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What $2,000 rents you in San Francisco right now

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Five new rentals, from Ocean Beach to Jackson Square

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 is another person's townhouse? Today's price: $2,000.

↑ Here’s a Tenderloin studio that comes with a little literary history on the side, as the building at 891 Post Street once upon a time hosted pulp novelist Dashiell Hammett. In fact, according to the plaque affixed to the building, by the Friends of Libraries USA, Hammett decided that detective Sam Spade should live in the very same apartment as the author in his 1930 book The Maltese Falcon, thus granting it two famous former residents for the price of one. This very small, one-bath studio, with an awkwardly placed support beam in the entryway, is one level below Hammett and Spade’s fourth story perch—which is perhaps ironic since Falcon was Hammett’s third story in San Francisco—and its close confines charge $2,000/month, enough to cover Spade’s old $25/day fee for several months. Pet are allowed, presumably including black birds.

↑ Speaking of mysteries, it seems this one-bath studio in Jackson Square gives rise to a true puzzler, the case of the mysterious shrinking rent, as this building pops up on Craigslist at nearly every price point. Last time it visited comparisons, the price was nearly $4,000/month, but now it’s enjoyed a very steep discount at just $2,000/month. The secret, of course, is that this is a different, smaller apartment in the same building, a micro-studio occupying just 240 feet of the historic 1907 building on Montgomery Street, bricks and all. The ad makes a point of mentioning that it’s rent controlled, so while two grand a month for the small space may pinch, at least it’s not going to squeeze any tighter in the future. No mention of pets.

↑ Turning west to the Inner Richmond, we find an old building neither hardboiled nor brick clad but instead replete with polished wood trim at Sixth Avenue and Geary. The ad describes the one-bath studio as “spacious,” but it doesn’t provide anything by way of measurements. The promise of “22 minutes to downtown by bus” is perhaps putting a bit too much faith in the resiliency of the 38 Geary. Nevertheless, it’s a good locale. The price is $2,000/month, no pet permissions included.

↑ On the other side of the park, there’s a rental in the Sunset trying not one identity but two on for size, marketed as a “cottage/loft.” But any renter will be able to decisively determine which of the two it actually is based on the fact that the advertised loft space is clearly just a bunk bed set atop a closet. But at least it uses the space well, and the kitchen is something of a knockout for such a small spot. Again the deal is $2,000/month and no pets.

↑ And finally, located at the edge of Ocean Beach in the Outer Sunset on Quintara, there’s a wave-making deal in the form of a two-bed, one-bath apartment for $1,895/month, “steps from the beach” as the ad puts it (about a block and a half, actually). There’s some confusion, as the place is listed as both two bedrooms and one bedroom, but it’s the largest of the offerings in either case. Still no pets allowed, thus proving that renting in San Francisco is never as easy as a day at the beach.


Which Rental Would You Choose?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Tenderloin Studio
    (49 votes)
  • 9%
    Jackson Square Micro Studio
    (59 votes)
  • 51%
    Ocean Beach Apartment
    (318 votes)
  • 11%
    Sunset "Loft"
    (69 votes)
  • 20%
    Richmond Studio
    (126 votes)
621 votes total Vote Now