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What $5,400 rents in SF right now

Five new rentals, from Bernal Heights to the East Cut

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: $5,400.

This ad for a unit in SoMa promises a large three-bedroom, two-bathroom, industrial style apartment. Which is true. It also promises “a newly constructed five-story building.” Which isn’t exactly right. The Lantern Lofts building, located on Folsom Street, dates to 2005, which is nearly 15 years old. Still, the appeal of large windows, high ceilings, private balconies, a deck “overlooking a quiet tree-lined street” are as timeless as ever—as is the addition of dogs and cats in the building. But only if you’ve got $5,195 per month for this go-round.

For a similar perspective trip, consider this “designer loft” in the Mission on Harrison Street with two beds and one and a half baths for $5,400 per month. (A ”designer loft” being a phrase that invoked different ideas in 2001 when this building was new, versus the types of buildings that throw such terminology around willy-nilly today.) The copy for this ad could use updating too as it references eateries like Blowfish Sushi, which closed this year. In any case, the place still sports an “open living area with a balcony” and “exclusive-roof deck with city and mountain views,” plus dogs are permitted “on an individual basis.” No individual consideration for cats, sadly.

The Infinity Building in the East Cut is not so new as it used to be, either. Completed in 2008, it still seems ahead of its time considering everything that’s happened with high-end luxury condos in the neighborhood as of late. High-end in this case means $5,399 per month for a two-bed, two-bath condo with 1,167 square feet, featuring “Studio Becker cabinetry, hardwood floors, Bosch and Thermador appliances, and custom lighting.” Speaking of new construction, note the new views of the spiraling Mira building next door. The ad doesn’t mention pets.

Not nearly enough attention is paid to how well blue exteriors compliment classic San Francisco architecture. Take, for example, this specimen in Bernal Heights, which offers a remodeled Edwardian flat for $5,375 per month. In addition to its cobalt blue facade, the home comes with three beds, two and a half baths, an open floor plan, tall ceilings, and hardwood floors. The city dates the original house to 1900—which could in theory mean almost anytime before 1906—while the permits for the recent work come from 2018. Cats and dogs are both okay.

Finally, this slightly squat Edwardian house in the Richmond sits between two tall neighbors, sporting two bedrooms, two baths, and a $5,300 per month. It also comes with 1,500 square feet of space., a two-car garage, remodeled chef’s kitchen, dining room, and deck. The ad does not say whether or not renters may keep pets.


Which rental would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    SoMa loft
    (42 votes)
  • 3%
    Mission loft
    (15 votes)
  • 11%
    East Cut condo
    (42 votes)
  • 34%
    Bernal Heights flat
    (130 votes)
  • 39%
    Richmond house
    (149 votes)
378 votes total Vote Now