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What $3,000 rents you in SF right now

Five new rentals, from Dogpatch to Bernal Heights

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: $3,000.

Nothing makes the heart grow fonder quite like a price break. In June, this charming one-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage in Laurel Heights was $3,150 per month. But the price has since dropped to an even $3,000—still an arm and a leg for 645 square feet, but now there will be a little money left over for crutches. The 20-foot ceilings, skylights, antique claw-foot tub, upstairs loft, and backyard are still here, along with the leasing agent’s note that “this hidden gem was once a horse stable.” Still no pets allowed, though—change can only do so much.

There are no horse stables in Dogpatch, but the O&M building on Indiana Street lets pets through the door at this fourth-floor studio. The leasing agent deems the place “cozy,” and renters know that means small; in this case, the entire unit measures 321 square feet. (Alas, no interior pics to see just how cozy it is.) The ad promises a “very functional open layout, large east-facing windows that fill the space with natural light, hardwood floors throughout, and high-end appliances.” The listing goes on to describe the interior palette in rather mystifying “warm gray” terms. The deal via Craigslist is $2,995 per month, but the O&M site lists the same unit as low as $2,820—a price break wherever you can find it in this city.

No breaks to be found in Bernal Heights, where $3,000 per month nets you the ground floor of a duplex near Precita Park. Per the ad, “home was originally build in 1870 and has since been renovated/updated”—one would hope, given the seismic standards in the 19th century. The place splits the backyard with the upstairs, but the deck in the back is exclusive to this unit. It’s one bed and one bath, mum about pets.

Renters longing for more room than the somewhat snug aforementioned listings should consider a move to Visitacion Valley, where the same $3,000-per-month sum is good for a full three-bed, two-bath, single-family house and 1,200 square feet on Campbell Avenue. “Backyard, hardwood floors, updated kitchen w/stainless steel appliances” are all included—no word on precisely when that update happened—along with an attached garage. Despite the advertised roominess, it’s not clear if pets can fit into the plan too.

This final house is a real deal. But like with most bargains, it comes with a catch—namely, it’s not actually a house in San Francisco, but rather sits just over the line in Daly City. The two-bed, one-bath home was built in 1954 and still looks the part via vintage wallpaper and parquet flooring, plus the vibrant yellow color scheme throughout the kitchen and bathroom. Another catch? No pets allowed. Still, it’s a charmer, even at $3,000 per month.


Which rental would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Laurel Heights cottage
    (66 votes)
  • 7%
    Dogpatch studio
    (20 votes)
  • 40%
    Bernal Heights duplex
    (101 votes)
  • 13%
    Visitacion Valley house
    (35 votes)
  • 11%
    Daly City house
    (30 votes)
252 votes total Vote Now