You will find a variety of housing options and neighborhoods that are desirable. Cayuga Heights is probably the nicest neighborhood in town. There are many apartments well below $1000 a month, although you might want to stay away from student-oriented neighborhoods. Other housing opportunities include assisted living facilities, single family homes, and even some mobile home communities. Adjacent to the Cornell campus, the upscale Kendall at Ithaca life care community offers access to university amenities.
Housing in Ithaca tends to be more expensive than the surrounding area, although prices have stayed very stable. According to City-Data the median home sold for about $260,000 in late 2014. Homes in the nicer areas near the lake or in Cayuga Heights or South Hill will more likely cost in the $300's or more.