Many people feel like San Francisco’s rental market has backed them into a corner, but one of the city’s strangest room-for-rent ads this week explores those terms in a very literal manner.
The listing, featured on SFGate, is for a 30-foot corner of a room at 128 Valparaiso in Russian Hill, separated by curtains and just big enough for a bed, desk, and bookshelves. The potential roommate (that term employed more literally here than in most other contexts) would pay $850 per month.
The Craigslist ad for the small patch of room calls it merely a “private space”—since no amount of fudging could possibly classify this as a room—and promises that, while the space isn’t big, at least the prospective tenant will have privacy.
But that’s not the entire story: The same listing on Trulia reveals that this is a price cut; previously, it listed at $950 per month in October when the ad first appeared.
This is also not the only listing available in the property, as 126 Valparaiso, featuring an almost identical two-bed, one-bath setup, is vacant and asking $3,000 per month.
Note the YouTube sales video that puts a couch and TV in the kitchen to create the impression of a living room.
The building dates to 1907 and features six units altogether, none of the others presently for rent. Last time this building sold was in 1990 for just $540,000—just a little over $1 million in 2019 currency.
Although the $850 rate for the barest slip of space is disheartening, it’s no secret that San Francisco renters have long resorted to doubling or more than doubling up in bedrooms, or taking such steps as converting living rooms into semi-bedrooms-anything to cover the high cost of renting.
Right now Craigslist also features offerings like half of an Outer Richmond bedroom for $450, a 95 foot basement room with no kitchen for $950 in Portola, and a $360 bedroom apartment in Noe Valley that’s available only four days a week.
And, at the very least, this small slice of space is cheaper than renting a bunkbed.