Reliable car, curb appeal, under 15 yrs old, and under$1,000? That would be a real challenge here in Seattle!
Checking local Craigslist revealed a fairnumber of cars 15-20 yrs old under $1K, but most have >100,000K and some flaws such as dings, leaks, non working non essential parts such as AC, power windows... I'd be looking for a 4 door full or midsize car as these vehicles arehave relatively low resale value these days. Considermodels that don't have a lot of flash but a do have a quiet reputation for longevity. Ones likea Chev Malibu (or GM twin) Ford Contour or Escort(or Mercurytwin),Geo Prism (Toyota Corolla twin)... You may be able to find a Honda, Toyota, or Nissan in that price range if you don't mind a manual tranny.
Best case scenario is that with some patience and luck you might find a senior citizen's low mileage cream puff that
the family is trying to unload quickly and not real concernedabout gettingfullvalue for. Would love to hear what you endup with!