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What $2,900 rents you in San Francisco right now

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Five new rentals, from Liberty Hill to Chinatown—which “affordable” place would you call home?

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: $2,900.

↑ This “studio stunner“ advertised as being in Liberty Hill plaus it a little fast and loose, as the Fair Oaks address is technically down the block from the narrow area covered by the tech-saturated Liberty Hill Historic District. It’s also one of those studios also listed as a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment. Then again, Liberty Hill itself is kind of a cheat, being as it lacks a hill of any kind, so some creative liberty is part of the neighborhood lore. In any case, the long, railcar-like design, curving glass blocks, and pearly backsplash kitchen tile at least stand up for the “stunner” part of the designation. The deal is $2,775/month for 900 square feet; no pets allowed; and the ad promises “tri-level deck, marble counter-tops, custom cabinets, [and] an English garden, with laundry on-site.”

↑ Then again, what’s in a name? The Trinity Place development in Mid-Market off of Eighth Street consists of not three but four buildings (albeit one under construction), so perhaps it’s all relative these days. Here’s a one-bed, one-bath apartment for $2,900/month measuring 618 square feet. It comes with stone counters, hardwood-style plank, and ceramic tile flooring. Note that the photos provided are of a “typical unit” instead of the specific one on offer. Trinity Place also come with views of Lawrence Argent’s gigantic San Francisco Venus statue, which is mostly hidden from almost every other angle. But what’s really going to make renters swoon is that dogs are allowed.

↑ The oldest trick in the book for ad ambiguity in San Francisco is trying to turn the Tenderloin into “Lower Nob Hill.” Anything north of Geary is debatable, but the 1035 Sutter building seems like it can’t help but show true Tenderloin colors in its venerable facade. Here a studio is now $2,795/month. But on the bright side, the landlord wants renters to know that the space allows pets. Beautiful.

↑ This studio ad promises renters a “completely updated” home, which in this case means “grand entrance” (for the building, not the home, which at 410 square feet would have to settle for just “great” over grand for space limitations), a “wall-mounted Queen Murphy bed” in a “classic San Francisco building.” While the ad says this pretty pad is in Alamo Square, it’s actually closer to Lower Pac Heights. Here it’s $2,800/month and both cats and dogs allowed, with the additional rider of “small pets only.” Irish Wolfhound owners are again out in the cold.

↑ At least Chinatown is still reliable, and also appearing more often on Comparisons, a fact which may bode poorly for longtime residents worried that business interests have set their eyes on the neighborhood. The specimen in question here is a two-bed, one-bath apartment on Grant that’s trying to attract renters via its location, even noting that it’s “two blocks away from Chinatown’s famous Golden Gate Bakery, home of arguably the best egg tart in San Francisco.” To be a fly on the wall for that argument. It’s $2,850/month, and the ad doesn’t say anything about the pet policy.


Which Rental Would You Choose?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Liberty Hill Studio
    (49 votes)
  • 49%
    Trinity Place Apartment
    (187 votes)
  • 13%
    Chinatown Apartment
    (49 votes)
  • 16%
    Lower Pac Heights Studio
    (60 votes)
  • 8%
    Tenderloin Studio
    (30 votes)
375 votes total Vote Now