Getting Warmer: Where Rent Prices are Hot (and Where They're Cool)

A look at the priciest and most affordable places to be a renter.

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For those looking to live in a locale with an endless summer, it doesn't come cheap.

On average, renters in Orange County, Calif. pony up more than $1,650 a month for an average two-bedroom apartment, according to new data from Homes.com and ForRent.com. To cover housing costs alone, residents have to rake in about $32 an hour, no small feat in a wage-depressed economy.

Those in other major metropolitan areas aren't faring much better. Residents in parts of New Jersey and Washington, D.C. pay upwards of $1,200 a month on average for two-bedroom rentals. Workers in those cities have to make between $25 and almost $30 an hour to pay for their pricey pads.

But there are still deals to be had in great cities. Lansing and Grand Rapids, Mich. both boast a cost of living almost 20 percent below the national average, while still offering residents key big-city perks. To its credit, Grand Rapids has been called a city "on the edge of greatness" while Lansing is revered as one of the most environmentally friendly locations in the United States.

Here's a look at more cities around the country and what it costs to be a renter:

City
Avg Hourly Wage to Afford 2-Bedroom Apartment
Avg Cost Per Month for 2-Bedroom Apartment
Greensboro, N.C.
$12.56
$653
Cincinnati, Ohio
$13.90
$723
Lansing, Mich.
$14.23
$740
Grand Rapids, Mich.
$14.31
$744
Spokane, Wash.
$14.52
$755
Raleigh, N.C.
$16.33
$849
Tucson, Ariz.
$16.54
$860
Phoenix, Ariz.
$16.73
$870
Portland, Ore.
$17.13
$891
New Orleans, La.
$18.23
$948
Austin, Texas
$19.02
$989
Sacramento, Calif.
$19.63
$1,021
Philadelphia, Penn.
$20.67
$1,075
Seattle, Wash.
$21.12
$1,098
Newark, N.J.
$24.79
$1,289
Somerset, N.J.
$25.46
$1,324
Washington, D.C.
$28.96
$1,506
Orange County, Calif.
$31.77
$1,652

Source: Homes.com, ForRent.com

Meg Handley is a reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can reach her at mhandley@usnews.com and follow her on Twitter at @mmhandley.