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: $2,500.
↑ The ad for this studio in Diamond Heights bills the unit as “compact, efficient,” which is an interesting choice, since “efficient” is an euphemism for small, whereas “compact” is just a synonym for it. But when push comes to shove renters know what they’re getting. In this case the room is a tidy specimen, encompassed in its entirety in just two photos. This unit has a distinctly hotel-like vibe (not necessarily a bad thing) that’s hard to shake once you notice it. The surrounding Diamond Heights Village features some ambitious landscaping. Rent comes to $2,500. The lease permits cats but not dogs, who would probably spend most of their time getting into the garden waterfall, anyway.
↑ On the other hand, this competing studio, asking $2,500 in Cow Hollow, bills itself as “lovely large.” It even comes close to qualifying as a junior one bedroom of sorts, if only the living room bay were large enough to fit the whole bed. The Vallejo Street building itself is the real gem, too: an Art Deco number from 1914 that dazzles even after all these years. The landlord neglects to mention the pet policy.
↑ The key word for this junior one bedroom in Russian Hill is neither large nor compact but instead “romantic,” characterized by its marching columns of arch windows facing west to catch that late afternoon sunlight on the hardwood floor. It also comes with its own private balcony. The ad mentions a step-down bathroom too, but it doesn’t show up in the photos. Rent is $2,495, but no pets.
↑ Another studio pops up in Pacific Heights (near Van Ness), this one dubbed both a “classical 1920s” home in an Edwardian building but also remodeled. Note that this is the smallest of the offerings, advertised at only 500 feet (even the aforementioned “compact” unit measured nearly 600), but the French doors help it make up in style points. “Tenant will need to invest in rugs, 80% coverage of hardwood flooring,” the ad cautions. Again it’s $2,500, but no pets allowed.
↑ And finally, there’s an in-law option, manifesting in this case via a two-bedroom, one-bath addition on the back of a Parkside house, described as a standalone unit asking $2,500/month. Note the wall-to-wall parquet. The alleyway backyard looks a bit dismal in the photos, but a little love and a lot of tall plants would help. And according to the lease, this pad is pet-free, doggone it.
Which Rental Would You Choose?
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Diamond Heights Studio
Cow Hollow Studio
Russian Hill Jr One Bedroom
Pac Heights Studio