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: $1,500.
↑ Note that $1,500/month amounts to less than half of the median market rent in San Francisco (although according to the census it is very close to the actual median rent paid by most longtime denizens). As such, the fare offered on Craigslist trends to the small side. Take this one-room studio sans kitchen at the Emperor Norton Inn, an SRO on Post Street a few blocks east of Union Square. Well, it’s colorful, the panel mirror is a nice touch, and you can scope out the whole thing from one standing position. Bathroom is shared with the floor. Note that two years ago, these same rooms were $1,300/month.
↑ Cow Hollow offers a similar studio set-up for the exact same $1,500/month price, although note that this is zoned as an actual apartment building rather than an SRO. In practice, the difference seems to be mostly a bit more space, its own bathroom, the potentially clever addition of the sink cupboard, and the Fillmore Street locale just south of the Marina. The ad calls this a “vintage building,” meaning that it went up back in 1912. No pets allowed, which at least spares renters the dilemma of where they’d go.
↑ Heading west to the Sunset breaks things out of studio style in favor of an attic apartment with two bedrooms and one bath—or three bedrooms and two baths; the ad can’t seem to make up its mind. In either case, the house on 22nd Avenue and Noriega offers a little more room to grow plus an actual kitchen for the $1,500/month, although note that the “attic” designation here is not an attempt at color, it does appear to be a rather snug space at the top of the building, two or more bedrooms and all. The ad doesn’t mention pets.
↑ Over in the Outer Mission—so outer, in fact, that walking a few blocks south leads to Daily City—the offer is “TWO independent Bright SMALL IN-LAW Units for rent” with two bedrooms and one bath apiece. No pets allowed—in fact, the list of what isn’t allowed is longer almost than the rest of the ad put together—but at least the rent comes down a little bit to $1,430/month for one of these little places on San Francisco’s lowest-lying frontier.
↑ As always, there’s the Tenderloin, in this case offering another studio at Ellis and Jones for $1,350/month—nearly a third of market rent by some estimates, for the record—in a building that throws some Spanish accents on the outside and a little bit of class on the homes inside. Still no pets allowed though—even in the Tenderloin, you can’t have it all.
Which Rental Would You Choose?
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Outer Mission In-Law
Union Square SRO
Cow Hollow Studio