What $1,500 rents you in San Francisco right now


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 is another person’s townhouse? Today’s price: $1,500.

↑ Note: It’s increasingly challenging to find studio apartments at this price point on Craigslist these days, with many ads trying to pass off rooms in shared apartments as studios in their own right. Lies! The rental site RENTCafe even claims that the San Francisco market only averages 316 square feet for $1,500/month. Well, here’s an in-law in the Inner Sunset that may put that conclusion to the test, although the ad provides no square footage. Details: Single room only plus one bath, no pets, and “burner only good for light cooking person.” At least the wood paneling is a nice touch.

↑ Alas, some landlords could use a refresher on the definition of a one-bedroom apartment. Take, for example, this unit in Lower Nob Hill. Advertised as a one-bed, one-bath apartment, it’s actually a studio with the central space designated a “bedroom.” Which, yes, technically that would be the bedroom. Still, not cool. The main room measures only 169 square feet for $1,395/month, yet the ad still has the gall to ask applicants how many people plan on moving into the space. Oof, times are tough. No pets allowed, either.

↑ Is a similar bait and switch happening with this studio in Sunnyside (called Glen Park in the ad)? It’s hard to tell, as this could be an in-law of sorts (although sans kitchen, the one pictured here is part of the larger house) but looks suspiciously like another bedroom-as-separate-apartment feint in a larger house. The rent here is “$1,400/month or best offer” with a note that $1,400 is “well below market,” which is true if this turns out to be an actual apartment. On the bright side, there’s no ambiguity about the fact that they allow cats.

↑ At least in the Tenderloin rental ads make sense. Sure, there’s no particular frills to this one-bath studio on Ellis Street, there’s no pets allowed, and there are prettier Tenderloin buildings by far. But at least there’s no mystery about what renters are getting for $1,395/month, and the ad warns that “studios are going fast.”

↑ And finally, this pink house in the Excelsior, reminiscent of a dollhouse, offers a place for rent at $1,300/month. Not the house itself, of course, but yet another in-law tucked away behind the main property, accessible from the rear through the backyard. No word on pets, but at least it beats the point spread on the aforementioned 316 feet prediction by clocking in at some 450 feet.


Which Rental Would You Choose?

This poll is closed

  • 8%

    Lower Nob Hill Studio

    (31 votes)

  • 24%

    Excelsior In-Law

    (90 votes)

  • 49%

    Tenderloin Studio

    (179 votes)

  • 7%

    Glen Park Studio

    (28 votes)

365 votes total

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