Last year, a record 36 percent of American young adults (ages 18-31) were living at home with their parents. Some simply failed to launch their adult lives and chose to move home to reconnect with microwave Hot Pockets and their Sega Genesis. Others racked up student loan debt and failed to enter the job market during a recession. Either way, they’re back in their old rooms, enduring dinnertime lectures about life choices.
While there’s little honor in moving home, there are cities where it is a lot more understandable. We crunched the financials, factoring in the cost of living, apartment rental prices, home prices, and unemployment numbers to determine which cities provided the most incentive to live at home. Then we compiled housing data from Estately’s real estate listings to determine which cities had the most ideal homes for those cohabitating with parents. Bonus points were given for large square footage, roomy basements, guest suites, garages, tree forts, or other spaces an adult child could convert into an apartment for him or herself. In the end, we combined all of this to determine the 13 Best Cities to Live with Your Parents.
LOS ANGELES, CA
Just because Ice Cube’s mama accommodates his dietary preferences doesn’t mean other live-in adult children in Los Angeles will be so lucky. On the upside, grownups with curfews can take solace in the fact that many Hollywood celebrities still live with their family, including Selena Gomez, Bradley Cooper, Dev Patel, Taylor Lautner, Kim Kardashian, and Jennifer Lawrence.
At least underemployed Angelinos have good excuses, like how their city is the fifth most expensive city to rent an apartment ($1,740 per month). The median home value is $513,600 so saving up for a down payment is going to take some time, and the cost of living is 30.8 percent above the national average. A grownup may not want to sneak into his/her parents’ fridge to eat their leftovers, but that may be the price you pay for residing in a city ranked by Kiplingers as the “10th Most Expensive U.S. Cities to Live In.”
Yuma, Arizona is located in an actual desert and an employment desert—a barren land devoid of jobs. The city’s 34.5-percent unemployment rate is the highest in the United States so the odds of finding gainful employment in this border town are about as good as spotting a chupacabra. The few employers hiring are the Marine Corps, U.S. Border Patrol, various other government agencies, or the local Walmart and casino. Homes are affordable and there is seasonal work picking vegetables, but staying home might not be a bad economic move.
SAN JOSE, CA
Legend has it that Apple and Google got their starts in a garage, so who’s to say the road to becoming a Fortune 500 company doesn’t begin in your parents’ garage? Over 60 percent of homes on the market in San Jose have garages, but the median home price is an astounding $605,400. The weather doesn’t necessitate keeping the car in the garage so maybe mom can park the Toyota by the curb until your fledgling venture goes public? It’ll eliminate the expenses that come from living in third most expensive U.S. city and paying the sixth highest rent. However, it won’t help your dating life.
According to a study by Manilla.com, Baltimore has the third highest credit card debt in the country, with an average of $2,451.53 per person. Now hold on to your Discover Card statement because the news is about to get worse: Baltimore also has 7.5% unemployment and a cost of living that’s 20 percent higher than the average American city. Basically, you’ve got a perfect storm for an extended stay with the parental units. Luckily, most Baltimore townhouses come with a nice front stoop to relax on when you need a break from family time, or just want to drink a Natty Boh in the fresh air.
When a person leaves college and returns home that usually spells the end of the partying. However, in Chicago there are an incredibly high percentage of homes with basement bars. These bars are relatively private, and can be outfitted as swanky bachelor or bachelorette pads. They can also be used as creative spaces to work on that novel or album, or turn it into a speakeasy servicing other underemployed boomerang kids. It might prove just as lucrative as delivering pizzas or mowing neighbors’ lawns. Start saving that cash though because Chicago is home to both the 10th highest credit card debt and student loan debt in the country.
LAS VEGAS, NV
Provided they didn’t lose their Las Vegas home during the housing market collapse, mom and dad might make ideal roommates for young adults failing to thrive in Las Vegas. Sin City boasts an immoral 10.1-percent unemployment rate so the job market is discouraging. On the upside, median home values are just $171,800 so saving up for a home won’t take as long as most other cities on our list.
SAN DIEGO, CA
Some people want to grow up to become doctors or firefighters. In San Diego, many young people opt for an early retirement on their parents’ couch, leisurely living out their days in a paradise of sunshine, great surf and fantastic tacos. San Diego is a little slice of heaven, but as the ninth most expensive city in America that slice is extra pricey. With a median home price of $477,100 and a cost of living 32.1 percent higher than the national average, the affordable option of living at home is appealing.
San Diego has second highest Reddit page visits per capita, a stat that could mean an extremely high percentage of underemployed millennials are living at home in constant fear that mom or dad could change the WiFi password. On the upside, the weather is perfect for millennials who choose to live in their old tree forts.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Want to rent an apartment in the most expensive rental market in the country? San Francisco‘s median rental price is an appalling $3,396, far more than the price your pride will pay if you move back to Mom’s house. Buying a home in San Francisco isn’t any better as the median home price is a whopping $767,300. Couple all of this with a cost of living 64 percent higher than the national average and there’s reason enough to hide under your old Star Wars sheets and never come out. On the upside, the wine is 18-percent cheaper in San Francisco so there is some justice in the universe.
KANSAS CITY, MO
When transitioning from childhood to adulthood in Kansas City, a common experience is apparently racking up credit card debt. More so than any other major city, Kansas City puts it on plastic and pays interest on those purchases for years. The average resident owes $2,668, a little less than four months of average rent. Of course if that person is a college grad then tack on an additional $23,000 to account of the average student loan debt.
NEW YORK, NY
Aside from the family farms in America’s heartland, there’s no other place in America where living at home is more socially acceptable than in New York City. The most expensive city in America to live in is also home to 8.2-percent unemployment. The median rent is $3,344 per month so there are plenty of financial excuses for enjoying mom’s home cooking well into adulthood. The downside is New York City homes are small, so you might be sharing bunk beds with a sibling until you’re thirty.
Philadelphia is home to nearly 20 four-year colleges and universities, so it’s a learned city that cranks out college grads. Unfortunately, in Pennsylvania 70 percent of those who graduated with a four-year degree have an average student loan debt of $29,959. It’s no surprise that a lot of those diplomas will be posted at mom’s house, especially since unemployment is at 8.4 percent.
On the upside, nearly 40 percent of Philadelphia homes on the market boast basements, so the odds are fair there’s a basement at the ‘rents house to reside in. Not only do these subterranean bunkers keep people safe from the sun’s harmful rays, they make ideal habitat for both deadbeats and the debt-ridden to live out their 20s and even early 30s. Get some decorating ideas for them HERE.
Most D.C. slackers living with mom would love a job that rewards accomplishing nothing with great pay, benefits and vacation time. Unfortunately—and you can probably see this one coming a mile away—there can only be 535 members of Congress.
Apartment rentals in Washington, DC average $2,190 per month, which is fine if you have a good job and enjoy eating Top Ramen in an unfurnished apartment. If they’re lucky, returning children will have parents who own a D.C. home with a mother in-law suite they can use. It’s perfect for those who want to continue raiding their parents’ fridge while maintaining a facade of independence. Best of luck buying a home—the median home price in Washington, DC is $632,323.
Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments.
– – – – –