Finding the best cities for hipsters

It’s difficult to define the undefinable, but we did our best. First, we looked at the percentage of the population between the ages of 20 and 34. Then we crunched some numbers, from a city’s median income to the average rent price for a studio apartment. The bike-a-bility score came into play, along with the density of hipster-friendly businesses. Think: local coffee shops, craft breweries, record stores, organic markets … you get the picture.

So where are the best cities for hipsters? On a map, these spots trend toward the edges of the country with a few surprises sprinkled into the mix. Geographically, it looks a little something like this:

Best Cites for Hipsters

The top 10 cities for hipsters

While there are some surprises in our top 50 (we see you there, Schaumburg, IL), the top 10 features the usual suspects. You’ve got tech hubs, college towns and a few places that really take their coffee seriously. Oh, and a couple of ties (hence our pair of number 6s and 9s).

So load up that vintage suitcase with your vinyl and beard oil (just not together) and set your sights on one of these 10 best cities to live the ultimate hipster lifestyle.

9*. San Francisco, CA

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*tied

Our first No. 9 should come as no surprise — though with the recent influx of Silicon Valley bros, perhaps San Francisco isn’t as much of a hipster given these days.

From seaside parks that are perfect for puffing those American Spirits to a slew of beloved coffee outposts like Ritual Roasters and Sightglass Coffee, this city has endless hipster-friendly hangouts. You’ll also find a killer indie music scene and more tattoos than you can shake a wrist arrow at.

As hip as this city is, coolness comes at a premium. SF is easily the most expensive city on our top 10 — and ranks up there among the most expensive cities in America. However! If you work at one of the many successful hipster-driven startups in town, you’ll be fine.

While the average rent for a wee studio is a whopping $2,639, the median income here is an incredibly healthy $112,376.

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9*. Madison, WI

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*tied

Madison is a cool Midwestern city — no, that’s not an oxymoron. Home to the University of Wisconsin, which has been showing up on lists of the best party schools for years, Madison also draws more millennials than any other city. So why are the young and hip flocking here? The beard-sporting, PBR-drinking set knows that Madison is a hub for music, art, food and beer.

To make the city even more attractive, the cost of living is lower than the national average. Rent prices for a studio here are among the lowest on our top 10, at around $1,190 per month.

This scenic “green” city also offers ample outdoor activities, festivals and bike paths.

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8. Portland, OR

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Portland is the city that put hipsters on the map, and “Portlandia” helped cement the city’s claim to fame (much to the dismay of actual Portland hipsters, who definitely don’t love the “h” word). The city not only boasts forests, mountains and nature galore, it’s also an absolute haven for local coffeehouses, divey music venues, craft breweries and the like.

Unfortunately, the secret has been out for quite a while now and Portland has seen a steady influx of transplants led by the hipster set.

The good news? Prices haven’t caught up to some of the more cost-prohibitive Western cities … yet. Expect to pay around $1,358 for a studio apartment in Stumptown.

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6*. Ann Arbor, MI

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*tied

Located on the other side of Lake Michigan from Madison, Ann Arbor has a lot in common with its neighbor to the west. Home to the University of Michigan (another top party school), this college town reaps the benefits of housing nearly 45,000 coeds.

With an impressive number of coffee shops per capita, you’ll also find endless indie rock shows, trendy foodie destinations and more fixies than you can shake a spoke at.

So how much will it cost you to call Ann Arbor home? Studios aren’t exactly cheap here — remember, you’re competing with 45K coeds for a place to live. Budget around $1,536 for your monthly rent.

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6*. Washington, DC

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*tied

The second No. 6 on our list may come as a surprise. D.C. is often characterized as a hotbed for politics and not much else, but it’s also home to a lot of young people — including a slew of hipsters.

Don’t believe us? Belly up to a local watering hole like American Ice Co., order a beer served in a mason jar (try local DC Brau) and then catch a show at the nearby venue like the 9:30 club. Now, report back: Are you not surrounded by hipsters? You’re welcome.

Ready to call the U.S. capital home? Find the best DC neighborhood for you (there’s even a quiz), and start packing your bags. You’ll pay around $1,686 in rent for a studio, but you can probably afford it — the average income here is $85,203.

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5. Berkeley, CA

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We know what you’re thinking: Is a hippie the same as a hipster? Not exactly, though admittedly there is some overlap. While you’ll still find plenty of tie-dyes, nature marts and protesters in Berkeley, you’ll also find a growing number of handlebar mustaches, cuffed pants and V-necks. Immerse yourself in all of the above here in the home of UC Berkeley — and beyond.

Hipsters flock to Berkeley to soak up all that eclectic culture and proximity to San Francisco Bay.

Remember those “cost-prohibitive” Western cities we referenced in the Portland section? Yeah, this is one of them. While paying $2,250 every month for a studio apartment may sting — it’s not quite as bad as San Francisco, which is around $400 more per month. Silver lining?

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4. Fort Collins, CO

Fort Collins, CO.

How do you feel about quaint houses from the 1800s? Vintage trolleys? Craft beer? Pretty great, right? Well, Fort Collins’ Old Town historic district has it all — so hipsters have taken notice.

From grungy rock clubs to more than 20 craft breweries, it should come as no surprise that witty banter and counter-culture vibes are taking over this northern Colorado city.

Let me guess, you’re stuck on the 20-plus craft breweries … we don’t blame you. This is, after all, the home of Fat Tire brewer New Belgian Brewing Co.

If you’re ready to set up shop in this cool corner of Colorado, we’ve got some good news: Rent prices are the second-lowest among our top 10. You’ll pay just $1,150 a month for a studio here.

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3. Tempe, AZ

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Isn’t the desert a little too hot for hipsters? Nope, not according to our data.

Located just east of Phoenix, Tempe attracts a ton of millennials for its unique neighborhoods, eclectic eats, plentiful dive bars and low cost of living. There’s also a strong indie music scene, plus Tempe Town Lake, an ideal place to cool off on a paddleboat or kayak.

If you’re not afraid of the brutal summer sun, this hidden gem has a lot to offer beyond tattoo shops and vintage stores. The low cost of living in Tempe is no joke. At under $1,000 ($993), monthly rent prices for a studio apartment are the lowest on our top 10 list.

