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

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Five new rentals, from Bayview 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 another person’s townhouse? Today’s price: $1,500.

↑ Be warned: Even though it’s close to the median rent in the city, $1,500/month is not a lot of money by 2018 standards. That means that apartment hunting on this budget will require a few compromises. Take, for example. this one-bath micro studio at the edge of Polk Gulch, which, despite the monthly bill, comes out to only 300 square feet. And while this pad is indeed in Polk Gulch, it breaks neighborhood tradition by barring pets from the premises. “Recently remodeled with bull bath, kitchen and laminate flooring,” according to the ad, and the bathroom includes a pedestal sink if that’s your thing.

↑ Smack dab in the heart of the Tenderloin beats this freshly revamped one-bath studio for $1,500/month. The ad lauds its locations as being “close to Market,” which is true, as well as its recent renovation featuring newly laminated floors, new kitchen appliances, and an “updated” bathroom. (Judging by the picture, however, said bathroom update might have been done years ago.) One thing that’s not so sweet—the no-pets policy. Alas.

↑ This next apartment isn’t actually an apartment—it’s a boat in Bayview. Does that even count? Well, we’re counting it here, as the prospects of a “36-foot Cape George Cutter sailboat” for $1,400/month is enough for the average renter to consider these days. Marketed as a “proven live-aboard,” the ship-shape offering has a ShipMate wood-burning fireplace, an ice-making refrigerator, and sleeps up to five. But the ad does mention that it’s “best for people under 5’10.” It’s also described as one-bedroom and one-bathroom, and the lease allows dogs but not cats. (Note that the ad places the mooring in Bayview, but it’s possibly closer to Brisbane.)

↑ Renters who prefer to keep their land legs may consider this dorm-like sort of studio setup on Seventh Street for $1,495/month instead. The ad notes that this is an “amazing price for SoMa,” which is true enough, but once again it’s a no-bathroom deal, and the vague terms and persistent presence of bunk beds in all unit photos suggests that renters won’t be bunking here alone. At least the kitchenette is a bit bigger this time. No word about pets here, but the prospects don’t look good.

↑ Yes, people will do a lot to live in the city for $1,500/month, as we’ve learned. But in case you’re wondering whether there are still any actual non-studio apartments at this price, the answer turns out to be yes thanks to this Portola in-law advertised at 600 square feet with “new” bathroom and utilities covered. No pets here, but at the rate things are going in the city, it’s lucky there’s even rom for renters.


Which rental would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Polk Gulch micro-studio
    (114 votes)
  • 16%
    Tenderloin studio
    (44 votes)
  • 14%
    Bayview boat
    (39 votes)
  • 2%
    SoMa studio
    (7 votes)
  • 25%
    Portola in-law
    (68 votes)
272 votes total Vote Now