Renting a home or apartment in the United States is notoriously expensive. And this is not about to get any better any time soon. A tiny one-bedroom apartment with one bath in Denver can cost upwards of $1,800 per month.
It is increasingly difficult for people to find affordable rental options, especially for those living on a tight budget. But did you know that you can live comfortably and affordably in various other places around the world? You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg renting a home.
In fact, many countries, including Vietnam, Ecuador, France, and others, offer incredibly cheap rental options that may surprise you. They range from tropical paradises to bustling cities and everything in between. Moving out of the United States doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality or comfort.
In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 countries with affordable rental options and why they are so cheap. You don’t have to live in the US to enjoy a comfortable and affordable place to call home. So buckle up and get ready to explore the world of cheap rentals!
1. Lyon, France
France is a lovely country with breathtaking views and rich culture. It’s no surprise that it’s a popular tourist destination. But did you know it has some of the cheapest places to rent while still maintaining great quality?
Lyon, for example, is the 2nd largest city in France and is known for its affordable housing options. Located in the Rhone-Alpes region of the country, Lyon has a lot of charm, with a bustling city center and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy.
As the birthplace of cinema, there are also many cultural attractions. The city has museums, street-side cafes, great restaurants, and local markets. The city also offers an extensive public transportation network, making it easy to get around. However, it’s still walkable, making it even easier.
Safety is also a priority in Lyon, so you can rest easy knowing that you and your family are safe wherever you go. The city has many English-speaking expats, so finding a roommate or someone to show you around should be no problem.
A one-bedroom, one-bath apartment in the suburbs of Lyon can cost as little as $800 a month. It would come fully furnished and include all amenities, so you can move in without buying furniture. You can find such a place offering 64m² (700 ft²) of space, with kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and even a balcony with a nice view.
2. Pisa, Italy
Italy is a popular tourist destination, and it’s easy to see why. It has some of the most beautiful cities in the world, with picturesque views, delicious food, and vibrant culture. Cities like Rome and Florence are truly a sight to behold.
But Italy isn’t just for tourists. It has some of the most affordable rental options for those looking to live there. Pisa, located in the Tuscany region, is a great city to consider if you’re looking for an affordable place to rent.
Pisa is a university town and home to the famous University of Pisa, founded in the 12th century. You will find many places to visit here, from archaeological sites to art galleries. The city also has an extensive public train transportation system, making it easy to get around.
It has weekly markets in the Centro Storico, the historic center of Pisa, where you can buy local produce. You will also find many bars and restaurants and quaint cafes and shops in this area.
The coastal areas are exemplary tourist attractions, with some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. Locals in Pisa are very friendly and helpful. Once you move in, you will quickly feel like part of the family.
One of the best things you can do to save money in Pisa is to avoid tourist restaurants and eat at local eateries. You can also find genuinely affordable accommodations. A newly renovated two-bedroom, two-bath apartment with a balcony, fully furnished kitchen, and air conditioning can cost around $853 a month. To top it all, it’s also located in the heart of the city.
It would come with a parking space and is close to local shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants.
3. Davao, Philippines
The Philippines has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, a rich culture, and a warm climate. Unsurprisingly, it has become a popular destination for travelers and expats alike.
Beautiful cities like Cebu, Manila, and Davao are great choices, offering a mix of modern amenities and local charm. But what’s even better is that the cost of living here is incredibly low.
For example, in Davao, one of the safest cities in the Philippines, you can rent an affordable two-bedroom, one-bath condo for $472 a month. For this money, you can get a 45m² (5,484 ft²) apartment located in a building with a pool, clubhouse, gym, and 24/7 security, and close to malls, shops, restaurants, and cafes.
The Philippines has outdoor activities, from hiking and trekking to whitewater rafting and kayaking. It is also home to several cultural attractions, including centuries-old churches and museums.
The city offers great, affordable food options with various restaurants and cafes. It has many shopping malls and outdoor markets, and the locals are friendly and hospitable.
Living in the Philippines is a great option for those looking for an affordable and comfortable lifestyle. The average cost of living per month ranges from $1,000 to $1,500, depending on your lifestyle and needs.
With its modern amenities, plenty of outdoor activities, and friendly people, it’s no wonder why so many people call the Philippines home.
4. Medellin, Colombia
Colombia, the only country with coastlines on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is an amazing place to live. It has a rich culture, diverse landscapes, and vibrant cities.
