Whether you’re graduating college and getting a first job or looking to move cities for personal or professional reasons, one of the first questions people ask themselves is, “How much apartment can I afford?”
To figure out how big of an apartment a $1,000-per-month rent will get you, GOBankingRates used Zillow to find the median rent per square foot for one-bedroom apartments in the 50 largest U.S. cities and divided $1,000 by that figure. Click through to find out what you can get for $1,000 in major U.S. cities.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.10
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 906.07 square feet
Albuquerque is one of the more affordable major cities in the country, coming in at just over $1 per square foot. Rental prices in Albuquerque have been rising at 2 percent per month, according to Trulia.
If you’re on the fence about buying a home, Zillow noted that home values rose by about 7 percent in the last year, but only expects values to rise by 1.3 percent in the coming year. However, renting is becoming as expensive as owning, the Albuquerque Business Journal reported. So if you plan to be in the area for a long time, buying a home could be a good investment.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.42
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 705.41 square feet
The average price per square foot among all the cities on this list is $1.92. Arlington rental prices are under the average by 50 cents, so you won't break the bank with your rent payment each month. But Trulia predicts rent prices will rise by about 1 percent each month, so it isn’t getting any cheaper.
Meanwhile, the housing market in Arlington is very hot, according to Zillow. With home values rising by 7.5 percent last year and an expected jump of 3.7 percent in the next year, it’s a seller’s market for houses right now.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.90
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 525.02 square feet
Atlanta sneaks in just under the average price at $1.90 per square foot. According to Trulia, the rental market is been holding steady, with median rents staying the same.
The real estate sales market is warming up, according to Zillow, but values vary widely by neighborhood. In fact, one of America's most expensive ZIP codes is in Atlanta. For example, the Zillow Home Value Index for Bankhead is only $44,000, but it’s more than double that at $91,600 in West End.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.67
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 600 square feet
Austin’s rental market doesn’t match its summer temperatures, with the average price per square foot about 25 cents lower than the average for the 50 major cities. And it’s not likely to catch up anytime soon. According to Trulia, rent prices are holding steady. For now, a grand will get you about 600 square feet of living space.
If you’re thinking about putting down roots, home values have been rising — 8.2 percent over the last year, according to Zillow, with an expected 3.1 percent jump in the coming year. You could see a nice return on your investment if you stick around for several years.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $2.05
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 487.35 square feet
You won’t get the largest apartment for your money with a $1,000 budget in Baltimore. The median rent price per square foot is just over a dime more than average on this list, but Trulia reported those prices aren’t moving much — either up or down.
In the last year, home values have climbed just under 4 percent, and that rate is expected to grow less than 2 percent in the coming year. Zillow said the market is cold, so you might be able to snag a great deal from an impatient seller if you’re looking to buy instead.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $3.71
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 269.18 square feet
Be prepared to live in tight quarters if you’re looking to move to Boston, which comes in as the third-highest median rental price per square foot in this GOBankingRates study. The good news is Trulia reported that rental prices haven’t been on the rise.
Buying might also be a challenge. Zillow reported that home values are up 10.4 percent in the last year and predicts another 3.6 percent increase in the coming year in this hot market.
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- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.52
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 659.01 square feet
Coming in 40 cents below the major cities' per-square-foot average, a $1,000 rental budget will get you almost 660 square feet of space in Charlotte. Despite rental prices not moving the needle much, home values have exploded 9.1 percent in the last year. Zillow calls the market very hot and expects values to rise by another 4.4 percent in the coming year.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $2.25
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 444.44 square feet
Though it still has plenty of room to fall before it reaches the national average, rental prices in Chicago have been falling at a rate of 3 percent per month, according to Trulia. However, it's not one of the cities where rent prices have increased the most, according to a separate GOBankingRates study.
However, the same can’t be said for the real estate market. Though it’s just “warm,” according to Zillow, home values are up almost 8 percent in the last year with another 3.5 percent increase expected.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.42
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 704.58 square feet
If you like rock climbing and other outdoor activities but want a reasonably sized apartment on a $1,000 budget, check out Colorado Springs. Coming in at a full 50 cents below the average on this list, you can rent over 700 square feet.
