You know that old trope that Florida is a cheap place to live? Well there's recent research showing that, while Florida may be cheap in some respects (we have no state income tax, for instance), the cost of housing if you're a renter is really not as cheap as our reputation would have you believe. According to this map, published today by the Washington Post and based on information gathered from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, you have to make approximately $15.87 per hour in order to afford an average "fair-market" priced one-bedroom apartment in Orange, Osceola, Lake and Seminole counties. That estimate drops to $13.38 and $13.71 in Brevard and Volusia counties, but predictably, as you go further south, the price rises – you'd need to make $19.08 per hour in Broward County to afford the average one-bedroom, and $17.50 in Miami-Dade. The west coast of Florida is a little cheaper – $14.58 will get you the same apartment in Pasco or Hillsborough counties. Those prices may be cheaper than in, say, Los Angelos County, Calif., where you'd need to make $20.83 per hour to afford the same fair-market unit, or anywhere in New Jersey or Connecticut, but for the most part, the cheapest places to rent an apartment in the United States aren't in Florida – they're pretty much everywhere else. Aside from in Suwanee and Union counties in Florida, where you can skate by on less than $10 per hour, Florida doesn't really offer such a bargain when it comes to housing prices. If you really want to live cheap, you'd do better to check out Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and most of southern Virginia. Or, if you're not wedded to living on the coast, you could rent almost anywhere in flyover country for significantly less than you can here. Check out the interactive map here.
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