The Cheapest Places to Live in Pennsylvania

There’s more to Pennsylvania than just Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

There’s something especially exciting about moving to a new city for a job. There’s always the opportunity to reinvent yourself and expand your horizons. It’s an adventure. And while the possibilities are endless, your options for apartments are anything but.

The fact is, if you’re just starting out, you’re going to need to save as much money as possible for bills, expenses, savings and yes, even fun. But in order to do that, you’re going to need to start looking through the cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania.

The great news is if you’re looking for inexpensive places to live in Pennsylvania, you have a ton of options that should also align with the city you’ll be moving to.

Pennsylvania’s average rent prices

From Pittsburgh to Philly and everywhere in between, there are nearly limitless options for renters in The Keystone State. Renters here enjoy a reasonable cost of living and an average monthly rent of $1,685. The rent here is up about 1.6 percent year over year.

The cheapest cities in Pennsylvania for renters

If you have the flexibility to work from anywhere and you’re looking to make Pennsylvania your home, add these cities to your list. Among the cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania, your rent dollars will go farther here.

10. Upper Darby

upper darby pa

Source: Rent.com / Lansdowne Meadows
  • Average 1-BR rent price: $880
  • Average rent change in the last year: 3.06%

Ten miles west of Philadelphia, Upper Darby makes our list with an average rent of $880 per month, up 3.06 percent since last year.

There’s plenty to do in this middle-class suburb of around 83,000. A thriving performing arts community is home to one of the oldest youth theater programs in the country. And since it’s only a 15-minute train ride from the center of Philadelphia, it’s a prime destination for young families and anyone who finds themselves priced out of the city.

9. Williamsport

williamsport pa

Source: Rent.com / The Weightman
  • Average 1-BR rent price: $866
  • Average rent change in the last year: 0.11%

For young professionals working remotely, Williamsport is No. 9 on our list of the cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania. The birthplace of little league baseball is about an hour and a half away from Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.

This metropolis of 114,000 prides itself on being the artistic and cultural capital of central Pennsylvania. And that kind of cache comes with a surprisingly affordable price tag. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is holding steady for 2020 at $866 per month. For that kind of money, you can stock up on extra holiday lights and turn your home into the Christmas display you always wanted.

8. Wilkinsburg

wilkinsburg pa

Source: Rent.com / The Forest Apartments
  • Average 1-BR rent price: $863
  • Average rent change in the last year: 12.64%

If you’re planning a move to the Pittsburgh area, put Wilkinsburg on your list of neighborhoods to check out. Just east of Pittsburgh, Wilkinsburg sits near the fork of the Ohio River where it splits off to the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. This working-class neighborhood is on the rise.

Young people and families are moving to Wilkinsburg due to a direct train line to Pittsburgh, but also its low cost of living. The good news is the average monthly rent here is $863. The bad news is that it’s up a whopping 12.6 percent in the last year.

7. Shippensburg

shippensburg pa

  • Average 1-BR rent price: $765
  • Average rent change in the last year: 0.99%

Halfway between Harrisburg and Hagerstown is Shippensburg, in the heart of the Cumberland Valley.

This charming and picturesque community of just more than 5,000 is an up and comer. It’s perfect for those who don’t want to live near a major city and are more comfortable a little further away from the hustle and bustle. Ideal for those working remotely who want to live on the cheap, a month’s rent in Shippensburg is $765.

6. State College

state college pa

  • Average 1-BR rent price: $732
  • Average rent change in the last year: 3.44%

If you live and die by college sports, say hello to your new home.

State College is home to Penn State’s main campus, as well as dozens of bars, restaurants and other businesses. It’s the best of both worlds: a small-town feel with world-class sports teams. The rent is on the rise here, up 3.4 percent in the last year. Expect to pay around $732 a month when you move here.

5. Hermitage

hermitage pa

Source: Rent.com / Hickory Arms/Penngrove Village
  • Average 1-BR rent price: $625
  • Average rent change in the last year: -0.02%

You’ll find Hermitage along the western Pennsylvania border, northeast of Youngstown, OH. And if you like nature trails, local breweries, antiquing and the world’s only free golf course, you’ll soon find yourself in Hermitage.

The cost of living here is a whopping 20 percent below the national average. One month’s rent here will cost you $625.

4. Butler

butler pa

  • Average 1-BR rent price: $587
  • Average rent change in the last year: 0.00%

This city of 13,000 is 35 miles north of Pittsburgh, which gives you access to all the amenities of big city life for small-town prices. In fact, if you move here, you can probably afford to get a place with a second bedroom.