Rent in Colorado Springs hasn’t been going up either, although Trulia noted a 9 percent increase in purchase prices for real estate in the last year. And, you can stretch your paycheck further in Colorado Springs than you can in any other major Colorado city.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.25
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 796.91 square feet
For now, Columbus has the 15th lowest median rental prices per square foot, with $1,000 getting you almost 800 square feet. But those deals could be gone quickly. Though it’s inexpensive now, both the rental and homeownership markets are heating up — and fast.
Trulia reported rental prices rising at 3 percent a month. Meanwhile, Zillow reported home values up almost 9 percent last year, with an expected 4.5 percent increase in the coming year.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.74
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 574.68 square feet
Dallas comes in around the middle of the pack for price per square foot, which will get you about 575 square feet of apartment. Rental prices are stable for now, reported Trulia.
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Though Zillow projected home values to rise another 4.1 percent in the coming year, it also reported that the housing market is cold. So if you’re expecting to stay in Dallas for a while, now could be the time to pounce on a good deal and buy a home.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $2.19
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 457.32 square feet
Your living quarters won’t be quite as thin as the air in Denver, but don’t expect to spread out — $1,000 won’t even get you 460 square feet. On the bright side, Trulia reported that rents aren’t increasing in Denver, so at least you can hope not to have to downsize soon.
However, the housing market has been much stronger, with home values rising 8.7 percent over the last year and another 3.5 percent increase expected in the year to come, said Zillow.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: 81 cents
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 1,234.57 square feet
If you want to stretch your apartment budget to the max, it’s time to move to the Motor City. At just 81 cents per square foot, more than $1 below the average of the largest cities, Detroit has some of the cheapest places for rent. Rent prices are also staying put for now, reported Trulia.
Though housing values increased by over 26 percent in the last year, they still haven’t even come close to recovering to pre-2008 crash levels, according to Zillow.
El Paso, Texas
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: 92 cents
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 1,082.46 square feet
If the Detroit winter scares you away but you like a spacious apartment, consider El Paso, where the average low temperature doesn't drop below freezing. Your $1,000 budget will still get you over 1,080 square feet, and you’ll save some money on heating costs (but air conditioning in the summer might get expensive). El Paso is also one of the best cities for retirement.
Rent prices aren’t moving much, according to Trulia, with no change in prices recently. Home values were up just over 1 percent for the last year, with another 3.4 percent increase expected in the coming year, according to Zillow.
Fort Worth, Texas
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.65
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 606.28 square feet
Fort Worth, alongside nearby Dallas and Austin, places near the middle of the study for space, with $1,000 getting you just over 600 square feet. Rental prices haven’t moved much recently, according to Trulia.
If you’re thinking about buying a home, prices vary widely depending on where in the Fort Worth area you want to live. For example, in United Riverside, the average home value is just $73,000. But in Crestwood, the average home value is more than five times as much, at $380,800.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.08
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 924.44 square feet
Fresno easily has the lowest rents among major California cities, at $1.08 per square foot — and your $1,000 budget gets you almost 925 square feet. Though Trulia reported rental prices haven’t increased in the last year, Zillow reported home values were up 10.2 percent last year and projected another 3.6 percent increase for the coming year.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $3.20
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 312.47 square feet
Few people would be disappointed to end up in Honolulu for the weather. But the rental prices (and airfare to visit family and friends on the mainland) might have you reconsidering your decision — especially once you find out how much you need to earn to live comfortably.
At $3.20 per square foot, your budget allows for just over 300 square feet — imagine cramming a bed, bath and stove in a room that measures 21 feet by 15 feet. The good news is rent prices aren’t rising, according to Trulia. But they aren't going down, either.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.61
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 621.44 square feet
Houston comes in slightly cheaper than its Texas counterparts, Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth. But you’re still looking at a little more than 620 square feet for $1,000. However, your money might go further soon, as Trulia reported rent prices have dropped 3 percent in the last month.
Though Zillow describes the housing market as “cool,” the median listing price is still $312,900. So unless you’re looking at less pricey areas, renting is probably more in line with your budget. But, of course, you'll probably want to hold off on moving to Houston until it fully recovers from Hurricane Harvey.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.10
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 909.19 square feet
If you’re just starting out with a low salary, it’s hard to beat Indianapolis in terms of space for your dollar. At $1.10 per square foot, you’re looking at over 900 square feet of space to call home. And, Trulia reported the rents aren’t increasing — at least for now.
