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Curbed Comparisons: What $1,550 rents you in San Francisco right now

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Five new rentals in San Francisco, from Portola up to the Tenderloin

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: $1,550.

↑ This tiny studio on Geary advertises itself as “Lower Nob Hill,” but savvy Craigslist browsers know better. Indeed, another listing in the same building correctly lists the neighborhood as the Tenderloin, San Francisco’s one and only. It’s a pretty building and, for all of the apartment’s minuscule proportions, there’s a certain charm to its simplicity. It also has its own bath. The only problem is that, for $1,550/month, there’s no kitchen and no pets. Yikes. Well, that’s how they did it in 1927, when this building went up, but will modern renters go for it?

↑ Renting in San Francisco can teach tenants to appreciate the little things in life. For example, this little in-law in Ingleside is only about 300 square feet for $1,495/month, but at least it comes with a kitchen, bath, and full bedroom. Obviously, it’s not as centrally located at the Tenderloin, being closer to Daly City than anything else, but a home is a home. No pets are allowed, though, as they are in none of today’s listings.

↑ Of course, more than one neighborhood can play the in-law game. Up in NoPa, a similar one-bedroom in-law unit costs just a bit more ($1,500/month) for a scanty 250 square feet—so small so that potential tenants may be in danger of misplacing the entire thing. There’s not much else to recommend beyond the nice neighborhood and some minimal furnishings, but that’s the tale of renting in San Francisco these days: It’s always a question of trade-offs.

↑ And inching back toward the center of the action and Market Street itself, a live/work studio in Mid-Market (right between Sixth and Seventh streets) asks $1,450/month. At least it’s a price break, and the kitchenette underneath the bedroom loft is a good use of the space relative to the layouts of some other homes in this range. On the downside, it’s not much to look at inside. Also, the bathroom is shared with other residents on the floor. Alas. But at least the old Beaux-Aarts building is gorgeous from the curb.

↑ There is one tiny San Francisco home for rent at $1,500/month with a little elbow room. It’s yet another in-law (they’re the wave of the future, after all), this time in the Silver Terrace neighborhood, affording the newest renter a comparably luxurious 575 square feet, tucked beneath a house on Thomas Avenue. It features one bed and one bath. Renting in San Francisco can squeeze both your budget and your personal space, but the city still keeps plenty of renters who want to call even it smallest corners home.