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What $4,200 rents you in San Francisco right now

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Five new homes, from Richmond to Dogpatch

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: $4,200.

↑ A little sleight of hand is not unexpected when advertising a home; in this case, the lead photo for this two-bed, one-bath apartment on Grove Street displays none other than San Francisco’s most famous Painted Ladies at Alamo Square. However, this apartment isn’t a part of any of those homes but rather sits in a completely gray Edwardian two blocks west in NoPa. Got to finesse people into clicking that link. Once past the leaden exterior the apartment is billed as a “beautiful, pet-friendly, top-floor Edwardian with hardwood wood floors throughout.” Note that the ad does say it’s a two-bedroom place but later on hedges by saying that this means there’s a loose room that “that can easily convert to a second bedroom.” The place is on offer for $4,095/month.

↑ Proximity is the name of the game with this Outer Richmond duplex on 46th Avenue, billed as being located “steps from the beach.” Hundred of SF homes are within a frisbee toss of Ocean Beach, of course, but at least this is truth in advertising. The electric blue facade of this house gives way to a more muted interior with some carpeting that’s in dire need of a refresh, inverting the outside-inside contrast of the competing NoPa home. On the bright side, it’s another pet-friendly house, and although the advertised backyard consists mostly of a drought-friendly brick overlay, there is indeed a lot of room to work in there. The whole thing is three beds and one bath for $4,200.

↑ Whereas here’s a building that really is a landmark in itself, even if it doesn’t seem to get the attention that it deserves: The Stanley Saitowitz-designed 20th Street building in Dogpatch, noted for its riffling surface that from one angle resembles a giant piece of farm equipment chopping grain to bits in its hungry maw. Just a month ago a two-bed, one-bath, 748-square-foot apartment in this building with its signature etched glass pocket doors and “center pod” floor plan, which sticks almost all of the home’s necessary machinery in one place, rented for $4,400, but now there’s been a slight dip down to $4,200, expanding the range of potential renters ever so slightly.

↑ The final two listings are running neck and neck on a lot of basic amenities: Both are single-bed, single-bath apartments, both are 750-775 square square feet, and both are priced almost exactly the same, with this South Beach unit at 88 Townsend running $4,190. Here the building faces the ballpark but the ad swears “this is not a cold city loft” and instead touts “stylish and Zen” decor “inspired for the Four Seasons Hotel.” The ad does neglect to say anything about pets, though, which is a bit cold and, sadly, very stylish with rentals these days, but you can’t win them all.

↑ Meanwhile here’s the other half, a similar proportioned apartment only slightly larger by 25 square feet and slightly more affordable at $4,100, located in the Marina and right on the very edge of the Presidio, trading immediate proximity to one bridge for another. Here the furnishings trend away from the earth tones and timber in favor of a more traditional and frosty white treatment. No word on pets here either, despite all of the open space just a block away.


Which Rental Would You Choose?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    NoPa Apartment
    (61 votes)
  • 8%
    Richmond Duplex
    (30 votes)
  • 35%
    Dogpatch Apartment
    (130 votes)
  • 10%
    South Beach Condo
    (38 votes)
  • 28%
    Marina Apartment
    (104 votes)
363 votes total Vote Now