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.
↑ The carriage house: San Francisco’s original garage in-law apartment. In this case, a dijon mustard-colored Richmond house on 17th Avenue has a two-bed, one-bath unit tucked inside the onetime historic stables downstairs. It’s described in the ad as “charming carriage house unit w/ hardwood flooring throughout.” Note that the set up includes a “bonus room,” but that the kitchen lacks an oven, consisting only of a sink and wet bar; the landlord invites tenants to add a convection oven “at own expense.” Speaking of expenses, the monthly price of $2,795/month slides in a bit under the bar on this one, but we’re bumping it up for the sake of variety. Sadly, there are no pets allowed despite the fact that this place was once an actual barn. Go figure.
↑ Here’s an SF home with a very well developed sense of identity, although in an admittedly confused way. The headline for this Nob Hill studio reads: “Made in SF, not in Miami.” Which is good to know and certainly a selling point, but did anyone bring this up? Dubbed a “spacious SF original” in a Jones Street building dating to 1910—the landlord doesn’t specify square footage, so “spacious” may turn out to be in the eye of the beholder—the ad is full of slightly off-kilter declarations, such as “kitchen NOT confidential.” Anybody’s guess what that means, but at least this one decodes easily: “Avoid ridiculous rent increases with rent control.” The rent controlled price is up to $2,800/month, plus an extra $75/month if you’re bringing pets. By the way, they call that one the “tails of the city” policy—so sometimes the wordplay actually does play nice.
↑ Speaking of distinctive identities, this Potrero Hill home gives off deconstructed-tortoise shell vibes. And the interior apartment adopts a triangle motif owing to being the top-floor unit underneath a significantly peaked roof, a converted attic in a triplex on 23rd Street. Although the pointed vault makes the place look a little cramped in photos, the ad claims the space to measure 900 square feet, which actually makes it larger than most of the homes on this slate. It’s a one-bed, one-bath setup, and yours for $2,900/month. No word on pets.
↑ For a home that’s really experimenting with economies of scale, take this micro-studio in Hayes Valley, a stone’s throw from City Hall that’s 354 square feet from end to end. Of course, all of the buildings in this David Baker-designed building are around the 350-square-foot mark; it’s the kind of place with a “feng-shui compliant courtyard” and 1:1 bike parking for each unit but no parking at all for cars. The bullet-pointed Craigslist ad deems the place “brand new,” even though the building opened in early 2016. It’s $2,900/month, but no pets allowed even at this price point.
↑ And finally, it’s always a good idea to take a look around the Tenderloin. Here, a one-bed, one-bath apartment at 425 Hyde is $3,000/month in full, “including hardwood floors, bay windows, and crown molding.” The ad calls the place “newly renovated” (this is 2018, after all), “with granite counters, sleek cabinets and stainless steel appliances.” As is standard across the Tenderloin, the apartment allows pets, but it’s $50/month extra for feline accompaniment and $75/month for canine company. The dog days of summer are behind us, after all.
Which Rental Would You Choose?
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Richmond Carriage House
Nob Hill Studio
Potrero Hill Apartment
Hayes Valley Micro Studio