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What $4,200 rents in San Francisco right now

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Five new rentals, from Nob Hill to the Sunset

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.

The sales pitch for this one-bed, one-bath apartment is “prime Pacific Heights,” perched in a classy building with a knockout lobby—what’s not to love about that wood panel ceiling?—and views to spare. The apartment itself is modest by comparison, though the fireplace (which, sadly, is only decorative) adds a little bit of the building’s style to the unit, as does the period bathroom tile. Note that although the rent is a primo $4,200 per month, this is merely a junior one-bedroom home. The lease says no pets allowed—living the Pac Heights life means making sacrifices.

Once upon a time the ritziest neighborhood in San Francisco was not Pac Heights but Nob Hill—which is still no slouch. Although most Nob Hill apartments sit up in towering hillside apartment buildings, this flat on John Street resides in a modest, almost quaint-looking two-story building near the line where the neighborhood borders into Chinatown. It’s a three-bed, one-bath place—a very, very narrow bathroom, judging from the photos provided—including another purely decorative fireplace, built-ins, and new tile throughout. It runs $4,150 per month, but no pets allowed at this property, either.

Only one single-family house makes the cut at this price point, a two-bedroom, one-bath affair between Forest Hill and Golden Gate Heights, roughly a couple of blocks east of Golden Gate Heights Park. It’s $4,150 per month, which nets renters “parquet hardwood floors,” “decorative fireplace” (a lot of that going around it seems), formal dining room, and “classic retro kitchen.” What you don’t get is animal companionship, as the prevailing no-pets trend continues here. Will pet-loving renters ever catch a break?

Well, here’s one bright spot in the form of one of those always-pleasing Liberty Hill Victorians around the corner from Dolores Park. Here you will find a “spacious condo” (measuring approximately 750 square feet\) at $4,095 per month, which specifically advertises its love of cats. (Alas, dog owners are still out in the rain on this one.) The 49 Liberty house dates to 1880 and comes with “beautiful period details” (no details on what those en), “wide bay windows,” “formal living room” with built-ins, and a newly redesigned kitchen with granite counters, plus a balcony overlooking the front yard and another sizable yard out back. The unit comes with one bedroom and one bathroom.

Finally, this apartment in the Castro comes furnished and is marketed towards short-term renters, but still gives us some insight into what leases in the neighborhood look like these days. It’s $4,200 per month for two beds, one bath, and an impressive 1,200 square feet in an Edwardian duplex with patio and garden included. The ad does not mention whether or not pets are allowed.


Which rental would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Pac Heights apartment
    (41 votes)
  • 11%
    Nob Hill flat
    (34 votes)
  • 16%
    Golden Gate Heights house
    (48 votes)
  • 36%
    Liberty Hill condo
    (109 votes)
  • 22%
    Castro apartment
    (68 votes)
300 votes total Vote Now