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What $2,000 rents you in SF right now

No two quite the same, but which one to choose?

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: $2,000.

Much has changed in San Francisco, but some things endure—in this case, the look of this classic studio in the Sunset with trapezoid ceiling, burnished floors, and checked tile floors. The ad notes that the bathroom and kitchen have been recently. Another contemporary element is the $2,000-per-month price tag. But the deal does allow pets. Note that this place measures just over 500 square feet.

Speaking of classic studios, the Dashiell Hammett building on the edge of Chinatown is still making a killing off the name of the late San Francisco novelist who himself was often interested in San Francisco killings. And this building is no stranger to Comparisons; in fact, it’s been incredibly consistent—it’s been two and a half years since its first appearance and rents here remain exactly the same, in this case $2,000 per month for a studio with hardwood floors and clawfoot tub. No dogs here, but cats are allowed. Note that this is one of many SF homes that the famed noir writer occupied, but it’s definitely the one that’s making the most of the association. It even has a plaque out front and the address of 20 Dashiell Hammett Street.

On the subject of apartments that concern books, there’s an opening at the Book Concern, another SF classic that often appears in this space thanks to its long pedigree, bargain prices, and tiny homes. This one measures a mere 300 square feet. The building dates to 1908, but converted to micro-homes in 2006, the result of a three-year long renovation that was originally aimed at creating student housing. (At the time Curbed SF described it as “a warren of small high-ceilinged rooms arranged around light wells.”) In the years since, not much has changed about the place, except perhaps for the prices, which is now $2,000 per month for a studio—outside the grasp of most students now, although cheaper than many similar units that appear on Comparisons.

If you give the average SF neighborhood a solid kick, studios to the tune of $2,000 or so will fall out. But if you want a real bedroom at that price, these days it takes more sleuthing. Take, for example, this one in Parkside, just on the east side of 19th Avenue, a one-bed, one-bath setup with laminated floors near Taraval. It costs $1,900 per month. The ad notes that it’s within reasonable proximity to both SFSU and CCSF—not a particularly pertinent detail anymore, but the day will come when such things matter again. It also says no pets allowed, a detail that always matters.

Last up, here’s a newly renovated studio in Cow Hollow, also providing barely enough space at 340 square feet—not the smallest home on the market at this price you’ll note—for $2,000 per month. It even has an unforgiving no-pets policy; renting in San Francisco can be a jungle, but sometimes even the jungle goes animal-free.


Which rental would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Sunset Studio
    (155 votes)
  • 15%
    Chinatown Studio
    (45 votes)
  • 7%
    Book Concern Micro-Studio
    (23 votes)
  • 11%
    Parkside Apartment
    (35 votes)
  • 12%
    Cow Hollow Micro-Studio
    (37 votes)
295 votes total Vote Now