Have You Considered Big City Living?

Real Estate Agent with Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com TREC #0492321

Big City Life for Less: San Antonio, Austin, Atlanta, and Denver


Big city life is expensive. The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in New York City is $2,650, and in Los Angeles, it's $2,362, states Business Insider. Maybe you just graduated without a lot of extra cash, or perhaps you have a steady career but are looking to find a more affordable place to live. However, you don't want to leave the city life behind just yet.  

You're in luck because there are plenty of wonderful cities to live in, regardless of budget. There are job opportunities, great nightlife, and top restaurants in many urban areas around the country with the same quality of life as LA or New York, just at a more affordable price.

Having trouble trying to find the perfect city to live? Take a look at our top recommended most affordable places to live in the United States.

San Antonio, TX 

Texas is a very affordable place to live. From the zero state income tax to the cheaper produce at grocery stores, life seems to be simpler and less expensive in the Lone Star state. With hugely popular Austin just about an hour and thirty minutes away, San Antonio is often a city that flys under the radar. And maybe that’s a good thing?

According to Zillow, the median list price for a home in San Antonio is $124 per square foot. In neighboring Austin, the price is a whopping $232. This shows how affordable the current San Antonio market actually is in comparison to the rest of the state of Texas. 

On top of that, the average price for a 1-bedroom apartment in San Antonio is just under $1,050. While the price to rent a similar-sized apartment in San Francisco, Chicago, New York well exceeds $3,500. What a deal!


The weather is fantastic all year and the San Antonio River Walk is a great place to start for outdoor adventures. Add in the Museum of Art, Ranger Creek Brewing and Distillery, El Mercado, McNay Art Museum and many others and you’ll be sure to find something you enjoy doing all year round!

If you are thinking about buying or selling in the Greater San Antonio Area, visit my website for more information.

Austin, TX

Texas is a more manageable place to live in the USA than in New York or California. You can search nearly every town in the state, mentions UMoveFree, but Austin is the place to be. 

Imagine every weekend going for a BBQ or great TexMex at a low-cost. There are BBQ restaurants that offer a massive serving of ribs or brisket with sides for $10. If you thought that was a steal, some TexMex places are offering tacos for $3 for beef or chicken, with a variety of other meals for $10 or less. 

Besides the food, Austin has fair prices for rent. The average cost is $1,174, which is more than $1,000 savings from LA or New York. 

The weather is warm all year long, so you'll have all the time in the world to enjoy the many outdoor activities. You can go for walks with your pup, a bike ride around the neighborhood, or visit one of the beautiful parks around the city. 

The Butler Trail is a local favorite for hiking and bike riding. You can rent a kayak or buy one of your own to use on the weekend at Lady Bird Lake, too. There are so many places to enjoy with your family.

Atlanta, GA

If you're looking for some Southern comfort and city life, Atlanta, Georgia is the perfect place for you. Is your favorite soft drink Coca-cola? Atlanta is the home of the World of Coca-Cola, where you can try all 100 different sodas they offer on a free weekend. 

On top of that, Atlanta has other great options for entertainment, including visiting Centennial Olympic Park, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, and the Underground Atlanta, which are all free activities. 

If fried chicken is one of your favorite foods, you'll love the prices at the restaurants. The average cost for a meal with sides is about $10. Perfect for eating out with the family.

The entertainment isn't the only affordable thing; the average rent there is $1,467, with the cheapest apartments only being around $700 a month. 

The job market is excellent, as well. The best jobs in Atlanta are in marketing management, database administrator, or computer network architects. 

Denver CO, USA

When mountain life is more of what you're looking for, Denver is the place to move. You can spend most of your weekend's skiing or snowboarding. When you get the year pass to a ski resort and use it religiously, you'll get the best deal. Investing in your own gear will save you some money in the long run. 

The average rent is $1,674 for Denver, which is a great price when you have mountains surrounding you wherever you look. 

If you enjoy drinking a cold beer on the weekends, the Coors Brewery is located just outside of the city. The brewery tour costs $5 and lasts about 30 minutes. There you'll learn about how to brew and try samples as you go. It’s the perfect cheap and fun activity to do on a sunny Saturday. 

