What You Can Rent For $1500 In San Diego: March 2018

A recent report from US News and McKinsey & Company says that California now has the worst quality of life of any state in the country. Seriously?!

The factors used to determine that are questionable and highly debatable, but one thing we know about living in California is that the cost of rent is a serious challenge for most, which is certainly a factor in how many people view living here.

If you’ve signed a rental lease in the last year, you likely know that San Diego isn’t a cheap place to live in and it’s getting more expensive practically by the day. Last September, the average rent hit a record high of $1,875 and the average price for a studio jumped to $1,529 from $1,372 just six months earlier.

So it should come to no surprise that when it comes to finding an affordable place to live in San Diego, you have to move quickly. Apartments and condos under $1,500, typically studios and one bedrooms, are on the market one minute and gone the next.

In fact, while doing the research for this article, the listings were being taken down as quickly as we were finding them, so at this point the article is a ‘historical’ piece, but it’s still an interesting view into what the recent options are around the $1,500 price point.

Without further ado, here is what roughly $1,500 will rent you in various neighborhoods in San Diego right now. The descriptions of the properties come from the listings themselves…any ‘creative liberties’ that seem to have been taken are from the apartment manager, not us! 🙂


The majority of apartments available for rent in San Diego for less than $1,500 are going to be studios. If space isn’t an issue, these tiny places will provide a roof over your head and a place to call home without completely breaking the bank.

College Heights – $1,400

A studio is the perfect size for a college student and this apartment even comes furnished with a king size bed. Located in a resort style house and overlooking the pool, the studio has a full private bathroom, kitchenette and washer and dryer in the unit. You can walk to campus and catch a ride at the SDSU trolley station to access other parts of town.

Mira Mesa – $1,450 

At just 425 square feet, this Mira Mesa studio offers all the basics you need. Enjoy a private patio, compact but full kitchen, and access to the apartment complex’s pool and gym. Located just off the 15 freeway, it’s easy to travel anywhere in San Diego. Bonus for animal lovers: both cats and dogs are welcome here!

Linda Vista – $1,250 

This studio apartment makes up for the lack of space by including extra perks, like gated parking and covering the cost of all utilities. A full size linen closet in the bathroom provides storage and laundry is available on site. With easy access to the 163 and 8 freeways, it’s a less than 10 minutes to travel to the beach or downtown.

Pacific Beach – $1,395

If you dream of living near the beach on a budget, look no further than this 425 square foot studio in Pacific Beach. While you’re still about 12 blocks from the beach, it’s still fairly close to the water. The second floor units includes an assigned underground parking spot and features a large walk-in closet. The gated community has a laundry room on-site.

La Jolla – $1,500

For people who prefer to live even closer to the water but don’t require a lot of space, this 300 square foot furnished studio in La Jolla may be perfect. Attached to an oceanfront house just south of Bird Rock, the studio has a private entrance and includes a queen bed, desk, kitchen facilities and air conditioner. While there’s no view from the studio, you can easily access the water.

1 Bedrooms

For a little extra space and the privacy of bedroom door, you can find a one bedroom near the city but away from the beach for less than $1,500. Just don’t expect to find many extra amenities or a large floor plan in these quaint units.

Normal Heights – $1,250

Located just off Adams Avenue between the 15 and 163 freeways, this Normal Heights apartment offers one bedroom and one bathroom. You can park your car safely off the street and behind security gates. The upstairs unit has a large closet in the bedroom and plenty of storage in the kitchen. Laundry is available on site.

Golden Hill – $1,375

A 600 square foot, one bedroom apartment awaits a new tenant in Golden Hill. With hardwood and ceramic tile floors, this unit includes ceiling fans and a charming arched doorway. Laundry is available on-site but parking is not included.

Bankers Hill – $1,250

Embrace the charm of a vintage home with this 650 square foot, one bedroom in Bankers Hill. The home includes classic touches, like hardwood floors and decorative glass cabinets. The rent includes utilities but no parking. Laundry is available on site.

It Isn’t Pretty…But There’s Hope!

We aren’t going to lie, the situation if you can only afford $1,500 for rent in San Diego is pretty darn dire! Even though the apartments aren’t the most attractive, and they are on and off the market so fast that you have to pounce to have a chance at getting one!

But there is hope!

Some of the new apartment buildings being built in downtown have apartment options that are near the $1,500 price range that are dramatically newer and nicer than the options listed above. Let’s hope that as more of them come on the market, prices and options start to improve!

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