Apartment Searching

Which city should I live in?


Have been asking yourself “what city should I live in?” If you’re thinking about moving to a new city, consult this guide to find out the biggest pros and cons of each major US city, and whether or not you should move there.

New York City

The biggest thing you should know…

More people live here — 8.6 million — than any other city in the US.


  • It’s truly a melting pot; nearly half the city’s population is made up of people who were born outside of America.
  • Commuting is easy with robust public transportation, multiple ferry services, bike-share programs, and walkable streets.
  • There’s always so much to do; Broadway shows, concerts, historic venues, museums, performances, operas, tourist attractions.



  • Living in New York is expensive; the cost of living in New York is 22 percent higher than the national average.
  • The weather — you will be constantly sweating in the summer and constantly freezing in the winter.
  • It takes time to get used to. The loud, fast-paced, crowded city that never sleeps can be a lot to take in and overwhelming at first. Once those moments pass, you’ll fall in love with New York. 


Should you live in New York?

Yes, you have to experience this city at least once in your life. If you’re thinking about moving to New York but are nervous about housing costs, try coliving in New York. Common offers flexible leases for beautiful, fully furnished homes across the city, from Manhattan to Brooklyn and Queens. By living at Common, you’ll only come across the advantages of living in New York City. Not only will you be saving hundreds of dollars on rent, but you’ll also have an instant community to be a part of and discover the city with.

Enjoy the city life and move in with your belongings into a move-in-ready home with WiFi, laundry, professional cleaning, household essentials, and utilities included in your one all-inclusive rent. Tour our homes for free (no brokers fee).
classon in clinton hill

 San Francisco

The biggest thing you should know…

The city is the most expensive (#rank in the US) and small (46.87 square miles).


  • Interesting, diverse, and historic neighborhoods + exciting culinary scene (calling all foodies!)
  • A walkable city, but various public and private transit options available (Muni, BART, e-scooters, rideshare, bikes)
  • Lots of open-fields and outdoor space, from the Golden Gate Park and Lands End to Dolores Park



  • Expensive rents — median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $3,253/month
  • Microclimates; be prepared for all kinds of weather, learn how to layer, and transition from morning to night
  • Chilly and foggy weather, pretty much all-year-round. Say goodbye to the “sunny California” that you know.


Should you live in San Francisco?

Yes! Although you need to consider and be prepared for the shortage of housing, financial constraints, and more, San Francisco is truly an eclectic city like no other.If you want to move to San Francisco and don’t want to deal with those headaches, move into Common coliving homes in the Bay Area. We’ve got professionally designed homes across the city that come with high-quality furniture, high-end appliances, fully stocked kitchens and bathrooms, and private bedrooms. Common homes are making city living convenient for you so that you can spend more money and time to do the things you love. Take a free tour today.hidden costs of moving macathur

Los Angeles

The biggest thing you should know…

The county of Los Angeles is 4,751 square miles, so you’ll always be able to find room to breathe, homes to live in, and different neighborhoods to discover.


  • Incredible weather. Expect sunny days consistently throughout the year (an average of 75 degrees) in this Southern California city.
  • The perfect blend of nature — tons of mountains and beaches — and a concrete jungle.
  • Bigger homes. Half the city is zoned for low-rise development, so you’ll get more square footage for your buck, maybe even amenities like balconies and backyards.



  • You need a car to get around the city. Public transit isn’t ubiquitous or frequent enough around the city, and there’s not one central business district to make commuting easy.
  • Be prepared to spend hours stuck in traffic wherever you go. It’s worse than you expect.
  • It’s expensive — income required to live comfortably in LA is $76,047 annually — but not as expensive at New York and SF.


Should you live in Los Angeles?

Yes, you can’t beat the west coast weather and beaches. Instead of struggling to find housing, try coliving in Los Angeles. Common homes are move-in-ready and fully furnished, so you can enjoy all the best parts of LA. Not only will your home in LA be located in convenient and beautiful neighborhoods, but your membership also comes with exclusive perks at major brands and community events around the city. Tour our coliving homes in LA today.outdoor space design


The biggest thing you should know…

The Second City (never call it “the Windy City”) boasts a more reliable public transit than any other major city in America.


