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? Today’s price: $3,400.
As always, the qualities of a bargain remain relative. This one-bed, one-bath condo at 88 Towensend in South Beach is $3,400 per month, which makes it a touch more than the median for the city and more than three times the U.S. median. But by 88 Townsend standards, it’s still a deal, as the last time a single-bed home came up in this onetime warehouse building in March, the price ran over $4,000. Of course, there is a small catch in that the home for offer here is a junior one-bed, advertising “high ceilings, granite kitchen countertops, brushed stainless steel appliances, and lots of light” but not any deal for pets.
Dollars asked have come down a bit over at the still-new Windsor in the Dogpatch building on Third Street. Despite having the word “Dogpatch” in the name, those leasing these freshly made condos are still trying to to pass it off as part of another neighborhood. In January, a one-bed, one-bath unit here cost over $3,600 and claimed to be in Bayview, whereas now such a condo is $3,400/month and the listing says Potrero Hill. Dogpatch won the Curbed Cup in 2017, so why would a new building want to be anywhere else? This is another junior one-bed, advertised as perfect for “an ambitious professional or an innovative artist”—one of those might be able to afford a lease like this, let’s see if we can guess which one. Perhaps in the spirit of its Dogpatch moniker, the building allows both cats and dogs.
Renters who prefer to go out with the new and in with the old may consider this charming Victorian on Utah Street—right on the western edge of Potrero Hill, but here advertised as a Mission District home. (Is nothing sacred?) The ad lists the Vic as a circa-1900 home but of course, it may be older than that, as pre-1906 houses are often recorded as 1900 for lack of records (destroyed in the great earthquake’s fire) establishing them as any older. But the one-bed, one-bath garden flat advertised here for $3,295/month is actually “all new itself,” with “new hardwood” throughout 760 square feet and “open design kitchen/living area with 8-foot sliding doors open onto large landscaped garden with fruit trees and brick patio,” plus pets.
Neighborhood ambiguity continues with the only home on the slate to offer more than a single-bed package, in this case a two-bed, one-bath house on Brussels sweet with a neatly brick-clad ground floor and 838 square feet for $3,395/month. The ad says Portola but this is, in fact, further south in Visitacion Valley, with backyard, one-car garage, and “original hardwood floors with character throughout,” just a couple of blocks from a T-Third Street stop. “Small dog considered with additional deposit,” but no cats.
At least this brick-red building on Bush knows where it really is: Lower Nob Hill, where a one-bed, one-bath apartment is $3,400/month and the leasing agent is nice enough to remind everyone that it’s rent controlled. Whether that means the extra $40/month for pet rent is controlled as well isn’t clear. And, frankly, neither is what the advertised “British inflection design” quite means, but maybe the tour will reveal all. And yes, the washing machine is in the kitchen.
Which rental would you choose?
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South Beach condo
Potrero Hill flat
Visitacion Valley house
Lower Nob Hill apartment