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: $2,100.
Here’s a menagerie of attention-grabbing phrases for SF renters: “green trendy organic furnished studio for rent.” But it’s not happening in Mission Bay or the Shipyard or even SoMa. It’s in Polk Gulch at Bush and Van Ness inside a circa-1912 brick building. The ad warns that its photos are of a typical apartment in the building and not necessarily of the unit for rent. What’s more, you can tell this is 2019 in San Francisco, because even Polk Gulch—which is often still treated as an extension of the Tenderloin—is seeking $2,095 per month for a studio of this small size. The ad doesn’t mention pets.
According to the ad for this home in the Haight, this first-floor studio is located inside an early 1900s building originally built as a boarding house. But the building may actually be even older, since, like so many houses that predate the 1906 earthquake, the original records are likely lost. This bay window-shaped studio comes, now part of a duplex, sits in the Haight between Buena Vista Park and the edge of the panhandle. Speaking of which, the owners are panhandling for $2,050 per month. No pets allowed.
For the curious, the working definition of a junior one-bedroom apartment is “a studio with an alcove that can be used as a bedroom,” which is “generally slightly larger than a standard studio”—essentially, a studio with more thought put into its layout. This one-bed, one-bath junior apartment in the Outer Richmond, then, is technically an outlier, in that the bedroom, while minuscule, is indeed separated by a wall and a door all its own, making it arguably a full single-bed apartment, albeit one with little space in the bedroom for anything but a bed. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, but the $2,100 per month price tag is objective. The listing doesn’t mention pets.
Few two-bedroom apartments can be found in SF at this price. But tentative tenants can always turn south and slip over the county line to Daly City, where they can find a two-bed, two-bath, 600-square-foot in-law. Like a lot of listings, this one tries to pass itself off as being in Ingleside, but it’s not hard to spot the discrepancy. Still, a deal is a deal. No pets, though.
Finally, here’s a studio blocks from Union Square and near the Academy of Arts dorms. Although note that those blocks are in a westward direction and the building in question is in Lower Nob Hill. The 886 Sutter building dates to 1926 and sports “several cozy studio units,” including this one for $2,100 per month. While renters might hope that the adjacency to the Tenderloin would allow for pets, the ad doesn’t mention anything about furry friends.
Which rental would you choose?
This poll is closed
Polk Gulch studio
Outer Richmond junior one-bedroom
Daly City in-law
Lower Nob Hill studio