The Bottom Line

City life isn’t for everyone, but a lot of us enjoy the hustle and bustle and all that there is to keep you busy. The job opportunities are vast, the restaurant options are endless, and the entertainment is in abundance. You don't have to pay top dollar for these experiences either. 

Three of the most affordable cities in the United States are Austin, Texas, Atlanta, Georgia, and Denver, Colorado. The rent is fair, and these cities have so much to offer. 

Photos via https://unsplash.com/photos/RebOwsAwHPE


Comments (11)

Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Hi Jerry..... different strokes .... I'm a country gal.... I love the peace and quiet of country living.... I don't even like visiting the city....

Aug 21, 2020 01:45 PM
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi Barbara, I totally understand your point of view. I have always lived in the city and have no idea what country living is all about, other than what others tell me. Stay Safe out there!

Aug 21, 2020 01:59 PM
Gwen Banta
Sotheby's International Realty - Los Angeles, CA

Hi Barbara, I am blessed with both. I live in a lush canyon 10 minutes from L.A.'s Sunset Strip. I get fabulous views from Mulholland, and all the activity I want down in the flats. But it is duly noted that L.A. was not referenced as affordable. IT IS NOT!

Aug 21, 2020 03:00 PM
Jerry Newman

Yes, Gwen. By no means is Los Angeles affordable as noted by our fellow Rainer, Endre. Glad you have a wonderful location that you enjoy in that area.

Aug 25, 2020 11:44 AM
Gwen Banta
Sotheby's International Realty - Los Angeles, CA

I must add that in spite of the expense, you can't beat the beach, the mountains and the weather. That's where the dollars go!

Aug 21, 2020 03:01 PM
Jerry Newman

You are certainly blessed with nice weather, and those beaches and mountains are an added feature for those in the Los Angeles area.

Aug 25, 2020 11:46 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Jerry Newman - I lived in metropolitan areas my whole life. Al-be-it suburbia, but I was very worried I would miss all the conveniences.  You learn to adapt to small-town life.  Many younger people love living in the city.  They want to walk to everything.  I did live in the Houston area up until 7th grade and always loved the people.  Texas is a great place to live. 

Aug 21, 2020 05:47 PM
Jerry Newman

Hi Sheri Sperry - MCNE® Living in a Big City has it's advantages for those who want to be close to everything. I had not idea that you used to live in Houston. My cousin and one aunt live there now. Texas is more affordable than LA or New York.

Aug 25, 2020 11:49 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Jerry just to be clear if you can find a $2300+ home/ condo in Los Angeles I will give you a bottle of good wine... reality is ADU's accessory dwelling units in Los Angeles are going for $5k and up... in areas where most people prefer not to live garages aka ADU's are going for over $2k a month...Endre

Aug 21, 2020 11:05 PM
Jerry Newman

Thanks for this information, Endre. My researchers gave me the wrong figures for Los Angeles. Your prices are almost double what I quoted.

Aug 25, 2020 11:25 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Good to see you back on the platform and my comment above was meant to tell you that I appreciate your post but even the numbers you mentioned are too low in my market, Endre

Aug 21, 2020 11:06 PM
Jerry Newman

Thanks, Endre Barath, Jr. Truely noted that Los Angeles is for more expensive to live. Yes, I still like to post every now and then, but not as much as I used to. I spend more time of Facebook these days.

Aug 25, 2020 11:51 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I live in the big city even though I would much prefer living in a small town.  There is definitely more opportunity in a big city.

Aug 22, 2020 06:43 AM
Jerry Newman

Hi Brian. I would always be concerned about job opportunities in smaller cities.I prefer the larger cities, even those San Antonio is not as large as Dallas or Houston.

Aug 25, 2020 11:53 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


We have never wanted to live in big cities.  This is a really great analysis and report. A

Aug 22, 2020 10:20 AM
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Thanks, Alexandra. I have always lived in a large city, even though my grandparents lived in the country where I would go visit in my younger years.

Aug 25, 2020 11:55 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Big city living is fun for a while, but not for me/us.  We love the open space and freedom/privacy that country living provides.  But I'm really glad that so many prefer city living or it would get crowded out here!

Jan 06, 2022 03:58 PM