A month of rent in Butler averages out to $587. And for that money, you get a farmer’s market, a nationally recognized Main Street in downtown Butler, Steelers games just a short drive away and so much more.

3. Indiana

indiana pa

  • Average 1-BR rent price: $557
  • Average rent change in the last year: -1.87%

The most important thing to know about Indiana is that it has an airport named after, and a museum honoring actor Jimmy Stewart. This city of 13,000 is also near Pittsburgh, giving you access to the city’s world-class education and medical care.

Rent here is a modest $557 a month, not that you’ll be spending much time at home in a city with more than 60 miles of hiking trails, boating, fishing and dozens of bars, restaurants and breweries to check out. It’s a wonderful life indeed.

2. Greensburg

greensburg pa

  • Average 1-BR rent price: $552
  • Average rent change in the last year: -10.89%

The city of Greensburg grew from just a single stop on the Pennsylvania rail line to become a prosperous and thriving community.

Greensburg is in the heart and Westmoreland County and the hearts of the people who live and work there. In fact, the 14,000-person population of Greensburg doubles during the workday, making it one of the top cities in Pennsylvania for daytime population. Rents here are on the decline, average out at $522 a month so take advantage while you can.

1. New Stanton

new stanton pa

Source: Rent.com / Timber Ridge
  • Average 1-BR rent price: $492
  • Average rent change in the last year: 2.83%

Topping our list of the most affordable places to live in Pennsylvania is the heavenly hamlet of New Stanton. Located in southwest Pennsylvania, New Stanton is the smallest city on our list, with a population of around 2,000 people. But that small-town feel translates to big savings on rent, as the cost of living here is 13% less than the national average.

And with attractions like a landmark theater house, wineries, museums and everything from historic battlefields to birdwatching, life in New Stanton means getting the most out of your money.

The 25 cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania

Everyone has different needs and wants when they’re looking for a new place to call home. So, if a move to Pennsylvania is in your future, do your homework and find out where are the 25 cheapest places to live in the state.

Methodology

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. We pulled our data in December 2020, and it goes back for one year. 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.

We excluded cities with insufficient inventory from this report.

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

Four Things to Consider When Choosing Your Next Community

Deciding to move is a major decision and location is one of the most important aspects you should consider when planning a move. Whether it’s a new neighborhood, a new city, or a new state–once you get there, you want to make sure your new community truly makes you feel welcome.

Recently Homes.com outlined some of the priciest streets in the US, but when diving deeper to figure out why they are the most expensive, a few commonalities were revealed. Almost half of the cities listed, were also a part of the top 10 most diverse cities in the US as well, with Houston, TX at the top of this list. The other pricy cities included in the most diverse cities of the U.S. are New York, NY, Dallas, TX, and Los Angeles, CA. This means that people are willing to pay extra to live in a place that accepts them, no matter who they are or where they come from. Other cities across the nation, are realizing they too need to keep up with the changing must-haves younger generations expect from the communities in which they live. 

While diversity and inclusivity have been hot topics within the workforce for some time, city officials are now beginning to look at ways to nurture this same environment within its city limits. According to the World Economic Forum, “economies are losing out by not implementing more inclusive strategies.” Cities who have taken strides to be more diverse and inclusive are drawing people from all walks of life and backgrounds to their areas. City officials are reaching out to their communities to have open and honest “color brave” discussions. This dialogue not only recognizes the struggles of their citizens, but also serves to develop programs, implement statutes, and provide resources to all. The more comfortable people are in their surroundings, the more likely they are to thrive, and in turn, less likely to leave the area. Everyone wants to feel safe, valued, and a part of their community. Below is a list of some things to look for in a city that is welcoming to all:

Walkability

Nothing generates a sense of community more than walkability to local hot spots. It gives you a chance to go at a slower pace, chat with neighbors, and truly take in where you live. Which also means that there is a stronger safety presence either by law enforcement or neighborhood watch programs.

Community Spaces

Aside from improving the area from a walkability standpoint, providing a safe space for people to gather and celebrate is also vital to a thriving community. Festivals, dedicated green spaces, and even pet-friendly spaces can provide a nice alternative to privately owned locations. 

Work incentive and growth

Cities are encouraging minority entrepreneurs to establish their businesses by offering various incentives. Cities have set up networking and educational activities available to members of its business-minded community that would otherwise be too difficult to find or too expensive. Bringing job opportunities to the area draws in people, helps them want to stay, which in turn helps drive the economy.

