For young professionals trying to establish themselves in Cheyenne, finding affordable housing can be a challenge.
“Young people want to be trendy, and Cheyenne isn’t really tendy,” said Cheyenne Realtor Adrianna True of RE/MAX Capitol.
According to Zillow, there were 132 available rentals in Cheyenne compared to more than 500 places listed for sale on Feb. 28. True said that “Cheyenne has been more of a ‘buyer-saturated’ market since July 2017.” In the world of real estate, a “buyer-saturated” housing market means the city has more buyers than homes. Homes are selling fast, making the demand for rental property high, True said. In addition to the small amount of homes available for rent, the prices of rentals can be costly due to the demand for them.
“If you’re thinking about buying a home and new to the process, Wyoming offers a great program called WCDA (Wyoming Community Development Authority),” True said.
The program provides low-interest, single family mortgages and education to help customers buy and maintain homes. WCDA also offers programs to aid in the sustainability of home ownership.
“It’s a great program for residents of Wyoming who are younger and less experienced in real estate,” True said.
But for young professionals who aren’t ready to buy a home yet, the rental market can be more expensive than a mortgage. For instance, Zillow lists the average mortgage for a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house with about 2,100 square feet at $966 per month. A search for rentals of comparable size resulted in 10 results with an average cost of $1,390 per month, or about $424 more than the average mortgage.
Pet owners who are looking to rent have even slimmer pickings. A search on Zillow revealed that only 30 percent of property owners allow pets, and the property owners that do allow pets often charge a pet deposit fee, which on average can cost a pet owner $200 to $400. Property owners can also charge extra per month for “pet rent.” Pet owners who also need a garage will have an even harder time renting, as a recent Zillow search found that, of the rentals that included a garage, only 14 percent of them allowed pets.
For students looking to live independently, the rental market can be expensive as well. According to Zillow, the average rental price for a 1-bedroom apartment out of 15 rentals listed is $846 per month. By comparison, a semester in a super single room in the East residence hall is $2,880, or about $720 a month for rent, according to the published rates on LCCC’s website. However, students are also required to buy a meal plan as part of living in the residence hall, which can cost as much as $1,720 per semester, and they are required to pay $250 per semester for utilities.