Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, a regular column exploring what you can rent for a set dollar amount in different neighborhoods. Today we had across the bridge to see what Oakland offers. Is one person’s studio another person’s townhouse? Today’s price: $1,700.
↑ “Cute little house on a huge lot” is the lead for this East Oakland apartment. And indeed, the proportions of this 550-square-foot single family Craftsman house on a parcel that dwarfs the structure make it look like a dollhouse from the street. Still, there’s a certain appeal in the little place tucked away in its own corner of the world--and a certain relief that it hasn’t been bulldozed by now in favor of something ten times the size and many more times the price. It’s $1,700/month for one bed and one bath, and no pets allowed despite the ample yard space.
↑ Renters who prefer something standard issue can peruse 35th Avenue in the Fruitvale neighborhood, a few blocks from BART, where a studio rents for $1,643. “Rental price includes a $15 monthly discount for enrollment in automatic payment program,” says the ad says. “This historical three-story building (built in 1940) has been remodeled for the modern consumer, hardwood flooring and a spacious kitchen with full amenities,” is the pitch. Pets okay for those willing to pony (or doggie, or kitty?) up an extra $50 monthly fee.
↑ “Leasing fast” and “hurry” warns the ad for a micro studio in Northgate, using no fewer than 15 exclamation points in the entire thing, six of which pop up in the headline alone. All of the excitement is on account of a building dubbed the Nook on Valdez Street, where some small, furnished homes are yours for $1,630. They’re not kidding about the micro part here either: The studios on offer are just 181 square feet, scraping the parameters of what can even be used as living space. Note that the photos used here are not all of the same unit. A $90 flat fee covers all of the utilities, but the space allows pets for nothing extra.
↑ In contrast to the previous listing, this place markets itself as a “luxury studio.” What’s the luxurious part? Well, it is in Montclair, and it shakes out to $1,600 for 500 square feet, which is starting to feel downright spacious compared to other offerings in the same price bracket. “Newly remodeled in forested and peaceful surroundings of the most desirable part of Piedmont Pines hills,” says the landlord. The wall to wall tile floor is a little dated, but at least it’s got a bathroom and a fireplace.
↑ And finally, the owners of this single-bedroom apartment in the Belle Vista neighborhood hope that history will entice renters. Coming in at $1,575, “[t]his completely remodeled apartment is located in a small historical landmark building near Lake Merritt,“ says the ad (without specifying which landmark.) “The unit has also been completely remodeled,” the ad adds, but it also points out the “crown moldings [and] antique lighting fixtures.” No pets. Alas.
Which rental would you choose?
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East Oakland House
Northgate Micro Studio
Belle Vista Apartment