For those with flexibility about where they can live and willing to relocate, the latest annual ranking from RentCafé might offer a nudge South. Hello, palm trees, Mint Juleps and charming historic architecture with verandas and pastel hues. Goodbye, snow, ice and congestion.

Charleston now represents the first choice for where renters want to live in 2023, with the allure from its apartment quality, cost of living and strong local economy. According to the RentCafé data, this city, which has a bustling port, has come to be associated with a growing IT hub due to more than 250 tech companies there. Those who come also like the feeling of living in a big city yet without compromising air quality or natural amenities. The size of Charleston apartments is also larger at 967 square feet than the national average, which was 887 square feet in 2022, according to another RentCafé survey. The food scene in this Southern city is also attracting attention on many foodies' lists, especially as restaurants have updated their interpretation of Southern cuisine.

But if this South Carolina city isn't calling your name, others in the South dominate the list; in fact, 36 of the top 50 cities are located in the region. The reasons are that they provide other top experiences for renters based on a host of factors. Plano, Texas, came in second, and there's a reason it's been dubbed the "City of Excellence." It received good marks for its local economy, quality of life, excellent public schools, air quality, high-end apartments and number of big company headquarters–Bank of America, Hewlett Packard, FedEx, J.C. Penny and Pepsi to cite a few, as well as high job growth rates.

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