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2. Minneapolis, MN

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Surprised to see the better half of the Twin Cities in the number two spot? Clearly, you didn’t know that Minneapolis is the unofficial hipster capital of the Midwest. Consider yourself schooled.

The City of Lakes is known for its proximity to parks, lakes (duh) and the Mississippi River, but it’s also home to a thriving contemporary art scene. And there are record stores. A LOT of record stores. Not to mention coffee shops, vintage stores and horn-rimmed glasses. Okay, we made that last one up. Plus, Minneapolis was recently named one of the best cities for millennials to live in.

So yes, it gets cold here. Really cold. But now you have a good reason to wear that vintage scarf and wool fedora that’s been collecting dust in the back of your closet. If you don’t mind the occasional May snowfall, budget around $1,236 every month to rent a studio apartment.

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1. Seattle, WA

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Sorry Portland, Seattle is the country’s best city for hipsters. If you smoke a pipe, rock vintage specs and frequent indie-rock house parties — you’ll feel right at home here. While Portland may have a few more coffee shops and Madison may beat out Seattle on breweries, it simply doesn’t get any more hipster than the Emerald City.

Need more convincing? How about an impressive bike score and a healthy annual salary that puts you just shy of six figures? For a city of this size — and cool factor — rent prices are a relatively reasonable $1,481 per month.

Oh, and when you’re scoping out the best neighborhoods in Seattle, don’t miss the hipster havens in uber-cool Capitol Hill.

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The 50 best cities for hipsters

Looking to cast a wider net? Or perhaps you’re plotting a year of #VanLife so you can soak up the hipster vibe from coast to coast. Here are the 50 best cities for hipsters across the country.

The 10 worst cities for hipsters

What, you don’t drink PBR or ferment your own kombucha? OK, fine.

If the counter-culture makes you cringe, set your sights on the 10 worst cities for hipsters. We can almost guarantee you can go an entire week without spotting a newsboy cap or lumberjack beard in these ten hipster-free cities.

Methodology

To find the best cities for hipsters, we looked at cities with at least 50,000 people according to 2019 U.S. Census population estimates and ranked them on the following factors:

  • Earnings Potential: Median household income numbers according to the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Housing Affordability: The average cost of a studio apartment based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory as of April 2021. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
  • Prevalence of Local Businesses: The total number of local businesses per square mile. Businesses include coffee shops, breweries, music stores, vintage clothing and thrift shops, tattoo parlors, barbershops, organic food markets and farmers’ markets.
  • Percentage of Population Between 20 and 34 Years Old: Population breakdown from the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Bikeability: Bike Score for each city

We ranked each city according to these five categories and assigned a score for each one. We then added the scores for each city to come up with a final ranking. Our methodology allows for ties.

We excluded cities with insufficient data or rental property inventory.

The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Source: rent.com

Navigating Eviction During the Pandemic

Emergency rental assistance, legal protections and the CDC moratorium can keep renters in their homes — but they have to act fast.

More than 10 million U.S. renters owe back rent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. This fact puts millions at risk of evictions during the pandemic.

But there’s still time to stop pandemic evictions. The Centers for Disease Control implemented the CDC eviction moratorium to delay evictions during COVID and stop the spread of disease. It prevents evictions for non-payment of rent through June 30, 2021. Several states created additional eviction moratoria to keep renters in their homes.

In addition, the U.S. government allocated $52 billion dollars in emergency rental assistance for COVID-specific programs. Combining this funding with other assistance programs can help renters repay back rent before the CDC moratorium expires and emergency rental assistance budgets dwindle.

Hope for CDC eviction moratorium extension

Housing experts warn that lifting state and CDC eviction moratoria without providing adequate financial assistance for renters in need could create an evictions cliff, where delinquent renters go into homelessness. This will have devastating financial, emotional and health consequences for individuals. States that lifted their eviction moratoria discovered that evictions influence the health of a community as well.

Two recent studies confirm what medical professionals suspected; when evictions increase, the rates of COVID-19 and COVID-related deaths also rise.

Across the county, lifting eviction moratoriums led to an additional 433,700 COVID-19 cases and 10,700 deaths. However, it’s unknown if the CDC eviction moratorium will get an extension. It was originally scheduled to expire on December 31, 2020, but it has had an extension once by the legislature and twice by the CDC. The last CDC extension came on March 29, 2021 — just two days before its expiration date.

If the CDC moratorium gets extended, renters probably won’t know until just before the expiration date. It’s risky to depend on a variable that renters can’t control or predict. Instead, renters should use the tools that are currently available to pay as much back rent as possible — doing this can delay or even prevent evictions.

What to do when you get an eviction notice during the pandemic

When a renter receives an eviction notice, it’s important to determine the reason and to act fast. Once the eviction process begins, it moves very quickly, even during a pandemic. There are sometimes just a few days between steps.

Landlords must have a legal reason to evict a renter. The eviction process is specific, although the length varies by state. Landlords must document every step in writing.

The process begins with an eviction notice. This document details the steps renters must take so they comply with their lease. If those steps haven’t been completed (and documented for the landlord) by the date provided on the eviction notice, an eviction summons and complaint are issued.

Next is a hearing date. At the hearing, a judge will issue a judgment. They may side with the landlord and remove the renter and their property from their home. Or they may find in favor of the tenant and allow them to stay.

Legal reasons for evictions during COVID:

  • Criminal activity
  • Violating community health and safety standards
  • Not vacating the home when the lease is up
  • Violating the term of the lease by subletting
  • Housing an unauthorized tenant or pet
  • Damaging property

Eviction notice.

Illegal reasons for evictions at any time

Tenant’s rights vary by state. But broadly speaking, landlords must provide safe, secure, habitable homes. They cannot change the locks, block entry to a home or throw renters out without warning or without following the eviction process.

Landlords can’t discriminate against or harass renters for any of the following reasons:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Physical or mental disability.
  • Marital or family status
  • English language proficiency

If a landlord uses any one of the reasons above, tenants can report it to the National Fair Housing Alliance. They can also contact a fair housing organization in their region to begin the process. Local staff can also help renters access rental assistance programs and other benefits. Some offices also retain lawyers to represent clients in court.

