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Cincinnati
  • $350   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $744   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1134   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  northeast US)

88% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands require a car. 5
must have reliable car
cheapest rent, nature preserves, parkland 6
high school football, sketchy white people, HOA hell, Crazy Australian + Bible Theme Park, Florence Y'all!, Waffle House, and nothing else, who the hell put a casino here??, and good food are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Cincinnati roommate rundown:

Cincinnati has a reputation for cheap rent, Cincinnati-style chili, and crime? Also abandoned places you can visit and one of the best park systems in the country?

That's a lot, but which of these factors is most relevant to you and your roommates will fully depend on the neighborhood. This is a metro area that features highly variable neighborhoods with dramatically different characters.

Cincinnati is also a metro area that's often called the best place to live in Ohio . . . even though it's kinda sorta also Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio? And don't leave out Lake Erie.

Meanwhile, it's definitely actually in the midwest, geographically, but culturally significantly Southern Bluegrass too.

In short, Cincinnati has a lot for you and your roommates to explore, almost everything cheaper than other metro areas in the country, and chances are good you can find the right neighborhood for you. But until you're familiar do proceed with caution. Go together as a group until you're comfortable, and you'll be much happier in a reliable car.

(No really, you don't want to move to Cincinnati without that reliable car.)

But if driving that reliable car to a chili parlor sounds appealing, you're already on your way!

The rest of the Cincinnati roommate lowdown:

  • Metro "Cincinnati" is centered on Cincinnati, but also includes nearby counties in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. It's Ohio's third largest city (just over 300,000), but the largest metro region featuring many towns and suburbs, including Florence (Kentucky), Lebanon, Mason, Milford-Miami, and Oxford . . . about 2.25 million.
  • There are four distinct seasons with a few to several snow days. Extreme weather like large hail or a tornado happen occasionally, but overall, Cincinnati weather actually isn't that severe most years.
  • Cincinnati is geographically midwest, but culturally many feel Cincinnati is more a part of the Southern Bluegrass culture of Kentucky.
  • Public transportation exists, but just a bit, as public buses exist, served by two bus systems. You should check the continuing availability of your route before taking the bus even though buses are still not known for reliability so and . . . you and your roommates will probably still want cars.
  • Home to Cleveland Institute of Art, Dyke College, Baldwin-Wallace College, John Carroll University, Lake Erie College, Notre Dame College, Oberlin College, Ursuline College, Cast Western Reserve University, Cleveland Institute of Music, and Cleveland State University
  • Cincinnati has a fantastic park system / Urban Forest - From a more intense hike to just wandering around in incredible green forestry just to take it all in, Cincinnati's incredible park system offers both. There are over 40 public parks, and in total they feature hiking trails, nature preserves, lakes, and out-of-the-way gardens.
  • Cincinnati-style chili is all meat, no beans or onion. "Three-way" is over spaghetti with cheddar on top, "four-way" add onions or beans, and "five-way" means add them all. The debate over which chili parlor does all of this the best is dramatic and ongoing, with several different parlors with their own devoted fans. Hopefully you and your roommates seriously like chili some kinda way!
  • Cincinnati has a reputation for crime, both violent and property. However, while the city has over 50 declared neighborhoods, most of the crime occurs in just several. The neighborhoods in which crime occurs most frequently are the most impoverished.



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

  • Downtown: Mostly walkable, featuring over 50 buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places, in addition to several theaters, statues, and murals.
  • Findlay Market: Ohio's oldest public market operating continuously
  • Lucky Cat Museum: 2000+ Maneki-nekos or Japanese luck idols will wave their paws at you and your roommates encouragingly. They'll wave only during limited hours though, so experience those plastic cats by checking ahead to make sure this museum is open before going.
  • Lindner Park - Many semi-abandoned structures to explore, like a pool, an ice house, and a turtle pond. You and your roommates can visit between dawn and dusk.


Here's the city of Cincinnati's official .gov for all their resources for residents, including rental resources.





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.