“Despite the significant decline in mortgage affordability in the past two years, millions of families who do not own their home have the means to afford the largest share of a homeowner’s cost — the mortgage,” said Zillow senior economist Orphe Divounguy. However, he emphasized that income isn’t the only obstacle. “It’s crucial to recognize … [Read more…]
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China’s central bank has cut its key mortgage reference rate by a record amount, as it ramps up efforts to stem a prolonged property crisis.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced Tuesday that it would cut its five-year loan prime rate (LPR) from 4.2% to 3.95%, while keeping the one-year LPR unchanged at 3.45%.
The 25 basis point cut to the five-year LPR is the biggest reduction the central bank has made since it revamped its LPR system in 2019. That August, the central bank announced that the LPR would become the new reference rates for lending by Chinese banks.
The latest cut was also the first reduction to the five-year LPR since June 2023.
The LPR is the rate at which commercial banks lend to their best customers. The five-year rate usually serves as a reference for mortgages.
“Today’s 25 (basis point) cut to the five-year LPR is clearly aimed at supporting the housing market,” analysts from Capital Economics said in a note on Tuesday.
“On its own, it will not revive new home sales. But coupled with efforts to provide increased credit support to developers, today’s cut should help to reduce pressure on the property sector somewhat,” they said.
China’s economy has been hobbled by a real estate downturn since 2021, when a government crackdown on developers’ borrowing triggered a liquidity crisis in the sector.
The property market has since entered a prolonged slump, marked by an ongoing decline in both investment in and sales of property. Dozens of major developers have defaulted on their debt, with Evergrande, once the country’s second largest homebuilder, ordered to liquidate last month.
The crisis has triggered widespread protests by unpaid construction workers, buyers of unfinished homes and frustrated investors facing financial losses. It has also spilled over to the country’s massive shadow banking industry, with Zhongrong Trust declaring itself severely insolvent last year after failing to repay its debt.
Beijing has scrambled to revive the property sector, which accounts for as much as 30% of China’s gross domestic product.
Measures unveiled include slashing interest rates, reducing the size of down payments, encouraging banks to extend maturing loans to developers and loosening restrictions on home purchases in Chinese cities.
China’s economy faces a litany of other problems, including deflation, low confidence and accelerated capital flight.
The country’s direct investment liabilities, a measure of foreign direct investment, reached $33 billion in 2023, according to data released by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Sunday.
The gauge, which measures direct investments by foreign-owned entities in China, was down 82% from 2022 and stands at its lowest level since 1993.
While an uncertain economic outlook and rising geopolitical tensions are partly to blame for the exodus, foreign companies and investors have also grown wary of increasing political risks in China, including the possibility of raids and detentions.
The country’s stock markets have suffered a prolonged slump since their recent peaks in 2021, with more than $6 trillion in market value having been wiped out from the Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong markets.
There’s no doubt that being a single mom is challenging. There’s also no doubt that qualifying for a mortgage can be difficult even under normal circumstances.
The National Association of Realtors found that single female buyers account for 9% of all home purchases. This figure is down from 20% in 2010. And the median purchase price for single female buyers was $189,000, which is the lowest of all median home purchases.
For many single mothers, trying to qualify for a mortgage with only one income can feel next to impossible. But as a parent, it’s normal to want to provide a comfortable home for your children.
And thankfully, there are loans and financial assistance programs available that can help you do just that. Let’s look at some of the best mortgage programs available for single moms.
Challenges Single Moms Face in Buying a Home
One of the most difficult challenges that many single mothers face is a lack of income. They are responsible for providing for themselves and their children on one income, and they don’t always receive child support.
It can be challenging because mortgage companies want to see that you have a certain amount of disposable income before they’re willing to lend to you. You need to prove that you can make your monthly mortgage payments, have a low debt-to-income ratio, and a strong credit history.
Plus, most lenders require down payments between 10% and 20%. Most people struggle to come up with this kind of cash, so it can be especially challenging for a single mother.
5 Home Loans for Single Moms
If you’re a single mom looking to purchase a home, there are options available to you. Listed below are the five best mortgage assistance programs for single moms.
1. Down Payment Assistance Programs
Homeownership is a dream for many, but the initial costs can sometimes stand as a formidable barrier. For aspiring homeowners facing this challenge, down payment assistance programs act as a financial bridge, easing the burden of upfront expenses. Offered across various states and localities, these programs are crafted to cater to differing financial situations.
Lifting financial barriers: The highlight of these programs is their primary purpose – reducing the initial costs of buying a home. By either lowering or completely covering the down payment, they create a more accessible route to homeownership for many who might find it out of reach otherwise.
Local solutions for local challenges: Many states and cities have their unique down payment assistance programs designed with their residents in mind. From specific grants to interest-free loans, the types and benefits of these programs can vary widely based on the region.
Multiple options: Some programs might offer flat monetary assistance, like a set grant amount, while others could provide a percentage of the home’s price. Additionally, there might be options that assist not just with the down payment but also with closing costs.
Criteria and eligibility: Like any financial program, these assistance initiatives come with their sets of requirements. Factors like income levels, property location, and first-time homebuyer status can influence eligibility.
Your next steps: If the prospect of reduced initial costs sounds appealing, dive into research specific to your state or city. Local housing agencies and official state websites often provide comprehensive lists of available down payment assistance programs. By understanding what’s accessible in your region, you can make a more informed decision on your path to homeownership.
2. FHA Loans
FHA loans are a popular option for single parents struggling to come up with a down payment. You can apply for this type of home loan through a bank or online mortgage lender, and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guarantee the home loan.
Flexible credit requirements: One of the most significant advantages of an FHA loan is its lenient credit criteria. Even if your credit score isn’t perfect, you may still be eligible for this loan, offering a lifeline to many potential homeowners who’ve faced financial hiccups in the past.
Lower down payments: Traditional loans often demand a hefty down payment, but with an FHA loan, you can potentially secure your dream home with as little as 3.5% down. This makes the path to homeownership more feasible for individuals without vast savings.
Debt-to-income leeway: Where many conventional loans are strict about debt-to-income ratios, FHA loans often provide a bit more wiggle room, accommodating borrowers with higher debt levels.
Government assurance: With the Federal Housing Administration backing these loans, lenders often feel a heightened sense of security. As a result, borrowers can often enjoy more favorable loan terms and conditions.
Understanding the criteria: While FHA loans offer flexibility, there are still criteria to meet. This includes ensuring the property meets specific standards and falls within set loan limits. Additionally, borrowers will need to pay a mortgage insurance premium (MIP), which can add to the monthly payment. It is usually more expensive than a conventional loan, and it remains in place until you refinance or sell the property.
Getting started with an FHA loan: If the benefits of an FHA loan resonate with your situation, the next logical step is to consult with an FHA-approved lender. They’ll guide you through the process, ensuring you’re informed, prepared, and ready to make the best decision for your homeownership dreams.
3. USDA Loans
When thinking of affordable homeownership, rural areas might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has paved a unique path to homeownership, especially in these lesser-populated regions. USDA loans stand as a testament to the government’s commitment to making homeownership accessible to a broader audience, regardless of urban or rural preferences.
Zero down payment: The standout feature of USDA loans is the possibility to finance the entire purchase price of a home. Imagine walking into your new home without the stress of a hefty upfront payment. That’s the magic of the USDA.