Renters at risk for eviction for non-financial reasons listed above should review what to do when they receive an eviction notice and take appropriate action. The remainder of this article will discuss evictions during COVID for financial reasons, including non-payment and partial payment of rent.

Evictions during COVID for non-payment of rent aren’t legal

Normally, it’s legal to evict a tenant for non-payment or partial payment of rent. But all that changed during the pandemic. The CDC moratorium temporarily stops evictions for financial reasons and keeps people in their homes through June 30, 2021.

Yet renters are still being evicted for not paying rent during the pandemic. In April 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interim file rule that holds landlords accountable for illegal evictions during COVID.

It states that debt collectors can’t evict tenants covered by the CDC moratorium without providing written notice of the renter’s rights under the eviction moratorium. Anyone who misrepresents a renter’s rights can be prosecuted by federal agencies and state attorneys general for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Tenants may also bring private lawsuits against landlords.

“With COVID-19 killing hundreds of Americans every day, kicking families out into the street during this pandemic may literally be a death sentence,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio, “No one should be evicted from their home without understanding their rights, and we will hold accountable those debt collectors who move forward with illegal evictions. We encourage debt collectors to work with tenants and landlords to find solutions that work for everyone.”

Fill out the CDC Eviction Moratorium Declaration Form

Renters who lost their job or suffered financial hardship during the pandemic should fill out the CDC Eviction Moratorium Declaration Form and give a copy to their landlord immediately.

Renters who expect to make no more than $99,000 (or $198,000 when filing jointly) during the 2020-2021 calendar year are eligible. Tenants who didn’t report IRS income in 2019 and renters who received a stimulus check are also eligible.

Rent will still be due after June 2021. But this gives renters extra time to secure the financial resources they need to stay in their homes.

Make a payment plan or request rent deferral in writing

Tenants should create a plan to pay off the remaining back rent and present the written payment plan to their landlord. If full repayment isn’t possible, a rent deferral plan is an option.

Both documents should explain the reasons for non-payment and list sources of alternate funding. They should also present a specific timeline for rent repayment, including payment dates and dollar amounts.

Property managers may not accept the terms of these agreements, but they may present a counteroffer.

Use state eviction moratoria for additional protection

Many states passed their own eviction moratoria to stop evictions during COVID.

Renters can search the interactive map maintained by the Regional Housing Legal Services for state eviction guidelines and program expiration dates. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Apartment Guide Eviction Resource Guide also list state by state guidelines.

Renters should file any paperwork required to qualify for state eviction moratoria as soon as possible and provide a copy for their landlord. The additional work is worth it.

The Eviction Lab at Princeton University tracks the eviction rates in five states and 27 major metropolitan areas, roughly one-fifth of the nation’s rental population. Renters in states that offered additional eviction moratoria enjoyed additional protections.

“We’re at almost at 300,000 evictions filed during the pandemic,” said Benfer, “And the CDC Moratorium did not suppress filing to the same extent that local and state moratoria did.”

The Private Equity Stakeholder Project report over 57,000 new eviction cases in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Florida, Tennessee and Texas alone since the CDC moratorium went into effect.

Across the country, “judges are adhering to the CDC moratorium at various rates” in some cases on a “county by county basis,” said Benfer.

Woman on the phone while reading a piece of paper.

Get a lawyer

Judges are enforcing the CDC moratorium unevenly. Landlords are still pursuing evictions. So renters may need to defend their rights in eviction court. That requires a lawyer.

Just 10 percent of tenants retain counsel in eviction cases, compared to 90 percent of landlords. That puts renters at a disadvantage.

The Kansas City Eviction Project showed that just 28 percent of tenants without a lawyer received won their eviction cases. The number jumped to 44 percent for renters who hired a lawyer. An article in The Appeal stated that 84 percent of New York City renters represented by an attorney won their eviction cases.

Free and discounted legal assistance if available to renters at risk of evictions during COVID. The American Bar Association lists federally-funded legal aid services and pro bono attorneys. LawHelp.org and JustShelter.org offer legal assistance resources and free legal aid programs across the country.

Use as much additional funding as possible

Renters should dedicate every possible dollar to paying rent and avoiding eviction. Supplemental funding is available from a variety of sources, including federal programs, tax credits and community-based nonprofit organizations. State, county and city programs also provide help.

Some community or country programs only offer renters rent assistance once a year. State and federal programs often have very long waiting lists. So it’s important to apply for as many forms of assistance as possible as soon as possible.

Access the Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Congress dedicated $52 billion in pandemic-related relief to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. It funds more than 200 programs in cities, counties and states across the country.

The number of programs operating changes constantly as the aid money goes into distribution and programs expires. Guidance and timelines for the last round of funding will come in May.

Use the child tax credit, if applicable

Rental households with children will get extra tax relief in 2021. The American Rescue Plan temporarily expands the child tax credit to $3,600 for children under the age of 6 and $3,000 for kids under age 17.

HUD

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers federal and state housing assistance, unemployment and nutrition assistance programs and non-legal advice for negotiating with landlords.

Renters can call 877-542-9723 for a HUD-approved counselor.

Renters that currently receive HUD assistance and have financial hardship due to the pandemic may qualify for lower rent for reduced rent through income recertification or hardship exemptions.

Tenants that meet these criteria should call 800-569-4287.

The NLIHC

The website maintained by the National Low Income Housing Association (NLIHC) tracks local and state rental assistance programs across the county, plus it’s updated frequently. Renters can search for programs by state or use the interactive map.

The CFPB

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provides eviction resources in eight different languages. It features a list of city and county emergency relief programs across the country.

211

Calling 211 or searching 211.org connects renters with local health and human service agencies in their region. Common resources include food and clothing banks and utility assistance.

Grocery delivery.

Use nutrition assistance to offset housing expenses

Eviction risk and food insecurity go hand in hand. Nearly 18 million adults reported not having enough food. One in five children in rental housing didn’t have enough to eat.

“Housing expenses always come first. There are many food resources available such as food shelves and county assistance to help with food. It is much more difficult to find housing resources,” said Brittani Haas, an office technician who connects applicants with nutrition assistance through Wright County Health and Human Services in Buffalo, Minnesota. “An advantage of applying for food or cash assistance is it helps offset the cost of housing expenses. The money you ‘save’ by not having to purchase food from out of pocket, you can use those funds for rent or utilities.”

