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: $2,300.
If you think it’s hard figuring out housing in San Francisco, wait until an apartment ad drops a riddle like this: “I have finally found a way to live, just like I never could before,” declares this listing for a studio apartment in Lower Pac Heights. Which isn’t quite true; there are any number of homes in SF where one can pay $2,300 per month for 510 square feet of space. But it turns out these are lyrics to the 1969 song “Presence of the Lord” by the band Blind Faith (featuring Eric Clapton), presumably a reference to the soaring, Gothic St. Dominic’s Church across the street, which features prominently in the ad. The listing also promises “hardwood and tile flooring throughout” and “large open area main room with hardwood floor.” No word about pets.
Noe Valley doesn’t present any rock-’n’-roll mystery phrases or religious experiences, but instead a “recently renovated Euro-modern” in-law apartment near the foot of 24th Street. This pad comes with “modern Euro finishes,” new fireplace (not something most modern SF renovations bother with), and new kitchen and bath. The ad warns potential renters that the entrance is through the garage and that “ceilings are slightly lower than normal.” Notice the cork floor too, another addition that doesn’t manifest often. The space measures 450 square feet for $2,250 per month. Alas, no pets allowed.
The last of the three studios on the block can be found in the Tenderloin at 455 Eddy Street near the corner of Leavenworth. The ad promotes studios with a balcony, courtyard, 24/7 security. That last amenity is probably a smart addition, as city surveys show District Six residents are among the most worried about public safety. The advertised balcony is narrow, but with the floor-to-ceiling windows it looks convincingly like an extension of the studio itself, sans the dark-stained floors. It’s $2,295 per month, but renters who want parking must pay a borderline extortionate $350 extra. But at least the place doesn't charge anything extra for pets, who are allowed here.
Renters looking for more space—both in terms of usable square footage and vertical dimensions—can head to SoMa for a “top floor, two-level updated loft,” with features like walnut wood floors, extra-high ceilings, skylights, and wood-burning fireplace. It’s one bed plus one and a half baths, with the bed occupying the upstairs loft connected via spiral staircase. There’s also a balcony—or “outdoor terrace”—complete with French doors. The whole thing measures 760 square feet, costs the full $2,300 per month, and allows both cats and dogs.
The only two-bedroom apartment at this price means a trek south to the topmost tip of Crocker-Amazon, where another in-law parlays a two-bed, one-bath setup into $2,250 per month. This comes with the promise of “an open, updated kitchen with a gas stove, an updated bathroom, new laminated hardwood floors in both bedrooms, and fresh paint around the unit”—notice the fine distinction between “updated” and “remodeled” or “renovated,” which can be weasel words—but no pets allowed.
Which rental would you choose?
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Lower Pac Heights Studio
Noe Valley In-Law