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.

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What size apartment should you rent in the Seattle area?