Flexible location choices: While the term “rural” defines the USDA’s primary target, many suburban areas also fall within their eligibility map. It’s not just about countryside homes; it’s about expanding homeownership in less densely populated areas.
Competitive interest rates: Often, USDA loans come with interest rates that are either at par or even better than conventional loans. This can translate into significant savings over the life of the mortgage.
Government guarantee: With the backing of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, lenders often extend more favorable terms to borrowers. This backing ensures lower risks for lenders and better loan conditions for aspiring homeowners.
Understanding eligibility: To be a part of the USDA’s vision, you’ll need to meet specific criteria. This includes income restrictions based on the median in your area and ensuring the property falls within the USDA’s designated zones.
Starting the USDA adventure: If the prospect of a no-down-payment home in a tranquil setting appeals to you, look into the USDA loan process. Engaging with a lender familiar with USDA loans will offer clarity and set you on a promising path toward a home that aligns with your dreams.
4. VA Loans
For those who have bravely served in our nation’s military, VA loans are the government’s way of saying thanks. Whether you’re a veteran, an active-duty service member, or the widow of someone who served, these loans offer distinct benefits tailored to recognize and support your sacrifices.
No down payment: What sets VA loans apart is the option to finance 100% of a home’s purchase price. That means you can step into homeownership without the heavy upfront cost that often deters potential buyers.
Low-interest rates: Traditionally, VA loans come with interest rates that are more competitive than many conventional loans. Over the lifespan of your mortgage, this could equate to substantial savings.
Skip the PMI: With many mortgages, if you can’t put down a certain percentage, you’re hit with the additional monthly cost of private mortgage insurance (PMI). However, with VA loans, you won’t have to factor in PMI, no matter your down payment amount.
Government assurance: With 100% backing from the government, lenders often offer more favorable terms. It’s a win-win; you get better conditions, and they get added security.
Meeting the criteria: To take advantage of a VA loan, you’ll need to meet specific service stipulations. The criteria vary based on your military service’s nature and duration. Additionally, the property you choose must meet VA standards, which entails an inspection and appraisal by a licensed professional.
If a VA loan sounds like a good fit, your next step is to consult with a VA-approved lender. They’ll walk you through the ins and outs, ensuring that you’re both eligible and fully informed.
5. HomeReady Mortgage by Fannie Mae
If you’re a single mom or a first-time homebuyer searching for a more flexible mortgage option, the HomeReady Mortgage by Fannie Mae might be just what you’re looking for. This program is designed to assist individuals, like you, in accessing affordable home financing.
Low down payment: With HomeReady, the daunting hurdle of a large down payment becomes more manageable. This program allows for down payments as low as 3%, enabling homeownership for those who might be limited by savings.
Inclusive co-borrowing: Understanding that households today come in all forms, HomeReady offers a unique feature. It permits co-borrowers who won’t be residing in the house, like a supportive relative or close friend. This flexibility can significantly enhance borrowing capacity.
Reduced PMI: While many mortgages saddle borrowers with hefty private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums, the HomeReady program shines with its reduced rates. Over time, this can result in tangible savings.
Government-backed confidence: Fannie Mae’s backing offers lenders the assurance they need, which often translates to more favorable loan terms and conditions for borrowers.
Meeting the guidelines: Like all specialized loan programs, HomeReady comes with its specific criteria. It’s essential to understand these requirements and ensure that both the borrower and the property align with them.
Stepping into HomeReady: If the features of the HomeReady Mortgage align with your situation, the next step is to liaise with a lender experienced with Fannie Mae’s offerings. Their guidance can illuminate the home buying process, ensuring that you make an informed choice, well-suited to your housing aspirations.
Preparing for Homeownership: Key Steps for Single Moms
Taking the first step towards homeownership as a single mom can feel daunting, but with the right preparation, it becomes a more manageable process. To ensure you’re making the right choices for you and your family, consider these foundational steps:
- Determine your budget: Before diving into the property market, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your financial standing. Assess your monthly income, expenses, and potential home-related costs. This will give you a clear picture of the mortgage payment you can afford without straining your finances. Remember, it’s not just the monthly mortgage you have to account for; consider property taxes, utilities, and potential maintenance costs too.
- Search for low down payment options: Not all home loans for single moms require a hefty down payment. It’s beneficial to look for home buying programs that offer low down payment options. This can help in making homeownership more attainable without depleting your savings.
- Establish a savings plan: Even if you opt for a low down payment loan, you’ll still likely need to pay some upfront costs. Establishing a dedicated savings goal can help. Consider opening a high-interest savings account where your money can grow over time, helping you reach your down payment goal faster.
- Stay informed: Securing home loans for single moms can be a challenging process. Stay informed by researching and comparing different home loan options. Consider reaching out to financial advisors or housing counselors who can guide you through the home buying process.
In addition to these steps, it’s also beneficial to look into loan programs tailored for low-income borrowers. Such programs can offer favorable loan terms, grants, or even down payment assistance, making homeownership even more achievable.
See also: Best Home Loans for Low-Income Borrowers
Home Loans for Single Mothers FAQs
Can I buy a home as a single mom?
Yes, you can purchase a home as a single mom. However, it can be more difficult to qualify for traditional home loans when you are a single parent.
You may need to look into government-backed loans such as FHA loans or USDA loans, which may have more flexible qualification requirements. Alternatively, you could look into owner-financing or rent-to-own options.
What types of home loans are available for single moms?
Single moms may be eligible for several types of home loans, including FHA loans, USDA loans, VA loans, and conventional loans.
How much money can single mothers borrow when applying for a home loan?
The amount of money that single mothers can borrow when applying for a home loan depends on several factors. These include income, credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and down payment.
Lenders will look at your income to determine how much they are willing to lend, and your credit score will determine the interest rate you receive. It is also important to have a sufficient down payment, typically at least 3-5% of the home’s value.
Additionally, lenders will want to see that your debt-to-income ratio is less than 43%, meaning that your monthly debt payments are less than 43% of your monthly income. With good credit and a sufficient down payment, single mothers may be able to borrow up to 97% of the home’s value.
What is the minimum credit score required to get a home loan for single mothers?
The minimum credit score required to get a home loan for single mothers can vary depending on the type of loan and the mortgage lender.
Generally speaking, FHA loans tend to have the lowest credit score requirements, with a minimum score of 500. This can be helpful for single mothers who may not have the best credit.
Other types of loans, such as a conventional loan, may have a minimum credit score requirement of 620 or higher. It is important to check with the lender to find out the exact credit score requirements for the type of loan you are applying for.
Are there any special programs available for single mothers looking to purchase a home?
Yes, there are several programs available across the U.S. designed to assist single mothers and low-income families in their quest for homeownership. These programs can make the home-buying process more affordable through a combination of grants, low-interest loans, down payment assistance, and more. Aside from the ones we mentioned above, here are some other notable ones:
- State-specific programs: Various states offer specific programs to assist single parents or low-income individuals. For instance, states might have special housing grants for single mothers, or they may offer seminars and classes on home buying that come with financial incentives upon completion.
- Habitat for Humanity: This non-profit organization helps families build and rehabilitate their homes. Single mothers can offer volunteer hours to the organization as a form of ‘down payment,’ assisting in constructing their own homes or others.