The city of flowers, Medellin, is a great choice for expats looking to relocate. It is the 2nd largest city in Colombia, known for its beautiful architecture, strong economy, and friendly people.
Medellin has excellent weather, a low cost of living, and affordable healthcare. It has only two seasons, rainy and dry, which means you will experience warm temperatures year-round.
It is home to the only metro system in Colombia, the Metro de Medellin. With it, you can get around quickly and cheaply.
Medellin is also a great place for people who love the kitchen. It has a farmers’ market to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
The cost of living in Medellin is relatively low. For instance, a newly furnished two-bedroom, three-bath condo offering 110m² (1184 ft²) of living space in a secure building can cost around $977 (3.7 mil pesos) monthly. This condo has a balcony off the bedroom and a study area. It is located in El Poblano, a convenient and safe neighborhood with plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops.
Colombia is an amazing country to call home. Located in the middle of Colombia, Medellin offers stunning views, vibrant culture, and plenty of outdoor activities.
5. Chapala, Mexico
Despite its reputation, Mexico is a fantastic place to live and an excellent choice for expats looking for a vibrant culture. From the stunning beaches of Quintana Roo to the hustle and bustle of Mexico City, there is something for everyone.
Lake Chapala, in the state of Jalisco, is a great option for those looking to live a relaxed lifestyle. It is Mexico’s largest expat community, home to a mix of American, Canadian, and European expats. Around 20,000 expats live in the area.
The town of Chapala offers stunning lake views and plenty of outdoor activities. It has a vibrant culture, with various festivals throughout the year. The weather is ideal for indoor and outdoor activities since it is 5,000 feet above sea level.
The cost of living is roughly half that in the U.S. and Canada, making it an ideal location for those looking to stretch their retirement savings or enjoy a lower cost of living. A 140m² (1,500 ft²) single-family home in a gated community can be as low as $800 per month. It would come fully furnished, with a gardener, internet, cable, and a pool included in the offering.
Ajijic is another charming fishing village with more expats located near Lake Chapala. However, it is slightly more expensive than Chapala. Guadalajara airport is only 1 hour away, making it easy to travel in and out of the area.
6. Cuenca, Ecuador
Ecuador uses the same currency as the U.S., the American dollar, making it easy to use for expats. With its stunning landscapes and breathtaking views, Ecuador is an ideal place to live for those looking for a relaxed lifestyle.
Ecuador is home to numerous cities, each offering its own unique culture and environment. Cuenca, located in southern Ecuador, is a great choice for those seeking an affordable and tranquil lifestyle. It has a vibrant culture, with various festivals throughout the year.
Cuenca is known for its colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. It is a UNESCO world heritage site due to its stunning architecture and beauty. The city is surrounded by majestic mountains, volcanos, lush vegetation, and numerous rivers.
The great restaurants and unique shops make Cuenca a great place for foodies. It also has plenty of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, bird watching, and more. Cuenca is walkable, but public transportation is also available.
Ecuador has many visa options for expats, ranging from retirement to digital nomad visas. It has a lower cost of living than most places in the U.S. and Canada, making it an ideal place to live. A three-bedroom, three-bath house with a courtyard and fountain can cost around $800.
The example we’re looking at is a 1,800 ft² house that comes fully furnished and includes a master bedroom, shower, jacuzzi bathtub, and an outdoor deck. It is located in El Vergel, a neighborhood in Cuenca known for its safety and convenience. The tap water is drinkable, and the electricity service is reliable.
The great thing about Ecuador is that it offers a mix of culture, nature, and affordability. Cuenca is the perfect place for expats to live comfortably, explore the beautiful scenery, and enjoy a relaxed lifestyle.
7. Da Nang, Vietnam
From its vibrant cities to its stunning countryside, Vietnam is a great destination for expats looking for adventure. It is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and has a low cost of living. The average cost of living ranges from $1,000 to $1,500 per month, depending on the city.
Da Nang is known for its stunning beaches, spectacular mountain views, and vibrant culture. It has two world-class golf courses, a bustling nightlife scene, and plenty of outdoor activities. There are various international schools for expats interested in staying long-term in Vietnam.
Da Nang is a highly livable city due to its clean and friendly environment. It is known for its lush vegetation, spectacular views, and vibrant culture. Many expats have decided to call Da Nang home due to the low cost of living and numerous attractions.
