Rent is universally expensive, eating up a huge chunk of a monthly budget. And while there are places where you can live like a king for under a grand, more popular cities will accommodate you in their best shoeboxes for the same amount.
Finding a great place that gives you the bang for your buck requires patience and luck, but from what you can see below, a grand can land you a relatively nice place to live in any major city around the world.
Whether you’re looking for an apartment in London or Lisbon, it’s best to do it knowing the specifics of a local market. Sometimes people find it easier posting ads on the streets, while others may prefer online boards, which can be quite numerous. If you really want to find the best space for the price, be prepared to write a lot of emails, make calls, and see many apartments.
A thousand dollars is a hefty sum that normally will afford you a place for under 1000 sq ft or even less than half that without a swimming pool or gym. You’ll also have to pay most of the bills, and may have to forget about ever having pets. Here’s what you’ll get for a grand a month...
15 New York
Location: Staten Island
1 bed, 1 bath, 2,860 sq ft
New York isn’t the cheapest of cities, and certain parts and neighborhoods can be virtually inaccessible on a meager budget of $1,000. That is, if you want to have the entire place all to yourself without sharing.
Here’s what you can get for a grand on Staten Island, and that’s excluding utilities. The house built in 2004 has plenty of parking, but allows no pets. There is also a 1,000 deposit, and a one year lease requirement.
The place doesn’t look too glamorous, but you can’t say it’s tiny. An inexpensive remodeling would turn this one into a dream rental, but it could, of course, also increase its price.
Location: Portsmouth Road, Surbiton KT6
Price: £795 pcm (£183 pw) $984/month
Studio, 1 bath
The great city of London doesn’t spoil tenants with cheap rent either, though, you can find renting rooms in some very luxurious homes for a grand. As for a separate unit, prepare to sacrifice space, and look for a studio, if you want to save on rent.
This darling-looking property is located within an easy reach of Surbiton and Kingston Town center, or at least that’s what the listing says. It may have little space, but it boasts a communal garden, a mezzanine storage floor, and a security entry phone system.
That mezzanine floor looks fine, and could potentially become a sleeping area, if you want to make the ground floor into a living room or often have guests over night. An open plan kitchen neatly tucked under it has just enough space to cook and heat meals, but a large bay window compensates for any of that.
Location: Santa Teresa
1 bed, 1 bath
AirBnB is the perfect place to look for a short term rental, but if you’d like to stay a few months, you can find good deals there as well. Take this place in a Santa Teresa, a sweet tourist spot in Rio de Janeiro, for example. The owner gives a generous discount of 41% for those who rent for a month, so you can easily go under a grand, living in this hotspot of Rio.
The unit looks nice and bright, and provides the facilities for long-term living. There is a kitchen, a washer, Wi-Fi, cable TV, porter, and intercom. You’re also allowed to smoke.
Gloria metro station is just one block away, so you can easily move around, and visit the best restaurants and artsy places the city has to offer.
12 Cape Town
Location: City Center
Price: ZAR 14,000 ($994/month)
2 beds, 2 baths, 710 sq ft
It’s amazing what you can find for just under a grand in Cape Town. Freshly remodeled apartments with city views in the center, houses with pools in outward neighbourhoods. Rooms are more numerous when you look further from the center, though. And you’re more likely to score a property with a garage or two there as well along with your very own pool.
You don’t have to search a lot in order to find a great-looking place. Here is a 2-bedroom apartment with breathtaking mountain views. It has its own rooftop entertainment area with a pool.
By the way, the pool is not a big deal for rentals. You can find very different properties featuring this refreshing amenity.
Price: ¥100,000/month + ¥6,800/mo maintenance fee (total $905/month)
1 room, 204 sq ft
If you’re renting in Tokyo, prepare to linger there for at least 2 years. That’s the condition for most rentals. Apartments can look very different, and you can actually find better for less, if you don’t rent in busy commercial centers.
This unit is a tiny room of just 204 sq ft with a kitchen right in the middle of the bedroom, which also doubles as a home office. It comes fully furnished with free Wi-Fi, and is just 4 minutes from Asakusabashi Station.
Here you’ll be able to stay for just one year of fixed lease, which is a convenient exception to the 2-year rule.
Location: Samarinskaya str., Danilovskiy Market
Price: RUB 60,000 ($966/month)
1 room, 484 sq ft
You’ll find Moscow apartments at around a thousand bucks pleasantly renovated. A lot of them will be located in the newly built units, so the public premises won’t be subpar.
This apartment is located in a new modern building with underground parking and security system. High ceilings and huge windows allow it to look bright and ultra contemporary. Additionally, the newly-renovated dwelling comes with heated floors and arranged furnishings. Not bad at all.
Aside from all the perks of living in a new building, its location is perfect for moving around the city via public transport. And there is a kid’s playground in the landscaped yard to boot.
Price: AUD $330/week ($992/month)
1 bed, 1 bath, 699 sq ft
Want to live glamorously, and save on rent? Well, you might just find a cool bright 1-bedroom in Sydney’s Penrith suburb for just under a grand. If you don’t need a parking space, it’ll be even less than that. In addition to a contemporary interior design, you’ll get a pretty nice view of the city from your own balcony.
Top level apartments (that may be more expensive) come with skylights, and the ceilings in these units reach almost ten feet. There is a large internal laundry with omega dryer and mirrored cabinets and closets.