- Individual Development Account (IDA): IDAs are matched savings accounts, where for every dollar saved, it gets matched by federal and non-federal funds. This can be a boon for single mothers looking to accumulate a down payment.
- Section 8 Homeownership Voucher: While Section 8 is often associated with rental assistance, there’s a homeownership option that allows eligible participants to use voucher payments to make mortgage payments.
Are there any special tax benefits for single mothers who purchase a home?
Yes, there are several tax benefits available to single mothers who purchase a home, such as the mortgage interest deduction and the homeowner’s tax credit.
How can a single parent save for a house?
- Set a budget and stick to it: Make sure to create a budget and stick to it. Track your income and expenses and cut out unnecessary costs.
- Set realistic goals: Set realistic goals for what you can afford and how much you will need to save each month.
- Automate your savings: Set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to savings each month.
- Reduce interest-bearing debt: Pay off as much debt as possible.
- Use tax-advantaged savings accounts: Consider using tax-advantaged savings accounts, such as an IRA or 401k, to save for a house.
- Take advantage of grants and assistance programs: Research grants and assistance programs available to single parents and take advantage of any that you may qualify for.
- Make extra money: Look for ways to make extra money, such as a part-time job, side hustle, freelance work, or selling items online.
- Live below your means: Live below your means and make sacrifices if necessary.
- Talk to a financial advisor: Speak to a financial advisor or real estate agent to get advice on the best way to save for a house.
Does child support count as income for a mortgage?
Yes, child support may be counted as income when applying for a mortgage. Lenders will usually require proof of the payments, such as a tax return or court order.
None of the home buying programs outlined above are specific to single mothers. However, hopefully, you can see that it’s possible to find an affordable mortgage with a low down payment. Purchasing a home as a single mother can be challenging, but it’s also very doable. Make sure you compare your options and find the program that works best for your family.
If you know you can’t commit to a full year, subletting a room or living in a short-term apartment might be your best option.
Never subleased an apartment before? We’ll break it down for you!
What does it mean to sublet an apartment?
The legal definition of subletting is leasing or renting a part, or all, of your lease or rented property, to another person called a subtenant. Subtenants have responsibilities to both the tenant and the landlord, but the tenant is still responsible for paying rent to the landlord and for any damage done to the property.
In simpler words, a sublet, or sublease, is when the original tenant transfers the lease to a subtenant for the remaining duration of the lease period — typically less than a year.
While it varies case-by-case, it typically involves a lease transfer fee and does not require the full move-in costs that one-year leases usually have. Therefore, subletting a room or apartment is a great option if you value affordability and flexibility.
Who is involved when subleasing?
- Landlord: The owner of the townhouse/apartment. They receive rent on a monthly basis from the tenants.
- Tenant/Sublessor: The renter who signs the lease must pay monthly rent to become a resident of the apartment. The contract period is usually one year.
- Subtenant/Sublessee: The person who may live in said townhouse/apartment and commits to paying the rent for their period of stay. However, they’re not officially on the lease. Their point of contact is the tenant (the person obligated to pay the landlord).
What are the legal and financial responsibilities?
Every lease differs, so you first need to figure out if it’s even allowed. If you’re the tenant, read your contract again to ensure that your landlord allows subletting. If you’re the subtenant, ensure that tenant is following the proper procedure.
Regardless of what the lease outlines, it’s a requirement to talk to your landlord about the fact that you want to sublease. If they allow it, they’ll inform you of the procedure that you must follow — it could involve either a transfer of lease and/or a subletting fee.
Alternatively, the landlord may not permit it at all. Tenants/subtenants must adhere to the decision of the landlord or they hold the right to sue/evict or charge hefty fines to both the tenant and the subtenant from the apartment.
Subleasing often involves a fee for processing the addition of the subtenant on the lease agreement. In case there is a lease transfer, there may be penalty fees for breaking the lease. The landlord may request a security deposit from the subtenant, as well. In certain rare cases, there is no fee.
Read the fine print in your subletting contract: Length of stay, utilities, rent amount, parking fees. These are important factors that all parties must agree on. It’s in all parties’ best interests to sign a sublease contract to make sure you’re protected and have the rules for both parties in writing.
Make sure you know what type of sublet you’re agreeing to
There are two main forms of subletting.
- Both the sublessor and sublessee are jointly responsible for the apartment and all associated costs.
- The original tenant is fully responsible for the lease and is thus responsible for complying with all rules and regulations. The original tenant is liable for any damages and missed payments on behalf of the sublessee.
Read more on the regulations here.
Benefits of subletting a room or an apartment
A sublet isn’t as much of a commitment. Now more than ever, signing on to a one-year lease is something to think twice about. Sublets are much more lenient, and allow you the flexibility during these unpredictable times.
Another pro is that sublets are much more affordable. People looking to transfer their lease will sometimes negotiate on rent. Even a small amount can certainly add up, making a large difference in your overall cost.
And finally, people seeking subletters typically leave their apartments completely furnished, or offer to sell their furniture at a discount. Not only will this save you money, but it also makes all the difference when you’re trying to move in furniture up a few flights of stairs. Definitely a huge perk of subletting!
Benefits of finding someone to sublet your apartment
You don’t have to break your contract. In most cases, breaking a lease is not an option. If you’re committed to a lease, then finding someone to sublet your apartment means you don’t throw money away. Nobody wants to pay for an apartment they aren’t living in.
Another perk is the ability to leave your apartment for a few months, but still move back in eventually. With subletting, you don’t need to give up your apartment.
And by subletting, you don’t need to urgently leave the apartment and pack up your entire life. We all know how difficult moving is in general, not to mention on short notice.
Drawbacks to subletting a room
While subleasing is a great option for someone looking for short-term housing, there are a few drawbacks to the process.
For the renter, it’s only temporary. If you find a great place to live, you know that you’re going to have to move out eventually. So don’t fall in love with your temporary digs.
For the tenant, there are always risks when having someone come into your place when you’re not there, especially if you have really nice things. Think of it like if you were to Airbnb your apartment, there’s always a chance something could get stolen. Also, if your sublessee bails on you or fails to pay the rent, your landlord will still come after you for that missing payment.
What to keep in mind while searching for sublet?
Make sure a sublet is the best option for your circumstances: Will you live in this apartment for less than a year? Do you want to avoid upfront costs that come with a full-year lease? Do you want flexibility? If you answered yes to these questions, you should definitely consider subleasing an apartment.
Make sure to start early. If you’re seeking a sublet for the spring semester, now’s the perfect time to start. It’s best to give yourself at least two months when starting your apartment search. Oftentimes, people with available apartments start searching for a subletter two months in advance, while others leave it until the last minute. To give yourself ample time to find an apartment that fits your budget, location and lifestyle, start your search early.
And remember, there may be a lot of competition. When you start early, you get in touch with more people looking for a place to sublet. That gives you more choices in terms of who you want to have living in your room. By giving yourself time, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know them. Ask them all the important questions: Background checks? Will they pay on time? Is your landlord OK with it? Will they keep your room clean? Are your roommates OK living with them?
How can I find a short-term rental?
Now more than ever, there are various platforms to use to search for sublets or short-term rentals.