You need a visa or visa approval letter to stay in Vietnam for over 15 days. You can apply for a Vietnamese multi-entry visa, which allows you to stay up to three months in the country. In addition, there are various work visas available for those seeking to stay long-term.
The cost of living in Da Nang is fairly low, with a luxury two-bedroom, fully-furnished apartment, with a large master bedroom, internet, and air conditioning, costing around $850 per month.
Da Nang in Vietnam is a great destination for expats who want to explore the culture, enjoy the stunning scenery, and live affordably.
8. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Cambodia is a fantastic destination with stunning beaches, plenty of outdoor activities, and vibrant culture. It is known for its rich history, lush vegetation, and beautiful temples. The cost of living in Cambodia is fairly low, and most expats can live comfortably on a budget.
Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia and the most populous city in the country. It is a great destination for expats due to its natural beauty, vibrant culture, and low cost of living. The city is known for its bustling nightlife scene and numerous attractions.
You can walk around the city to explore its attractions, such as the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, or take a tuk-tuk for a more comfortable ride. There are also plenty of restaurants, cafes, and markets that cater to all kinds of budgets.
Expats looking to stay long-term in Cambodia must apply for a work permit. The work permit is valid for one year and can be renewed. In addition, you need to have a valid passport and provide proof of sufficient funds to receive a visa.
The cost of living in Phnom Penh is fairly low, with a luxury two-bedroom apartment costing around $600 per month. For this money, you can rent an 85m² (910 ft²) apartment located in a central area and which comes fully furnished and has a large master bedroom, internet, and air conditioning.
Phnom Penh in Cambodia is an excellent destination for expats looking to explore the city’s culture, enjoy the stunning scenery, and live affordably.
9. Atenas, Costa Rica
One of the smallest countries in Central America, Costa Rica is a popular destination for expats. It has stunning beaches, amazing rainforest hikes, and vibrant culture.
Atenas is a small city in the Central Valley of Costa Rica and one of the most popular destinations for expats. It is known for its peaceful atmosphere, stunning views, and friendly people.
The cost of living in Atenas is relatively low, with a luxury two-bedroom apartment costing around $625 per month. Such an apartment would provide 90m² (970 ft²) of living space, would come fully furnished, and would include internet, air conditioning, and a large master bedroom.
While in Atenas, you can explore the city’s culture by visiting the local markets and churches or take a guided tour of the nearby rainforests.
The Costa Rican government requires expats to obtain a valid residency permit through the National Immigration Office. You must provide proof of sufficient funds and a valid passport to receive the permit.
The residency permit is valid for one year, and you can renew it after the expiration date. Costa Rica is a great destination if you want to explore the country’s culture, enjoy its stunning scenery, and live affordably.
10. Chaves, Portugal
Portugal is the oldest nation in Western Europe, known for its stunning beaches, beautiful architecture, and delicious cuisine. It is an increasingly popular destination for expats due to its high quality of life and low cost of living.
Chaves, located in northern Portugal, is one of the best places to rent in the country. It is a small city with plenty of attractions, including a castle, old churches, and numerous parks.
Despite being a small city, Chaves is home to all the necessary amenities. A luxury two-bedroom apartment costs around $650 per month. This price is inclusive of internet and air conditioning.
For this money, you’ll get a 90m² (970 ft²) apartment that comes fully furnished and is located near the city center with easy access to restaurants, shops, and other attractions.
Chaves is 10km south of the Spanish border, making it an excellent base for exploring Portugal and Spain. The area is also known for its hot springs, which are a great way to relax and unwind.
The residents of Chaves are warm and welcoming, providing a great atmosphere for expats. They are also friendly to tourists, making exploring the city and its culture easy.
Living as an expat abroad can be a great experience. From the vibrant culture of Ecuador to the stunning scenery of Vietnam, there is something for everyone. Each country offers something unique with its low cost of living and great amenities.
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Hola todos! Welcome to my author bio page! Let's see. Where to begin... I grew up in the country on a lake outside a small Kansas farm town. As soon as I could, I got the hell outta there! Since then, I've lived and/or worked in Kansas City, Washington D.C., Denver, San Francisco, and Ecuador. I started and sold a dotcom, wrote a book about it, started a YouTube channel, and now I write a lot. Amelia and I have embraced the Unconventional Life and we want to help you do it, too!