What size apartment should you rent in the Seattle area?

Apr 13, 2019, 12:32 PM

A total of 14 cities across the United States offer a comfortable living situation — that’s right 14. That is, cities where the apartment size is more than decent for the amount of rent a person pays. No surprise — the Seattle area is not one of them.

The rental website RentCafe has designed a new tool, factoring in salary, city, rent burden, and more to determine what size apartment a renter is likely to get for their buck.

RELATED: Seattle has tiniest apartments on average

Going by the ideal of spending about 30 percent of an income on rent, a Seattle renter can get a 479-square-foot apartment with the average rent of $2,045. Of course, rents are likely pricier than that since the average apartment size in the city is about 698 square feet (according to this latest data, that’s even smaller than in November 2018 when Seattle’s 711 square feet made it the city with the tiniest apartments, on average, in the nation).

But having a little fun with the calculator shows that an income of about $2,600 a month (slightly above minimum wage), with a rent burden of 30 percent, equates to 266 square feet of apartment space. Earning about $5,300 a month (which roughly puts a renter in the $70,000 salary range) factors out to about 543 square feet.

Your dollar stretches a bit further in Portland — $1,480 rent gets you 534 square feet.

You can use the apartment calculator here, and see how much apartment you can get for your paycheck.

14 comfortable cities to rent in

If you want to get the best apartment size for your income — where “you can live comfortably and spend only 30 percent of your income,” according to RentCafe — you’re not going to find it in Seattle. Rather, you’d have to move to Gilbert, Ariz. or Plano, Texas. Maybe Wichita, Kan. or Tulsa, Okla.

The remaining 14 “comfortable” cities include: Chandler, Ariz.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Virginia Beach, Va.; North Las Vegas, Nev.; Irving, Texas; Paradise, Nev.; Arlington, Va.; Fremont, Calif.; Henderson, Nev.; Bakersfield, Calif.

MyNorthwest News

Image: A Seattle Police Department vehicle...

Kate Stone

Police pursuit, parental rights initiatives go before Washington lawmakers

Police pursuits and parental rights in schools were in the spotlight in Olympia as lawmakers considered two citizen-led initiatives.

2 hours ago

Image:South Kitsap High School basketball Coach Anthony Lewis lies in a hospital after being shot r...

James Lynch

South Kitsap High basketball coach injured in random I-5 shooting

Anthony Lewis was driving on Interstate 5 in Pierce County Sunday when someone opened fire, injuring the high school basketball coach.

3 hours ago


Matt Markovich

‘Strippers Bill of Rights’ takes big step forward in state Legislature

The Washington state House advanced a so-called ‘Strippers Bill of Rights’ along a party-line vote 58-36, but not before making substantial changes to the original Senate version.

6 hours ago

Mike Johnson...

Associated Press

Congressional leaders reach deal to prevent a government shutdown; Ukraine aid stalls

Congressional leaders reached a tentative agreement Wednesday to prevent a government shutdown for now.

7 hours ago

Image: Bayside neighborhood resident Jane McClure addresses the Everett Historical Commission at th...

Feliks Banel

Will Everett mayor accept compromise to save Clark Park gazebo?

The Everett Historical Commission discussed the city’s request to tear down the Clark Park gazebo and offered a strategic compromise instead.

10 hours ago

FILE - A sign stands over a Wendy's restaurant . (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)...

Heather Bosch

Wendy’s ‘surge-pricing’ strategy scrubbed after viral backlash

Dynamic pricing would allow restaurants to quickly raise prices in reaction to rush hour or inclement weather.

11 hours ago

What size apartment should you rent in the Seattle area?