Livermore, Pleasanton, Danville, Short Sale Specialist

10. Richmond, Va.

  • Renter population: 31.1% (148,272 out of 476,146 households)
  • Average monthly rent: $883 (national average: $899)
  • Median household income for renters: $34,814 (national average: $32,051)
  • Cost of living: 1.5% above national average
  • Rental-vacancy rate: 13.1% (national average: 8.2%)

There’s a big initiative to bring more affordable housing, including rental units, to the River City. This is largely because more Gen-Y residents, who may not yet be able to afford a home, are moving to the area. Richmond has the second-highest residential-rental-vacancy rate among our top 10 cities. In general, an above-average vacancy rate favors renters because it means there’s more supply on the rental market from which to choose. Beyond apartments, listed 143 houses for rent, ranging from $525 a month for a 576-square-foot house with one bedroom and one bath, to $3,000 a month for a 2,800-square-foot, four-bedroom house with 2.5 baths.

If you’re considering moving to this state capital to cut costs and are concerned that you’ll need a car to get around town, don’t be. The GRTC Transit System, which includes public bus, shuttle and vanpool services, operates seven days a week throughout the metro area. If you do have a car, you’ll appreciate Richmond’s proximity to diverse weekend getaways in Washington, D.C., Virginia Beach and Shenandoah National Park — all within a two-hour drive.

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