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What $2,000 rents you in San Francisco right now

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 is another person’s townhouse? Today’s price: $2,000.

Via Craigslist

San Francisco pulp writer Dashiell Hammett’s name hangs on this Lower Nob Hill building where he once lived. Several buildings in the city market themselves on his onetime tenancy, but this one, which also sits on Dashiell Hammet Street, is the only specimen that went through the trouble to christen itself with the scribe’s name. So that’s neat but renters aren’t paying just for history. The studio here advertises itself as a “third floor, walk-up, corner unit” with “wood floors” and “claw foot tub.” Rent is $2,000 per month—a significant increase from Hammett’s day but flat year-over-year—and allows cats but not dogs.

Speaking of history, this Inner Richmond Victorian bills itself as dating to 1890. (City records say 1900, but that’s what they say about most homes whose original records were lost in the 1906 earthquake and fire.) You might hope they’d make it a theme and goes with $1,890 for the rent, but, in fact, it’s $1,900 per month—guess the synchronicity wasn’t worth giving up that extra ten bucks. The unit here is a junior one bedroom (the house includes one other, much larger unit) that’s marketed as “recently remodeled”, an effort that seems to have focused mostly on the kitchen, as the photos emphasize this space but little else about the home. No pets allowed, sadly.

Furnished apartments are something of an albatross—most renters come with possessions of their own. If a place comes filled with furnishings, that’s hardly welcome news for some. Still, this one-bed, one-bath FiDi apartment on Battery Street tries to turn it into a positive by advertising the space as “exquisitely furnished,” so maybe prospective tenants will like the look of some of the fixings. Note the vessel sink and motivational messaging added to the walls of the bedroom. It’s $2,000 per month. And in a refreshing development for the neighborhood, the unit does allow pets.

No doubt about it, this Noe Valley apartment is cheating. It’s not really a proper apartment at all; the offer here is for the “entire separate upstairs” of a circa-1908 Victorian on Noe Street, which the landlord attempts to present as the equivalent of a real apartment. However, the ads does admit that it’s “not a studio or a flat, but rather a separate living space (two rooms plus bath) in a private home.” In no way is this a separate unit— technically or legally—so this one shouldn’t even really count. But times are hard in the SF rental market, so a little fudging will happen now and then. Rent is $2,000. The handsome navy-blue facade and claw tub certainly don’t hurt the unusual package.

Finally, this apartment on 24th Avenue in the Sunset is marked as a “spacious studio a block from Golden Gate Park,” although there’s no estimate on precisely how spacious that may be. “Lots of storage space, hallway, new appliances, cabinets, tile floors, marble counters, clean and cozy,” but no pets allowed. Note that the tile floors comprise the entire unit, a curiosity usually reserved for in-laws in this neighborhood. At $1,950 per month it’s the least expensive offering on the block—like we said, hard times.


Which rental would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    Lower Nob Hill Studio
    (80 votes)
  • 36%
    Richmond Jr One Bedroom
    (108 votes)
  • 27%
    FiDi Apartment
    (81 votes)
  • 4%
    Noe Valley "Apartment"
    (14 votes)
  • 4%
    Sunset Studio
    (12 votes)
295 votes total Vote Now