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What $3,900 rents in San Francisco right now

Five new rentals, from Lake Merced to Russian Hill

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: $3,900.

When SF homes all start to look alike (Victorians, Edwardians), it’s a relief to find something that breaks the mold, even in a potentially weird way. San Francisco lofts, for example, tend to favor the same converted industrial motifs in the same South of Market Street neighborhoods, so when something slightly odd like this “unique one bedroom plus loft” three-level townhouse in Pacific Heights pops up, it can’t help but generate a little intrigue. To be honest, the results seem like a mismatch, from the vaulted ceiling to the Spanish tile fireplace to the pulldown ladder to the second floor, but it’s homier than the standard loft space we see time and again. The deal is $3,850 per month for 925 square feet; no mention of pets.

On the other hand, renters who favor tradition might prefer this spacious two-bedroom apartment near Caltrain in South Beach, which uses tried-and-true elements like concrete ceilings, exposed waterworks, and stainless-steel backsplash in the kitchen. It doesn’t have the soaring ceilings most units in this building favor, but instead sports a decidedly lower z-axis and only one level. The apartment comes with two beds, two baths, and 900 square feet to the tune of $3,900; the building allows pets as long as they’re under 25 pounds.

Speaking of tradition, the biggest selling point for this Russian Hill apartment is its “traditional double parlor,” which is singled out in the headline. (The double-parlor layout was common in most Victorian houses; however, over the centuries, many remodels have turned the large room divided by pocket doors into two permanent spaces.) This ad notes that the middle parlor originally served as a dining room, also promising such Victoriana as “classical and original details including hardwood floors, high ceilings, and original decorative trims.” Though advertised as a two-bed, one-bath setup, the ad assumes potential renters want to turn half of the parlor space into a second bedroom. It costs $3,900 either way, and no word about pets.

For renters who care less about parsing the ins and outs of floor plans, check out this “elegant, classic” single-family home on 29th Avenue in the Outer Richmond. It features 1,500 square feet of space tucked behind its textbook Marina-style facade. It comes with two bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms, plus a sunroom that could potentially fit for a third bedroom, featuring “classic molding and detail throughout,” decorative fireplace flanked by built-ins, ]formal dining room, and French doors separating the living and dining spaces. No pets allowed. The terms: $3,800 per month.

Last of all, way down by the northern shore of Lake Merced a “beautiful house at very quiet neighborhood” is also $3,800 per month, with a similar setup of three beds, two and a half baths, and 1,400 square feet. The facade takes the usual Marina design and tosses out the rows of windows in favor of wider picture windows, one of which sports the most slender suggestion of a Juliet balcony right over the garage. This one is unfortunately also mum about pets.


Which rental would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Pac Heights Townhouse
    (19 votes)
  • 11%
    South Beach Loft
    (30 votes)
  • 32%
    Russian Hill Apartment
    (81 votes)
  • 34%
    Richmond House
    (87 votes)
  • 13%
    Lake Merced House
    (35 votes)
252 votes total Vote Now