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: $1,700.
↑ Note that there is neither a kitchen nor a kitchenette in this bay-shaped Tenderloin studio. Instead, it offers a mini-fridge and microwave. That’s it, so not ideal for gastronomes. A tight squeeze for most renters, especially at $1,695/month, it’s still a pretty place located inside a handsome building. Also, this one-bath pad also allows pets. Small ones, ideally.
↑ Of course, on the other side of Van Ness Avenue in Japantown, things are a tiny bit more spacious and a tiny bit better stocked, with kitchen and combination bedroom/living room a hop and a skip apart in this Sutter Street one-bath studio. Actually, this building is rather handsome too, albeit it with a low-lying profile. And the price is a shave less at $1,675/month, but the catch comes in the “sorry, no pets” message appended at the foot of the ad. There really is no having it all.
↑ And then there’s a highly efficient studio in Bernal Heights, this barely-there, whisper-sized pocket of a one-bed in-law apartment on Peralta that advertises itself at a mere 175 square square feet and asks $1,650/month. Ironically, the shared yard that it opens up onto provides the tenant with many times the space. If this tiny terrace looks familiar, it’s because it last appeared on Comparisons two weeks ago. But back then it was asking $150 more a month, so to celebrate its sudden discount, here it is again.
↑ Technically, this other one-bath in-law in the Richmond claims to be even smaller, advertised at just 120 square feet—a size that should make every renter in the Bay Area sit down and have a good, solid think about what’s going on these days. But in fact, this ad reads suspiciously like someone trying to pass off their spare bedroom as a separate apartment. Several of the photos are of the larger upstairs unit. Hmm. But they say it’s got its own bathroom and entrance, and some homes in larger buildings closer to downtown make the same claim with less. It’s $1,700/month, by the way. As far as pets go, there is one dog on the premises already.
↑ And finally, after navigating some of those narrow and mysterious confines, this final one-bath in-law in Ingleside is a relief of sorts, a “nice little downstairs studio with an open kitchen area and a little desk nook,” as the ad puts it, underneath a family home and opening into their backyard. This kind of setup sets you back $1,650 in that neighborhood, no pets mentioned.
Which Rental Would You Choose?
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Bernal Heights In-Law