There are a variety of resources available at the federal, state and local levels.

  • SNAP: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides prepaid cards for use at grocery stores and farmer’s markets.
  • WIC: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) serve low-income pregnant women and mothers with children up to age five.
  • Benefits.gov: Find a state by state listing of available government food assistance programs.
  • Pandemic EDP Food Support: This program offers food to children who have lost access to free or reduced-price school lunches during the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Backpack Program: This nationwide USDA network distributes supplemental food for kids across the country when school is not in session.
  • Communal Meals: Faith communities and nonprofit organizations offer group meals and food-to-go for individuals in need.
  • Food pantries: Renters can stock up on staples at locations across the U.S.
  • Meal deliveries: Seniors, veterans and renters with disabilities may qualify for in-home meal delivery.
  • Community Gardens: Renters can reduce their food bills by growing their own produce at gardens across the country.

Take steps now

Renters have new tools to prevent or delay evictions during COVID. The CDC moratorium forbids eviction for non-payment of rent through June 30, 2021. State eviction moratoria and a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule offer additional protection.

Emergency rental assistance and other city, county, state and federal programs can help renters pay off back rent and stay in their homes.

But these tools are time-sensitive. And more than 10 million American renters are at risk of eviction during the pandemic. The moment to act is right now.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional legal or financial advice as they may deem it necessary.

Source: rent.com

The Best Cities for Artists in America

No starving artists here: These cities are the best places for artists to live well and practice their craft.

Having access to art and culture is one of the best parts of living in a city. While it’s true that art is found and created anywhere — in cities, there are some definite benefits. Cities act as cultural hubs that draw both new and existing artistic talent. There is a feedback loop of inspiration that cities foster.

With people from many different cultures, backgrounds and walks of life living in close quarters, there is vibrant multiculturalism. Urban density makes it easy to try and experience many different things from theater to food. Artists feed off that creative energy. And when you also live surrounded by other creative individuals, you are constantly being inspired to create new work

But it takes more than that to make a city a great place for artists. It’s widely known that both historically and in modern times, artists are often underpaid for their work. That “starving artist” trope didn’t come from nowhere — artists still need to pay for things like rent and food. They still need to make a living in this world the same as everyone else.

That’s why, on top of a thriving cultural scene, artists need to live in a place that supports their passion and livelihood. That ranges from affordable housing for work and creation, walkability to get around to gigs and much more.

So if you’re an artist with a dream, these are the best cities for artists to create and live.

Finding the best cities for artists

Art is for everyone because there are so many different ways to create. You have visual mediums like painting, drawing or photography. There are performance arts like dancing or theater. And there are musicians across an incredible breadth of genres and instructions, from voice to electronic DJ.

Having a thriving artistic community makes a city a better place to live. There are shows and performances to go to, which improves the quality of life for residents and encourages tourism. But to have such a community, artists need to make a viable living in that city. Quality of life and cost of living for essentials like food and housing, plus affordable rent remain important for those looking to dive into their artist endeavors.

To determine the best cities for artists, we looked for cities with a good walk score and t the average price for studio apartments. Many artists need or want separate spaces to create and work in, same as with offices for other industries, so having affordable studios for rent is key.

We also looked for how many museums there are per density and how many artistic organizations were in the city by density. That included theaters, artistic collectives, performing arts centers and more. All cities also had a population of over 50,000.

The following 10 places emerged as the best cities for artists to live and work in.

10. Baltimore, MD

baltimore md

In recent years, Baltimore has risen the charts as one of the best cities for creatives. This is especially true for the visual arts.

There are more than 60 diverse museums within the area, and it’s the home of renowned museums like the Baltimore Art Museum and the Walters Art Museum. Their substantial collections feature historic art from around the world, as well as exciting contemporary work. The city also supports modern, experimental art in outdoor public spaces like the Glenstone museum and sculpture garden and Downtown Frederick Public Art Trail, making art accessible to all.

There are also ample opportunities in the performing arts. The city is home to seven different performing arts companies and numerous dance and music groups.

Living here, artists can enjoy an abundance of creative outlets and good, affordable quality of life. With an average city median income of $51,000, the average cost for a studio apartment is $1,346. This was down 8.3 percent from last year. That gives artists lots of choices for space, as well as affordable rates.

Baltimore also has good public transportation, and a high Walk Score of 72.

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9. St. Louis, MO

st louis mo

This city that was once the gateway to the West is now a gateway for artists to comfortably live and create in an up-and-coming art city. While it is not the most walkable city, there are many other benefits. The average rent for a studio apartment is $1,328 — with plenty of availability.

St. Louis has an especially good reputation for performing arts, with 14 performing art companies and ten dance companies. Performance venues like The Fabulous Fox, housed in a grand old movie theater, and the Center of Creative Arts give the community hubs to experience art. And the contemporary visual arts scene is also on the rise.

The public can appreciate art in outdoor spaces like Citygarden, and museums like the Grand Center and the St. Louis Art Museum boasts exceptional modern art collections. So there are plenty of places for artists to congregate and work together.

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8. Chicago, IL

chicago il

Chicago has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the United States’ best cities for art, alongside staples like Los Angeles and New York City. But of those two, Chicago is the only one to make it into the top 10 best cities for artists. This means it’s much more affordable than the other two, but still gives artists the creative stimulation they crave. It’s also the place where many greats get their start.

Chicago has many benefits — the downtown area is a dense urban grid, with a very high WalkScore of 84. For outlying areas, there’s excellent public transit. However, most art and culture institutions are downtown — from theaters to museums — so it’s a very centralized area. There are outdoor spaces like Millennium Park for fresh air, access to nature and art installations (hello, The Bean). Museums like the Art Institute of Chicago enjoy tremendous renown for their collections.

Plus, there are top-ranked performing arts opportunities, from theater to music to improv at Second City, one of the nation’s best comedy and improv schools. While average studio rent is $1,784, making it the second most expensive city for studios in the top 10, you’ll have access to world-renowned art institutions for learning and displaying your art.

