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Curbed Comparisons: What $1,650/Month Rents You In Oakland

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Pill Hill Vics, Fruitvale studios, and Fairview Park cottages vying for your rent dollars

Welcome back to Curbed Comparisons, a regular column exploring what you can rent for a set dollar amount in different neighborhoods. Is one person's studio another person's townhouse? Let's find out. Since it's Oakland Week, we're venturing across the bridge again. Our price: $1,650/month.

↑ We'll obey our natural instincts by starting with the Victorian, a handsome blue-hued and slate gray duplex in the Pill Hill neighborhood. The smaller of the two units, a mere 450 feet, rents for $1,650/month, presumably with no extra charge for the white picket fence. The single bedroom is a killer, with rustic paneling and built-ins, although the rest of the place looks a bit meager. It does beat out everything else here for curb appeal, though, and it's six blocks from BART. On top of that, it's pet friendly for both dogs and cats.

↑ In the very same neighborhood, over on Telegraph Avenue, studios are going for $1,545/month in a building that must be managed by virtual giants. This we intuit from the fact that nearly every photo in this ad and similar ads in the same building seem to have been taken from a towering perspective. The unit has hardwood floors throughout, and the old building is accessible via a Vertigo-style staircase. Also of note, this place is cat-friendly

↑ For a studio in a decidedly more modern style, float over to Fruitvale, where an apartment on 36th Avenue rents for the very peculiar sum of $1,488/month. There's something very Zen-like about the placid, /neutral lines of this one; the straight-ahead way it was photographed, and even the gray color palette, which appears soothing rather than drab. And then the staging blows that to smithereens with bright red vinyl chairs and polka dot throw rugs. Way to keep us on our toes, Fruitvale. Cats and dogs are both allowed, and this is indicated via heart melting puppy and kitten photos in the ad. (Surely that's cheating?)

↑ Not far away, over in the small Oak Tree neighborhood on East 16th Street, a one-bedroom apartment is vying for your attention and also demanding that very particular sum of $1,488/month. This is evidently under the same management, as evidenced by the puppy and kitten photos yet again (it's another pet-friendly building) and the clear-eyed photos of the unit. The bigger of the two, this one looks a bit more old fashioned with its hardwood floors and tilted beam and plank ceilings.

↑ Finally, if you're a renter with humble needs and a hankering for residential living, this backyard cottage in Fairview Park, only a few blocks from the Berkeley border and a few more to the Ashby BART station, is yours for $1,595/month. The tile-floored hideaway isn't big—a video survey of the entire unit takes less than 25 seconds—but it advertises privacy, and Colby Street certainly can be picturesque. Pets are "negotiable," so bring your killer instinct and drive a bargain.