- Facebook is great if you want to write a short description of your apartment and post a few pictures for more elaboration. It’s also great for networking due to the sheer volume of people using the platform for the purpose of seeking/subletting an apartment. However, if you’re the one finding a room/apartment, you’re bound to spend hours on your Facebook timeline reading every little detail to find your perfect fit. This happens because, in the post format, the information is not standardized.
- If you want an interactive experience, Hoamsy is a Boston-based platform that uniquely allows you to list and find sublets. Once you make a profile, you’ll get personalized leads based on your preferences. Once you find a match, you can directly connect with them through Hoamsy’s direct messaging feature. It’s a great resource for people looking to find sublets.
- Apartment rental sites like Apartment Guide and Rent. are good platforms to use if you have a very specific apartment in mind. You can filter your search to show only properties that offer short-term rentals. They also have listings available in most major cities and give you a ton of guidance on all aspects of moving on their blogs.
Enjoy your freedom of subletting a room
It’s always good to have options and flexibility and subletting a room definitely gives you the opportunity to do that. Just much sure you understand the process before you get started, and get permission from your landlord before doing anything!
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.
When looking for a place to live, a variety of factors come into play like location, size and cost. Everyone wants to find and move into an apartment that fits their needs and is affordable. While the cost of living is getting more and more expensive across the country, there are some neighborhoods across America that are inexpensive.
If you’re looking for a studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment, we’ve built a list of the cheapest neighborhoods in America for renters.
The cheapest neighborhoods for studios
Studio apartments are open concept living spaces where the kitchen, living room and bedroom are in one larger room and only the bathroom is in its own room with walls and a door. Studios give off an urban vibe and are great for people who are singles or couples.
While studios are often smaller in square footage, they aren’t necessarily cheaper to rent. For example, a studio apartment in San Francisco can cost upwards of $3,300 for roughly 650 square feet!
If you’re looking for an eclectic studio apartment but don’t want to break the bank with rent, there are some neighborhoods worth considering.
5. St. Matthews (Saint Matthews, KY)
- Average price per square foot: $1.34
The neighborhood of St. Matthews is a desirable pocket of Kentucky where homes are in high demand and businesses are growing within the community. Residents love the parks, walking paths and playgrounds.
Also, housing is very affordable in this neighborhood and it’s the fifth-cheapest neighborhood for studio apartments with average rent at $748 per month.
4. East Louisville (Louisville, KY)
- Average price per square foot: $1.34
Whether you’re a baseball fan or a horse racing fan, Louisville has something to offer for everyone. From shopping to dining to watching a sporting event, you’ll find lots to do in the largest city in the state.
And while it’s a major metro city, studios are still very affordable for renters. If you’re looking to rent a studio apartment in one of the cheapest neighborhoods, check out East Louisville where rent is $748 a month.
3. West San Antonio (San Antonio, TX)
- Average price per square foot: $1.09
West San Antonio is the third city in Texas that offers affordable rent for studio apartments. Again, the average cost of rent for a studio is $647. If you’re looking to move to Texas and live in a studio, you have plenty of the cheapest neighborhoods to consider.
2. Far West Side (San Antonio, TX)
- Average price per square foot: $1.09
Another cheap neighborhood for studios in San Antonio is Far West Side. This neighborhood is full of fun studios for rent that are both affordable and chic. You can rent one for $647 and live in this city full of rich history, which is home to the historic Alamo.
1. Lackland Terrace (San Antonio, TX)
- Average price per square foot: $1.09
Wide-open spaces — that’s what Texas has to offer. Lackland Terrace is a neighborhood in San Antonio full of parks, trails and outdoor spaces. This is a great place to be if you want a city vibe plus lots of open land. Lackland Terrace boasts studio apartments available for rent for as cheap as $647 a month.
The 25 cheapest studio neighborhoods
While these are the top five cheapest neighborhoods for studios, there are cities in America that have studios for rent at a great price. Check out the 25 cheapest studio neighborhoods.
The cheapest neighborhoods for one-bedroom apartments
One-bedroom apartments are great for renters who are single, couples or even small families. You’ll be equipped with a kitchen, living room and a separate bedroom and bathroom.
Prices can vary from city to city, but one-bedroom apartments can cost anything from $500 to $5,000. If you’re looking for a one-bedroom apartment, you can rent in some of the cheapest cities in America.
5. Eastside (Tulsa, OK)
- Average price per square foot: $0.87
Oklahoma is more than just the name of a musical. And in Tulsa, you’ll find yourself in the second-largest city in the state. This city has lots of places to shop and eat, as well as green space and parks. Eastside is among the third-cheapest neighborhoods in the state, too, with rent as low as $0.87 per square foot for a one-bedroom apartment.
4. North Baton Rouge (Baton Rouge, LA)
- Average price per square foot: $0.85
The neighborhood of North Baton Rouge is great for rent prices granted it’s located in the capital city. If you want to live in the heart of Louisiana but don’t want to pay a fortune for rent, check out this neighborhood where rent is $718 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.
Baton Rouge is located on the Mississippi River and has a plethora of fun things to do — from sightseeing to checking out historic monuments, this is a great city to call home.
3. The Falls (Tulsa, OK)
- Average price per square foot: $0.85
The Falls is another neighborhood in Tulsa, OK, where you can find inexpensive one-bedroom apartments to rent. Rent is cheap, yet you’re situated in the heart of a large city full of fun things to do.
2. Parkway Village (Memphis, TN)
- Average price per square foot: $0.84
Memphis means “Established and Beautiful,” and that’s what this city is. Here, you can find lots of shops, restaurants, museums, parks and more. Memphis is home to rock ‘n’ roll legend Elvis Presley, so you can find some cool musical memories here, too.
Also, you’ll find rent for as cheap as $585 a month in the charming neighborhood of Parkway Village. You can live in this big city and have affordable housing.
1. South Montgomery (Montgomery, AL)
- Average price per square foot: $0.71
Montgomery, AL, is home to the Civil Rights Movement, so you’ll find a city full of rich history and lots of historic sites to visit. But in addition to the historical monuments, you’ll find some charming neighborhoods that are affordable for one-bedroom renters. The average rent for a one-bedroom is $491 in the neighborhood of South Montgomery.
The 25 cheapest one-bedroom neighborhoods
These five cities have the cheapest neighborhoods for one-bedroom apartments, but there are 25 other cities that made our list of the cheapest neighborhoods for renters. Check them out below.
The cheapest neighborhoods for two-bedroom apartments
Two-bedroom apartments are great for families or renters who need a little extra space. While more room equals higher rent, you can still find two-bedroom apartments in some of the cheapest neighborhoods across the country. Here are some of the most affordable housing options in America.
5. Fort Smith Eastside (Fort Smith, AR)
- Average price per square foot: $0.63
One of the cheapest neighborhoods in the country for two-bedroom apartments is Fort Smith Eastside in Arkansas. Fort Smith is the second-largest city in the state, so you’ll find plenty of things to do and places to go when living here. Also, you’ll have great rent prices in a medium-sized city — win, win!
4. North Parkway Village (Memphis, TN)
- Average price per square foot: $0.63
Located in the heart of Memphis, TN, is a neighborhood called North Parkway Village. Renters can find a variety of two-bedroom apartments with 960-plus square feet for rent for as little as $613 a month. That’s less expensive than some studio apartments with much less space!
