It's no secret that poring through rental listings in San Francisco can get depressing. Dingy kitchens, terrifying bathrooms, and a total lack of character are basically the norm. So we've put together a list of 10 of the prettiest rentals currently on the market. Some have period details, some are modern, some cost a small fortune, and, uh, none are exactly cheap.
↑ In Cole Valley, a big, elegant two-bedroom near Golden Gate Park is renting for $5,450. There are a lot of things to like about it, including the pillars and built-in shelving, but the best part is the very leafy outlook. Those views are of the "professionally maintained" backyard, which is shared with the one other unit in the building. Sadly, there is no parking.
↑ If it's Pacific Heights grandeur that you're after, this two-bed, two-bath flat in an old Victorian mansion is ideal. It's asking an eye-popping $8,550 per month, but that gives you 3,450 square feet of space, which is basically a decent-size single-family home in San Francisco. Some of the details are undoubtedly overwhelming (hello, pink walls with naked cherub murals), but there are also original fixtures and woodwork that has never been painted over. Parking in an attached garage is also available but will cost yet another $500 per month, which just seems absurd.
↑ High ceilings, arched doorways, and art deco tile give this Downtown one-bedroom condo a bright, fresh feel. The fireplace that is the centerpiece of the main room actually works. The kitchen is somewhat miserable, but the building's shared solarium and rooftop deck almost make up for it. The asking price is $3,800 per month, which includes PG&E.
↑ A three-bedroom live/work loft in the Mission is specifically marketed to those potential renters who may have a start-up. The ground level has its own entrance and wet bar. There are 17-foot ceilings in the main living space and a small balcony with room for a barbecue. Views from the upstairs look out to Sutro Tower. The price is $7,500 per month, and parking is an extra $200.
↑ The prettiest apartment on the market in Hayes Valley is this two-bedroom Victorian flat that is both beautiful and pet friendly. It's renting for $5,150 and offers up a gorgeous carved fireplace, a full dining room, and a back deck. The kitchen is spacious and modern, but the second bedroom is tiny. There are plenty of windows and shiny hardwood floors, parking for one car in the garage, and additional storage in the basement.
↑ If you have hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to burn on a rental, there's a four-bedroom house on Broadway in Pacific Heights looking for $25,000 every month. There is a garden out back, and the services of a gardener come included in that hefty rent. A deck off the sun room looks out to the bay.
↑ Out on 29th Avenue in the Outer Richmond, a big six-bedroom home marketed as an "idyllic French chateau" is renting for $9,800 per month and targeting … USF students? These are pretty fancy digs for college kids, given the big fireplace, chef's kitchen, back deck and barbecue area, and 18-foot ceilings. We can't imagine that this place would look quite as good after a year of college students partying inside.
↑ Back in Pacific Heights, another frilly luxury condo is available for another big price. This one has three bedrooms and is going for $9,900, partially thanks to its dramatic bay and bridge views. The place is "just across from Billionaire's Row" and is filled with molding, Italian Murano glass chandeliers, and three built-in flat-screen TVs. The most surprising parts of the apartment are its splashes of fluorescent paint in the bathroom and formal dining room. It's also currently filled with some very stuffy furniture, but it sounds like it will rent unfurnished.
↑ There are several high-end modern rentals currently on the market, but we're partial to this two-bedroom condo at the Radiance in Mission Bay that's renting for $4,750. Views from the balcony are of the Bay Bridge, and the big bedroom windows that take up one entire wall look out onto the building's courtyard. It's larger than most new condos, the open-plan space flows well, and the whole place is filled with light.
↑ A recently renovated Hayes Valley two-bedroom has an impeccably kept Victorian exterior and a nicely modernized interior. There aren't a lot of windows, but there is a carved fireplace, an open, modern kitchen, and a brand-new bathroom. A small but sweet back garden has room for a table and chairs and some flowers. The apartment is asking $5,000 a month, and there is no parking available.