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Curbed Comparisons: What $2,800 rents you in San Francisco right now

Five new rentals in the city’s ritziest neighborhoods for (slightly) less

Welcome 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. Today's price: $2,800.

↑ Sometimes an ad lays it all on the line, like with this one-bed, one-bath Bernal Heights apartment for $2,800/month: “Low ceilings? Rambling, confusing floor plan? Impossibly expensive neighborhood? Check, check, check.” Now that’s honesty in advertising. The landlord even suggests finding two roommates for this one bedroom place. Whether you’re splitting it or going solo, the circa 1900 or so building leads with a Victorian facade of such a rich brown shade that it almost fades into a lustrous purple, and the interiors, with the rose-colored living room and wood-shingle bathroom, are just weird enough to be worth checking out. No mention of pets.

↑ The theme of the day is very small homes in very upscale neighborhoods, which reaches it apotheosis in this studio in Lower Pac Heights (right on the line with Japantown) that maxes out at 300 square feet. Rather than the traditional “cozy,” “romantic” is the keyword employed here, at least for those who find the appeal in tiny living and alcove bedrooms. A “feng shui expert” even designed the layout—nice touch. This little place wants $2,800/month, and it at least takes both cats and dogs, provided you can find space to put them.

↑ On the other hand, this studio (a junior one-bedroom, at least according to the ad) in Cow Hollow sells itself as “exceptionally large.” How large is that? No precise measurements are provided. The photos certainly do a good job of selling the space, but the proof is in the open house. It is probably the biggest of the lot for $2,800/month though and gets the nod on that alone. It’s a 1925 building with some Beaux-Arts touches, and “cats considered, with extra deposit.” Consideration is always appreciated.

↑ Over on Nob Hill, 1557 Washington is a rose-colored four-unit building from 1907. Anyone who’s a sucker for a pretty ceiling will want to linger over this apartment for a bit; shame that it looks as if the old fireplace is gone, but at least the remaining mantle and built-ins look classy, and the shared deck is a pretty piece of work too. Pets are “negotiable,” so get ready to bargain. The price: $2,700/month.

↑ Last of the lot is an apartment in what’s advertised as a Victorian from 1880, and in fact just a couple of blocks from Alamo Square, off the back end of Hayes Valley. But the ad doesn’t include the facade in its photo. Alas. Be that as it may, the little apartment in the primo neighborhood charges $2,700/month and saved its wainscoting, corbels, and fireplaces over the years, so it’s hard to hold a grudge, even if it’s another no-pets listing.