Buying your dream home, where you can decorate to your heart's content, is the ultimate goal. If this is what you're after, you're not alone as a 2016 Pew Research Center survey found that 72 percent of renters said they would like to buy a house at some point.
However, across the U.S. home prices have increased a little more than five percent on average in the last year — even more in some places — and your wallet may not be ready.
And that's OK.
If you're in a spot where you're not ready to own property but still want to save up in rent to build up your down payment, we got you.
Nationwide, 40 states actually saw rent prices increase at a rate lower than housing prices from the first quarter of 2018 to the same time period this year. In some instances, rent prices actually decreased. And some of the states with the most favorable edge for renters might surprise you.
Here are the 10 states with the most favorable gap in rent price trends versus home price trends. This gap could favor renters as they try to get more financially stable to eventually buy their dream home.
Surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, North Carolina has a little bit of everything.
Charlotte, Chapel Hill and Raleigh-Durham are large university and business centers where technology, healthcare and financial sectors are growing. The more chill Asheville is a hub for music and breweries galore.
Rental prices in the state have decreased a bit, but house prices have increased by 5.44 percent. If you're thinking of moving, your best bet is to start with an affordable apartment near the best schools.
Rhode Island was one of the 13 original colonies and hosts many important historical artifacts from that time. In the present day, the state also has growing industries in biomedicine, data analytics and maritime products, due to its coastline. Providence is home to Brown University, along with a vibrant college town and music and arts scene.
The gap between rentals and home prices is significant as rent prices have decreased in the past year by 0.51 percent, but homes have increased by 5.62 percent. Grab an apartment in the country's smallest state as a way to save a few coins.
The New England region is known for its natural landscape and in the case of Vermont, also its maple syrup. Skiing and hiking opportunities abound in this state and in the summer, a scoop from its most famous brand, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, will cool you down. The brand was born right in Burlington, thanks to Vermont's dairy farming.
If you're already trying to pick your favorite ski slope, rents have remained stable since 2018 in case you're looking to rent. However, housing prices have increased by 6.30 percent.
Virginia is for lovers, or so they say. The state is rich with history, a beautiful coastline, and great outdoor opportunities. You can look for affordable apartments near good schools as rents have decreased 2.81 percent in the state since last year. And then, during the summertime, you can head to Virginia Beach for some sun or visit the many museums in the area.
The local economy relies on major players in the federal government, healthcare and agriculture sectors. But the gap between rent and house pricing is large in Virginia as home prices increased nearly four percent between Q1 2018 and Q1 2019.
Arkansas has more to offer beyond being the birthplace of former president Bill Clinton. The landlocked state has two distinct geographies, the southern lush delta created by the Mississippi River and the mountainous north outlined with the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains. If you love nature and hiking, this is the place for you.
If you're thinking of going on an outdoor adventure on the weekends, you're in luck as rental prices have decreased 1.84 percent across the state. Housing, however, remains high with an increase of 5.02 percent.
Thinking of moving to Wisconsin and renting an apartment? You're in luck as rent has gone down 1.62 percent since 2018. Milwaukee is surprisingly affordable, too. While rents there are a bit above the national average, other costs are lower so you can take advantage of city living.
But also save for that down payment in the future. Home prices have gone up 6.14 percent since 2018 so it's still a renter's market.
Home prices have increased 7.30 percent in Alabama from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019. But the good news for renters is rental prices have decreased by 1.17 percent over the same time period. It's more financially viable for renters to stay in apartments than jump on a mortgage.
With Huntsville and Birmingham growing in the technology sector, the beautiful Gulf Shores and civil rights history, the state's low rents aren't the only upside of living there.
As Iowa's technology and manufacturing industries grow, more jobs are becoming available in the area. The home prices are not as favorable, though, as they increased 4.30 percent over the same time period. It's more affordable to rent in the state at this time.
"The rent is too damn high!" Well, here's a surprising fact. Despite ongoing stereotypes of New York's sky-high rent prices (which is true in New York City), prices actually went down 7.53 percent across the entire Empire State. Whether you choose the Big Apple or Binghamton, renting in New York is more favorable than buying a home.
We don't have to sell you on New York City — Central Park, Chinatown, the Brooklyn Bridge, Broadway and so many other staples. The state has more to offer than skyscrapers. Head upstate to Buffalo, Syracuse or Rochester for open green spaces, Niagara Falls, the Appalachian Mountains, multiple river valleys and more.
Crater Lake National Park, good food and beer in Portland and, of course, the beautiful Pacific Coast, Oregon has so much nature to offer. But also, affordable rent. The rents across the state have decreased 17.92 percent compared to a housing price increase of 4 percent — the largest gap in the U.S. in favor of renters. Whether you want to live in one of Portland's most popular neighborhoods or on the quiet coast, you can find a spot that fits your budget.
Of the top 25 states where housing prices increased the most, only three states (West Virginia, Maine and Missouri) had rent prices jump by a larger percentage. There were also 12 states with a more favorable renter gap than the national average, which stayed even for rental prices but rose more than 5 percent for housing prices.
Here's a look at how rent and housing price trends compare in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., ranked by the states that are most favorable for renters based on the gap between rental and housing price changes.
To determine the states that are most favorable for renters, we looked at each individual state's housing market trends from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019 and compared it to rental price trends over the same time period. Housing prices are based on data released from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Apartment rent prices are based on all available one-bedroom units on Apartment Guide in multifamily properties from April 1, 2018 to April 1, 2019.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.