The cost to rent a two bedroom apartment varies wildly across the country. Large, metropolitan cities in desirable areas typically have the highest rental costs. The wage you need to earn to rent a two bedroom apartment is higher than you might think, especially in pricey San Francisco. According to Rent Jungle, the average price to rent a two bedroom apartment in San Francisco currently averages around $4,571.
Conventional wisdom dictates that you should spend no more than 30% of your gross salary on rent. As Bloomberg reports, the 30% rule can be difficult, if not impossible, to follow in the most competitive housing markets. For example, to spend no more than 30% of your gross income on the $4,571 two bedroom, San Francisco apartment mentioned above, you’d need to earn over $182,000 per year.
The San Francisco minimum wage increased to $14.00 on July 1, 2017. Assuming a standard 40 hour work week, a worker making minimum wage in San Francisco would earn just $29,120, far below the amount needed to rent a two bedroom apartment in the city. For comparison purposes, San Francisco has one of the highest minimum wages in the country. The current federal minimum wage is just $7.25 per hour.
Even for those making a better wage, the average household income in San Francisco is $104,879, spending no more than the recommended 30% of income on housing still represents a significant challenge.
For those who want to live and work in San Francisco, compromises must often be made in order to afford it. Many choose a longer commute into the city and live just outside San Francisco, where rents are slightly more affordable. Living with roommates and working more than one job are also alternatives to be able to rent a two bedroom apartment in everybody’s favorite city, San Francisco.