Indianapolis also has opportunities to purchase a home, with the median listing price at only $145,000, according to Zillow. Although Trulia reported purchase prices are rising quickly.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.21
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 823.42 square feet
Jacksonville comes in as the least expensive Florida city on the list, at just $1.21 per square foot. It also offers the lowest cost of living of any major Florida city. Unlike the summer temperatures, the rental market hasn’t been hot enough to drive rents up.
The purchase route is very hot, however, with home values rising over 11 percent in the last year. Zillow predicted another strong upcoming year of over 4 percent increases in home values.
Kansas City, Mo.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.36
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 737.92 square feet
In Kansas City, you can expect to have almost 740 square feet of living space for your $1,000 rent. Rent prices are increasing by about 1 percent each month, according to Trulia, but not nearly as much as the 7.9 percent jump in home values over the last year. But, with a median value of only $123,100 and a cold market, according to Zillow, you still have options.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.26
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 791.86 square feet
Rental prices in Las Vegas will leave you with enough money in your budget to gamble on the Strip — or to have an apartment large enough for a poker table at home in the almost 800 square feet $1,000 gets you. Rent prices are on the rise, however, climbing 1 percent per month, according to Trulia.
Long Beach, Calif.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $2.49
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 401.34 square feet
Whether rental costs in Long Beach are high or low depends on what you compare them to. The $2.49 median rent per square foot is well above the average $1.92 per-square-foot rent across the 50 major cities. But, compared to the rest of California, only Fresno and Sacramento are cheaper — despite Long Beach rents going up 2 percent, according to Trulia.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $3.07
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 325.81 square feet
Los Angeles is one of the worst places to live if you're trying to save money. And don't expect to find many landlords who offer inexpensive rentals. At a median of over $3 per square foot, LA comes in as one of the most expensive cities in this study — and that’s despite a 7 percent drop in rental prices, according to Trulia.
Though home values jumped 7.5 percent in the last year, Zillow only projected prices to rise less than 1.7 percent in the upcoming year. So, even if you can afford a mortgage with the median home value being $633,600, you might be better off renting anyway.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.08
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 930.00 square feet
Louisville is one of five cities offering median rents between $1.08 and $1.10 per square foot, all over 80 cents below the average city in this study. Rents have dropped 2 percent, according to Trulia, so you might even find a better deal if you’re looking to move in a few months from now.
Homeownership isn’t a bad deal, either. The median home value is just $119,100, and the city has a cool market. Plus, home values are expected to increase over 3 percent in the coming year, according to Zillow.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.09
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 921.17 square feet
Memphis squeezes into the 10 cheapest cities on the list, with $1,000 getting you an average of over 920 square feet. But, before you rush to sign a lease, don’t overlook homeownership as an option.
With a median home value of just $82,600 and Zillow projecting a rise of 5.7 percent in home values in the next year, homeownership could save you money despite Memphis’ very low rental costs.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.18
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 847.78 square feet
Unlike the temperatures in Arizona in the summer, the rental prices in Arizona for apartments are very low compared to other major cities around the country.
Rental prices are holding steady, according to Trulia. But home values are on their way up to the tune of 6 percent in the last year. However, with the median sales price of only $224,000, it’s not unreasonable to imagine buying a home and saving money on the housing.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $2.50
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 400 square feet
The rental prices in Miami are as high as the nightlife is hot. At $2.50 per square foot, you can expect 400 square feet for a rental budget of $1,000. But, the tight space might not be an issue for you if you’re spending most of your time enjoying the nightlife.
If buying is more your style and you can afford the $303,000 median value, Zillow said the real estate market is cool in Miami, predicting that prices will fall less than 1 percent in the coming year. So, if you’re looking to buy, now might be a good time to start saving for a down payment.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.33
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 754.69 square feet
The median rent per square foot in Milwaukee is about 90 cents lower per square foot than Chicago, which is just a 90-minute train ride away. Instead of cramming your belongings into less than 500 square feet, the same rent payment will get you about 750 square feet. But, according to Zillow, the median home value is just $108,800. So, homeownership could prove an even more cost-effective route than renting.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $2.11
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 473.56 square feet
You might think rentals in Minneapolis would be lower to compensate for the fact that the average high temperature is below freezing for three months out of the year, but you’d be wrong. At $2.11 per square foot, Minneapolis is the 16th most expensive city to rent in, while being the fifth smallest major city on this list.
