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Anchorage
  • $700   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $865   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1471   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)

76% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands require a car. 5
freezing to death, mystery sausage, bears
stunning views, few traffic jams 6
white people mountain biking, gentrified wannabes, los anchorage, Sand Dunes, and 3rd world with a touristy facade are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Anchorage roommate rundown:

If you're from the Lower 48, freezing to death is entirely possible, although Anchorage mostly keeps warmer than the rest of Alaska due mostly to most Alaskans living mostly there. And they're hopefully very happy, because the geographic isolation means leaving is expensive!

But if Anchorage is your Winter Wonderland, who cares?

However, you probably will need to care about budgeting more for groceries and other supplies. Almost everything you can buy in Anchorage had to be flown in, but Anchorage is determined not to charge you sales tax on top of that airplane surcharge!

The rental market can be unpredictable because a large chunk consists of rooms inside owner-occupied homes becoming available unpredictably. But especially if you're from the Lower 48, it'll be helpful to move into an established residence with roommates who already know how to winter, so we recommend openness. Just give yourself as much time as possible to roommate match before moving.

The incredible abundance of paved outdoor trails mean you and your roommates can drink your morning coffee with views of mountains and glaciers and wildlife and military men and maybe even a Beluga whale! Please do so frequently to stave off seasonal depression.

The rest of the Anchorage roommate lowdown:

  • Largest city in Alaska, and the westernmost and northernmost metro area in the US. Approximately half of all of Alaska's residents reside within the Anchorage metropolitan area, which is larger than Rhode Island. However, more than 90% of residents live within the 100-square-mile area making up the city proper or the "Anchorage Bowl"
  • while Anchorage is a medium-sized airline hub overall, due to being equidistant from New York City, Frankfurt, and Tokyo, it's within 10 hours by air of most of the world, making it a common refueling stop for international flights
  • groceries and other consumer goods tend to be more expensive than the Lower 48 due to the cost of airlifting them there, but there's no income or sales tax
  • due to geographic isolation, it's more expensive to move your stuff here from anyplace else most ways you could do that, so relocating roommates need to budget extra or travel light
  • Urban Anchorage is home to more wildlife than most cities, featuring black bear, moose, sheep, timber wolf, beaver, and fox residents. Beluga whales are commonly spotted along the Seward Highway.
  • about 10% of the local population is employed by the military
  • home to the largest campus of the University of Alaska and Alaska Pacific University
  • while Juneau is the state capital, more state employees reside in Anchorage
  • Anchorage has a bus system and carpool service called the People Mover to move you around its most popular areas, but you will need your own vehicle outside downtown
  • big city living with natural beauty, clean air, and wide open spaces . . . bike paths, parks, mountains, lakes, glaciers . . . and 135 miles of paved outdoor trails!
  • Anchorage is farther north than Oslo, Stockholm, and Helsinki, so extremely mild summers with long days and frequent rain. Winter features heavy snowfall, heavy cloud cover, and very long nights. You'll want to keep an eye on any roommates who suffer from seasonal depression during Anchorage's long winter darkness.
  • You and your roommates will never tire of Anchorage's beauty, but you might get tired of talking about the weather. But then you'll need to keep talking about it anyway, because snow!
  • Just as a kind warning to traditional Christmas enthusiasts . . . one of Anchorage's favorite local culinary specialities is reindeer sausage.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Anchorage's:

  • World's Largest Chocolate Waterfall: Inside the Alaska Wild Berry Park Store. The store needs you to know that the waterfall is display only, so your roommates must not drink from it. And even though it is over 20 feet long and seemingly more than sufficiently roomy, your roommates must not bathe in it either.
  • Anchorage Market: Alaska is home to dozens of indigenous cultures and languages, often spotlighted with art, music and produce here. You can learn all about their 229 federally recognized tribes at Anchorage's Alaska Native Heritage Center.
  • Craft alcohol: Anchorage is extremely fond of their own craft boozes - tasting events and tours abound for local breweries with many locally produced craft beers, ales, porters and hard ciders.
  • Arctic Man: Week long winter snowmachine event - some compare it to Burning Man, but with "crisper weather.") But it's definitely a giant freezing party run by enthusiastic "slednecks!"


Here's the Municipality of Anchorage's official page for new residents on registration, utilities, and recommended local leisure activities.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.