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7. Berkeley, CA

berkeley ca

Although Berkeley is largely known as a center for engineering, science and tech due to UC Berkeley, art and culture are equally strong here. This city of over 121,000 has an incredibly diverse population. And the presence of the university invites fresh, young minds from around the world, feeding innovation and creativity.

Berkeley also feeds off of the cultural thrum of the surrounding Bay Area and nearby San Francisco.

But being in the tech-heavy Bay Area, life is expensive. A Berkeley studio costs an average of $2,250. This makes it the most expensive of the top ten cities. But on the upside, Berkeley is extremely walkable, making it easy to get to the many artistic opportunities that exist. Berkeley is especially known for its performing arts. It’s home to the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, a Tony-winning regional playhouse and other top theater and performance companies.

For visual artists, collectives like the ACCI Gallery and museums like Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive exist. West Berkeley and the North Shattuck areas are especially popular artist neighborhoods.

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6. Philadelphia, PA

philadelphia pa

Aspiring and working artists priced out of New York have been turning to Philadelphia. This has made it one of the most exciting artistic hubs on the East Coast. Steeped in history, the city also buzzes with vibrant young minds and modern energy.

Rent and cost of living are significantly lower than in NYC. A studio costs, on average, $1,745. Two top art schools call Philly home: the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Temple University’s Tyler School of Art.

And there is art everywhere, from museums to public spaces. The Philadelphia Art Museum is the third-largest in the U.S., and the Rodin Museum has one of the largest collections of his work outside Paris. Performing arts-wise, there is a great live music scene, especially for classical music thanks to the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The Avenue of the Arts acts as a hub, with performance spaces for everything from dance to experimental work. Dancers will also find a welcoming community here, as there are multiple esteemed dance companies.

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5. Seattle, WA

seattle wa

Seattle’s reputation for incredible live music needs no introduction. Grunge originated here, thanks to influential bands like Nirvana. And music and performance are still part of the lifeblood of the city. But there’s more to Seattle’s art scene than that.

There are over 80 theater companies and great dance companies like the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Galleries and small venues provide space for experimental, undercover art movements. But “mainstream” art also has a place here at museums and places like the Seattle Art Museum, Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Olympic Sculpture Park.

In Seattle, studio apartments run an average of $1,481. And this is down almost 14.2 percent from last year, so there is plenty of space available and demand.

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4. Washington, D.C.

washington dc

The U.S. capital is a hotbed for history and art, which go hand in hand here. There are abundant museums and inspiring architecture everywhere you turn. But it’s not just about the past. There is also a thriving contemporary art community.

Check out spots like the Culture House DC, a 19th-century church painted in bold colors and now houses an artist collective. And there are frequent art festivals and performances of music, dance and theater.

If you’re an artist looking for a city with a lot of options for studios, D.C. is the place for you. The average rent is $1,686, plus it’s also a very pedestrian-friendly city that’s easy to navigate on foot.

All in all, D.C. offers a great emerging art scene in a city that’s affordable and safe, with plenty of history to inspire you.

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3. Pittsburgh, PA

pittsburgh

In 2018, Pittsburgh ranked as one of the top cities in America for artistic vibrancy. It’s no small wonder. Similar to Philadelphia, artists love the affordable cost of living — $1,194 for a studio.

In Pittsburgh, they’re finding world-class museums, outdoor festivals, creative collectives and performing arts companies that are pushing boundaries and generating buzz. Some must-visit spots include the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Andy Warhol Museum and The Mattress Factory.

Outside of town, you’ll also find Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, Fallingwater.

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2. Minneapolis, MN

minneapolis mn

Coming in at No. 2 in the top 10 best cities for artists is one half of the Twin Cities itself: Minneapolis. Of course, this Midwest hub is well-known for its friendly residents, parks, lakes and outdoor access. But it also has fantastic opportunities for art.

Minneapolis has 55 different museums to visit, among them the eye-catching Weisman Art Museum. As a city that loves nature, lots of art is outdoors and open for everyone. Minneapolis is especially well-known for its vibrant murals, easily found all over the city. Oh, and of course, there’s a great music scene. What else would you expect from the home of Prince?

Add in low rent on studios, $1,236 on average, and you’ll discover why it’s no wonder so many artists find inspiration here.

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hartford ct

Topping the list of the best cities for artists is the Connecticut capital of Hartford. This scenic city celebrates both contemporary and historic art through its many institutions, from museums to collectives.

World-class touring performances come through at venues like the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. And local companies like TheaterWorks showcase contemporary work. The city is also committed to promoting diverse artists and voices. For example, the unique Artists Collective highlights the work of the African Diaspora. And the Real Art Ways organization supports experimental and new work in a variety of mediums.

Beyond the artistic community, Hartford is also very affordable for working artists. It boasts the cheapest prices for studio apartments — the average being $1,121.

Good quality and cost of living go a long way toward supporting an artist’s lifestyle. And if the urban scene isn’t sufficiently inspiring, Connecticut’s natural beauty is also sure to spark the imagination.

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The 50 best cities for artists

Now that you’ve seen the top 10, let’s branch out to discover even more cities that have created an atmosphere where artists can thrive and create. Please note, our methodology allows for ties.

Methodology

To find the best cities for artists, we used the following data points:

  • Performing arts businesses and establishments per density
  • Museums per density
  • Walk score
  • Average rent of a studio apartment

We looked at cities with at least 50,000 people according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 population estimates and ranked each city in each of these four categories. Then, we added up the rankings for each of the four categories to determine a final score for each city. Ties were allowed in our rankings. The cities with the lowest overall score were determined to be the best cities for artists.

We excluded cities from this study that had insufficient rental inventory or other data.

Business and establishment data comes from commercially sourced business listings. This may not account for recent business openings or closures.

Rent prices are based on a one-year rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory as of April 2021. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.

The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Source: rent.com

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment (& Your Life)

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Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | Tips and Tools For Organizing

Space is limited when it comes to apartment living, and making the most of what you have is crucial. Decluttering your living space is extremely important to maintaining an organized and comfortable life. We know this isn’t an easy task, but luckily there are countless apps to help de-clutter out there that can give you a headstart. Organizing your belongings, selling unwanted goods and clothing, and keeping your apartment clean are a few key components to a decluttered home, and these apps will help get you there.  

