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What $1,950 rents you in San Francisco right now

Five new rentals, from the Excelsior to Cow Hollow

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: $1,950.

↑ The ad for this studio in the Tenderloin invites renters to “sprawl here” for “less freeway gridlock.” It also shows a little spatial confusion, suggesting “live front row center” despite the fact that this is a corner unit. Bearings aside, the one-bath, rent-controlled apartment consists mostly of a single bay-shaped room overlooking O’Farrell Street and goes for $1,895/month. Pets are okay, but up the rent an extra $75/month. It’s a hard bargain, but how can you say no to those faces?

↑ This “garden studio” (ground level in a triplex) that sits one block from the Castro Street Muni station seems to be renting in a state of emergency, as the ad specifies that the existing tenant picked up and left unexpectedly. The fact that the bedroom cubbie includes a Mark Twain quote painted on the wall espousing the merits of travel is probably just a coincidence. $1,950/month, shared backyard but only a kitchenette, “ideal for the busy professional,” one bath, and no word on pets.

↑ No quotes on the walls in this micro-studio in Cow Hollow, although Thoreau’s “Simplify, simplify” might apply, as the average renter may have to pare back on their personal amenities to fit into this mere 265 square-foot space—so small that even the photos are tiny. It is, however, in a rather fetching spot just on the edge of the Marina to the north and the Presidio to the west, and a top-floor unit that permits pets, assuming you can find anywhere to put them. $1,900/month.

↑ Say what you like about San Francisco in-laws, like this one down in the Excelsior, but when it comes to renting at less than the city’s median price, they can end up the only option for those unable to squeeze into minor spaces elsewhere. Here, $1,900/month rents two bedrooms, one bath, and 700 square feet—still a tight spot, and it looks like the drought did a number on the backyard, but you won’t find much bigger for less elsewhere. This time it’s no pets allowed.

↑ Finally, another slightly confused apartment, this one in Bernal Heights, which calls itself a studio but also suggests that it’s a one bedroom, one bath place. However that works out, this 420 foot place two blocks from Precita Park at least overlooks a rather gorgeous and lustrous yard, presumably the source of the “peace + calm + nature” promised in the headline. That post in the middle of the room isn’t doing the place any favors, but presumably it beats the ceiling coming down. This spot asks $1,950/month with no mention of cats or dogs despite park proximity.


Which Rental Would You Choose?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Excelsior In-Law
    (89 votes)
  • 23%
    Tenderloin Studio
    (137 votes)
  • 20%
    Cow Hollow Micro-Studio
    (119 votes)
  • 24%
    Bernal Heights Studio
    (141 votes)
  • 16%
    Castro Garden Studio
    (93 votes)
579 votes total Vote Now