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Union Station and downtown Kansas City MO at dusk. Edwin Remsberg—Getty Images

20 Great Places to Live for $1000 a Month

Sometimes, the rent is too darn high. In fact, the number of households in the United States spending more than 50 percent of their income on rent is on the rise, according to a report by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. The report points to a rental housing affordability crisis.

But there are still some places in the U.S. with affordable housing. GOBankingRates looked at cities throughout the country, big and small, and found 20 with rents averaging $1,000 per month or less. Then it factored in possible mortgage payments should a renter decide to buy in the future, plus the town’s walkability and its number of kid-friendly parks to rank those affordable cities.

If you're looking for a great place to live where you can get more for your money, consider a move to one of these places where rents are $1,000 or less.

20. New Bern, N.C.

  • Median rent price: $1,000
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $873
  • Walkability score: 28
  • Kid-friendly parks: 14

A major port and trading center during the late 18th and 19th centuries, New Bern, N.C., is steeped in history. In addition to having formerly held the title of North Carolina’s first permanent capital, New Bern is home to another historic marker: It was one of the first cities in the South to fall to Union forces during the Civil War.

Because of its historic significance, this city is perfect for Civil War buffs. Southern gentlefolk can also enjoy its many restaurants and arts and entertainment venues.

19. Rock Hill, S.C.

  • Median rent price: $1,000
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $840
  • Walkability score: 29
  • Kid-friendly parks: 88

Photographers and contemplative types will love the natural elements of Rock Hill, S.C. Find tranquility in the city’s Glencairn Garden, which offers open green space and waterways with idyllic bridges. People looking for more thrills can visit Carowinds, a roller coaster park in nearby Fort Mill.

18. Tallahassee, Fla.

  • Median rent price: $990
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $873
  • Walkability score: 32
  • Kid-friendly parks: 55

Tallahassee, Fla., offers plenty of outdoor activities and fun for the family. But the town also hosts the Swamp Stomp Music Festival in July, which is billed as “an acoustic music lover’s dream.” The festival features folk, blues, contemporary and other genres, plus games, ziplining and other activities.

17. Beaumont, Texas

  • Median rent price: $997.50
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $707
  • Walkability score: 32
  • Kid-friendly parks: 83

If you consider yourself to be outdoorsy, you might enjoy living in Beaumont. The city boasts tons of outdoor attractions, including boating, fishing, hiking, camping, horseback riding and more. And according to the city's tourism site, Beaumont is also a great place if you're interesting in bird watching.

16. Winston-Salem, N.C.

  • Median rent price: $945
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $758
  • Walkability score: 22
  • Kid-friendly parks: 63

You might move to present-day Winston-Salem, N.C., for the affordable housing, but you’ll spend your free time visiting Old Salem, the time-travelling homage to the more than 250-year-old town. There, you can view early southern craftsmanship and award-winning gardens. The town itself includes original structures, artifacts, hands-on workshops, old-time shopping and tours.

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15. Shreveport, La.

  • Median rent price: $950
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $804
  • Walkability score: 31
  • Kid-friendly parks: 65

The small southern city of Shreveport, La., boasts a spry nightlife. The Red River District offers six (yes, six) riverboat casinos, which are open 24 hours a day, as well as a variety of nightclubs, bars and jazz clubs.

14. Las Cruces, N.M.

  • Median rent price: $945
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $919
  • Walkability score: 32
  • Kid-friendly parks: 113

Get a taste of history in Old Mesilla and take an inspiring hike in the area parks and wildlife refuge when you live in Las Cruces, N.M. In fact, you can walk the same streets — or, at least, in the same areas — that the infamous Billy the Kid and Pancho Villa once walked. Historic town sites, small theaters and unique museums are hallmarks of the desert city, which is also home to New Mexico State University.

13. Champaign, Ill.

  • Median rent price: $985
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $757
  • Walkability score: 50
  • Kid-friendly parks: 52

College town, Champaign, Ill., is made larger not only by the student population, but also by its twin city, Urbana. This affordable city, situated about a two hours’ drive from Chicago, is known for its parks, performing arts, dedication to college sports and what lifestyle blog Thrillist calls "eclectic" food offerings.

12. Ocala, Fla.

  • Median rent price: $925
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $804
  • Walkability score: 27
  • Kid-friendly parks: 39

If you're looking for the year-round heat of Florida without the crowds of Disney World or the party atmosphere of Miami: Consider Ocala, a quiet city with a great state park. Silver Springs State Park features lots to do, including boat tours, kayaking, canoeing and biking — plenty to do on the weekends with family or friends.

11. Des Moines, Iowa

  • Median rent price: $1,000
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $616
  • Walkability score: 44
  • Kid-friendly parks: 80

Des Moines, Iowa, has a beautiful Capitol Building, a downtown farmers market and the ever-surprising Pappajohn Sculpture Park. A few historical homes, a zoo, botanical gardens and the free Des Moines Art Center round out the capital city’s offerings for residents and visitors alike.

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10. Spokane Valley, Wash.

