4 of the Best Cities for Recent Graduates to Move This Spring

by Ben SanfordApril 30, 2018

Fresh Out of College? The Middle of the Country Is Where You’ll Want to Live

After graduating college, each “former student” makes a few important decisions, like finding a job and choosing where to live. These two decisions typically go together, and so as the logic goes, the cities that recent graduates should be attracted to are those with strong economies and good job growth numbers, a diversity of housing opportunities, and features and amenities that cater to their age group.

If you’re fresh out of college and you’re looking to start your new life somewhere outside of your hometown, then we’ve already done the work for you. Here are four of the best cities for recent college graduates to move to this spring.

good cities for recent grads

#1: Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas has been a favorite destination for graduates (particularly from the University of Texas) for years now, thanks to its “weird culture” and eclectic atmosphere. In fact, over the last 25 years, the population in Austin has doubled, and along with it, the number of its businesses.

Austin is also home to incredible food and culture, and its live music and nightlife scenes are among the best in the country. The job market in Austin is equally rich, with the city’s growth in its job sector aimed at attracting creative millennials and Generation Z’ers who are right at home, thinking outside the box.

Austin also has a diverse housing market with a median home price of $392,000. But, good deals can still be found all over the city, such as this three-bedroom home or this modern townhome.

#2: Fargo, North Dakota

Fargo might not be the first city to come to mind when you think of young home buyers, but it is one of the best places in the country for college graduates to call home. For starters, Fargo is a regular mention on most America’s Most Livable Cities lists. The people in the town are friendly, the arts and food scenes are excellent, there’s an abundance of nature, and the job market is filled with opportunities in the healthcare and higher education fields.

Fargo is home to Microsoft’s third-largest campus in the country and it also earns high marks for being very accommodating to entrepreneurs and new business startups. Of course, it does get really, really cold in the winter, but there’s so much to love about Fargo that most people can deal with it.

The median home price in Fargo is just $265,000, so it’s also an affordable place to live. If you’re in the market, perhaps this four-bedroom homes like this for under $250,000, or this large-family homes like this for just over $300,000, will appeal to you.
good cities for recent grads

#3: Lincoln, Nebraska

If you want to live somewhere with a healthy perspective, then Lincoln, Nebraska is the place for you. Nebraska has some of the nation’s lowest rates for chronic diseases and depression, with Lincoln scoring the highest well-being index in the country. Much of this has to do with the fact that Nebraskans don’t live sedentary lifestyles.

With the most parkland per capita in the United States, Lincoln’s residents spend a lot of time outdoors and get a lot of exercise. They also give their lungs a workout every weekend in the fall when Nebraska football gets underway.

Lincoln enjoys a strong and ever-growing economy with its major industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, and education accounting for a large portion of its resilience. Furthermore, Lincoln’s housing is affordable, with rentals averaging $700 and a median home price of $257,000.

In Lincoln, you can get a quaint two-bedroom home for under $200,000, a condo for less than $115,000, or a luxury four-bedroom family home for less than $475k.
good cities for recent grads

#4: Madison, Wisconsin

Like Fargo, Madison, Wisconsin is commonly ranked as one of America’s Most Livable Cities and for good reason. The city offers a wealth of natural beauty, including more than 15,000 acres of lakes, vibrant arts and culture districts, good food, and affordable housing. It’s also one of the cities most committed to protecting the environment, which is of high-importance to the most recent crop of college grads. In fact, in 2014, Madison was ranked as the Greenest City in America by NerdWallet.

The average rental in Madison goes for $1,000 per month and the median home price is $288,000. A suburban home can range between $200k and $300k and you can even get a well-equipped luxury home for less than $420,000.

With college now in your rear-view mirror, where are you looking to start the next phase of your life? These four cities are excellent options if you’re a recent graduate.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.