When it comes to Midwestern city living, Chicago and Minneapolis get most of the credit. Milwaukee often gets overshadowed — or if it’s highlighted, it’s often as the butt of the joke. Remember Home Alone’s Gus Polinski, “The Polka King,” on his way to Milwaukee in the back of a U-Haul? How about the Willem Dafoe ad for Jim Beam, in which a bus for Milwaukee leads to a life of elephant dung and hair-loss in a factory.
We’re here to tell you, though: Milwaukee is underrated af. Development in recent years has revitalized downtown, with historic districts like the Third Ward and Walker’s Point emerging as shopping and dining meccas. And with major employers like Kohl’s and Harley-Davidson calling the metro area home, Milwaukee has become a major hub for young professionals who would rather not move to pricier Minneapolis, or crowded Chicago. If you’re looking for an apartment for rent Milwaukee is a great choice. Here are three reasons why:
1. It’s Cheap
The median price for a one-bedroom apartment in Milwaukee is $842. The median price for a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago is $1,765. Do the math! You’ll spend about half as much on rent in Milwaukee as you will in Chicago, and you’ll be able to afford more. Plus, you can use that extra money to enjoy some of the city amenities in #3. (Or put it toward an eventual down payment on a more permanent home.)
2. It’s Easy
It can be hard to find an apartment in Chicago or Minneapolis. With high demand and high prices, places go fast at every price point. It can be frustrating and stressful to tour apartments and lose out just because you took the afternoon to think about it. Milwaukee’s rental market is healthy and thriving, but it isn’t hurting for supply. Whether you’re a Marquette student looking for a cheap place to split between friends, or a young professional looking for a grown-up apartment in a new complex, you’ll have plenty of options.
3. It’s Up and Coming
Have you heard? Milwaukee is… cool, now. Its chefs — like Justin Carlisle of the much-lauded Ardent — are regularly up for James Beard awards. Its bar scene is legendary, mixing both established Midwestern classics (Wolski’s) and mixology temples (Dock 18, on the site of the Twisted Path distillery). As for its beer? Brew City is still one of the best places in the country for a pint, with brewers like Lakeside, Milwaukee Brewing Company, and MobCraft joining the ranks of Pabst and Schlitz. Its art museum is justly renowned as one of the finest in the country, its facade (by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava) a dramatic sail furled over the city skyline. Its sports teams are competitive again, with both the Brewers and the resurgent Bucks in the national conversation as teams to watch.
It’s not New York or San Francisco, but it has a charm all its own. Don’t you want to be able to say you were there back when it was still affordable? If you wait another few years, it might not be.