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Best Cities For Renters 2021

Ample living space, affordable rent, and nice weather for a walk to the park could be your trifecta for finding the perfect apartment. The cities below come the closest to offering ideal renter conditions.

To find the best cities for renters, we scored the 100 largest U.S. cities using apartment data from Apartments.com, weather and disaster risk data from the harbor, park information from The Trust for Public Land, and other data sources.

No. 1: Plano, Texas

No. 2: Omaha, Nebraska

Avg. rent for a 2-bedroom $1,084 a month
Avg. size of a 2-bedroom 1,086 sq. feet
% of the population within a 10-minute walk to a park 81%
Biggest weather/natural disaster risks Heatwaves, tornadoes, and winter storms
City slogan We Don’t Coast

You can find affordable, roomy apartments in Omaha, and perhaps even score a good view of the Missouri River. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment would require only 22% of the city’s median household income of about $60,000.

Omaha renters have good access to parks and generally decent weather. But don’t expect to find an apartment building with a pool in Omaha, where less than 10% of rental units have a pool amenity. It will also be very hard to find an apartment with a new or updated kitchen.

Aside from seasonal weather issues like tornadoes and snowstorms, Omaha doesn’t generally experience destructive natural disasters.

Omaha’s rate of violent crime is at about the middle of the pack of the largest 100 cities but has a lower burglary rate. Its rate of motor vehicle theft is the highest among our Top 10 cities.

The city is in the process of revitalizing its riverfront, with plans for a large green area for activities and entertainment, including a performance pavilion and interactive water features.

Omaha’s score: 842 out of 1,000

No. 3: Raleigh, North Carolina

No. 4: Lincoln, Nebraska

Avg. rent for a 2-bedroom $981 a month
Avg. size of a 2-bedroom 1,044 sq. feet
% of the population within a 10-minute walk to a park 92%
Biggest weather/natural disaster risks Heatwaves and winter storms
City slogan No official slogan, but The New York Times called it the “steak capital of the world” because of its steakhouses

When you want to get out of your apartment for some fresh air, Lincoln is a good place to do so: 92% of residents are within a 10-minute walk to a park. That makes it the best city for park accessibility in our Top 10 best cities for renters.

If you’re staying in and watching it snow, you can warm up inside a roomy apartment that you’re probably getting for a great price: Lincoln has the lowest average rent among our Top 10 best cities for renters and good average apartment square footage.

But it’s not a great place for renters to have pets—only about 64% of rentals allow pets, which is the lowest average on our Top 10 list.

While the state’s award-winning tourism motto is “Nebraska. Honestly, it’s not for everyone,” you can escape monotony in Lincoln at the state fair in August and the city’s museums, art galleries, and symphony performances.

Lincoln is Nebraska’s capital and has a wide variety of business and commerce, spanning regional government offices, agriculture, insurance, and more, including correctional facilities. Nonetheless, you’ll find very little violent crime and few burglaries in Lincoln.

Lincoln’s score: 821 out of 1,000

No. 5: Gilbert, Arizona
No. 6: Atlanta, Georgia
No. 7: Scottsdale, Arizona
No. 8: Henderson, Nevada
No. 9: Virginia Beach, Virginia
No. 10: Charlotte, North Carolina

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