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: $5,700.
Let’s open with a sunny looking Victorian in the Mission at Harrison and 25th, which the city dates to 1900—a date which could mean virtually any time before 1906 thanks to earthquake damage to the city’s archives. Anyway, $2,895 is the price for the “recently remodeled” in-law unit—a two-bed and one-bath setup to the left of the front stairs. There’s no mention of the square footage, but the photos make it look like space is at a premium. The ad also doesn’t mention pets.
Speaking of tight-fitting apartments, here’s an apartment in Nob Hill on Bush Street just a couple blocks from Chinatown that’s working so hard at an efficient layout that the bathroom is practically sitting right in the middle of the living room. Also, the kitchenette is little bigger than a desktop, with a sink so narrow some renters will have trouble fitting both hands inside. It’s a full $2,800 despite the close quarters. Though it’s a studio, it does come with a couple of built-in advantages over the previous offering, namely a welcoming pet policy. It also comes furnished and near a cable car line.
The three-part formula for the pitch on this loft is “large loft, renovated building, right in the heart of the city.” In this case “large” means an 800-square-foot, one-bed, one-bath setup; and “right in the heart of the city” means the Tenderloin smack dab on Golden Gate Avenue, which could variously be described as the heart or as any number of other organs depending on who’s doing the anatomizing. The ad mentions a balcony, and the attached photos show that there is one, indeed, but it projects into an almost dystopian-looking space. This is the Lofts at Seven building that once held KGO-TV Channel Seven’s studios and still has the giant numeral on site. Speaking of numerals, this place is $2,800 pets included.
The only other two-bed home on offer today besides the Mission spot lands in the Outer Richmond in a self-proclaimed “great location” on 27th Avenue. It’s advertised as a “recently remodeled” apartment “including living room, one walkthrough bedroom or office with walk-in closet, one bedroom with closet , one full bathroom,” and no pets. The $2,900 covers the utilities and Wi-Fi as well—whether or not the stocked bar in the photos comes with the place remains to be seen.
And the final offering comes in the northernmost corner of Bernal Heights, closer to Cesar Chavez than to the park, where $2,900 nets a one-bed, one-bath apartment measuring approximately 550 square feet. It features a “recently remodeled kitchen,” a fireplace, an a banks of windows. Cats are okay.
Which rental would you choose?
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Nob Hill studio
Outer Richmond apartment
Bernal Heights apartment