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Curbed Asks: What Was Your First San Francisco Rental Like?

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Today marks the last day of Curbed's first ever Renters Week. And what a week it's been! We've shared some renter horror stories, one of which advanced to the national round for a chance of winning a month's worth of free rent. We looked at the best, worst and most wacky of Airbnb listings. And how about that Craigslist Power Hour? We've thoroughly enjoyed this week, and we hope you have too. We still have a few posts to put up in honor of Renters Week, but in the meantime, we thought we'd ask some of our most trusted comrades about their first rental in San Francisco.

Brock Keeling, Editor in Chief of SFist: My first apartment was a studio on Dolores between 18th and 19th that overlooked the park. (Yes way.) It cost $500/month and I left because--and this kills me to write as I try not to think about it--I wanted to live with roommates. Regrets, I know a few...

Nicole Harvey, Head Honcho at The Tenderloin Geographic Society: In 1999, I moved sight unseen into a 3 bedroom in the newly residentialized Presidio, where our rent was about $1900 between four students. Because we were on government property and not subject to normal rental law, over the next two years our rent would be raised to market value--which was still vaguely affordable given what Tenderloin studios were going for (and do now).

As a nice side effect of the economic bust, the rent was reduced down to about $2000, a goodwill gesture that I expect to never see repeated again--especially if the federal government is your landlord.

After five years in the hinterlands, I tired of having foxes and hawks for neighbors and moved to Lower Nob Hill, where I had rats, mice, and Academy of Art students for neighbors.

Andrew Dudley, Editor of Haighteration: My first SF apartment was a dimly-lit studio at 29th and Dolores, where I lived for a few months in early 2000. All I remember about the place was that someone had bedazzled the entire toilet with old pennies. Not sure what the rent was -- I was staffed out here for work, so my company footed the bill -- but being the height of the dot-com era, I'm confident that it was ridiculous.

Eve Batey, Publisher of the SF Appeal: My first rental in SF was a studio on Fulton between Broderick and Baker. For the first year I had it (1997), I shared it with my friend Eric and his cat Macon, which is not as bad as it sounds -- Eric was a great roommate, and Macon was a sweetheart. When Eric moved out, I had it on my own for a couple years, the first time I ever lived alone. I think I was paying $600-something a month? Then I gave it up to move in with a (now defunct) boyfriend in 2000, SUCH a big mistake. I still miss that place, and look at it longingly every time I pass by.

Stuart of Broke-Ass Stuart fame: Well the first place I ever lived in SF was at Haight and Central in 2002 and I shared a room with a friend for around $800 a month. I also found my neighbor dead on the staircase in that building, but that's a whole different story for another time. But the first place I was ever on a lease in SF was at 23rd and Guerrero it was me and 2 friends and our rent was $2100 for a three bedroom. This was in 2004. One of my friends is still there and the rent really hasn't gone up that much in the past seven years.

Andrew Dalton, Editor of SFist: When I first moved here, I rented a three-bedroom flat for $2,100 with two roommates in the soon-to-be-gentrified Panhandle neighborhood. It had offered a tiny living room, closets that weren't deep enough for clothes hangers, close proximity to two drive-by shootings, and a charming mouse infestation that developed after our downstairs neighbor died.

Nish Nadraja, Giftly Brand Director: My first rental was way back in January of 1998, and it was on Dolores and 17th Street in the Nission. It was this great 2nd floor 4-bedroom flat, and there were only 3 of us, and we each paid $900 a month. Hey, we came from Manhattan, so we thought this was a steal. In the flat below was this couple, and the wife was super annoying, and would write us passive aggressive notes about noise. One time, she referred to me as "Mr. Squeaky" for evidently bringing home a nice girl and, um, utilizing the bed a bit too much.

Andrew Sarkarati, Writer for Mission Mission: My first apartment was a 2 bedroom on the Panhandle for $2100 that I shared with my girlfriend (at the time) and friend in 2005. It was advertised as a 3 bedroom but the extra room was so small we decided to make it the videogame room. We moved out after one year when they jacked up the rent after the lease ended, but it was nice waking up on sunny days and getting inspired to do stuff by all the Panhandle joggers and cyclists we could see from our window. Not so nice were the other 300 days of the year when we could see fog rapidly rolling by our window.
· Renters Week 2011 coverage [Curbed]
[photo by Aaron Kohr via Shutterstock]