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What $2,700 rents you in SF right now

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Five new rentals, from China Basin to the Mission

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: $2,700.

This one-bed, one-bath China Basin condo proposes that renters will “feel like you’re living in a hip and stylish hotel”—an interesting bid, since most people probably find hotels too impersonal to want to live in one. But at the same time, that kind of glossy appeal will surely seem attractive to someone? The ad also boasts about an “exceptional magazine-quality bathroom,” quite possibly the first time anyone has composed that particular phrase in the history of the language. It’s $2,700 per month. No mention about pets—although surely a truly upscale hotel experience wouldn’t include such crucial companionship?

This Nob Hill building promotes a “must-see studio with floor to ceiling windows”—which is indeed true, as you can see at a glance. But this being an older building (1929), they’re not the omnipresent walls of glass as seen in newer condos but instead the same sort of paneled, multi-pane windows common in warehouse conversions, one of the “beautiful vintage details” promised. Something about that arched entryway to the kitchen gives one pause—it’s reminiscent of an antique keyhole, but are the very narrow shoulders a whimsical touch or does the whole thing feel claustrophobic? Maybe it’s in the eye of whoever’s peering through that keyhole themselves. $2,695 per month unlocks this place, no pets included.

This spot on Howard Street—which is not in the Mission, but in SoMa, no matter what the ad wants you to believe—was until recently a little red Thai restaurant in a building that dated to 1907. The new construction seen her was once supposed to be SROs, but the final products look very much like any other new condos in any neighborhood south of Market Street, albeit it a bit smaller at just more than 330 square feet, a “new modern studio” with roof terrace and no pets allowed for $2,595 per month. It does include a Murphy bed though, so at least that’s a little faithful to the SRO ambitions.

No mystery about pets for this Outer Richmond apartment, with the headline spelling out “newly renovated large studio. Cats okay,” which is either good news for cat owners or the most incisive movie review of the year (or both?). The offer also mentions “a very well-maintained Edwardian building” (circa 1926—actually a number of years post-King Edward) and “charming period details,” although perhaps ironically there is no more specific word about those details, and little prominent in the provided photos—but maybe it’s the sort of thing you have to see in person? In any case the price is one detail that hasn’t slipped through the net: $2,700 monthly.

Last up is a “blue Victorian cottage” in Noe Valley on 22nd Street. This is a backyard unit that promises a “large picture window” looking out onto the rest of the property and, wouldn’t you know it, the second Murphy bed of the lot. No pets allowed, even with the yard and $2,575 rent.


Which rental would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    China Basin Condo
    (174 votes)
  • 18%
    Nob Hill Studio
    (85 votes)
  • 6%
    SoMa Studio
    (27 votes)
  • 16%
    Outer Richmond Apartment
    (72 votes)
  • 20%
    Noe Valley Cottage
    (91 votes)
449 votes total Vote Now