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What $1,900 rents you in San Francisco right now

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Five new rentals, from Bernal Heights to Excelsior

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: $1,900.

↑ This Tenderloin one-bath studio is rather beautiful in its own way, starting with the stained glass windows and gorgeous moldings in the lobby downstairs. But upstairs in the 500-square-foot home overlooking Hyde Street, it’s all business with the big brick wall right smack in the middle of everything. Plenty of homes in the city have stained glass and brick and some others even have both, but neither seem likely expectations when you walk in the door here, and it’s nice to get a pair of surprises for $1,895/month. No pets allowed though, and sadly that’s not a surprise.

↑ But when it comes to lessons in expecting the unexpected, it’s hard to beat this in-law studio in the Excelsior. Advertised at 900 square feet for the bargain price (by renting in SF standards, that is) of $1,750/month, just look at everything going on in here. Slate floor are a bold touch that can add real gravitas to a room, but they’re not usually not quite this omnipresent throughout an entire home. Notice also the Tenderloin-sized kitchenette despite all of the room. Still, it’s big, and there’s arguing that it’s not memorable.

↑ Competing against that for in-law renters comes a much smaller one-bed in-law in Bernal Heights. How much smaller? So small that it’s impressive they even fit a photographer in the door: Just 175 square feet as advertised, and asking $1,800/month for the whole thing. The floor here is ceramic crafted to look like wood—not as nuts as all the slate, but points for trying. The rent includes the utilities and Internet and shares the backyard, which of course is many, many times larger than the actual apartment. No mention of pets, but really, where would they even go?

↑ This Victorian in the Inner Richmond (very near Laurel Heights) dates back to 1890, at least according to the ad (such dates are almost impossible to verify, since all of the original records went up in flames in 1906), but the small one-bath “junior one-bedroom” apartment on offer here looks like a more recent concoction “remodeled in 2017.” That kitchen does look like a very respectable piece of work in the $1,900/month range. The ad doesn’t mention pets, and in fact it even tries to oust couples from applying.

↑ Amazingly, this one-bath, 500-square-foot apartment in the Sunset claims to be a two-bedroom home. Each of the sleep-away spaces is only 100 square feet. A tight squeeze, but if true a remarkable feet of design in itself. “Both rooms equipped with simple furniture, [...] up to you to take it or dump it,” which suggests that it’s probably leftovers from the previous tenant. It’s $1,800/month, and no word on pets either.


Which Rental Would You Choose?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Sunset Apartment
    (20 votes)
  • 5%
    Bernal Heights In-Law
    (20 votes)
  • 3%
    Excelsior In-Law
    (15 votes)
  • 42%
    Richmond Apartment
    (166 votes)
  • 43%
    Tenderloin Studio
    (170 votes)
391 votes total Vote Now