Any renter who spends more than five minutes on Craigslist knows to look askance at the neighborhood designations on listings, which landlords and property mangers will regularly cheat in one direction or another to claim residency in a more marketable nearby neighborhood—or at least, what they think of as more marketable. Case in point, this “beautiful three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment” double bills itself as being in both Portola and Silver Terrace. But the truth is the Palou and Third Street address is unambiguously in Bayview. The Assessor’s Office reports this building dates to 1905, but the almost shockingly neutral-toned interiors are extremely 2019. So is the price at $3,700 per month; renters are permitted both cats and dogs for pets.
Here’s another double cheat, a “newly remodeled three-bed, two-bath house” that’s listed as being both the Mission and Mission Terrace. But the reality is downright scandalous: this is a house in South San Francisco. In fact, the closest it gets to SF itself is sitting just south of the California Golf Club of San Francisco. Trying to pass off south city as the Mission (and for $3,600 per month at that) is the height of chutzpah. But since times are tough and rents are lower down south, the occasional San Mateo County listing sneaks onto Comparisons. Also, this is a nice piece of work with its Spanish-revival facade, although be warned that “only upper floor is for rent,” making this a flat ad rather than a house as advertised—geez, you can’t trust anybody these days.
At least everything is at it seems in Hayes Valley, where the brick facade of this circa-1907 building on Fell Street gives way to the very same bricks for the interior in the “trendy one-bedroom,” one bath apartment offered for $3,695 per month. This fourth floor apartment includes “renovated kitchen,” “new appliances,” “large windows,” “refinished hardwood floors,” and “spa-like bathroom” among its hooks for renters. The place is also rent-controlled, which is perhaps the most beautiful amenity of all. Pets are A-OK here too.
It wasn’t that long ago that the suggestion of being “centrally located in SoMa” would have sounded non-sequitur or even preposterous, but times have changed. The historic Lighthouse Lofts, which date to 1924 and were converted to condos in 1998, are now billed as an opportunity to “experience a true loft” on Howard Street. The listing boasts that “no two homes have identical floor plans” in the building, and this one sports “17-foot vaulted concrete ceilings, huge industrial windows, [and] a large skylight,” along with an equally vaulting $3,700 per month asking price. It’s one bedroom, one bathroom, and more than 1,050 square feet. The place allows dogs, but cat owners are out of luck.
Finally, we have a “comfortable two-bedroom, one-bathroom penthouse with parking” in the Outer Richmond next to the southeastern corner of Lands End Park. Note that in this parlance “penthouse” just means it’s at the top of a three-story building, with a small brick fireplace and ocean-blue carpets and tiles. The parking space advertised up top is a single spot in the garage. It’s $3,700 per month, but no pets.
Which rental would you choose?
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South SF Flat
Hayes Valley Apartment