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What $1,500 rents you in San Francisco right now

Five new rentals, from the Outer Mission to the Tenderloin

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: $1,500.

↑ Although it’s nearly double the median rent in the United States, $1,500 is not a lot of money when hunting for a new market-rate lease in San Francisco. As such, pickings get slim—quite literally slim in the case of this in-law in the Outer Sunset, a one-bath studio at 20th Avenue which, according to the ad, is a mere 175 square feet—possibly the smallest home ever to appear on Comparisons on the basis of square footage. The ad itself is brief, consisting entirely of one sentence: “New Ground Floor Studio close to UCSF and SFSU for rent with washer and dryer.” But with a micro-unit this micro, what else is there to say?

↑ This Tenderloin studio doesn’t advertise the specific square footage, so it’s hard to tell whether or not it features a wider berth than its Sunset competitor despite also being dubbed a “micro unit.” Note that this studio, located in a circa-1907 building at 1008 Larkin, is actually not quite a full studio, as the tenant must share a bathroom, but the price is still $1,500/month. The management plays up the building’s proximity to neighborhood dining spots, but probably the bigger attraction is that the lease allows pets.

↑ Here at least there’s a little room to expand in this “cute studio” in Potrero Hill, which rents 300 square feet for $1,450/month. Be it ever so humble, it’s downright roomy compared to other offers at a similar price, although those support beams in the middle of the room look a bit obtrusive. The big catch, though, is that although this one comes with its own bathroom there’s no kitchen included, excepting the possibility of jerry-rigging a “hot plate kitchen” of one’s own. Everyone’s doing their best to make ends meet these days. The rent covers most of the utilities, but the place doesn’t allow pets.

↑ Comparatively speaking, this apartment in the Mission looks too good to be true. For one thing, it’s a full one-bed, one-bath apartment. For another, it’s right on Natoma Street a couple blocks north of 16th and Mission. “Completely independent, top floor in a classic three story building” as the landlord puts it, and the rent even covers the utilities already. For $1,500/month this qualifies as a neighborhood steal, but the catch is that it’s presently advertised as a short-term rental for the summer, and there’s no word about pets. You really can’t win them all in this town.

↑ Finally, here’s a studio in the Outer Mission, another one-bath in-law unit on Farragut Avenue for $1,500/month. Although it’s not particularly remarkable, it’s at least a full apartment with minimum room count and enough space to turn around, the utilities are covered, the unit shares the backyard and patio, and it’s a full-time place. This one is also characteristically mum about whether it allows dogs or cats though.


Which rental would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Outer Sunset in-law
    (102 votes)
  • 5%
    Tenderloin studio
    (23 votes)
  • 12%
    Potrero Hill studio
    (50 votes)
  • 26%
    Mission apartment
    (111 votes)
  • 30%
    Outer Mission studio
    (128 votes)
414 votes total Vote Now