Which are the most expensive cities in the US

No matter if you’re relocating, going on vacation, or starting a job in a new city, everyone can benefit from knowing the most expensive cities in the US. In this article, we’ll cover the cost of living, cost of rent, cost of buying a home, and many more. Even if the housing market in one place is much more affordable, it can happen that everyday costs are much higher. We’re sure you won’t be surprised by many cities that made the list. Obviously, California cities are among the most expensive ones! Let us at Master Moving Guide share what we’ve learned so far, and hopefully, help out anyone searching for a new place to call home.

The city of Los Angeles

New York City

New York City is the number one most expensive city in the United States. Even though we’ve mentioned California previously, the most expensive city is not located there. In the snug state of Washington lies a very extravagant city, NYC. The city’s population is approaching 8.4 million obviously making the cost of everything in the city higher than you’d expect. On the other hand, New York also has many neighborhoods where everything is more affordable. But, the heart of it all, Manhattan, has a cost of living that’s 154% higher than the national average! That’s an insane number. Slowly yet surely New York is becoming home to those who acquire a lot of wealth.

In New York’s boroughs, the median price of a home is approximately $662,535. This number changes often, and rises and falls equally. You need to be in the loop and keep an eye out for any dropping prices! Just for reference, we’d like to point out that the national median price of a home is $293,350. This makes NYC’s retail market twice as expensive. In Manhattan though, home prices can easily go over a million dollars, and luxury destinations are usually a couple of million dollars. As one of the best cities for millenials in the USA, NYC has no shortage of newcomers. Many find it that they can jumpstart their careers in the Big Apple, and they are not wrong.

But, another downside to living in NYC is, that not only are the housing prices huge, but groceries, public transport, and everything you need in your day-to-day life are also much more expensive. Unemployment rates have fallen drastically in the last year with an average of 6,2%. The national average is 6,7%, so we can say that NYC has finally fixed a good portion of its unemployment problem. Give NYC a try if you’re up for a challenge! And if you succeed in NYC, you can rest assured that you’ll succeed anywhere.

San Francisco, California

Lately, people have been moving out of San Francisco with haste. The city has an insanely high cost of living and the housing prices are only within reach for the wealthiest. Inside the city, the median home prices are above $1,4 million which is truly an absurd number for a normal average household. But, let’s keep in mind that San Francisco is one of the wealthiest and most expensive cities in the US, while also being one of the top US cities for singles. Due to the booming technology industry and how close San Francisco is to Silicon Valley, we can kind of understand these huge prices in housing. But, unless you’re in tech yourself, we wouldn’t recommend trying to make it in San Francisco.

A family of four would need around $111,200 in income just to barely survive. You’ll need much bigger pay to live comfortably, especially if you’re planning on starting a family. Unemployment rates have become lower, now at a steady 2.2%, while at the peak of 2020 the unemployment rate was a solid 7%. The entire Bay Area around San Francisco is likely going to become even more expensive in the future years. Many young tech companies are opening up in these beautiful places and will likely make the standard of living quite higher.

You should get the best moving insurance if you decide to move to San Francisco. And be prepared to live simply until you make some serious cash.

San Francisco coastline
The lovely San Francisco offers an amazing coastline among all of its other amenities.

Honolulu, Hawaii

If your residential movers are mentioning Honolulu as a lovely location for you to move to, they aren’t wrong. Honolulu and Hawaii in general are tropical paradises. Honolulu is a rare location where you can enjoy all of the modern amenities of a big city, while also having the feeling that you’re on a lovely island resort. But, such an incredible place to live comes with some unexpected costs. The cost of living in this lovely city is twice as big as the national average. Food and housing are the two with the highest price indexes. Simple grocery shopping in Honolulu can turn out to be awfully expensive. An average family of four would need $122,000 in income to live comfortably.

The prices of groceries are 70% more expensive than the average, while utilities cost 102% more. Unfortunately, at the same time, the salaries in Honolulu aren’t that big. The median household income is approximately $85,860 which is too little to live completely comfortably. Honolulu is one of the most expensive cities in the US due to each aspect of life being a bit more expensive than it should be. With a very good paycheck, you’d have no trouble living in Honolulu. But, even if you decide to live a bit smaller and save up money while in Honolulu, the beaches and nature provide more than enough activities for the whole family. It’s many people’s dream to live on the sea.

The unemployment rate is at a small 4.2%, so finding a job will not pose an issue. If you have the financial capacities, Honolulu can be one of the best US cities to retire in. The salt air and water do wonder for a number of ailments.