However, rental prices have dropped 4 percent, according to Trulia. So you might be able to squeeze out a few more square feet in the coming months.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $2.08
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 480.06 square feet
Nashville’s rental rates might have you singing a sad country song if you were hoping for inexpensive rent in this medium-sized city. At $2.08 per square foot, the median cost is 16 cents higher than the average median for the cities in the study, so you’ll only have about 480 square feet to call home.
Even though home values are expected to rise 4.3 percent, from a median of $234,500, Zillow still classifies Nashville as a “cool” market. Home values aren’t the only thing going up: Nashville tops the list of cities with the fastest increases in overall cost of living.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.88
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 531.25 square feet
If the threat of hurricanes doesn’t scare you away, the median rental prices in New Orleans shouldn't either. At just under the average, you can still expect a $1,000 apartment to be about 530 square feet.
Rents are steady, and home values are down 1.4 percent over the last year. With a median home value of $170,100 and a cool market, you could find a better deal buying rather than renting.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $4.22
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 236.97 square feet
Should you rent or buy a home in the largest city in America? It's up to you, but keep in mind New York is the most expensive city to rent per square foot, with median rents easily over $4 per square foot.
Though it won’t come as much comfort, rents are down 1 percent per month, and home sales prices are down 2 percent. Despite the drop, the median sales price is still a hefty $1.4 million. Better stop ordering that avocado toast.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $3.46
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 289.29 square feet
It’s not quite San Francisco-level expensive, but living in the Bay Area is still going to cost you a pretty penny in rent. Relief might be coming, though — Trulia reported rental prices dropped 4 percent per month.
However, if high rents have you considering buying, that's not cheap, either. The median home value is $688,900, according to Zillow.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: 99 cents
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 1,009.30 square feet
At just under $1 per square foot, it’s hard to beat Oklahoma City’s rental prices. Though the rental market is pretty stable, you can get very different pictures of the real estate market. Trulia reported home prices dropping 16 percent last year, while Zillow claims values were up almost 5 percent, and that the market is very hot.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.18
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 848.34 square feet
In addition to knowing how to pick stocks, Warren Buffett knows how to pick a city with a low cost of living. Omaha has the 12th lowest costs on the list, with a $1,000 budget getting you almost 850 square feet. Better yet, Trulia reported rent prices have remained stable.
Though home values jumped about 9 percent in the last year, the median value is still only $156,500. So if you plan to make Omaha your home, a mortgage payment could be within your reach.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $2.10
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 476.24 square feet
At over $2 per square foot, apartments for rent under $1,000 will usually be under 500 square feet in Philadelphia. But, rents are staying relatively consistent despite what Zillow calls a “hot” real estate market. However, with a median value of $139,900, you could still find yourself an affordable home if you choose to buy.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.45
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 688.80 square feet
Phoenix’s rental rates are almost 50 cents per square foot lower than the average median rate for the cities on this list. Furthermore, rents are steady, according to Trulia.
Though home values are up over 9 percent, Zillow still describes the Phoenix housing market as “cold.” And with a median home value of $217,100, you could find a deal if you’re looking to call Phoenix home for a long time.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $2.41
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 415.35 square feet
Portland doesn’t have quite the population of Seattle, nor does it have quite as high rents. With the median rent price at $2.41 per square foot, you can expect to have about 415 square feet to come home to at night with a $1,000 budget. And, prices are continuing to increase, with Trulia reporting a 2 percent monthly rise.