3. South Montgomery (Montgomery, AL)
- Average price per square foot: $0.63 cents
Montgomery, AL, is a historic city for the Civil Rights movement, but it also is a city that offers great rental prices for both one- and two-bedroom renters. Here, you can find apartments for rent for $600 a month, and you’ll get close to 1,000 square feet to live in. South Montgomery is the neighborhood to look in when looking for some of the cheapest apartments around.
2. John Barrow (Little Rock, AR)
- Average price per square foot: $0.59
Little Rock is another city in Arkansas that provides a variety of options for renters looking to save. The neighborhood of John Barrow has large, two-bedroom apartments for rent for roughly $650 a month. This neighborhood has some of the largest apartments for rent for a great price. Enjoy living in the capital city at an affordable rate.
1. Fort Smith Southside (Fort Smith, AR)
- Average price per square foot: $0.57
The city of Fort Smith helped settle the “Wild West” and was a western frontier military post back in the 1800s. This city is the second-largest city in the state and while it has a sizable population, you can still find some cheap neighborhoods scattered throughout for two-bedroom renters. Fort Smith Southside is the cheapest neighborhood for two-bedroom apartments with an average rent price of $518 per month.
The 25 cheapest two-bedroom neighborhoods
Looking for another city with cheap neighborhoods for two-bedroom apartments? Here is a list of 25 of the cheapest neighborhoods across America.
Finding affordable housing across the country
Across America, housing prices vary greatly. There are expensive neighborhoods and some of the cheapest neighborhoods scattered throughout the same cities. Finding affordable housing is possible, and you can rent in some of the cheapest neighborhoods in any city in America if you do your research.
Whether you’re looking for a studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment, there are inexpensive neighborhoods that offer great places to live and call home.
We found the cheapest neighborhoods by taking the average rent prices in specific areas and dividing them by the average square footage for each unit type in the area to determine a price per square foot. Neighborhoods with insufficient inventory were excluded.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. Data was pulled in November 2020 and goes back for one year. We use 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.
With more pet ownership happening across the country, finding the best cities for pets could help you live more comfortably. The best cities for pets provide pet-friendly apartments, as well as plenty of amenities, such as off-leash parks, hiking spots, veterinary hospitals and doggie daycares.
Finding the best cities for pets
In our search for the best cities for pets, we analyzed the percentage of apartments in our database that were pet-friendly and allowed dogs or cats.
We also looked at the average cost of veterinarian services in large metro areas with populations above 100,000 and the number of pet-related businesses and parks per capita. Then, we ranked them accordingly.
Here are the best cities for pets in the U.S.
10. Davie, FL
Just north of Miami, Davie is a town with plenty of scenic parks. Head over to Happy Tails Dog Park, the city’s pristine dog park, where your dog can socialize and run obstacle courses. The park has three different play areas and doggie water fountains.
There’s also Central Broward Park, which features 110 acres of fields and playgrounds, Vista View Park, a hilly green space to spend the day hiking and Peace Mound Park, which has an ancient burial site.
Located in Broward County, Davie is known for its colleges, universities and technical colleges. It’s home to plenty of family-friendly activities, such as hanging at the Flamingo Garden and Everglades Holiday Park.
9. Vacaville, CA
Fast-growing city Vacaville in Northern California, just 55 miles outside of San Francisco and because it’s not in the heart of the city, it’s a lot more affordable, too.
Vacaville is a great place to get on your bike and take your dog on a run through Alamo Creek Bike Trail or Lagoon Valley Park, a green, fenced off area for off-leash dogs to run around.
Besides sprawling, recreational areas and charming parks, you can also spend the afternoon checking out some of the local wineries.
Vacaville even has its own little museum, honoring the local heritage. It’s an ideal place away from the hustle and bustle, but close enough if you ever need to access a bigger city (only 35 miles from Sacramento).
8. Naperville, IL
Naperville is a suburb of Chicago — it sits just 35 miles west of the Windy City and is home to paths and bridges that hug the DuPage River. Just like Vacaville, Naperville is far enough from the concrete jungle of Chicago so residents can enjoy the more scenic vibe of public art, colorful local shops, cafes and restaurants.
Grab the leash and take your dog on a stroll through Naperville Riverwalk, which has a two-mile path that opens up to the heart of the city. It’s picturesque with lots of green space, shopping and places to eat or get takeout along the way.
7. Arvada, CO
When it comes to outdoor activities, you really can’t find a better place than Colorado. Arvada, which is near Denver, offers a unique, small-town feel with a retro vibe. The city has a historic shopping district called Olde Town and offers plenty of parks, trails (it has 125 miles of hiking and biking!) and lakes where you can see the mountains and bald eagles.
You can hike Mesa Trail and see views of the Flatirons or check out Eldorado Canyon State Park to climb amid sandstone cliffs. Because of its close proximity to nature, low crime rate and educated workforce, Arvada is a popular place to live. It encompasses the top 20 of Colorado’s wealthiest ZIP Codes.
6. Scottsdale, AZ
While summers are hot, the rest of the year in Scottsdale is relatively mild, which makes it a comfortable place to live with your pet and get outside. Just outside of Arizona’s capital Phoenix, Scottsdale is well-known for incredible views of rock formations at Camelback Mountain and Hole in the Rock, a geological cluster with big open spaces.
Scottsdale even has a number of popular pet-friendly hotels (for some cool, indoor time for those scorching summers) and is generally welcoming of pets in public places, such as its posh Scottsdale Fashion Square and local wineries.
5. Tyler, TX
In eastern Texas, Tyler is known for its rose gardens and even has a museum dedicated to remembering the rich history of the town’s annual Texas Rose Festival.
Tyler is the kind of place where you can visit popular attractions, such as the Tyler Azalea trail and any of their lakes, such as Lake Tyler and East Lake Tyler.
The city’s location and access to nature make it a great place for pets. The Sunrise Paw Park is a massive dog park — four acres, to be exact. The park, just northwest of Old Jackson Highway, has separate fenced off sections for small and large dogs to play and socialize.
4. Boulder, CO
At the base of the Rocky Mountains is Boulder, CO. The city offers the best of both worlds, with the intricate rock formations of the Flatirons just west and the convenience of Pearl Street’s downtown’s shops, cafes and restaurants.
You can take your furry best friend just about anywhere in Boulder, including hiking trails and picnics with some spectacular scenery.
A dog-friendly must-do hike is the Flatirons Vista and Doudy Draw Trail, which is a beginner-level, 3.7-mile hike that will take about three hours. It’s an incredible way to spend the day, especially in the spring.
3. Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor is near the Huron River and nicknamed “Tree Town” because of its abundance of green space — even their downtown is filled with trees. Known as one of the best places to live in Michigan, Ann Arbor is a welcoming place for young professionals, families and their pets.
A popular destination for dog-lovers is Swift Run Dog Park, which is an outdoor grassy area with 10 acres of freedom for Fido to get some exercise and be off-leash.
Stroll through the coffee shops and historic downtown area that’s lined with vintage clothing shops, independent bookstores and historic theaters. Ann Arbor is also home to the University of Michigan, and its creative, youthful vibe makes it feel like a typical university town.
2. Charleston, SC
For being such an old city, founded in 1670, Charleston is surprisingly pet-friendly, with tons to do and see with Fido, including James Island County Park. This play haven features a dog beach, four acres of grass, a cleaning station and a fenced play area for small dogs.
