Tucker Smith

A hotbed of innovation with high job growth and lots of employment potential, Northern California’s Silicon Valley is one of the most highly desirable places to live in the country. It’s also one of the nation’s most expensive rental markets.

In Santa Clara County, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment hit $2,361 per month in June 2016. In neighboring San Mateo County, a one bedroom typically goes for $2,590. Pit lots of people coming in from all over the world hoping to cash in on the highly lucrative tech industry against limited housing supply and you have a recipe for exceptionally high rents.

However, there are a number of places around the country with good opportunities for income and more reasonable rent.

Here are a few of them.

 

Omaha, Nebraska

If it’s good enough for Warren Buffet, it ought to be good enough for you too. Hosting companies like Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific Railroad, Mutual of Omaha and TD Ameritrade, the economy in Omaha is considerably more sophisticated than Nebraska’s corn-husker image might lead you to believe. Meanwhile, Omaha’s cost of living runs some 9.7 percent below the national average. A typical one-bedroom apartment will run you approximately $782 a month.

 

Reno, Nevada

With Tesla’s recent decision to locate its Gigafactory in nearby Sparks, the region is poised to become a hotbed of tech activity. This, in addition to its already existing mining, logging, construction, as well as professional and business services opportunities makes Reno a viable place to put down roots with reasonable expectations for prosperity and a reasonable cost of living. Known as “The Biggest Little City in the World” – Reno is also the slightly less glamorous sister of Las Vegas to the north; offering a broad variety of opportunities in the entertainment and gaming industries. Rents average $842 monthly for a one-bedroom apartment.

 

Tacoma, Washington

Located 32 miles south of Seattle, which puts it within reasonable commute range, Tacoma’s rents typically run some $500 a month lower than those of her more glamorous sisters to the north, averaging just over $1,100 monthly for a one-bedroom apartment. Strong transit options between the two cities make commuting a less-daunting prospect. However, the Tacoma job market is also pretty strong, with a growth rate of 3.5 percent between June 2015 and ’16.

 

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Home to a large number of Fortune 500 companies. Employment prospects in Prince’s hometown are strong. We’re talking successful companies like Target, General Mills, Ameriprise Financial, Best Buy, 3M (one of those three M’s is Minnesota, remember?), Ecolab and UnitedHealth Group. Minneapolis combines strong opportunities with a reasonably high median income of approximately $46,000 annually. A nice one-bedroom apartment goes for $1,480 a month.

While these cities are short on glamour, compared to San Francisco, New York and Miami, they more than make up for it with their personalities. Seriously though, if you’re just starting out, or looking for a place where your money will go farther, one of these four cities just might be exactly what you need.

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