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: $2,100.
In Cow Hollow, at the end of Union Street where it runs headlong into the Presidio, a “cozy, ground-floor, light-filled studio” seeks $2,100 per month. No word on precisely how “cozy” (i.e., small) the space is, although the photos show that at least it’s not one of those places where the bed butts into the kitchenette. “Main room looks out onto a large private terrace and garden” which comes stocked with a pagoda fountain and otherwise drought-friendly rock arrangements. The dark hardwood floors are nice too, but unfortunately there are no pets allowed despite the fact that the Presidio is right across the street.
In Nob Hill, “cozy” evidently means a “700-square-foot duplex/triplex.” There’s no particular guidance provided on which of those two options the building turns out to be, but in either case, it’s the same one-bed, one-bath apartment and the same $2,095 per month asking price. "It’s bright and airy interior has hardwood and tile flooring all throughout; recessed/track lightings, and large slider windows with blinds,” the ad touts, along with the quartz counters and “dark stained wooden cabinetry.” Strangely, the listing also assures potential renters that it features a flush toilet—which is certainly good to know, but not something that usually requires such specificity. The apartment can come furnished but the landlord offers to haul everything away for those who aren’t packing light; parking is an extra $200 per month, but no additional fee for pets.
”Cozy” strikes again in Lower Nob Hill at the scene of the Dashiell Hammett building on Dashiell Hammett Street. A fair number of San Francisco buildings brag about the famed pulp writer’s onetime residency there, but this one takes the most prominent spot simply because it has the advantage of his name on its signage. Here a “cozy hillside studio” is $2,000 per month—a price that’s stubbornly unchanged year over year—for which renters net a “third floor, walk-up, corner unit” with hardwood floors and clawfoot tub, which also appears to still be the same home the building was trying to let out in 2018. Maybe a building with classical pedigree can afford the luxury of patience?
This ad for a studio in the Mission deems the El Capistrano building on 25th Street (not to be confused with the San Juan Capistrano Mission, of course) the “the best apartments in the Mission” with “the finest in old world charm and quality with a classic Spanish-style lobby” for $2,100 per month. The city dates the six-story, 55-unit building to 1932. And this second-story setup advertises “hardwood floors, mahogany trim, French doors, large windows, built-in cabinets, and an updated kitchen.” The listing also claims “this unit rents itself,” which would indeed be quite an amenity for property managers if interpreted literally. Probably more appealing than anything else is the fact that the building allows cats.
Finally, the Inner Sunset provides a one-bed, one-bath in-law apartment on 20th Avenue for $2,100 per month. It’s another 600 square feet, not including the sunny, SoCal-ish yard. “Fully refurbished with new paint, carpet and kitchen,” and note that the kitchenette is a mess in the photos on account of “the quartz countertops will be installed this coming week.” No pets, though.
Which rental would you choose?
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Cow Hollow Studio
Nob Hill Duplex
Lower Nob Hill Studio