Engagement

Once a city has established itself as a desirable place to live, they have to maintain it too. Cities are creating boards with members of their communities to continually check the pulse of what’s working, what’s lacking, and what they as a community can do to improve. Atlanta, GA is an example of a city that is working to include all community members in its decision-making with its “One Atlanta” initiative where citizens from all backgrounds are celebrated and brought into the political fold.

Being comfortable where you live extends far beyond the walls of your own home. Being apart of a thriving community will not only affect your overall wellbeing, but it also will increase your home value over time. When starting on your home buying journey, make sure to keep a running list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for your local community as well as your future home.


Brooke has a lifestyle blog called Cribbs Style and currently lives in Charleston, SC. This wife, mom of two almost tweens, and mom of three fur children enjoys all things DIY and organizing. When she’s not helping others tackle the chaos of life, she’s either working out, at the beach, or just enjoying time with family and friends.

Source: homes.com

How To Find an Apartment in the Age of Coronavirus: A Guide for a Virtual Rental Search

Stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures may have put a serious dent in your plans to relocate. The entire process of searching for and touring new apartments has become infinitely more difficult. But, pandemic be damned, you can still successfully search for and “visit” an apartment under quarantine—virtually.

“Renting an apartment sight unseen is not unheard of. It is common and, if done correctly, can work out in a renter’s favor,” says Denae Montesi, a licensed real estate salesperson with William Raveis Real Estate in New York.

So how can you conduct a successful (and safe) apartment hunt without leaving your sofa? It’s time to leverage technology and reach out to local experts who know your new city inside and out.

So, get cozy and follow these tips on how to virtually find apartments for rent.

Zero in on cities and neighborhoods

Your best tool right now is your computer or smartphone. Experts suggest starting off by searching the internet for neighborhoods in the city or area you are planning to move to, and doing a deep dive on those specific areas. Use Google Maps and Yelp to look up local amenities and attractions like restaurants, coffee shops, parks, and grocery stores. NeighborhoodScout is also a great source of information on crime data, demographic trends, job access, and popular neighborhoods within a city.

“You’ll be able to get an idea and feel for a neighborhood,” says Jennifer Brimhall, a real estate agent for Casa Pacific Realty in San Diego.

To get a firsthand account of the neighborhood you’re interested in, Brimhall suggests reaching out to a local real estate agent who can help you identify neighborhoods that are desirable, taking into consideration factors that are important to you, such as good schools, nightlife, or work commute.

Real estate agents can also help you identify potential properties in good neighborhoods whose listings include photos and virtual walk-throughs.

“It is imperative you have an experienced eye looking at the listings of interest,” says Montesi.

Use online tools to find an apartment

Websites such as realtor.com let you take the search into your own hands and find listings that fit your specific criteria. High-resolution photos of the unit and property grounds will give you a good sense of the age, color scheme, and interior features. For the most part, you should use photos to narrow your list of possible places to rent.

From there, since in-person tours are considered unsafe for the time being, you can rely on the power of video to get a better impression of the inside of the unit.

“During these times of social quarantine you can ‘see’ an apartment via a video or 3D virtual tour,” says Brimhall.

If you find an apartment that doesn’t offer that option in the listing, experts suggest renters ask property managers or landlords if they’d be willing to film a walk-through of the space.

Send emails, set up calls, chat on video

When virtually searching for an apartment, it will help to have an actual person answer questions that a 3D tour, videos, and photos cannot.

“If you think you’ve found a good option, call right away! Make telephone interview appointments immediately,” says Brimhall.

A quick phone call or video chat can also help you determine if the person you are dealing with is a shady landlord or property manager. It will also tell you if the person is adhering to health and safety precautions.

“Ask how the building is keeping up with cleaning and sanitizing. You want to know you are moving into a safe environment,” says Montesi.

You can also deal directly with a real estate agent or broker to help you home in on a rental.

“Since we are not able to physically see listings, the renter should discuss in great length the pros and cons of each property of interest with their trusted real estate adviser,” says Montesi.

Optional: Take a drive

If you happen to be moving within driving distance of your new location, consider driving by a few properties that are in the running. You are still adhering to social distancing measures and, at the same time, able to eliminate any properties if you’re not satisfied with the neighborhood.

If you’re working from home at this time, you can also test-drive your commute from your potential new home to your place of business. This will allow you to gauge the traffic patterns and give you a better sense of what living there will really be like.

Source: realtor.com