One of the many things millennials are known for is their preference for renting and living with roommates, versus purchasing a home like the generations before us. While this may be confusing boomer real estate agents, between our current financial situations and lifestyle preferences, renting typically just makes more sense.
In a survey by SmartAsset, we now know just how much more it makes sense for us to rent with a roommate. They analyzed the 50 largest U.S. metro areas and looked at the average price of renting a one-bedroom apartment versus renting a two-bedroom. Assuming you rent a two-bedroom and split the rent with a roomie, SmartAsset was able to determine just how much money you save by giving up a little bit of privacy, and honestly, it might actually be worth it. In each of these cities, by having a roomie, you’ll save a minimum of $400 a month, or $4,800 every year. That’s not exactly pocket change. For the 19 highest ranking cities in the U.S., costs are given by the price of a one bedroom versus the price of a two-bedroom, and the amount that you’d save by opting for a two and splitting the rent with a roomie.
19. Austin: $1,154 for a one-bedroom v. $1,498 for a two-bedroom; divided, save $405 every month
18. Charlotte: $993 v. $1,174; save $406
17. Nashville: $1,202 v. $1,528; save $438
16. Denver: $1,295 v. $1,699; save $445
15. Philadelphia: $1,202 v. $1,508; save $454
14. Atlanta: $1,247 v. $1,585; save $454
13. Chicago: $1,410 v. $1,772; save $524
12. Miami: $1,550 v. $2,049; save $525
11. Seattle: $1,734 v. $2,408; save $530
10. Portland: $1,443 v $1,794; save $545
9. Long Beach: $1,637 v. $2,167; save $553
8. Los Angeles: $2,207 v. $3,298; save $558
7. San Diego: $1,696 v. $2,264; save $564
6. DC: $1,966 v. $2,752; save $590
5. Oakland: $2,161 v. $2,857; save $732
4. Boston: $2,275 v. $2,931; save $809
3. San Jose: $2,891 v. $3,723; save $1,029
2. NYC: $2,891 v. $3,723; save $1,029
1. San Francisco: $3,548 v $4,885; save $1,105
Unsurprisingly, for the most part, these tend to be high cost-of-living cities, so it makes sense that rents would be higher and you’d save more money by splitting it with a friend. With these costs broken down, however, there’s no question why our generation, especially facing our unique money struggles, are opting to share our living space with friends. Personally, I’ve always valued my own personal space over living with a roommate, but looking at these numbers, I may have just changed my mind. After all, saving a grand a month can make a pretty big dent in my student loans. Maybe once I get those paid off, well, I still probably won’t be able to afford a home, but a one-bedroom apartment is looking pretty nice. .