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: $4,200.
Some listings really do want the best of both worlds. Here’s a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Nob Hill that tells prospective renters it’s in the “Russian Hill/Nob Hill” neighborhood (although it’s well south of Russian Hill), and that it’s both “beautifully remodeled” but also “in a well cared-for period building.” The ad pushes the remodel of the kitchen and bath, but is quick to assure renters that the 12-foot ceilings, period details, moldings, and trim are all intact, along with the “beautiful oak hardwood floors.” But there are a few things about this place that only go one way: no pets allowed and it costs $4,195 per month.
A conundrum: What’s the definition of a bargain these days? In Glen Park, this three-bedroom, one-bathroom, 1,300-square-foot house with a protruding brick garage previously cost $4,400 per month but now advertises a reduction down to $4,100. That’s still quite a lot of change every month, of course, so value is in the eye of the beholder—note that the cost covers just the main house as the garage is a separate deal. The specs include “two bedrooms down and loft style bedroom upstairs.” And although no dogs are allowed here, cats are okay.
Or maybe a good deal is a question of space? In Bayview, this competing single-family house is billed as an “extra large home with easy freeway access.” And extra large means four beds, three and a half baths, and a borderline overwhelming 2,200 square feet. That’s $4,195 per month for all of that space. “Tri-level lay out of this home is perfect for shared living,” the ad mentions—once upon a time Bayview homes like this were angled toward families, but times have changed, even if the carpets here still recall a latter age. No pets allowed—so much so that the property manager demands that renters fill out an entire extra screening form. Ruff.
When shelling out $4,200 per month, renters want to put a particular premium on the idea of location, in which case the honors go to Dolores Heights where they can find a home on Church Street. Rent is $4,200 per month for a one-bed, one-bath apartment with functioning fireplace, garden patio, recently refinished hardwood floors, and nearly 1,000 square feet of space. Also of note, the row of arched windows providing views of Dolores Park. No pets allowed.
Finally, there’s always consideration for style, like with this “darling single-family home” on the edge of West Portal, sporting two beds, one bath, parquet floors, French doors, granite counters, and the promise that pets are “negotiable” at this site. Currently the rent is negotiated to the tune of the full $4,200.
Which rental would you choose?
This poll is closed
Nob Hill Apartment
Glen Park House
Dolores Heights Apartment
West Portal House