Boston, Massachusetts

Groceries and the health industry tend to be pretty pricey in Massachusetts. They exceed the national average by 25.9% which is, on our list so far, the smallest jump in prices. Boston is mostly an educational environment with many young students and has a newly booming tech industry parallel with Silicon Valley. Basically, where ever you notice a huge development in the tech industry, you can expect a jump in prices and standard of living. We can talk about how unfair that is for hours and hours, but that’s simply the truth of it. These kinds of towns and cities are not a good match unless you work in the tech or medical industries. Obviously, you can live anywhere you want, but if you want a better quality of life and to live a bit more luxuriously, you will need a strong paycheck to back it all up. Also, remember that before you settle on any moving company, you need to acquire a moving estimate, and preferably one from many different companies. It’s important to know that you’re getting your money’s worth.

Boston is also a huge tourist destination with historic sites dating back to the 13 original colonies. And each and every tourist destination also tends to be more expensive than places no one visits. The unemployment rate in Boston is a steady 3,5% which is lower than the national average. Since Boston is a tourist destination, you can find a lot of seasonal jobs that pay pretty well. This is an amazing option if you’re moving to Boston for University. The median home price is around $685,000, similar to New York. A median household income is $71,115 while to make ends meet as a family of four, you’d need $76,040. Basically, most of the cities on our list aren’t for those who make an okay living. It’s for people who make above-average salaries.

Boston Seaport representing the most expensive cities in the US
Boston is the perfect location for young people starting off their tech careers.

Oakland, California

Oakland is another higher education city. The city is located close to many major metropolitan areas as well as the Bay Area. We’ve already mentioned how expensive everything tends to be in the Bay Area, so you know what to expect. The city has a large and very diverse demographic, while a big part of it is college students. Oakland has a very strong economy and is home to a few major corporations. The economy in Oakland has steadily been growing over the years. The biggest contributor was, of course, the expansion of the technology, health, and professional service sectors all across the city. Oakland’s proximity to San Francisco also makes the standard of living higher. Even though prices in Oakland are nowhere near those in San Francisco, it is still one of the most expensive cities in the US. If you’re short distance moving from San Francisco to Oakland, be careful of scammers and do proper research.

Median home prices are around $938,733 while renting is at the lowest at $3000 a month. There’s a lot of demand for housing in Oakland, while there isn’t enough supply. There simply aren’t enough residential spaces for all the people searching for one, so the economy has adapted to higher prices, and now those who can afford it get homes first. Also, Oakland is pretty close to Silicon Valley and this has also influenced the huge prices of housing.

Washington DC

The capital of the US, Washington DC, located on the Potomac River, was founded in 1790 by the first US president. To this day it has remained a hub of federal government jobs, embassies, and international organizations. Additionally, this lovely city is also a popular tourist attraction. Housing is very sought-after in this iconic city. Also, Washington DC is forever evolving and each year, month, or day new job opportunities are popping up left and right. Even though it’s one of the most expensive cities in the US, Washington DC offers a lot if you choose to live there.

The only big con is the cost of real estate. The median home prices are around $692,000. You can obviously find more expensive and less expensive homes to choose from. But, an average home everyone is searching for will be around 600k or 700k. This price keeps rising since there’s a limited supply of housing in DC. There isn’t any more room to create new buildings, apartments, and homes. So, now those who can spend the most can get the best homes. Before you decide to suddenly move to DC, be sure to check out some tips for hiring movers. If you’re inexperienced, you don’t know just how easier good movers make a moving process. Don’t be lazy, ask around, pick carefully, and at the end of the moving process, thank yourself.

Cherry blossoms in Washington DC
For those searching to work for the government, there simply is no better place than Washington DC.

San Jose, California

San Jose is one of the largest cities in the Bay Area and the capital of Silicon Valley. Even though San Jose is one of the most expensive cities in the US, it’s also one of the most sought-after places to live in. The weather in this lovely city is almost perfect during the entire year. The average temperature is around 70 degrees making it absolutely perfect for walking around and enjoying the sun without feeling dizzy. Additionally, the city has direct access to the sea and some wonderful beaches, while the Sierra Nevada mountains are right there as well. Due to all of these favorable factors, a lot of people dream of living right here in San Jose. Be sure to check out some packing tips before moving to San Jose. You can save time and money which you can comfortably spend in your new paradise!

The cost of living is 115% higher than the national average while the median price of homes is above $1,5 million. Obviously, these parameters are insane. First off, the Silicon Valley tech boom. San Jose houses some of the biggest tech companies including Apple, Google, and Facebook.

We hope you enjoy our list of the most expensive cities in the US. Now go make your choices carefully.

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