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What $3,000 rents you in San Francisco right now

Five new rentals, from Nob Hill to the Haight

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: $3,000.

↑ It’s no secret: The Clocktower Building on Second Street is a longtime favorite on Comparisons, and you can keep time by the regularity of demand for its condos, which in the past have listed for nearly $8,000/month. Comparatively speaking, $3,000/month for a 500-square-foot studio in the classic building is as close to a bargain as the neighborhood is likely to offer in the near future. However, truth be known, the clock is running a little bit behind on this home judging from the photos, with that post obstructing the unflattering kitchen and the loft space squeezed into the corner. Still, a deal’s a deal to some renters; no word on pets.

↑ On the other hand, the Nema building in the middle of Mid-Market is still so new that this is its first Comparisons appearance, packing a slightly smaller deal than the old Clocktower but offering the trendiness of new construction. It’s $2,995/month for a mere 475-square-foot studio, but the building pours on the amenities to try to make up the difference, including “business lounge and club solarium, [...] 7,000-square-foot leading-edge fitness center, a heated, outdoor saline pool, and three expansive landscaped terraces.” Bigger offer: cats and dogs both get VIP (very important pet) admission.

↑ Here’s a home for close to the same price that’s banking on laying on the charm. This one-bed, one-bat, top-floor apartment in a circa-1912 Edwardian on Page Street in the Upper Haight looks pretty and is positively glowing on the inside with “four-way bay windows” and some unspecified “Edwardian details.” The Gothic arch in the fireplace—which, notably, is not non-functional, like so many whitewashed decorative edifices in many old SF apartments—even has a classy air to it. The whole thing is $3,000/month, but not only are not pets allowed but the ad even spells it out: “not negotiable—NEVER going to happen.” Doggone it.

↑ A competing one-bed, one-bath apartment in Nob Hill on California Street hopes to entice renters with the promise of its “huge” proportions. Although the ad doesn’t specify any measurements, it does promise “three great big closet space[s], not including built-in dresser and hallway built-in drawers,” so at least there’s that much room to go around. The landlord indicates “San Francisco charm” in the circa-1911 building, which it does indeed deliver via the slightly dated but still rather fetching paneling. Still no pets allowed though—a sadly contemporary touch—and the deal is $2,950/month.

↑ Finally, this attic studio in the Inner Richmond (around the Balboa Hollow area) looks like a micro-home based on the photos and the trapezoid ceiling, but advertises itself at 600 square feet. Of course, it’s also one of those rental listings that claims to be both a studio and a one-bed, one-bath apartment. Perhaps this is a mystery that can only be solved in-person at the open house. In any case, taking a page from the Nema handbook, the upstairs apartment comes with “access to [...] kitchen, TV room, glass atrium, living room with pool table, downstairs bathroom, sunny deck, and backyard” in the downstairs, which is actually quite a looker. It’s $3,000/month, and while the ad doesn’t mention pets, there’s already a “lab-Samoyed mix rescue dog” on the premises. Aw.


Which rental would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Clocktower loft
    (21 votes)
  • 24%
    Nema studio
    (117 votes)
  • 59%
    Upper Haight apartment
    (286 votes)
  • 9%
    Nob Hill apartment
    (45 votes)
  • 2%
    Richmond attic studio
    (12 votes)
481 votes total Vote Now