  • The L (subway system) and the Chicago Transit Authority offer plenty of transit options — 8 train lines, 140 bus routes — to get anywhere in the city. Plus, the city is flat, so you can easily walk to where you want to be.
  • There’s always so much to do, from free museum admissions on designated days, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and free movie screenings to 600 parks, 70 nature and bird sanctuaries.
  • Compared to major coastal cities, rents in Chicago are much lower. The median rent for a one-bedroom is $1,821 a month.



  • Brutal and long winters with windchills as low as minus 40 degrees. The weather is generally unpredictable: snowstorms in April, subzero temperatures, etc.
  • You’ll be pretty landlocked. Lake Michigan is the closest thing to a good beach, but other than that, you’ll experience a lack of mountains and the ocean.
  • Traffic and parking can be difficult. Having a vehicle in Chicago can be a liability if you live or work somewhere that requires paid parking. Finding a spot can seem impossible, and you need to master parallel parking.


Should you live in Chicago?

Yes, it’s one of the most exciting cities in the Midwest.Save money and headaches by moving into Common’s coliving homes across Chicago.Framebridge at Common Racine

Washington, D.C.

The biggest thing you should know…

The nation’s capital is expensive, but you get what you pay for. Experience the joy of urban living in Washington, D.C. You’ve got four seasons, beautiful architecture, mountains, history, and more.


  • DC is a highly walkable city with great public transportation and a strong bike culture. A SmarTrip card gives you access to all transit methods and saves you money!
  • The Capitol believes that art and history should be free. The National Mall, National Zoo, performances at the Kennedy Center, tours of the White House, and several other activities and attractions are free and easy to find.
  • Beautiful seasons.  DC has got four real seasons, unlike other parts of the country. Fall and spring are stunning, with cherry blossoms and foliage.



  • DC has the fourth most expensive rental market in the nation. The average rent per person is about $2,000 per month in the DC metro area, and rents are continuing to increase.
  • DC is also the sixth most expensive city in the country, especially because taxes work differently. The sales tax in the city is 5.75%, but certain purchases — such as alcohol, meals at restaurants, and takeout — are taxed at a higher rate (10%).
  • The city has a more formal and conservative dress code, due to government influence. You’ve got to take a second look in the mirror before stepping out into the streets.


Should you live in Washington, DC?

Yes. The nation’s capital is calling your name. Tour Common coliving homes in Washington, D.C. today.


The biggest thing you should know…

The population of Seattle has grown 18 percent in the last nine years, which is one of the highest increases in the country.


  • Home to Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks with satellite offices for Expedia, Alaska Airlines, Nintendo, and Costco. The city attracts a ton of young professionals, making it more vibrant and exciting.
  • Seattle is surrounded by mountain ranges, rainforests, lakes, and Pacific shores. Plus, the clean air quality and frequent drizzle make outdoor activities accessible all-year-round.
  • You can get out of the city and discover neighboring treasures. Take a ferry to Bainbridge Island or Kingston for charming small-town communities, or take a scenic drive to the Olympic National Forest. Discover the quirky and fun Portland, Oregon just 3 hours away, or Vancouver BC (2-3 hours), or the Bavarian village of Leavenworth (2 hours).



  • Dampness. It’s either raining, drizzling, or dry with threatening rain. Always have a rain jacket on hand.
  • Housing costs are rising. The typical rent for an apartment in the Seattle metropolitan area is $1,965, according to Rentcafe, or $2,285 by Zillow’s numbers.
  • Public transit isn’t fully built out, and traffic is bad. Seattle’s hilly terrain, wet climate, and lack of dependable bike lanes aren’t ideal for its commuters. Because the light rail projects and bus options aren’t practical for the entire city just yet, most Seattleites own cars. Even then, they deal with terrible traffic and a lacking highway network.


Should you live in Seattle?

If you’re interested in living in Seattle, stay tuned! We’re opening homes across the city this year. Follow us on Instagram to get the latest updates.


The bottom line

No matter which location you choose, you can’t go wrong with any of these amazing U.S. cities. Plus, with the help of Common, you’ll be able to find your dream space and meet an entirely new community. Find your home with Common today!

Related posts: