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: $5,500.
No matter how long you’re renting in San Francisco, the phrase “large Victorian” rarely fails to draw attention and consumer envy, and this NoPa Vic, located on Turk Street, is right in the middle of one of SF’s trademark rows of Vic pics. From the outside the mint green scheme appears almost playful, but finding out that it saturates the interior unit is quite a surprise. “In 2014 [the] owner worked with a local designer to repaint the exterior of home using six beautiful colors, including some gold-leaf touches,” according to the ad. The ad also claims the “house was completely renovated in 1994, complete with earthquake retrofit, new wiring, [and] recessed lighting.” The three-bed, two-bath apartment here runs $5,500/month, with no dogs allowed but “cats negotiable.”
This competing apartment in the Mission offers not only an equitable degree of curbside beauty—this time in the form of a muted lavender paint job and Beaux-Arts trimmings—but also throws around one of the “R” words, in this case “remodel.” “This unit is completely remodeled and is a large six-room flat with three large bedrooms plus a small bedroom,” according to the ad. That’s four beds and one and a half baths, for anyone who lost track, spread across some 1,300 square feet. Note that like the NoPa home, the wedgewood-ish exterior color bleeds into the interiors here, but with a more appealing result. It’s $5,500/month, and cats permitted.
Very rarely does a home listing in Sherwood Forest cross the path of would-be renters, mainly because it’s San Francisco’s smallest and most obscure neighborhood (with the possible exception of Little Hollywood). Other than its slightly oddball name—this house sits right on Robinhood Drive itself, but why precisely the man from Loxley has both a street and a neighborhood named for him in SF remains as elusive as the outlaw himself—the only thing Sherwood is famous for is an anecdote about the time Herb Caen couldn’t manage to find it. Famous obscurity must not have driven down demand; the rent here runs up to $5,400/month, although in this case that nets a 2,000 square foot house packed with four beds, two and a half baths, distinctly retro interiors, and cat and dog permission.
If all the talk of forestland and outlawry puts some renters in the mood for a rural vibe without leaving the city, here’s a three-story house in Sunnyside, a “one-of-a-kind house,” albeit one that repeats the previous offering’s refrain of four beds and two and a half baths, this time for $5,500/month but stacking up 2,600 square feet to fill. “Redwood accents,” “two fireplaces,” “spectacular skylight,” “inlaid hardwood floors,” and “high cathedral ceilings with exposed beams” complete the package, but the ad does not mention whether pets are allowed sanctuary beneath that cathedral peak.
The final apartment offering brings “prestigious Nob Hill stunning old charm,” which is not quite a sentence but is nevertheless a distinct feeling. Although this Powell Street building is mired in history, as it borders Chinatown and is just a hop from both the Fairmont Hotel, the Flood Mansion, and Grace Cathedral, the city dates the place to just 1978—perhaps that’s what the “old charm but modern” mentioned in the ad means. It’s a two-bed, two-bath apartment for $5,500/month with limestone, pronounced beam ceiling, “lavish lobby with amazing period charm and a doorman,” “remodeled yet filled with period charm,” and “old San Francisco charm”—you get the feeling they’re really banking on the charm element for this one. “Small dog or cat considered” with extra deposit.
Which rental would you choose?
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Sherwood Forest house
Nob Hill apartment