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? Today's price: $1,900.
↑ The headline for this studio’s ad marvels, “A studio for under $2K? MATHEMATICAL!” Yes, $1,895/month for 325 square feet and no pets in one of the city’s busiest neighborhoods does shake out to a bargain, or at least an anomaly. This is actually two apartments for $1,895/month each, both similar enough that the distinction isn’t particularly important. The tile floors throughout look pretty grim. Dating to 1907, this building was one of post-earthquake hotelier Edward Rolkin’s properties once upon a time.
↑ Maybe tile floors are a motif at this price point, because this one-bed, one-bath in-law in the Sunset heads that route. “A small, very nice ground floor unit,” the ad promises, underneath the main house and with a separate entrance around back, $1,900 and no pets allowed. Note the ad qualifies the place a junior one bedroom, but since the bed space is not included in the photos, it’s tough to judge.
↑ North of Golden Gate Park in the Richmond, the offers appear much the same, via another single-bed, single-bath in-law on 37th Avenue and Geary, which is also down on pets. Any advantages over the Sunset place? Well, there’s carpet, and it’s more affordable to boot at $1,850, without the “junior” rider on the single bedroom.
↑ A studio in Lower Nob Hill seems like a better prospect; in that redoubtable neighborhood, $1,900 fetches a studio near Bush and Stockton. “Charming studio in a classic building, [...] exceptional mold and trimming,” which presumably would be a bit better phrased as “exceptional moldings” in this context. No pets here either, although at least the rent includes the utilities.
↑ Finally, here’s another studio that promises an “oasis in the city,” breaking down to be the most affordable at $1,775. The space is ok with pets, and even includes a “Zen-like backyard,” complete with statue of Buddha to play up the Zen. The catch (other than that it’s 350 square feet, with an ill-placed support post right in the middle) is that this oasis in the city cheats by not being in the city but instead just over the line in Daly City, trying to sneak into the San Francisco listings through the back door. But it makes the list anyway, as a concession to the hard times.
Which Rental Would You Choose?
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South Beach Studio
Lower Nob Hill Studio
Daly City Studio