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    Study Reveals the 25 Most Renter-Friendly Cities

    By Katie Bencken

    December 8, 2006
    With many renters across the US wavering between renting and buying, ApartmentRatings.com answers the question on renters' minds: where does renting make the most sense? Using data from ApartmentRatings.com and the US Census Bureau, the website ranked 138 cities based on renter satisfaction, affordability, and the availability of rentals.

    Where's the best city in the US for renters? Greensboro, North Carolina. Following close behind are Columbus, Georgia, Cincinnati, Ohio, Lawrence, Kansas and Athens, Georgia.

    Greensboro enjoys the honor of being this year's pick for the Best City for Renters. Above all, Greensboro is affordable. The average income covers a two bedroom apartment with plenty of change to spare. One might expect a city with such cheap digs to skimp on the little things that make renters happy. Not in Greensboro. A majority of Greensboro renters recommend their apartments on ApartmentRatings.com and with a vacancy rate of 15.4% according to the Census Bureau, there are plenty of choices.

    Most-Affordable Cities
    What good is a great apartment if rents are so expensive you can't enjoy it? ApartmentRatings.com examined the most affordable cities (measured by the average cost of a two bedroom apartment against local income levels). Renters who reside in the following cities have the most money leftover after paying the rent:


    Lexington, KY
    College Station, TX
    Greensboro, NC
    Tacoma, WA
    Aurora, CO

    Most-Satisfied Renters
    When renters are happy, they recommend their apartment to any and all who will listen. According to one resident of Greystone Farms Apartments in Columbus, Georgia, "I have every intention of living here until I can afford my dream house, and I would recommend my apartment without any hesitation to anyone." On ApartmentRatings.com, a key driver of tenant satisfaction is management company service. Perhaps Southern hospitality is Columbus' secret.


    Columbus, GA
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Olympia, WA
    Rochester, NY
    Kirkland, WA

    Most Available Rentals
    The national rental market may have tightened significantly over the past year, but not everywhere. In markets with high vacancy, simple supply and demand gives renters the upper hand. Apartment hunters enjoy the luxury of visiting many potential rentals, but can often get move-in specials and other concessions.


    Cleveland, OH
    Tulsa, OK
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Indianapolis, IN
    Overland Park, KS

    Worst Cities for Renters
    Cities with few available rentals, high rents, and low satisfaction fared worst on the list of cities for renters. Three of the worst cities can be found in Southern California and other markets recognized nationally for the zooming local real estate prices. Renters in these areas are feeling the crunch, both in their pocket book and in their quality of life.


    Costa Mesa, CA
    Fullerton, CA
    Anaheim, CA
    Miami, FL
    San Francisco, CA

    ApartmentRatings.com is an independent forum for renters to share the unvarnished truth about their apartments. More than eleven million renters use the site, which has more than 450,000 unique reviews and covers 50,000 properties across the United States.

    Using satisfaction information from thousands of renter reviews on ApartmentRatings.com, combined with information from the U.S. Census Bureau about apartment vacancy rates and affordability, the ApartmentRatings.com study analyzed and created a renter's livability and satisfaction index for 138 U.S. cities and ranked them against each other. For the full list of scores and rankings by satisfaction, affordability and vacancy, see: http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate/BestCities2006.html

    http://promo.realestate.yahoo.com/?d=200612082