Here’s What $1,500 in Rent Looks Like Across the U.S.
BY TIM FOLEY
Finding a city apartment is no easy task. Consider all the factors that go into finding your perfect place—location, accessibility, safety, green space, parking, amenities, roommates, pet-friendliness, landlords, neighbors…and that’s not even taking into account the actual cost of living there.
As with most other life decisions, price plays a crucial role in apartment shopping. Let’s imagine you have a $1,500 budget. Take a look at what that can get you in 10 major cities across the U.S.
If you want to live near Boston Common on a budget, you may need to use a common bathroom and kitchen.
Cost of housing: $1,375 Cost of parking: $300–500
For $1,375 a month, you can rent this lovely studio. (The square footage is not mentioned, but with two full baths and a kitchen—in a communal area—we’re betting “small.”) The apartment is located right by Boston Common and is a short walk from the city’s Orange and Green Line T stations. In terms of parking, the best move is probably to use a nearby garage. Monthly rates in Downtown Boston fall between $300 and $500, which may start to push upwards of our $1,500 budget, but it would probably be easier than dealing with the city’s less than ideal street conditions (and less than ideal drivers). Better still: give car sharing a spin and literally save hundreds of dollars. (Not that we’re biased or anything.)
This San Diego flat offers fun (with some sun).
Cost of housing: $1,400 Cost of parking: Included (parking on site)
This one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit is nestled in the heart of downtown San Diego. Nobody walks in L.A., but in San Diego, it might be worth it. The apartment is a short stroll from just about everything the city’s Cortez Hill area has to offer. Should you need a car, parking is included on site. The facility is also pet-friendly, with a monthly fee of no more than $25 to have a dog or cat, which would still keep you under $1,500.
In this New York apartment, the living room and bedroom are one. (It is the room you live in…right?)
Cost of housing: $1,499 Cost of parking: $200–300
Finding a place to sleep in the city that never does can be a challenge, so this one-bedroom Manhattan apartment is a steal. On the market for $1,499, this spot is a short walk from Central Park and is conveniently located near the city’s 6 train, so you may want to consider ditching your car. Parking on the Upper East Side typically falls between $200 and $300 a month.
This Chicago condo is (marble) steps from Millennium Park.
Cost of housing: $1,250 Cost of parking: $350–500
In Central Chicago, monthly rent south of $1,500 is uncommon, so this condo is a rarity. For $1,250 (utilities included), you can live right by Millennium Station and have some money left over to check out the Windy City’s storied jazz scene. A block east of the condo is Millennium Park, a fun hang-out spot and a popular concert venue. Parking in the area can cost up to $500, so maaaaybe stick to Zipcar and public transit to save money.
You can see Canada from your house (if your house is this Detroit apartment).
Cost of housing: $1,250 Cost of parking: Included (additional spots: $40)
This Detroit apartment is located right by the water. It’s also a few minutes from the Canadian border (convenient if you’re threating to leave the country after the upcoming presidential election). The facility is newly renovated and comes with two bedrooms and a bathroom. The listing says no dogs, but cats are “negotiable,” so get those adorable pics ready to make your compelling (and totally cute) case if you want to have your kitty on the premises. Parking is included in the rent, but if you have additional cars, (it is the Motor City) spots are available for $40 a month.
We found a San Francisco apartment in our price range. It’s just missing a few things.
Cost of housing: $1,450 Cost of parking: $200–400
Equipped with a bedroom and a bathroom, this is spacious and surprisingly economical for a San Francisco living space. The only downside is you can’t have a roommate. Or pets. Or windows. And it doesn’t have a kitchen. But if you’re less culinarily inclined and more into takeout and TV dinners, this might be the place for you. The apartment is walking distance from the Filmore District, a hub for theater and music, and there is a parking lot two blocks away—though the cost of parking doesn’t come cheap. Might wanna get a bike.
It may not be the White House, but this White Apartment in D.C. is still close to capital action.
Cost of housing: $1,450 Cost of parking: $200–350
This one-bath studio is located near Dupont Circle, and is a nine-minute walk from the Red Line (the perfect way to avoid the capital’s notorious traffic). There is laundry in-unit, and skylights that provide natural lighting (the perfect way to escape the capital’s political scene, which some may view as shady). The listing describes the area as a “biker’s paradise,” with Capital Bikeshare available locally.
This Austin apartment has a kitchen hallway big enough to steer a steer through.
Cost of housing: $1,350 Cost of parking: $100–200
This one-bedroom apartment is close to downtown Austin and a short walk from some of the city’s hottest bars. The apartment has a roomy bathroom with considerable counter space (insert cliché about the size of everything in Texas) and is surrounded by a number of bus stops, as well as the MetroRail at Plaza Saltillo. This is handy, because it’s a bit of a walk to the nearest parking garage, so public transportation or car sharing may be the best bet.
Cost of housing: $1,450 Cost of parking: $50–150
$1,450 a month will get you one bedroom and one bathroom in Miami. The inside of this apartment is a bit bland (it’s up to you to spice it up!), but it comes equipped with a patio. You probably didn’t move to the Sunshine State to sit around inside anyway. The apartment is right by the beach, and there is a pool on the property, if you want your splash time more contained. Monthly parking in Miami runs between $50 and $150…but you probably don’t want to waste sun time within four doors. (We do have a few road trips we can recommend, though.)
The walking space in this Seattle kitchen may be limited, but the Walk Score outdoors is off the charts.
Cost of housing: $1,050 Cost of parking: On-street or $150–300
At only 375 square feet, this living space is quite small, but it’s on the market for almost $500 below the budget. It also places you right in the middle of an up-and-coming urban center. With a Walk Score of 98 and a Transit Score of 100, you’ll want to spend time outside of your Seattle abode anyhow. (Particularly for dining out—the kitchen isn’t exactly boasting floor space.) Parking is available on the street or in a nearby garage, but there are six transit stops within a two-block radius of the apartment, so driving might not even be necessary on the regular.
Clearly, not only does each city have its own character, but also housing options. What’s affordable on a $1,500 housing budget near you? Tell us in the comments below.