A recent study from Rent.com reveals some interesting findings about couples' behavior regarding combining households and their personal beliefs about married life. The majority of respondents (75%) said their overall quality of life has improved since moving in with their spouse. The other quarter of survey-takers cited the following as major sources of stress: not having their own space (all the more reason to actually let him have his own man cave), sharing household expenses, and splitting up household chores. When it comes to finances, 62% of couples report that they've improved (one rent bill, score), while 22% say they've actually gotten worse as a result of moving in together.
In addition to assessing couples' attitudes about matrimony, the survey also analyzed which cities are ideal to start your first home together. They ranked them against the national averages for cost of living (calculated from a baseline of 100 from the U.S. Census Bureau), mean annual income ($44,410) and the unemployment rate (8.5%, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) to score the following winners.
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1. Austin, TX: Creative couples flock here for the bustling art scene and social nightlife.
2. Raleigh/Durham, NC: According to the survey, this city is notable for its affordability, friendliness and favorable climate—an appealing trifecta for both career types and marrieds-with-kids.
3. Dallas, TX: Looking for the ultimate sports town? You've found it: Newlyweds here don't just watch pro games on TV, they partake in tons of outdoor activities.
4. Kansas City, MO: Small-town charm converges with big-city culture in this couples' hotspot, filled with historical sites and lots to see.
5. Houston, TX: Hailed as one of the most culturally-diverse cities in the United States, H-town boasts world-class museums and amazing farmers markets.
6. Denver, CO: It probably comes as no surprise that adrenaline-seekers thrive in the home of the Rocky Mountains. But did you know that Denver also brews more beer than any other city in the nation?
7. Minneapolis, MN: Brides, if you love your bike/elliptical/yoga class just as much as you do your new husband, then the "Fittest City in America" would be a great city to settle down in. Leave the car behind—it's considered the most bike-friendly city.
8. Phoenix, AZ: Warm weather year-round, breathtaking vistas with colorful deserts and real-life cowboys—what's not to like? Plus, we hear it's foodie heaven.
9 .Washington, DC: Whether you're a Democrat or Republican, the opportunities here are endless (both for jobs and pleasure-seeking).
10. Baltimore, MD: Residents are renowned for their hospitality in this laidback city.
Tell us: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?