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The continuing economic crisis and housing downturn has kept a firm hold on Americans the past several years. According to Forbes, "nearly four million families have transitioned into rentals since the foreclosure wave began."

This has not only stopped a large percentage of housing construction cold, but has made rental vacancies scarce and has caused their prices to climb at a steady pace.

Many argue that buying is a better value than renting, which is true in some cities. Many Americans, however, are not in a position to buy a house or get a home loan. Others just prefer the freedom of renting. If you are ready to move to and rent in a new city, consider some of these places that offer a wider variety and value to renters. Remember to take into account other moving costs. Depending on how far you are going can affect what kind of deal you get. Compare prices and do your research for things like cheap moving trucks, best times of the year to move and affordable car transport like auto shipping at Finding the best deals can greatly lower your moving costs and give you a bigger budget when choosing an apartment or house to rent.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Many see Las Vegas only for its legendary Strip and "Sin City" vibe, but there are many great communities to live in this city. Average rent is about $805 monthly with a low increase of 1.3 percent from last year. With some excellent retirement and adult-living communities, and that highly sought-after warm desert air, Vegas isn't just for gamblers. The University of Nevada Las Vegas is a leading urban research university of more than 28,000 students and 3,100 faculty. US News & World Report ranked it 12th in most popular universities.

Tucson, Arizona

Many news outlets, including Forbes, lists Tucson as the best city in the U.S. for renters. The average monthly rent is just $652, only a 1.6 percent increase from last year. Tucson is ideal for renters both young and old. It is home to the University of Arizona, a thriving artistic and musical community, some of the best golf courses in the state and is chock-full of western history.

Jacksonville, Florida

Forbes chose Jacksonville as second-best for renters. This city seems to be thought of as more expensive because of its atmosphere and proximity to the ocean, but Jacksonville has an average monthly rent of $774 the only city on the list with no rent increase from last year. Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida and is close to the ocean with marine life such as sharks and turtles.

San Diego, California

San Diego isn't exactly a "cheap" city to live in, but when you are looking at value it is at the top of the list. While is still remains cheaper to buy than rent in most cities (in the long run), it is actually 15 to 21 time cheaper to rent here. lists San Diego as one of the best places to live in the country. They list "two professional sports teams, 200 museums, world-class restaurants and bars, and easy access to ocean and mountain sports" as some of the main draws to the city.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach is the most populous city in the state. It's no wonder why with miles of oceanfront property, tons of outdoor activities, music, art festivals and some of the best surfing in the country. While it may be a little out of your price range to live right on the beach, there are numerous smaller boroughs surrounding Virginia Beach like Bayside, Blackwater, Kempsville and Lynnhaven. According to Sperling's Best Places, Virginia Beach is the No. 2 best place in the U.S. for military retirees.



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