 

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | PaperKarma for Junk Mail

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | PaperKarma for Junk Mail

There is nothing worse than an apartment cluttered with unwanted junk mail lying around. Paperkarma can easily handle this problem for you. By simply taking a photo of the logo and return label of the mail, and hitting send through Paperkarma, you will automatically be unsubscribed. With a few easy clicks on your phone, you no longer have to worry about getting unwanted mail or catalogs. Users receive four free requests and then will have to select a membership for further use. For $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year, you will no longer have to worry about junk mail returning again and again to clutter your apartment.  

 

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | OfferUp

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | OfferUp

When it is time to rid your apartment of unwanted goods, OfferUp is the best app to help you do so. Furniture, electronics, household appliances, clothing, and more – you can find or sell just about everything on OfferUp. The app is based on your location so everything you are buying or selling will be on a local level, which makes things very convenient. Photos can be taken directly through the app for easy posting, and you will receive notifications when anyone has contacted you on your post. Each user has the ability to rate every other user, which helps to create a trusted and reliable community. Have your phone handy the next time you are cleaning out your apartment, and post instantly with OfferUp.  

 

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | PoshMark

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | PoshMark

Without realizing it, closets can become the most cluttered space – buying new while keeping the old adds up. PoshMark makes cleaning out your closet effortless, and you can make money while you’re at it. Whether it’s clothing still tagged that has gone unworn, or gently used clothing, PoshMark allows you to upload your pieces, connect, and sell to shoppers all over. Snap a pic within the app, post a description and a price, and share – it is that easy. The more you share, the more exposure your items will get. Insider tip: sharing other shoppers’ posts will likely get them to share yours too. Clean out your closet and get cash for it? You can’t beat that.  

 

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | Snupps

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | Snupps

Whether you plan on purging your entire apartment or simply need a way to organize your belongings, Snupps is an app that will allow you to track your things while connecting with other users. Snupps, short for Serial Number Universal Protection Protocol System, was created when the creators’ luggage was lost on a flight, and they found themselves wishing they had a way to easily track all of their belongings. Snupps allows users to organize items onto “virtual shelves” – shelves and items can be shared on various social media platforms, sold to other users, or simply act as a way to keep track of what you own. With over one million users, Snupps is a great way to organize your apartment, sell unwanted items, and connect with the community.   

 

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | Evernote

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | Evernote

In an apartment, there is little room for paper clutter – important documents, receipts, warranties, etc. – they all pile up, and it is hard to find the right place for them. Evernote allows you to virtually organize these documents. Through the app, you simply scan the papers in and organize to your liking. You no longer have to worry about finding a place to store documents, or remembering where you stored them later on. With Evernote, they are all in one place for whenever you need them. The app also allows you to take notes in a variety of ways – text, sketch, audio, and more. Declutter and organize your documents, and stay on top of your day all with one app – Evernote.   

 

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | Tody

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | Tody

Maintaining the cleanliness of your apartment is just as important as the de-cluttering phase. Tody is an app that helps you keep your cleaning on track. The app can be organized by areas and tasks and keeps track of when specific tasks need to be completed. By selecting the type of cleaner you are, the app will suggest a time frame for each task. Based off of the given time frame, your progress is tracked, and reminders are given for any overdue items. The app is customizable, thorough, and extremely user-friendly. For just $7, Tody will organize and change the way you clean. 

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

Small Appliances Worthy of Counter Space

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When living in an apartment, chances are you will not have the luxury of a large kitchen. You may have very little space to work with, which means you have some decisions to make. There are so many small appliances out there, all of which seem very appealing for someone who enjoys cooking. But with minimal kitchen space, you are going to have to be picky about which appliances you choose. Of course, this may be subjective – certain appliances are useful to some while they are a complete waste of space to others. You will have to decide which are most beneficial to you. To help you out, we created a list of small appliances worthy of counter space.

Keurig Coffee Single Cup Brewer

For the coffee lover, a Keurig machine is perfect. This one-cup maker can quickly brew a variety of different coffees teas or hot chocolate. The only work you have to do is fill the machine with water, and place the pod into the Keurig – the machine does everything else. The Keurig is great when there are a variety of drinkers in the apartment. You can buy pods to satisfy everyone’s taste and when purchasing online there are many deals available. Brewing only takes 60 seconds so Keurig coffee is doable, even when you are in a rush.

Cuisinart Griddler

This 5-in-1 machine could not be more convenient for a small apartment with no grilling space. Its small enough to fit on the counter, but takes care of all your grilling needs. The Griddler can make just about anything, ranging from pancakes to burgers to a panini. To make this all possible, it includes five plate options: contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle. The plates snap in and out, making the transformation easy. Temperature can be adjusted, and the plates are dishwasher friendly. The Griddler is great for so many of your cooking needs, all while saving space in your apartment.

Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop

While many apartments come with stovetops, you may be stuck in an apartment without one. In that case, Duxtop has come out with a portable countertop burner. This burner uses 120 volts and 15 amps of electricity. It has 10 temperature ranges (140-460 degrees) and 10 power levels (200-1800watts). It is lightweight and not too big, so very easy to store when you don’t have a lot of kitchen space. Whether your apartment comes without a stovetop, or you choose to save the space and get rid of it – the Duxtop portable cooktop is the perfect alternative!

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Joseph Joseph Index Plus

Regardless of your cooking skills, you are probably going to need a set of knives and cutting boards for your kitchen. Joseph Joseph, a contemporary kitchenware company, came out with the “Index Advance” – a nonstick cutting board set that comes with matching knives. This set was created to prevent cross-contamination when cooking, so it is color coded and organized depending on food type. The Index Advance has four sections – fish, meat, vegetables, and cooked food. Each section has its own color, a cutting board, and a knife designed for that food type. The knives and cutting boards are stored in a storage case ensuring that they wont take up too much counter space.

Breville Convection Toaster Oven

This compact countertop oven is a smart space saver! The oven basically controls itself – depending on what you put in it, it adjusts the temperature to cook it to perfection. There are nine different functions, all with suggestions on the cooking time and temperature. The smart oven will even remember certain items and cook them the same way each time. It toasts, bakes, and roasts anything and everything perfectly. It is a great space-saver and the best convection oven you can find.

