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What $4,000 rents you in SF right now

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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: $4,000.

The term “updated classic” is likely meant to sound comforting, but in this day and age it could provoke a certain flavor of anxiety—after all, not all modern updates necessarily fit the spirit of a classic San Francisco home, good intentions notwithstanding. Fortunately, in the case of this Bernal Heights apartment it appears the character of both the unit and the larger home remains intact, with soft colors, a stained glass skylight, 12-foot ceilings, and “Victorian details preserved.” (Though the ad doesn’t go into details about what those details may be.) The city dates the building on aptly named Bonview Street to the 19th century, although as with most pre-1906 homes, there may not be any conclusive records anymore. It’s a two-bed, one-bath, 950-square-foot apartment asking $3,900, cats and dogs included in the deal.

Regular readers might recognize this singular live/work loft in SoMa, with its glass tile walls and the reception desk near the front door, from December. Per the ad, this place is “currently built out as a salon” but hopes to entice future tenants/entrepreneurs with the promise that it can be converted into any kind of business for the sake of live-in ventures. The rental offer even includes the salon furniture, but the listing assures renters that it’s also a legit one-bed, two-bath home. The price is still the same at $3,999 per month, and still no pets allowed—maybe they’re bad for business?

Head northeast and SoMa becomes a different sort of neighborhood, especially by the time you get to the Hawthorne Place building at 77 Dow, near South Beach. Here, the lofts take on a loftier character, as with this unit that pitching renters on “soaring floor-to-ceiling glass windows,” hardwood floors, en-suite master bathroom, and deed monthly parking in the building. This is a corner unit, and in addition to the views of the bay, the ad leans on its proximity to downtown and the restaurant scene—not the biggest incentive right now of course, but things change. It’s one bed and one and a half baths for $3,995.

Even Crocker-Amazon, long the city’s last real holdout against gentrification and price inflation, has seen the cost of housing rise in recent years. Nevertheless, you can still find deals here that aren’t plausible anywhere else in the city—case in point, while $3,950 per month is hardly a banner bargain, at least in this case that price nets a full three-bed, two-bath house with mroe than 1,600 feet of space. The ad notes the “nice size L-shaped living room and formal dining room,” the ornamental fireplace, and the two-car garage, but neglects to specifically call out the rose-colored tile work in the bathrooms.

Speaking of highlighting specific details, you’ve got to hand it to this listing—plenty of SF home ads mention the addition of a classic clawfoot bathtub, but this is the first to ever appear in this space that includes an intensely detailed closeup of those feet—you can even count the toenails. This “classic SF flat” in Hayes Valley sports two beds, one bath, and 1,000 square feet. And despite the antique tub, the bathroom itself is brand new, down to its penny-tile flooring. Actually living here takes a whole lot more than pennies, with a $3,920 asking price, although the deal does include pets.


Which rental would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Bernal Heights Victorian
    (159 votes)
  • 3%
    West SoMa Live/Work
    (25 votes)
  • 23%
    SoMa Loft
    (163 votes)
  • 6%
    Crocker-Amazon House
    (45 votes)
  • 44%
    Hayes Valley Flat
    (313 votes)
705 votes total Vote Now