Renter's Guide to Buffalo
The Queen City of the Great Lakes welcomes you!
When most people think of Buffalo, they think of snow. It’s a logical comparison, since the city averages about 82 inches of snow per year – but all that lake-effect snow shouldn’t be a detractor.
Buffalo is a vibrant city with plenty more to do than endlessly shovel your driveway. In fact, the average number of sunny days here is 155, and the temperature in July is around 80°F, which makes up for January’s average of 18°F.
At 52 square-miles, Buffalo is nearly ten times smaller than New York City, which is 292 miles away.
Travel + Leisure magazine gave Buffalo first place in its ranking of America’s Favorite Cities – and the residents here agree. Plus, there’s the added bonus of being just a 23-mile drive to Canada, and only 19 miles from the U.S. side of Niagara Falls.
Buffalo, NY Demographics
- Total Population259,517
Female 123,841Male 135,676
- Median Age33.1
Cost of Living in Buffalo, NY
The cost of living in Buffalo is 25 percent lower than the rest of the country.
A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant – in what National Geographic ranked third on their list of "The World's Top Ten Food Cities" – will cost around $45, while a cappuccino in a local café costs on average $3.56.
Utility bills for renters in a 915 square-foot apartment average $201.23. Although that’s about $60 higher than the rest of the country pays for electric, water, and waste disposal per month, it's better than going without heat during the frigid winters.
Getting around the city via the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is $2 one-way or $5 for a day pass, including buses or the light rail line. Discounts are available for children 5-11, seniors, and the disabled. Monthly and weekly passes are available too.
Average Rent in Buffalo, NY
- Buffalo, NY Average Rental Price, January 2019$1,097/mo
Buffalo, NY Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0008%
Buffalo, NY Rent Trends
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Living in Buffalo, NY
One advantage of living in Buffalo is that it has one of the most affordable housing markets in the U.S. Sperling’s also rated it among America’s Best Cities for a Healthy (and More Affordable) Retirement. It’s also diverse – the city has one of the largest populations of Polish-Americans in the country.
A disadvantage of living here is that it's still recovering from the recession of the early 21st century, even though it's made a great deal of progress in the meantime.
Things to do in Buffalo
There's always something going on in Buffalo.
It all starts with yearly festivals like the Allentown Art Festival, Taste of Buffalo, National Buffalo Wing Festival, and the Buffalo Powder Keg Festival, as well as the Polish Dyngus Day celebration every Easter. And when there’s no festival going on, there’s always sports.
WalletHub named Buffalo the tenth Best City in America for Hockey Fans, thanks to the NHL's Buffalo Sabres team. The Buffalo Bills NFL team also calls the city home, and the minor league Buffalo Bisons baseball team is another top draw.
Visitors can also explore the Canalside District, which features fast-service restaurants, a sandy beach with paddle boat and sailboat rentals, kayaking, and even water bikes. In the winter, it's transformed into a giant ice rink for skating.
The Buffalo RiverWorks is a recent addition to the banks of the Buffalo River, which features water activities, entertainment, sports, and plenty of places to eat and gather with friends.
If you're with the kids, consider visiting the Buffalo Zoo, which is the third oldest zoo in the country, or taking a trip to the Buffalo Museum of Science for hands-on science activities. The Reinstein Woods Nature preserve is another fun activity for families, with over 290 acres of forest and wetlands.
Then there's LaSalle Park, which offers a dog park and a waterfront path for walking or jogging, a playground, sports fields, and an amphitheater.
Buffalo also provides plenty of great cultural attractions. The city has more than 50 art galleries, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, one of the oldest in the nation. The Burchfield Penney Art Center and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center are both centers for the visual arts in the city. In the Allentown neighborhood, numerous independent galleries are on display for First Fridays art walks. And for architecture fans, the Darwin Martin House, a recently restored Frank Lloyd Wright house, is in Buffalo.
Theater is also big here. In fact, there are more than 20 professional theater companies in the Buffalo Theater District.
Employment and Economy
The top industries for employment in Buffalo are industrial, technology, manufacturing, and the service industry. The largest employer in the city is the State of New York, followed by the University at Buffalo, Time Warner Cable, and General Mills.
Several other corporations also call Buffalo home, including Rich Products, Sorrento Lactalis, and Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company.
Buffalo, NY Households
- Total Number of Households110,549
Family 57,231Non-family 53,318
Children 31,621No Children 78,928
- Average People Per Household2.27
- Median Household Income$31,918
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$700
Education in Buffalo
Several higher education institutions call the city home, including three branches of The State University of New York (SUNY). The University at Buffalo is the largest public university the state. Erie Community College and Buffalo State College campuses are also located here, as are the private D’Youville College and Canisius College
U.S. News & World Report ranked The City Honors School at Fosdick Masten Park the 28th-best high school in the state, and it comes in at #161 in the country. Maple East and Maple West elementary schools are also highly rated.
Buffalo, NY Education Statistics
- No High School5%
- Some High School39%
- Some College24%
- Associate Degree9%
- Bachelor Degree13%
- Graduate Degree9%
Tips for Renting in Buffalo
Buffalo is waiting for you! But before you move, there are a few renters’ rights you should know about.
For one, there's no state limit on how much a landlord can require for a security deposit. That also goes for pet deposits.
On top of that, the state doesn't require landlords to present a renter with a written list of damages for which they'll hold a security deposit. And the only time limit for actually returning your security deposit is within a “reasonable” amount of time.
Clearly you'll want to keep excellent records and treat your rental property with the utmost care in order to avoid some of these potential pitfalls.
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