Tour of a 700-square-foot apartment in San Francisco that rents for $3850/month

Originally published at: Tour of a 700-square-foot apartment in San Francisco that rents for $3850/month | Boing Boing


That’s cool. I pay $1000 a month on my 3,000 sq ft. house with a huge patio and views of green space and wildlife. Yes, I’m bragging, just like she is.


It’s crazy that the San Fran lady treats $4000 as “normal”… No. that’s not normal…


I’m all for small space living if it suits one’s lifestyle. 700sqf is pushing it a little for two people, but the apartment is laid out pretty well and if they value short commutes and urban life then it’s fine.

The problem, of course, is the insane rent (and I say this as someone who once lived in Manhattan). Keep in mind the rent being discussed here involves the Covid “discount”. In the alpha global city where I now have my main residence (as well as in others) housing prices have actually risen after a brief pause to the point where owning any sort of home is financially impossible for the vast majority of people under age 40.

It’s understandable that so many tech workers making good salaries fled the Bay Area the moment the pandemic allowed for remote work. One I know who moved out of state to a medium-sized town tells me he gets physically ill when he considers the prospect of being called back to the main office in Silicon Valley.

We have to get back to the idea of a home primarily as a place to live rather than as an asset class. There doesn’t seem to be any political will in any Western country to do so, though.


My apartment in SF [1987ish] was around the same size, $350 US a month, and utilities were included. SF is a rich peoples Disney-land now, the poors are not welcome there.


I never thought I’d own a house, seeing renting as easier, not having to keep up on maintenance, property taxes, etc. These videos are making me remember what I had to go through every time I moved, with each rental property having increasingly draconian approval processes for their potential tenants, not only on the way in, but maybe even worse on the way out. Now I’m responsible for a lot more, and I pay more too, but I also have more space and way more freedom. And I don’t have to deal with that faux-cheery person at the front desk who doesn’t really care, they just want you to leave so they can keep playing Gardenscapes or whatever.

Frankly, I’m having trouble even parsing the idea of paying over $4k a month for something I don’t own. I don’t care where it is, or how nice the amenities are. That’s crazy talk.


Portland lady must have a very forgiving landlord with all those holes she’s put in the walls to hang things.


The weird thing is your monthly costs are likely to be lower with interest rates being what they are, just about anywhere in the country if you own vs. renting. TCO is a different debate… I couldn’t possibly rent my current home for the pittance I am paying in mortgage and taxes. 1700 sq. ft., 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 2 car garage, $1300 month. And it’s on the water with an acre of land.


I understand Portland’s a bit pricey now too, because people leaving San Francisco and environs considered it cheap, and now it’s less cheap, demand having driven up prices. It’s well above average in terms of housing cost. Still, there is a good distance between pricey and insane.


Huh. My wife and I are planning to rent out her family’s 1160 sq ft. house in the Sunset District to my cousin for about $1k/month. So we maybe should be asking for a bit more?


Or you could keep it at that and maybe given a lower income family a break and a chance to live in the city? :woman_shrugging: I mean, obviously not, if it’s going to break the bank, but if you can afford to give a lower rent, why not do it?


Well that is what we’ve been doing for about 10 years with a couple of nice teachers.

And yes, we’ll be keeping the rent well below the market rate for my cousin too, as she and her husband probably wouldn’t be able to live in the city otherwise.


Cool GIF

I do wish more people in places that have such a out of whack rental/housing market would view housing as more than just a commodity to generate income… It might do more to help lower costs than tax breaks to builders on including “affordable” units.


So $3850 for that much space is of course insane, which is the point of the video. But that it is also a luxury apartment. I have never lived in an apartment that had rooftop patios with water views, communal BBQs, a swimming pool, a gym, and a theatre room. I rented a condo once that had some of those amenities, but not all. In contrast, the Portland apartment’s amenities were “a parking spot” and “trash pickup is included”. It’s not a great comparison.


Here’s one of the main problems…people who have the money and spend RENT on unnecessary stuff like crown molding and various architectural doodads, which in a fair market shouldn’t be considered a factor. It’s not like they’re installing fresh crown molding every month.


WHAT? for that price?

NO fur-lined sink?
NO electric dog-polisher?

(for those who are too young, or don’t remember… )

“I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too.”
― Steve Martin


Yeah, our landlord is selling and has given us until June 31 to get out. We pay $1300 currently for a three bedroom with heat and hw included. If we were to find another rental, we would easily pay $2200+ with no utilities included. The 3 br house + finished basement and 2 car garage overlooking a wetland that we are in the process of buying is going to end up being about $1500/mo. Rentals had slowly been creeping up in the area for a while, but when Air BnB came to the area they nearly all disappeared and the ones remaining increased probably 50% or more during the pandemic. If it weren’t for the meager savings we were able to retain by not paying childcare during the pandemic and our landlord generously offering to buy out our lease in cash (we’ve done loads of free work over the years), we would be absolutely screwed with no rental prospects and no down payment in our pockets. I know that we are among thousands in the area who are losing their homes and feel just horrible for those not as advantaged as us.

Edited for numerous typos.


So, because that date will never come, you can stay indefinitely?


Ha! I originally typed 32 and thought someone would definitely call me out if I let it remain.

“Thirty days has September, April June and November…”

It was right there all along!


Maui… isn’t much different except you’d have mold and appliances that 25 years old.