Cusinart Power Advantage Hand Mixer

Depending on your price range, Cusinart’s Power Advantage hand mixer comes in three different speeds: 5-speed, 7-speed, or 9-speed. All three mixers are easy to operate, easy to store, and have the power to mix just about anything. The hand mixers have low enough speeds to avoid a mess while mixing, but high enough speeds to mix the heavier ingredients. The beaters are dishwasher-friendly making for an easy cleanup. Whatever you need a hand mixer for – this is the one to choose. It will get the job done, but won’t take up too much counter space as a full sized mixer.

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

5 Workouts You Can Do In Your Apartment

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5 Workouts You Can Do In Your Apartment

We’re nearing the end of January (if you can believe it) – how are those resolutions holding up?  To help keep you (and ourselves) on track, we’ve rounded up a few workouts you can do right in the comfort of your own apartment, no equipment required, and absolutely no excuses for not getting it done!  Here’s what we’re doing to keep our fitness goals on track:

Workouts You Can Do In Your Apartment | The 7-Minute "Killer But Quiet" Workout From Greatist

This “killer but quiet” workout is for all of you thoughtful neighbors out there. But don’t let the absence of jumping jacks fool you! This workout will have you pulse racing and muscles burning.

Workouts You Can Do In Your Apartment | 4 Fat-Burning Apartment Workouts

Men’s Fitness brings four workouts that are high intensity and some exercises require at least a dumbbell, but all can be done in 40 minutes and in less space than the coffee table and couch take up.

Workouts You Can Do In Your Apartment | Effective Small-Space Exercises

Women’s Health brings the heat with this workout that works all the large muscles and you can do each move without making a peep!…okay maybe a groan or two!

Workouts You Can Do In Your Apartment | No-Equipment Apartment Workouts

Life in Leggings brings us a totally different no noise, no equipment, bodyweight workout. All of the exercises in the routine are depicted in photographs so you get the form right…which is good because I hadn’t heard of half these moves before reading her blog. Warning…this workout does involve pushups. We hate pushups.

Workouts You Can Do In Your Apartment | 13 Creative Ways To Get A Cardio Workout In Your Bedroom

While we were a little concerned when we saw a link to this Cosmo post titled “13 creative ways to get a cardio workout in your bedroom”, we were relieved when it actually was an excellent workout regime. We would recommend skipping a few of the exercises that require jumping if you have downstairs neighbors. Besides that, game on!

Disclaimer: Although we believe most of the above posts are written by certified personal trainers, we are not personal trainers. The workouts suggested in this post are what we believe work best for the apartment environment, but might not be the right type of exercises for *you.* Always consult a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet and/or fitness routine!!

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5 Workouts You Can Do In Your Apartment
Article Name
5 Workouts You Can Do In Your Apartment
Description
Sticking to your resolutions has never been easier! Use these workouts you can do in your apartment as a way to keep up with your fitness goals and eliminate excuses.
Holli Beckman
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Apartminty
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Source: blog.apartminty.com

11 Easy Conversation Starters For Getting To Know Your Neighbors

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Easy Conversation Starters For Getting To Know Your Neighbors | What To Talk About At Parties

Ever been stuck in the elevator after a friendly hello, not having a clue about what to say next?  After the initial niceties, it can be difficult to know where to take the conversation from there.  When it comes to your apartment community, this can be especially true: you technically share a home with these people, but beyond that, what do you have in common?  What makes for appropriate topics of conversation and the right questions to ask?  What happens when a resident event leaves you with even more silence to fill?  We’ve got you covered with a few conversation starters to get to know your neighbors…or at least avoid that awkward silence.

If you only have a minute or two…

If you’re sharing an elevator ride or briefly run into someone in the building, there are a few quick questions you can ask that don’t require an extensive conversation but could lead into a longer chat if you so choose!

Do you have any pets?

If you live in a pet-friendly building, this is a natural question to ask, particularly if you happen to have your dog with you.  It’s personal without being intrusive, and everyone loves chatting about their fur babies.  This question works well when you are meeting someone for the first or second time.

Are you planning anything fun for this weekend?

This one is best reserved for someone you’ve run into and had light conversations with a few times before.  If you’re meeting someone for the first time, this may seem intrusive, but if you’ve interacted before and have interesting plans to share, this line of conversation can lead to the discovery common interests.  You may just end up making plans together for the following weekend!

Did you hear about X event happening nearby? 

In addition to living in the same building, you also share a neighborhood!  If you’re excited about an event or activity happening nearby, why not share the news with a neighbor?  Whether this serves to inform them about something awesome happening that they weren’t aware of or they’ve already heard about it and have thoughts to share, this is an easy “common interest” conversation starter that should work with almost anyone.

Do you know what the weather is supposed to be like tonight?

Yes, this one is a total cliche, but there’s a reason the conversation always finds its way back to the weather.  It is one of those uncontrollable elements of life that we all experience together.  If you’re totally stuck and don’t want to stand in silence, ask if they’ve check the forecast (and pretend like you don’t have 3 weather apps at your fingertips), or just make light conversation about the weather happening that day or week.

How was your day today?  

So simple, but so easily overlooked.  You don’t have to know a single thing about someone for this to be an appropriate question, and it’s very easy to add a follow-up, such as: “Did anything exciting happen? Did you work today? Where are you coming from? How has your week been so far?”.  You might get a short answer and a sideways glance, but most often people are suprisingly eager (or at least willing) to share some details while the events of the day are fresh in their mind and they’re ready to unload and unwind for the day.

If you have more time to fill…

If you find yourself in a forced hang-out at the dog park, pool, etc., this is a good time to dive a little deeper.  These questions usually provide a few minutes of light conversation and can naturally lead to other topics, keeping the convo going.

How long have you lived here/ How did you end up in X city?

This one works as an elevator chat as well but can easily lead to a bigger conversation.  This could be about how long someone has lived in the building, in the city, or both!  There is rarely a short answer to this question, and it gives you an opportunity to pick up on other little personal tidbits to ask about subsequently.  Then you can take a turn telling your story, and before you know it, you’ll have gotten to know your neighbor pretty well.

What is your favorite place to visit in X city?

