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What $2,500 rents you in SF right now

Five new rentals, from Bayview to the Haight

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: $2,500.

This Oak Street apartment in the Haight is the “ultimate private large studio,” in the words of its most recent listing—which sounds encouraging, but it’s hard to parse quite what that means. On the other hand, it’s very evident what they mean when they promise “Victorian turret windows”—one of the signature joys of classic San Francisco architecture, and in this case they look right out onto the panhandle. That cranberry-colored carpeting looks a bit retro, but the ad promises that it’s new. No dogs are allowed here, but cats are okay, for anyone who can front $2,500 per month, that is.

This Hayes Valley studio on Fell Street looks like a tight fit, with the kitchenette just barely fitting in the corner on the other side of a protruding closet next to the entrance. But there’s just something about brick masonry that always charms and feels appropriate in the midst of this fire-engine red 1907 building. The landlord also promises rent control—at $2,495 per month in this case—and no limits or extra charges on pets.

There’s something oddly charming about this live/work warehouse space on Bayshore Boulevard. Aesthetically, it’s a bit of a mess. And the layout is mystifying. But the listing assures potential renters that it’s a “quiet space in a supportive community” for creative types, measuring 785 square feet (pretty sizable for a studio) with ceilings up to 14 feet. An ideal home for an artsy type, assuming they have $2,500 per month to put toward it. Unfortunately, the Bohemian spirit doesn’t go as far as allowing pets.

This Bayview listing offers an actual one-bedroom apartment. Note: the ad proposes using the living room as a second bedroom—shameless, but let’s not pretend it’s the only place to try it. But even with that one extra room, the entire home comes in at 400 square feet and runs $2,450 per month. The hardwood flooring is a nice touch. No word about pets.

Last up, this small studio on Sacramento Street is not only a Pac Heights pad but right next to Lafayette Park for maximum luxe locale. The apartment itself is more or less utilitarian—these images are for a “similar unit” rather than the one specified in the ad—and even the advertised private patio looks a bit claustrophobic in scale. But the lease includes pets, and it really is a great locale—for $2,500.


Which rental would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Haight Studio
    (121 votes)
  • 46%
    Hayes Valley Studio
    (227 votes)
  • 3%
    Islais Creek Live/Work
    (17 votes)
  • 5%
    Bayview Apartment
    (28 votes)
  • 19%
    Pac Heights Studio
    (97 votes)
490 votes total Vote Now