Besides dog parks, beaches and trails, Charleston exudes an old, historic charm. The port city has cobblestone streets, especially in the French Quarter and Battery districts.
Go for a stroll down the promenade and Waterfront Park for a relaxing view of the Charleston Harbor. There are also tons of local shopping venues, theaters, museums, cafes and gardens.
1. Greeley, CO
The No. 1 city for Fido is in Greeley, a city in northern Colorado, about an hour away from Denver. There’s plenty of outdoor activities to do with your pet, from spending the afternoon at Poudre River Trail or taking advantage of the green space at Rover’s Run Dog Park.
Greeley is a central hub for community events and unlike its more expensive counterparts in Denver and Boulder, it’s considered a hidden gem due to its affordability in housing.
Greeley is a thriving cultural area, known for its art, entertainment and food-driven events, such as their summer-long Friday Fest and OktoBREWfest in the fall.
Greeley also landed in the No. 35 spot in a well-being index report, which measures community social and health data across populations.
The 50 best cities for pets
If you want to know what other cities made the list beyond the top 10, here are the top 50 best cities for pets.
Finding a pet-friendly apartment
Here’s what you need to know in order to find the best find a pet-friendly apartment for your needs.
Search for pet-friendly amenities
Newer apartment buildings come with all sorts of amenities, beyond a pool and fitness center. Pet-friendly apartments will have on-site dog parks, washing stations and even pet daycare.
Get renters insurance
You may have heard why it’s important to get renters insurance. Consider buying it for the year if you’re ready to move to a new apartment with your pet. It could show your new landlord that you’re responsible and are covered in case your pet causes any damage to the unit.
Depending on the type of coverage and policy you choose, renters insurance may include:
- Property damage to the unit
- Liability in case someone gets hurt in your unit
- Theft of belongings in your apartment and car
- Additional living expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable as a result of a covered emergency
Get a recommendation
Ask your former landlord to write a letter of recommendation, highlighting your dog’s behavior and the condition of your previous apartment. You may want to include other types of documentation when talking to your landlord, such as:
- Obedience school documents
- Pet sitters who took care of your dog
- A former neighbor
Pay a pet deposit
This topic will inevitably come up when you look for a pet-friendly apartment. Most apartment buildings will require a pet deposit, which is generally a few hundred dollars.
Take photos of your apartment before you move in
When you find the right place to live, be sure to take photos of your apartment before you move in. This could serve a few purposes for you, including proof that your pet didn’t ruin the unit.
You could show these photos to future landlords to state your case that your dog is well behaved. It could also help you get your security deposit back.
To determine the best cities for pets, we looked at all cities with at least 100,000 people according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 estimates and then ranked each city by the following factors:
- The percentage of available properties that allow dogs or cats. Listings are from Apartment Guide and Rent.’s November 2020 multifamily rental property inventory.
Veterinarian costs (20%)
Pet businesses per capita (30%)
- Businesses include vets, animal hospitals, pet shops, pet training facilities, pet boarding, pet supplies and parks. Counts come from a database of 8 million commercially licensed business listings and may not reflect recent openings or closures.
Each of these factors was weighted differently, and the cities with the best overall score were determined to be the best cities for pets.
January has emerged as a prime month for renters to secure deals on apartments, and recent data from RentCafe.com revealed which cities were the hottest markets for apartment hunters. Minneapolis claimed the title of January’s most sought-after city for renters, with a 159% increase in page views from locals and renters from cities like Chicago, … [Read more…]
Moving to Detroit is a unique experience. Unlike other major cities across the country, Detroit almost feels tucked away. But what many out-of-towners overlook is all the neighborhoods that make up Detroit.
For instance, Detroit is home to amazing gastropubs, five-star restaurants, historical sites, great vintage shops, Belle Isle Park, the Riverwalk and more than one marina.
Keep on reading if you want to find out what the buzz is all about and why you’ll absolutely love living in this city.
You don’t need to ask a local to know that Detroit has a complicated past.
Founded in 1701 by French traders, this city gets its name from a French word meaning “strait.” Through much of the 18th century, Detroit was a trading post that was the subject of several conflicts including the French and Indian War (1756-1763), and years later with the British. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1800s that Detroit saw an influx of settlers and a somewhat conflict-free playing field.
Around the 19th century, Detroit finally became an industrial hub, and the city started to expand outward. Fast forward to the 1950s, civil rights, environmental racism, riots and gentrification came to the forefront, which the city struggled with well into the 1990s.
In many ways, Detroit is still recovering from its past. But it’s safe to say that today’s Detroit is revitalized, reimagined and its commerce spirit is renewed.
- Population: 670,031
- Population density (people per square mile): 5144.3
- Median income: $31,283
- Studio average monthly rent: $982
- One-bedroom average monthly rent: $1,416
- Two-bedroom average monthly rent: $1,876
- Cost of Living Index: 104.2
Popular neighborhoods in Detroit
A list of top apartments for rent in Michigan, unsurprisingly, includes several Detroit apartment communities and complexes. That said, first-rate apartment homes are available throughout the 20+ neighborhoods that make up the city.
Thus, to assist you in your search, here are a few popular neighborhoods that you should definitely consider when looking for your next home.
- Downtown: In the last five years, this neighborhood has completely transformed into a great Detroit destination. Here, you have easy access to Lafayette Park, Elwood Park, Rivertown and Greektown. As a result, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities, restaurants or entertainment.
- Midtown: This part of town offers art, culture, higher learning, music and more. Here, you’ll find a bohemian vibe/atmosphere, Wayne State University, the DIA and Little Caesars Arena. This thriving neighborhood is also very walkable and family-friendly.
- Corktown: This is the oldest neighborhood in the city and is rather affordable. People are drawn to this community’s somewhat hipster vibe and the wide range of available cuisine.
- Eastern Market: Here, you’ll fall in love with one of the country’s largest open-air farmer’s markets. Besides having access to a secret garden of sorts, this district also offers an eclectic community, with nice housing, restaurants, bars and ample shopping.
- Rivertown-Warehouse District: This up and coming area of Detroit has it all with waterfront apartments, restaurants, nearby casinos and indoor luxury shopping centers. Here, you can find some of the best views in the city.
The pros of moving to Detroit
There are more than a few advantages to moving to Detroit. As briefly mentioned, the city continues to transform itself. Moreover, with new construction and more businesses making their way downtown, Detroit is truly becoming one of the best cities around.
One obvious reason for moving to the D is the wealth of entertainment. Detroit has a lively nightlife, new restaurants, music venues, sports arenas and casinos. Plus, if you’ve never checked out Campus Martius Park, then you don’t know what you’ve been missing. This park is known as Detroit’s gathering place and offers beach bars with real sand, outdoor ice skating in the winter, live music and good eats.
Detroit also has a thriving economy that’s projected to grow over the next couple of years. Thanks to the increase in commerce, start-up companies, restaurants and various entertainment venues, Detroit will expand. Plus, with continued efforts to revamp and improve less populated areas of the city, even in the face of a global pandemic, Detroit should have no trouble at all taking its economy to the next level.