The building itself looks pretty cool, and is located not far from parks, Penrith rail hub, and Westfield shopping centre. Neat!
Location: near Hongqiao International Airport
1 bed, 1 bath
You will find Shanghai’s rental market very vibrant and generous on curious offers. But if you don’t have the time or need to look for the most expedient variant, there’s always an owner who is willing to rent out his or her beautifully designed home to you long-term with a discount on that website everyone knows.
This eye-catchy apartment is located near Hongqiao International Airport and railroad. It offers free parking, Wi-Fi, and a working space. Additional amenities include a washing machine, AC, and a TV.
Although you can’t bring your pets along, additional guests may stay without extra charge, but you’ll have to share the bed.
Location: Bandra suburb
Price: ₨60000/month ($884)
2 beds, 2 baths, partially furnished
Unlike many other countries, you can afford plenty of room for under a grand when renting in India. 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments and houses may cost around the same, and some even come fully-furnished.
Here, on offer is a 60+ year-old building with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a fully-furnished kitchen, and windows all around.
If you don’t mind suburbs, this roomy, light, and positively vintage house can be yours for just $884 a month. It seems to be surrounded with lush greenery, so you can take advantage of both privacy and beautiful views. The place isn’t far from Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea House/Bungalow 9 and Salt Water Grill to fill your days with culture and local food.
Location: centre of West Berlin
Price: EUR 920 ($960/month)
1 room, 408 sq ft
It ain’t cheap living in Europe, but Berlin offers some nice housing for the given budget. You may expect modern, designed interiors, stylish furnishings, and adorable balconies in your prospective apartments.
Location seems to be a factor in the price, as usual, but the housing is mostly aesthetically-pleasing and quite roomy.
Here is a contemporary apartment with laminate floors, washing machine, and fitted kitchen for just under a thousand dollars. It has a sleeping couch in the bedroom and a bathroom with a tub. There’s also a promised balcony that can accommodate not more than two chairs. Small but sweet, and the location is most favorable to those using metro and living off restaurant food.
Location: Rue de l'Equerre, Buttes Chaumont district
Price: EUR 950 ($987/month)
Studio, 215 sq ft
With a budget like this, you’ll be living in a shoebox in Paris (better think about the view). Do not despair, though, you can find the cutest studios for around a thousand bucks, and they may even come fully furnished like this little apartment in the Buttes Chaumont district.
Besides being furnished, it is well-designed, and comes with such perks like a coffee machine, a vacuum cleaner, and a security system. It’s almost perfect for long-term living.
There’s too little space, so the living room sofa also acts as a double bed. And there’s only a shower in the bathroom. The open plan kitchen looks well-designed, and has the tiniest breakfast nook ever.
4 Los Angeles
Location: Chesterfield Square
Price: $1,000/month (includes water bill)
Studio, 1 bath
The Los Angeles rental market isn’t kind to those who are seeking a cheaper place to live, but there are options. For instance, you can get a single unit for exactly 1,000 USD in LA’s Chesterfield Square. A light-filled studio is located in a duplex, so there’s no parking or laundry facility. As if to make things all the more sad, pets aren’t allowed.
On the plus side, the place seems relatively fresh and nice. There are lots of windows, including the one in the bathroom. Kitchen and hallway floors are made to imitate wood. Cozy!
If you are determined, you can find an apartment with a laundry facility and parking onsite, and it won’t even be at all different from a financial perspective.
Location: historical district of Alfama
Price: $1005 for a month
1 bed, 1 bath
Located in the heart of Lisbon’s oldest district Alfama, this small apartment is a cozy AirBnB listing that you can also rent for a minimum of two days. Not far from Portas Do Sol and Castelo Sao Jorge, it is perfect for short stays of travel and sightseeing. In exchange for a little over a thousand bucks a month, you get such amenities as cable TV and wi-fi as well as an extra bed.
The apartment has a bright living room and a small kitchen breakfast bar. Black tiled bathroom lacks natural light, but it looks surprisingly hotel-like.
The family-friendly rental doesn’t allow pets or parties, but it's perfect for those wishing to live amidst Lisbon’s history.
Location: Dubai Sports City, Royale Residence
Price: 43K AED/year ($1000/month) 4 cheques
Studio, 1 bath, 535 sq ft
Dubai has a vibrant rental market, but there are only so many truly attractive housing units you can find for a grand a month. Also, prepare to pay most of your yearly rent upfront. Many landlords prefer to receive one checque a year, while others will concede for two (that's six months worth of rent).
And then there are variants like this Royale Residence studio that you can pay for every three months. The view leaves much to be desired, but the room itself isn’t half bad. There is some built-in storage, and a balcony, so you wouldn’t get stuck with a blue skyscraper for a view.
1 room, 193 sq ft
As many other European cities, Stockholm is pretty steep when it comes to rent. You can find a room for around $500 in a shared home, but an apartment that isn’t even much bigger will cost you twice that.
Now, this particular variant comes at a slightly lower price, but what does it offer? 18 square meters of space with a kitchenette, box bed, and a shared laundry. Heating, electricity, and water are included, which isn’t half bad, and there is parking. Well, that’s livable.
If you like overly decorated spaces, however, Scandinavia may not be for you, as it’s notorious for its love for simplicity and minimalism. This apartment is no exception, white walls and all.