With a 3.9 percent increase in home values over the last year and an additional 3.1 percent estimated growth in the coming year, the home purchase market is warm, according to Zillow.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.43
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 697.82 square feet
Raleigh comes in slightly less expensive than Charlotte, with a median rent of $1.43 per square foot. Although home prices are up about 5 percent, Trulia reported that rental prices are holding steady for now. Zillow expects home values to rise 3.8 percent in the coming year.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.61
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 619.82 square feet
Among cities in California, Sacramento is very reasonably priced. Not only is its per square foot cost more than 30 cents under the major city average, it’s also $1.72 cheaper than San Jose and $3.38 less than San Francisco. Though rental prices haven't gone up, home values are — to the tune of 10.8 percent last year in what Zillow deems a “very hot” market.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.32
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 758.62 square feet
As the seventh largest city with almost 1.5 million people, San Antonio boasts a very low rental cost at just $1.32 per square foot. Rental prices have stabilized in the last few months, according to Trulia. But home list prices have been on the rise.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $2.79
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 358.13 square feet
At $2.79 per square foot, San Diego just cracks the top 10 for most expensive on this list. Though your apartment will only be about 360 square feet, you’ll at least be close to the ocean, where you can gaze into the horizon. Rental prices are holding steady, according to Trulia. Housing prices are up about 8 percent in the last year, however.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $4.99
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 200.36 square feet
Find ways to lower expenses in an expensive city like San Francisco. This city tops the charts for the most expensive rental prices, at 77 cents per square foot more than New York City's prices. For your $1,000 rental budget, you’ll only get 200 square feet to call your own. The good news is that prices aren’t rising — in fact, according to Trulia, the average rental price dropped 2 percent per month.
In a recent GOBankingRates study on rent price changes, San Francisco came in third for the biggest price drop and it’s the city where you need the highest income to live comfortably. With a median home value of $1.2 million, purchasing doesn’t offer many more affordable options.
San Jose, Calif.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $3.33
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 300.35 square feet
Though not as expensive as San Francisco, living in San Jose also cramps your housing budget. With an average price of $3.33 per square foot, you’ll have to squeeze into 300 square feet. On the bright side — if you can call it that — rental prices aren’t climbing, despite an 8 percent uptick in real estate purchase prices in the last year, according to Trulia.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $3.17
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 315.05 square feet
Despite the drastic differences in weather, Seattle comes in right behind Honolulu when it comes to rental prices. At $3.17 per square foot, you’ll only have about 315 square feet to your name. And, rents are still on the rise to the tune of 3 percent per month, according to Trulia. Seattle’s real estate market is very competitive as well, with home values rising 14.3 percent in the last year, Zillow reported.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $1.04
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 962.18 square feet
Even if you don’t like the heat, Tucson’s housing expenses are low enough that you’ll have enough left over to keep the thermostat as low as you like it. At just $1.04 per square foot, it’s almost 90 cents lower than the average. Trulia said rents are steady, while Zillow reported housing values are up over 8 percent in the last year.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: 93 cents
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 1,079.12 square feet
Only Detroit and El Paso offer more spacious living arrangements for your $1,000 budget than Tulsa, where you can expect about 1,080 square feet to call home. And, as if that weren’t good news enough, rents aren’t going up, according to Trulia.
The housing market also presents opportunities if you’re looking to stay for a while. Zillow reported the market is cool, with just a 1.8 percent increase in home values last year.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: $3.29
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 303.56 square feet
Living close to the political center of the country comes at a cost. Washington, D.C., comes in as the No. 6 most expensive place in this study, at $3.29 per square foot. At that price, you barely have 300 square feet to yourself. But, the market has cooled recently, with rents dropping 4 percent in the last month.
For home buying, it’s a very hot market for real estate, Zillow reported, so you’re unlikely to find desperate sellers willing to strike a bargain. According to a separate GOBankingRates study, Washington, D.C., is the most expensive place to buy a home in the United States.
- Median Rent Price Per Square Foot: 93 cents
- How Much $1,000 Buys You: 1,075.07 square feet
Wichita is one of just four cities where the median rent price is less than $1 per square foot. At just 93 cents, you can expect to find a pad of about 1,075 square feet. And, with the rental market not moving much, you can look forward to getting a pretty good deal in the near future.
Methodology: GOBankingRates calculated how much $1,000 can get you for a 1-bedroom apartment in the 50 largest cities by population in the U.S. by 1) finding the median rent price per sq. ft. in every city, using Zillow data for July 2017 and then 2) dividing 1,000 by each price per square foot to find the square footage for a $1,000 apartment for rent.