Cost of living
As briefly touched upon, living in Detroit is affordable. In fact, in comparison to other major U.S. cities, you can’t beat Detroit’s cost of living. Most apartments are available for less than $2,000 a month, and the majority of residents’ everyday expenses are reasonably priced.
Overall, Michigan ranks as one of the best places to live if you’re looking for inexpensive housing and a lower cost of living, which is what Detroit is all about.
The cons of moving to Detroit
Of course, there are some drawbacks to living in Detroit. For one, the rate of auto insurance is higher than it is in other cities, which is an additional expense that many people are not looking forward to.
Besides paying more for insurance, there’s also a clear lack of public transportation, only a few nearby grocery stores and there are the winters.
Public transportation is lacking
When you live in most major urban cities, there’s usually ample public transportation like buses, bikes for rent, subway stations, streetcars, and more. But, here in the D, public transport is not as great as it could be. Despite the recently built Q line and the good old People Mover, there really isn’t much in the way of convenience or inexpensive public transit.
Lack of grocery stores
Yet another downside to moving to Detroit is you have to go out of your way for groceries. In order to correct this problem, a Whole Foods Market was built just a few years back. However, any organic food shopper will tell you that Whole Foods is not cheap. Thus, the city still needs to find ways to incorporate more affordable food options.
Winter, winter, winter and summer
Lastly, winter is a real problem in the entire state. Michigan seems to get more snow than it knows what to do with. This leads to icy roads, possible unplowed side streets, and months of cold snowy weather. Better still, you can expect to experience all four seasons in one day even in the springtime or fall.
How to get started on your move to Detroit
Ultimately, when you balance the pros and cons of living in the city, you’ll likely find that Detroit is a great place to put down some roots. So, if you need assistance, finding the apartment of your dreams in the D or just need help making the big move, then check out our Moving Center. Here, you’ll find free quotes and more information about planning out your move. Whether you’re looking for apartments to rent or homes to buy, we have what you need.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. Data was pulled in December 2020 and goes back for one year. We use 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.
Population and income numbers are from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Cost of living data comes from the Council for Community and Economic Research.
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.
Tampa is by far one of the finest cities in Florida, and its neighborhoods are some of the best in the state.
Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the history of Ybor City or are looking for easy access to Tampa’s nightlife, there are many fantastic areas to call home.
Here are our 10 favorite Tampa neighborhoods.
If you’re looking for a Tampa neighborhood with great schools, consider moving to Bayshore Beautiful. This liberal-leaning community boasts plenty of coffee shops, parks and restaurants for residents to enjoy. It’s a highly walkable district with low crime rates. It is also one of the quietest neighborhoods in the Tampa Bay area.
What makes Bayshore Beautiful even more desirable are its waterfront views and Riverwalk. You can expect to see people biking, walking, jogging and enjoying the Tampa Bay sunset.
The entire Channel District has become increasingly popular over the last few years. It even made the list of the top five Tampa neighborhoods where rent is increasing the most. This highly coveted area is full of condos with panoramic views and local hotspots like Victory Coffee and the District Tavern.
Channel District residents also appreciate being within walking distance of Sparkman Wharf, the Florida Aquarium and Amalie Arena. With all these amenities at your doorstep, it’s easy to see why the Channel District is one of Tampa’s hottest areas.
If you’re looking for an urban community with lots of high-rises, condos and access to first-rate theaters and museums, Downtown Tampa is the place for you. Downtown residents will enjoy having easy access to the city’s business district and major highways.
In addition, there are several dining and shopping options located nearby, and the city’s nighttime hotspots are only a quick taxi ride away.
Although it’s technically a part of Downtown Tampa, Harbour Island truly is a community of its own. Living in this neighborhood is a status symbol by many, and the rental prices reflect that.
Harbour Island has a very low crime rate with access to good schools, which is a strong draw for many residents. Additionally, the Riverwalk area is minutes away.
Tampa’s Hyde Park is an excellent choice for renters looking for a charming place to settle down. This historic area of the city is next to Tampa Bay and attracts young professionals and families alike.
One of the most popular attractions in the neighborhood is Hyde Park Village, which has restaurants, boutiques, bars and specialty stores.
As you might expect, New Tampa is one of the newest communities in Tampa. Close to the University of South Florida, this increasingly popular area of town is a great place to raise a family.
Its easy access to several corporate headquarters also makes this neighborhood popular with professionals. But that popularity comes at a cost, as prices have steadily increased over the past year.
Source: Rent. / Avenue Lofts
North of Downtown Tampa is Seminole Heights, a historic district that honors its roots while maintaining a cool, suburban feel. You’ll find plenty of local bars and restaurants, along with a countless number of antique and second-hand stores.
Due to its popular bar and restaurant scene and its location near the University of South Florida, rent prices in Seminole Heights have increased dramatically in recent years.
Tampa Palms is an excellent option for future Tampa residents who are looking for decent schools and a politically moderate area of town. This enclave has a suburban/urban feel and attracts young professionals and young families alike.
Tampa Palms is highly walkable and known for being a dog-friendly community. Additionally, the neighborhood has a number of local bars and restaurants for residents to choose from. This community also is close to the University of South Florida and its nearby attractions.
If you’re looking for a liberal, family-friendly area of Tampa to settle down in, University Square is a great choice. University Square schools are above average, the neighborhood is known for its safety and the entire area has a good suburban/urban mix. There are also plenty of restaurants, shops and parks, and it’s incredibly close to Busch Gardens and the Museum of Science and Industry.
Convenient to the University of South Florida, this area is also quite popular with students and professors. Furthermore, University Square is near some of the best hospitals in Central Florida.
Source: Rent. / The Warehouse Lofts
Located on the northwest side of Ybor City, Ybor Heights residents enjoy the lifestyle and amenities found in a dense, suburban area. There are plenty of local parks, coffee shops, bars and restaurants and the famous Ybor City Historic District is within walking distance.
Ybor Heights has a good mix of renters and homeowners and is one of the city’s more diverse areas. This young, liberal neighborhood is perfect for renters who can appreciate history while enjoying the famous nightlife. And, although Ybor Heights typically caters to young professionals, the above-average schools make this area attractive to young families, as well.
Find the best neighborhood for you
If you’re thinking about moving to Central Florida, you can’t go wrong by choosing Tampa. The city has amusement parks, world-class universities and hospitals, and some of the best year-round weather in the country. Hopefully, this guide to the best Tampa neighborhoods will help you decide which community is right for you.
With about half of the city sitting just above sea level, New Orleans is a city that captures the imagination and hearts of visitors from around the world. Known for its melting pot culture, event-filled history and unique blend of influences, it’s a place like no other. From the iconic French Quarter to the lively music scene to the upscale appeal of the Garden District, there’s something special about the Big Easy that keeps people coming back for more.
Take a stroll through Crescent City with us along the Mississippi River, up and down Canal Street, through the heart of the French Quarter and straight through the Central Business District to finally answer the question, what is New Orleans known for and what makes it one of the most desirable cities to call home in the entire United States?
The French Quarter: A must-do experience
No visit to New Orleans would be complete without exploring the French Quarter, or Vieux Carré. As the city’s oldest neighborhood, the French Quarter is a treasure trove of stunning architecture, fascinating history and, of course, a great atmosphere. While Bourbon Street and Royal Street may be the most famous thoroughfares in the French Quarter, there’s so much more to discover.
