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Old 01-15-2007, 01:34 PM
3 posts, read 123,456 times
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I am a recent college graduate, and am currently researching the best place in the US to relocate. My main priority is to pay off my student loans, and after figuring out a ballpark budget, it looks like my rent range is between $450-750/month.

I'd definitely prefer to live in the city; the rural thing just isn't my cup of tea. But beyond that, I'm very flexible and adventurous! I'd love input from others regarding which cities/geographic regions in the United States have the lowest costs of living and the least expensive rent.
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:16 PM
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I should add that I'm most interested in Washington DC, Chicago, Sacramento, and Philadelphia, although the cost of living isn't particularly affordable in any of these cities!
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Old 01-15-2007, 04:21 PM
Location: Missouri
6,042 posts, read 19,131,207 times
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What field do you/will you work in?
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Old 01-15-2007, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by christina0001 View Post
What field do you/will you work in?
My educational background is in criminal justice and my job experiences are in the administrative arena.
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Old 01-15-2007, 06:53 PM
Location: N.H.
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Yes we do need more info. If your a your a coputer programer we would want to send you to a place you can get work. Ya know what I mean.
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Old 01-15-2007, 06:56 PM
Location: Journey's End
10,183 posts, read 22,541,692 times
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From both my observation and experience, I'd say you can't separate job potential and cost of living.

You may find a wonderful town/city to your liking and not find a job, but an affordable rent.

I'd say try for a higher paying community with moderate rentals, and you may be able to pay off your student loans faster.

One place to possibly consider, and I only suggest it because I know the area is Upstate New York. I know they have jobs in the criminal justice system (Syracuse and Utica comes to mind) but I don't know much about rentals.

Good luck in whatever decision you make!
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:40 PM
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,407 posts, read 12,317,197 times
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Milwaukee would be a good cheap alternative to Chicago. Baltimore would be a cheaper alternative to DC although it's a bit more expensive than most of the cities of the South and Midwest where rents are cheaper.

Other cities with cheap rents: El Paso, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Memphis, Omaha, Oklahoma City, St. Louis and Tulsa.

Relatively cheap: Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Austin, Kansas City, Charlotte, Raleigh, Virginia Beach, Columbus, Albuquerque and Jacksonville.

Generally, any urban area not on the East or West coasts actually has a pretty good deal on rents although most will be in the upper end of the $450-750 range.
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Old 01-16-2007, 12:36 AM
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My daughter just moved to Everett, Washington which is just north of Seattle. She has a nice one-BR apartment with a fireplace, patio, and a pretty view for $670/mo. Nice town with good opportunities.
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Old 01-16-2007, 07:43 AM
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 13,441,846 times
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Many cities have fairly low rent once you get out of the Eastern US and the Western US. Any one of the 4 major cities in Texas (Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio) would be a great choice along with some of the larger Midwestern metros (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Des Moines, Omaha, Sioux Falls etc). Out of all of those I'd say Dallas, Houston, and Minneapolis would be your best bets.
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Old 01-16-2007, 01:33 PM
3,020 posts, read 21,089,592 times
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Default Consider a lot more than rents.

You probably can take a general area of eastern Ohio, Northen WV and western PA. In many areas you might even find rents in the $200-300 range, maybe something like Wheeling WV or St. Clairsville, OH or somewhere in the areas around Columbiana, OH.

It is not just rents. The costs of living can vary widely. Example food costs. MA is about double the food costs of OH, OH is one of the cheapest states in general for most things it takes to live, including taxes, gasoline, food, etc.

In OH I can buy strawberries on sale for about half of what they sell for in FL and they grow the strawberries in FL, same with sugar, go figure. Going to the supermarket in FL is not cheap, pays to have a handle on it for most places. Nothing in FL is cheap, same with many other places. One thing to look for is discount stores of all types. Does the place you are considering have many??

It is the total cost of everything, including utilities, hidden fees, taxes, etc not just the rents. WV & PA tends to have a lot more ways to skin you than does OH. They all will get you in one way or the other, it might just come down to the degree of the skinning.

In general if I wanted to save money I would avoid major metro regions. Maybe even a place like Zanesville or Leetonia, OH. If you want cheap, then look for safety and stay out of any pollution zones in those general areas. Should be able to find a job in the larger mid towns sizes like >20,000. Lots of places to pick from in OH. In general I would say avoid northern OH because of the weather. Cincinnati if you must have a larger city.
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