Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, a column that explores what one can rent for a set dollar amount in various San Francisco neighborhoods. Is one person's studio another person's townhouse? Let's find out! Today's price: $4,500.
↑ If two months of dropping rents is a trend, perhaps SF tenants will take heart after reading today's Curbed report. We decided to look at available units that are well above the current median price of $3,490 for a one bedroom. We found that while prices may be falling, quality remains about the same. One of the head-turning properties on the rental market this week is a two-bedroom apartment located in a vividly painted house in Bernal Heights that's asking for $4,295/month. The street address is 3355 Folsom, but that's nearly irrelevant as you could just say, "I live in the flower house a couple of blocks from Precita Park." The apartment itself is unremarkable, save for some nice city views off the back deck. The kitchen has a jarring combination of rosy toned tile and yellow-hued wood cabinetry, and it ends rather abruptly with some awkward open space. The strip lights providing under-cabinet lighting are clearly visible, giving the room an unintended touch of glimmer. There is a washer and dryer in the unit, and they are snuggled right next to the toilet in what we believe to be the powder room. The styling of the place gave us a laugh, as the photographer placed a cup of coffee and a chocolate chip cookie on the deck rail, even shooting a detail of the refreshments. Parking is on the street, dogs and cats are OK pending landlord approval, no word on whether you get the cookie if you sign the lease.
↑ Then, there's this three bedroom, one-bathroom, full-floor flat in the Mission that's asking $4,480/month. We like the period details (hello bay window and vintage molding), but, as usual, the kitchen leaves something to be desired with a cramped corner sink and a range with minuscule countertop space on either side (leaving you with no place to put that hot pot). At least there's a dishwasher in the kitchen, because the sink set-up would definitely make cleaning up an awkward choreography. There's a washer and dryer in the unit, but no parking. Dogs and cats are allowed. The landlords are limiting occupancy to three people.
↑ This Richmond district two bedroom unit offers a series of gorgeous, arched windows in the living room that stretch floor-to-ceiling and asks $4,400/month. That means great light, the better to admire the pretty fireplace surround. The kitchen is in good vintage condition, but there's a problem with the refrigerator. It appears to be in a closet-like pantry, and cooking in that configuration would get old quickly. There's a shared backyard, and the building is about a half-block from Golden Gate Park, so if outdoor living is your jam, this one's for you. There's a formal dining room, a washer and dryer in the unit, and a parking space in the garage. No pets allowed.
↑ So where CAN you find a nice kitchen for $4,500? This week, in SoMa, in a two-bedroom unit that asks $4,200/month. This is a newly renovated building, and the owners put in a lot of nice touches, including a (comparatively) well-planned kitchen with nice finishes and new appliances and a pretty hardwood floor. This apartment has a washer, dryer, and a dishwasher. There's no parking (a potential drawback in this hood) and no mention of a pet policy. The location (547 Natoma St. between 6th and 7th) might be a bit rough for some, but others would appreciate a location convenient to all that Mid-Market offers.