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Athens
  • $550   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $783   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1259   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  southeast US)

27% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands require a car. 5
angry bulldogs/UGA fans
dog-friendly, bicycle-friendly, commutable to more expensive city 6

SO, roomiematch.com's Athens roommate rundown:

Athens is about half renter-occupied, with at least half of those living with roommates. It's a very friendly, very cheerful, very reasonably-priced roommate market.

But you must consider college students. Extra especially UGA.

They really severely love their bikes here. Cycling, for enthusiasts, not motorbikes but regular bikes for non. You should probably learn to love biking too, at least watching eco-friendly everyone else! Frequently racing around downtown!

You might survive not LOVING bikes if you love porches and oaks and bulldogs. A lot. A lot of love is required. If not, um . . . check out the other metros? :)

The rest of the Athens roommate lowdown:

  • summers are warm and humid with frequent thunderstorms, winters tend to be mild
  • about 70 miles east of Atlanta - a commute is about 60-90 minutes depending on traffic
  • many roommates live here for the affordability plus smaller town vibe then commute into much larger Atlanta for work or school . . . but that's usually best when you can work from home at least part time
  • about half the total housing in Athens is occupied by renters with more than half of those living with roommates, it's a very friendly roommate market
  • many Athens roommates are students collectively renting houses instead of apartments due to local affordability
  • Athens hosts the University of Georgia, which itself hosts the Georgia Museum of Art, the official state art museum -- Athens is also home to Kennesaw State University, Athens Technical College, the Athens College of Ministry, and the University of Georgia branches of Augusta University and Piedmont College
  • University of Georgia and the Clarke County School District are the major employers, about 15,000 collectively
  • approximately 29 neighborhoods in Athens, with Skyline the most expensive and Beachwood the most affordable for roommates
  • Athens encourages eco-friendly alternative transportation via bike lanes on major arteries, with organizations such as BikeAthens supporting more trail development
  • Athens Transit and UGA Campus Transit provide fare-free service around the city and the UGA campuses
  • despite these alternative transportation options, most roommates will still want a car for commuting or shopping -- but the smaller city size with less traffic overall means you'll rarely get gridlocked or bottlenecked except during UGA games
  • depending somewhat on the season, about 25% of the city's residents tend to be students at the University of Georgia, it's a very college town vibe
  • The university is called UGA -- pronounce each letter -- and the bulldog is called Uga, pronounced "ugh-ah."



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

  • 40 Watt Club: Popular nightspot that opened in 1978, credited with launching American punk rock
  • AthFest: Nonprofit arts and music festival taking place downtown every summer since 1996
  • Morton Building: Features the theater famous for hosting black musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, and Duke Ellington
  • Beer: Athens has an active craft beer scene with a number of local breweries and brewpubs including Terrapin, Copper Creek, Cutter's Pub and Trappeze
  • Athens Twilight Criterium: Attracts cyclists from all over the world to race around downtown every spring since 1980
  • Front porches: Everyone loves a front porch here. It's more than just rocking, it's dining, it's music playing, it's midnight partying with your roommates . . . porch life is very real and very Athens.
  • Famous tree: There's a famous "tree that owns itself." It's a white oak granted its own property rights to a plot of land 8 feet in radius that also bears the tree's affectionate official deed.


Here's the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government Housing Counseling (rental housing and housing delinquency counseling) page, which you'll hopefully never need if you choose the right roommates.





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.