This could be a question about the city you currently live in, asking for advice about places to visit on the weekends, where to head for special occasions, or where to take out-of-town guests, or it could be a broader question about their favorite places to visit outside of the city you live in.

Are there any new musicians/bands you’ve discovered recently?

While exact tastes can vary greatly, music is one of those universal things that helps bring people together.  Whether you’re filling someone in on a new song you just can’t get enough of or you’re hearing about the amazing concert from an unknown (to you) artist that your neighbor just attended, music creates a bond and can give you great insights about the other person.

Have you heard of X app/game? I’m totally addicted to it!

Rather than reach for your phone to feign business, engage in a conversation about the one piece of technology most of us keep in our pockets at all times.  Take a break from the game and fill your neighbor in on your guilty pleasure – they may even have a new game or app for you to try.

Do you follow the X (local sports team)?

This one sort of requires you to be a sports fan yourself, but could form an instant connection if your neighbor happens to be a fan as well.  Even if you’re not fans of the same teams, there is so much potential for further conversation once things get rolling.

I’m taking my X out to dinner this weekend, any recommendations? 

No, not you EX (that’s weird), but your: boyfriend, mom, in-laws, best friend, college buddy, etc.  Most people really enjoy moments where they can be helpful and provide useful information.  With a question this specific, you go beyond the basic “favorite go-to restaurants” and dig into which restaurants are best for which occasions and which company.

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

What is Rent Control?

Did you ever wonder how Monica and Rachel in “Friends” could afford rent in a two-bedroom New York City apartment on a waitress and chef’s salary? Well, the answer is rent control.

Rent control is a rare policy that fixes the price of rent indefinitely and falls under the umbrella term “rent regulations.”

It sounds great, right? Before you get too excited, you need to understand exactly what is rent control.

We’ll talk about the difference between rent control vs. rent stabilization, explain how it really works and give you a few advantages and disadvantages of living in a rent-controlled apartment.

Rent control vs. rent stabilization

Both rent control and rent stabilization are concepts centered around the idea of protecting tenants from major increases in the price of rent. The goal is to keep housing affordable while also enabling landlords to increase rent.

While people often confuse the two, there is a big difference between them.

Rent stabilization

Rent stabilization is the more common practice and means that landlords or property owners can only increase rent by a specific percentage year-over-year. In areas that have rent stabilization in place, the state sets the rate at which landlords can increase rent. Because this is a state issue, not a federal issue, it can vary drastically state-by-state. For example, Oregon limits yearly rent increases to 9.2 percent while Los Angeles County in California limits yearly rent increases to a mere 3 percent.

This is a more common practice and you’ll likely have an easier time finding a rent-stabilized apartment than a rent-controlled apartment.

Rent control

Rent control is a policy that means landlords cannot increase a tenant’s rent. Effectively, rental rates remain set and won’t increase. Rent-controlled apartments have a set price for rent that will not increase whereas rent-stabilized apartments will see price increases but there is a cap on how much the rate can increase each year.

Rent-controlled apartments are incredibly rare, so if you live in or can find a rent-controlled apartment, you’re very lucky.

Friends apartment in NYC.

In fact, there are only 22,000 rent-controlled apartments out there. Even if you can find a rent-controlled apartment on the market, you have to meet a specific set of criteria to qualify for one. This includes:

  • You cannot make more than $200,000 for two years in a row
  • The building must have been built before 1947
  • The apartment must have been lived in by the same family since at least 1971
  • The apartment must be passed from family member to family member
  • The person who inherits the rent-controlled apartment must have lived in it for two years straight before officially inheriting it

Now, it makes sense how Monica had such a great apartment in New York — she lived in the apartment with her grandmother for two years prior to inheriting it from her. This allowed her to take over the rent-controlled apartment and keep it in the family.

Where is rent control most common?

Out of the 50 states, only five have specific rent control policies in place. The other 45 exempt rent control or have no active policies in place.

The five states that have some rent-controlled apartments are California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Oregon.

Map of rent control.

Photo source: National Multifamily Housing Council

Pros and cons of rent control

As with everything, there are pros and cons to rent control depending on your perspective and situation.

Pro: Cheaper for tenants

Because rent-controlled apartments have a fixed price for rent, they are very affordable. You will pay the same price for rent year after year, even as your neighbors experience price increases. Rent-controlled apartments are cheap.

Pro: Affordable even when wages don’t increase

It’s common knowledge that rent prices are rising faster than wages are. So, you can live in the same apartment at the same price and still afford it, even if you don’t see a pay bump on your paycheck very often.

Pro: Foster safe neighborhoods

Rent-controlled apartments offer renters financial stability because they know that they can live on a fixed income. When there is financial stability, people will stay in the same location, develop relationships with neighbors and decrease renter turnover. All of these factors contribute to a safer neighborhood and environment.

Pro: Automatic lease renewals

When you live in a rent-controlled apartment, you automatically get the first right of renewal on your lease. Basically, you always have a place to live and can always re-sign your lease at the same rate.

Con: Not always well-maintained

Because of the fixed rent price in a rent-controlled apartment, landlords don’t maintain, update or refurbish them as often because it isn’t profitable for them. At times, rent-controlled apartments have outdated appliances because no one invests in them.

Con: Hard to come by

As we mentioned earlier, there are roughly 22,000 rent-controlled apartments in the wild, so they are incredibly rare and hard to come by. As such, you’ll be frustrated looking for one as the supply is so low.

Con: Landlords often lose money on rent-controlled apartments

If you’re a landlord of a rent-controlled apartment, you’re likely losing money compared to other landlords who can increase the price of rent each year. If you’re a tenant, this is great. But, it’s a con for the property owner.

Reviewing and signing a lease.

How to find a rent-controlled apartment

Rent-controlled apartments are a unicorn in the real estate world. When you have one, hold onto it as they are very rare and you likely won’t have a better deal anywhere, especially in an expensive metro like New York City.

If you want a rent-controlled apartment, you have two ways to find one.

  1. You can inherit a rent-controlled apartment
  2. Research the city or state’s database of rent-controlled apartments

If you can’t find or qualify for a rent-controlled apartment, don’t fret. Rent.com has thousands of affordable apartments all across the country that would be perfect for you. Start your search today!

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional legal or financial advice as they may deem it necessary.

Source: rent.com