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What $3,950 rents you in San Francisco right now

Five new rentals, from Excelsior to South Beach

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: $3,950.

South Beach emerged as one of San Francisco’s most consistently most expensive neighborhoods for renters in recent years, so how far does $3,950/month go here? Well, at least as far as a one-bed, one-bath loft at 200 Brannan (a 2004 building), with concrete trim on the walls and ceilings. It also comes with elevated views of the lovely grounds below. “Living here is a practical decision, a lifestyle choice, and a personal statement,” which is a lot of pressure to put on 725 square feet, but we won’t hold that against the apartment itself. No word about pets.

↑ Meanwhile, the Excelsior is and perhaps always will be San Francisco’s most affordable neighborhood come rent day. Here $3,950/month is enough to net a renter a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath midcentury house (from 1957) on Alemany Boulevard. The ad claims the floors are new, but most of the place looks like it’s still rocking a 1957 vibe. Alas, no pets.

↑ On the other hand, here’s a house in the Sunset with a nearly interchangeable look and feel for the same $3,950/month rent, switching out Alemany Boulevard for 36th Avenue. It comes with three bedrooms and two baths. But for giving up the extra half bath over the Excelsior house, it comes with permission to bring a dog along. More importantly, it’s a firmly and definitely western neighborhood, as opposed to the Excelsior, which is still relatively untouched, but in years to come will be adjacent to a lot of new development. The parquet is roughly the same either way.

↑ Speaking of which, Bayview and Candlestick Point’s contribution to this week’s five-home potluck comes in the form of a waterfront condo on Crescent Court. It’s yet another three-bed and two-bath batch for $3,950/month, this time in an apartment that’s almost cresting 1,400 square feet altogether. What’s this one have that the others don’t? Well, for those who never visit, it’s worth pointing out that Candlestick is an unusually beautiful cove. No word about pets here either, though, which is less beautiful—but you can’t win ‘em all.

↑ Those who simply must reside a little closer to the action for $3,950/month can look to Cole Valley, where accommodations come smaller—just one bed and one bath in this apartment—but the locale puts renters right across the street from Gamble Park and down the block from the Haight. Although the classy editions here are simple, like the French doors and the wide three-centered arch separating the living room and kitchen, they make a difference. Something about white subway tile seems particularly satisfying in a kitchen. No dogs, but cats are okay here.


Which rental would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Excelsior House
    (14 votes)
  • 8%
    Bayview Condo
    (26 votes)
  • 30%
    South Beach Loft
    (92 votes)
  • 15%
    Sunset House
    (46 votes)
  • 41%
    Cole Valley Apartment
    (125 votes)
303 votes total Vote Now