Take a stroll along Royal Street lined with colorful buildings adorned with intricate wrought iron balconies. Architecture buffs should add a quick trip to Louis Cathedral to their itineraries. Immerse yourself in the unmatched atmosphere of Jackson Square and Bourbon Street, where you’ll find Marie Laveau selling voodoo dolls and more out of her beloved Voodoo store.
All around this upbeat area, artists display their work, street performers entertain passersby and New Orleans culture shines brightly. Jackson Square is also a hot spot for paranormal enthusiasts with ghost sightings and voodoo dolls from Marie Laveau not an uncommon sight. Don’t miss the chance to sample the city’s signature beignets and café au lait at the world-famous Café du Monde in the French Market area.
Frenchmen Street: Where music comes alive
Adjacent to the French Quarter, the Marigny neighborhood is home to Frenchmen Street, a haven for music lovers. Here, you’ll find a string of live music venues showcasing a variety of genres, from New Orleans jazz and blues to reggae and rock. Spotted Cat and d.b.a. are just a couple of the many spots where you can catch talented French Louisiana musicians in action.
As you explore Frenchmen Street, you’ll also discover a stellar food scene. From creole delicacies to shaved ice to cajun cooking and more, there’s food to satisfy the cravings of any and all New Orleans residents, especially in the French Market district. Soak up the energetic atmosphere as you dine and enjoy the music that fills the air, and remember, you’re just a short hop away from all the attractions, live music and delicious food in the French Quarter.
The National WWII Museum: A journey through history
Immerse yourself in history at the National WWII Museum, a world-class complex that pays tribute to the heroes and stories of World War II. With award-winning exhibits, including actual planes, jeeps and Higgins Boats, the museum provides a comprehensive look at the war and its impact on the countries involved. Experience the era through interactive displays, theater presentations and personal accounts of those who lived through it.
Magazine Street: A shopper’s paradise
If shopping is your passion, make sure to explore Magazine Street. This six-mile stretch is brimming with local boutiques, art galleries and antique shops. From fashion and home decor to jewelry and antiques, you’ll find treasures at every turn. Take a break from shopping and indulge in a meal at one of the many restaurants that offer sidewalk dining or enjoy a quick walking tour through Audubon Park.
City Park: Nature’s oasis
Escape the hustle and bustle of Crescent City and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of City Park. Spanning over 1,300 acres, this lush green space is dotted with moss-drenched centuries-old oak trees, peaceful walking paths and native wildlife.
Rent a swan boat and glide across the Big Lake, take a walking tour of the Botanical Garden or unleash your inner child at Storyland and the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. For a unique experience, hike the Couturie Forest, a nature trail that leads you to Laborde Mountain, the highest point in New Orleans at 27 feet above sea level.
New Orleans Museum of Art: A haven for art enthusiasts
Located within City Park, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) is the place to be for artsy types. With over 40,000 pieces in its collection, the museum showcases a wide range of artwork, from Italian Renaissance masterpieces to modern works.
Marvel at the works of Monet, Degas, Rodin and O’Keefe, as well as glass, ceramics and an extensive photography collection. Take a stroll through the adjacent Sydney and Walda Bestoff Sculpture Garden, where the obsessively landscaped grounds showcase an array of sculptures.
Café du Monde: A taste of New Orleans
No visit to New Orleans would be complete without indulging in the city’s food. And when it comes to iconic food experiences, Café du Monde takes the cake.
Since 1862, this French Quarter fixture has been serving up the best café au lait and hot, fresh beignets. Witness the magic happening in the kitchen through the window as these delicious treats are prepared. If you don’t leave with powdered sugar all over your shirt, you didn’t do it right.
Lafitte Greenway: A luscious green getaway
For a leisurely walking tour or bike ride, head to the Lafitte Greenway. This 2.6-mile linear park stretches from City Park to the edge of the French Quarter and is a green oasis in the heart of the city.
The paved path takes you on a scenic tour past playgrounds, native landscaping, art installations and athletic fields. Along the way, you’ll find breweries, coffee shops and restaurants, making it the perfect spot to take a break and enjoy the energy of New Orleans in the summer.
Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience: A unique perspective
Explore a different side of Southern history at the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience. This recently opened museum tells the story of Jewish Americans in thirteen Southern states from colonial times to the present.
Discover how Jewish communities integrated into the culture of their new surroundings and shared their own traditions with predominantly Christian communities. Through exhibits and interactive displays, gain a deeper understanding of this often overlooked aspect of Southern heritage.
Algiers Ferry: A scenic ride
For a unique perspective of the city, hop aboard the Algiers Ferry at the foot of Canal Street. This short ferry ride offers breathtaking views of the Mississippi River and the New Orleans skyline. Once you reach the other side, explore the charming neighborhood of Algiers Point.
With its picturesque homes, oak-lined streets and cozy cafes and bars, it’s the perfect place to wander and soak in the sights and sounds of a different New Orleans than you’re used to seeing in TV and movies.
Streetcars: A journey through history
No visit to New Orleans is complete without a ride on the city’s historic streetcars. While the famous Desire line from Tennessee Williams’ play may be a thing of the past, the current streetcar lines offer a charming way to explore the city and a convenient alternative to a walking tour.
Hop on the red streetcars that run to Mid-City or the original green cars that traverse St. Charles Avenue, passing through the beautiful Garden District and Audubon Park. Take in the stunning architecture and enjoy the slowed-down pace as you soak up the sights and sounds of the city.
Mardi Gras: Behind the scenes of carnival
Discover the magic behind Mardi Gras at Mardi Gras World. Located near the Convention Center, this unique attraction offers a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the spectacular floats that roll in the Carnival parades and other Mardi Gras events around the city.
Take a tour of the workshop and see the talented artists and craftsmen in action. Marvel at the intricate designs and loud colors that bring the parades to life. Whether it’s Mardi Gras season or not, you can immerse yourself in the spirit of this iconic New Orleans celebration.
Garden District: A stroll through elegance
Upriver from the French Quarter lies the Garden District, a neighborhood renowned for its grand mansions and historic cemeteries. Needless to say, it’s a much calmer vibe than what you’ll find on Bourbon Street and is ideal for a walking tour with the family. Take a guided tour to learn about the fascinating history of the district and admire the stunning 19th-century architecture.
As you wander the streets, you’ll discover charming shops, cafes and restaurants. Don’t miss the chance to dine at Commander’s Palace, a New Orleans institution known for its exceptional cuisine and elegant atmosphere, or check out one of the many community events hosted throughout the year, especially in spring and summer.
Find a new place in New Orleans
Whether you’re a potential renter or buyer, New Orleans is a city that captivates the imagination and leaves a lasting impression on all who set foot on its storied streets. From the city’s killer live music scene and mouthwatering food to the rich history and entirely unique culture, there is so much to discover and experience in NOLA.
Whether you’re exploring the French Quarter and its beloved Bourbon Street, marveling at the beauty of Louis Cathedral, wondering at the wrought iron balconies, indulging in the French culture at Café du Monde, sitting pretty in the Garden District or immersing yourself in the history of World War II at the National WWII Museum, New Orleans offers a unique and unforgettable experience. So, dive into the spirit of the Big Easy and uncover what makes Crescent City truly special today.
Ready to settle down in the Big Easy? Good news, you’re just a few clicks away.