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: $5,600.
Now and then a rental ad comes along that makes you scratch your head, like in the case of this Outer Richmond listing for a “brand new luxurious condo.” There’s certainly nothing wrong with the apartment itself—three beds, three baths, spacious at over 1,650 feet, and s contemporary design. The mystery here are the standards that the listing employs to lure in renters, such as the rhetorical query, “Are you tired of commuting to work?”—people may well be, but a move to the Richmond isn’t going to help that. Similarly, while the ad suggests this is ideal for a student-roommate setup, few student households can float the $5,595 asking price, even cut three ways. No pets allowed.
On the other hand, sometimes a home knows exactly who it wants and lines up the shot pretty admirably. While other listings tempt the tech set with proximity to shuttle lines or companies’ headquarters, this East Cut loft cuts out the middleman entirely and invites techies to go into business right in the apartment. “Starting a company? You’ve found your way to the perfect live/workspace,” the listing suggests, adding that it’s better than working out of a garage like the startups of old. Of course, those garages were cheap, while this pad runs $5,500 per month—but that’s what the angel investments are for apparently. It comes with two beds, two baths, and nearly 1,700 square feet. And yes, it allows pets—a startup has got to have perks after all.
Over on the west side of the Mission, a more traditional sales pitch comes in the form of a “tri-level loft with private roof deck” on Hampshire Street. The two-bed, two-bath, 1,850-square-foot setup features narrow columns of windows at the front and rear, with the back set sliding up into the bedroom space for a little direct natural light. The sloped ceiling prevents any larger banks of windows on the other side, but there’s a skylight to make up a bit of the difference. Pets are a go here, along with garage parking and roof deck. It costs $5,500 per month.
In Bernal Heights, renters can consider an “artfully remodeled house” near Holly Park—also for $5,500 per month—with two stories, 2,000 square feet, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a slightly vintage but still appealing sense of style. Notice that nearly every room is painted a different color—ranging from buttery yellow to mellow orange to crimson—a latter-day decorating fad that might be due for a comeback after years of omnipresent white interiors. Note that one of the bedrooms is a sunroom gussied up with a foldout couch, and also features a borderline intrusive brick fireplace. Pets are okay here, too.
Last of all, in the Marina, right on the edge of the Presidio, there’s a “large, newly remodeled two-bed, two-bath apartment” on Baker Street that’s angling for $5,600 per month. Per the ad, this place is “completely remodeled top to bottom with hardwood floors throughout.” The building dates to 1961, and the most recent building permits from 2016 do indeed show quite a bit of renovation work, although it was mostly for seismic upgrades rather than an aesthetic remodeling. No pets, though.
Which rental would you choose?
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East Cut Loft
Bernal Heights House