  • Median rent price: $900
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $942
  • Walkability score: 30
  • Kid-friendly parks: 3

Just east of its larger namesake lies Spokane Valley, Wash., a quaint city with easy access to all that Spokane offers. With fewer than 100,000 people, Spokane Valley’s to-do list focuses mostly on its outdoor offerings — including five ski resorts within 75 miles, 17 golf courses in the region and the 37-mile-long Centennial Trail along the Spokane River, as well as its city parks and pools.

9. Ferndale, Mich.

  • Median rent price: $1,000
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $758
  • Walkability score: 64
  • Kid-friendly parks: 16

Ferndale, Mich., is smack in the middle of two Great Lakes — Erie and Huron. It also hosts the Rust Belt Market, a weekend marketplace featuring more than 50 shops that’s billed as “the intersection of creativity and business.” Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, this eclectic Etsy-in-real-life features soap-makers, florists, vintage clothing sellers and custom framers, among other artistic types selling their wares.

8. Hartford, Conn.

  • Median rent price: $1,000
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $689
  • Walkability score: 71
  • Kid-friendly parks: 73

Hartford, Conn., might not be as bustling as its huge neighbor, New York City, but it still offers great theater. Hartford Stage, TheaterWorks and The Bushnell Performing Arts Center all regularly host top shows. The Old State Farmers Market also hosts local food, vendors and music.

7. Greenville, N.C.

  • Median rent price: $900
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $687
  • Walkability score: 32
  • Kid-friendly parks: 45

A college town through and through, Greenville, N.C., is home to East Carolina University — and the whole town has pledged allegiance to the Pirates. But there’s more to this cozy southern city — like the Umbrella Market, a gathering of local businesses and one heck of a farmers market. Once you’re done shopping for produce, you can head to a local barbecue joint for a dinner to remember.

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6. Mobile, Ala.

  • Median rent price: $900
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $711
  • Walkability score: 32
  • Kid-friendly parks: 78

Another museum mecca, Mobile, Ala., boasts plenty southern charm. From the Battleship USS ALABAMA to the National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile showcases its geographic location as well as its place in history. You’ll find more than a few historic mansions nestled among old churches and art centers.

5. Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Median rent price: $1,000
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $710
  • Walkability score: 50
  • Kid-friendly parks: 349

You can learn something new every weekend when you live in Cincinnati, Ohio. Take advantage of the zoo and botanical garden, Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum, the Museum Center at Union Terminal, the American Sign Museum or the Krohn Conservatory. Or, take a stroll along the Ohio River Trail for a peaceful afternoon.

4. Knoxville, Tenn.

  • Median rent price: $900
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $758
  • Walkability score: 31
  • Kid-friendly parks: 171

You might live in Knoxville, Tenn., for its low rent, but you’ll live for all the outdoor activities this area offers. The landscape offers rivers, forests, trails, lakes, streams and rock outcrops. If you want to live near downtown, you can access Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, which includes more than 50 miles of nature trails, a nature center and outdoor sports equipment rentals.

3. Indianapolis, Ind.

  • Median rent price: $950
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $610
  • Walkability score: 29
  • Kid-friendly parks: 355

If you’re looking for a Midwestern city that’s smaller than Chicago but big enough for nights out downtown, consider moving to Indianapolis, Ind. This city is particularly great if you’re looking for lots to do with kids. In addition to its more than 350 kid-friendly parks, the city also boasts an aquatic park, a zoo inside a state park and a children’s museum.

2. Kansas City, Mo.

  • Median rent price: $925
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $827
  • Walkability score: 34
  • Kid-friendly parks: 409

Die-hard sports fanatics would do well to make themselves at home in the affordable city of Kansas City, Mo. From college basketball to hockey to the NFL, there’s a team for every sports lover in this small city. People who are less interested in sports can take advantage of its many sports-themed bars and leave the heavy cheering to friends. Kansas City also has a number of craft breweries and a thriving jazz scene.

1. Rochester, N.Y.

  • Median rent price: $900
  • Monthly mortgage payment: $320
  • Walkability score: 64
  • Kid-friendly parks: 203

If you’re a history buff, Rochester, N.Y., just might be the place for you. In addition to housing the parlor where Susan B. Anthony was arrested for voting, the town also offers several tributes to the life of abolitionist Frederick Douglass — and his final resting place. Even if you think museums are a bore, you might enjoy the town’s favorite pastime: its annual international jazz festival.

Methodology: GoBankingRates ranked locations based on four factors: Average rent price, median home listing price, walkability and number of child-friendly parks. Average rent prices were calculated by Zillow, as were median home listing prices and estimated monthly mortgage payments. Walkability scores were taken from walkscore.com. Parks were ranked based on information from mapofplay.kaboom.org.

GBankingRates scored each factor on a system of 0 to 1, where the best value was given a score of 0 and the worst value was given a score of 1. Scores for each of the four factors were then added together for a total score, where the lowest score was best. For average rent price and median home listing price, the lowest prices were given the best scores. For kid-friendly parks and walkability, the highest values were given the best scores.

This article originally appeared on GoBankingRates.

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