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

700 sqf is plenty of space for two folks with no kids. Shit in Hawaii that would be at least 2 bedrooms.


I wouldn’t say it’s the point of the video, as it’s pretty uncritical from what I saw… it just seems like a video showing off housing stock in major cities, not anything show how out of control prices are and how that’s contributing to the current housing crisis in the US.


Similarly sized pads for similarly insane prices in the DC area:

If you’ve got the money there’s a place.


Oppenheim’s fur-lined teacup is perhaps the single most notorious Surrealist object. Its subtle perversity was inspired by a conversation between Oppenheim, Pablo Picasso, and the photographer Dora Maar at a Paris café. Admiring Oppenheim’s fur-trimmed bracelets, Picasso remarked that one could cover just about anything with fur. “Even this cup and saucer,” Oppenheim replied.

Nowadays, PETA would spoil the effect.

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My wife and I lived in a 350 sqf one-bedroom apartment until kid 1 was about 1 year old. Luckily, we had both worked on remote industrial sites, and were already used to “camp living” in small quarters. The place became too small around the time kid 1 learned to walk.

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…or convert it into performance art.

No wonder a recruiter for an Amazon company contacted a junk email address of mine, probably scraped from a several years ago conference or tech show, for a San Francisco position.

They’re probably digging deep into cold leads to find anyone who’ll jump into that fire pit right now.

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She was giving a tour of her luxury dorm, IMO. And don’t forget, on top of that $3850, they’re paying $450/mo for parking. Another 80 that that dog-cat animal.

Anyway, LinkedIn says she works at Square. Is that a major tech company, as she claims?


700 square feet really isn’t that bad. You can rent a room in central Tokyo for around 1k USD per month, but at that price, it’s more like 4~500 square feet. Then again, you can get a 700-square-foot place in downtown Tokyo for less than 2k USD per month.


Yes get out of the cities and enjoy life with cheap rent and much more resources when things go south.

I’m paying $740au a month for 600sqft ($500 US) and for the price I have kangaroos outside my carport everyday as well as magpies, carawongs, cockatoos and the occasional echidna. Great views of the surrounding forest but tempered by the dangers of fire and flood. Haven’t yet met anyone who has died or been seriously injured by the wildlife - come and live here!

Pretty good internet speed that allows me to work from home and only an hour and a half to the big smoke to deliver my digital media.

If anything breaks down then I’m ready to pitch in as others are ready to help me. No charge. Community still exists.

Just get out of the cities if you can.

The Covid rent discounts in NYC are over, too

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Even worse, the video starts off saying that prices have came down so this is cheaper than it was pre-covid! What a bargain!


in the city i live, comparable to portland prices, 800 sqf upstairs, plus a semi-finished basement, big yard - two humans, three cats all fit nicely. ( not saying who is who )

the 1400 portland price above is well more than my mortgage, property taxes, and maintenance ( i jest. who has time for maintenance. but i do have it in tbe budget just the same. )

i think the difference is just having the money for a downpayment in the first place, and getting to choose which city you live in, but still: pluncking down more than a 1k a month for rent if you’re in it for the long haul seems… wild.

if you can get someone to rent to you. it seems notoriously difficult for foreigners even if you have a letter of recommendation from your company, even if you speak japanese decently. ( not to mention first and last months rent, key fees, and the like. )

that was what i saw at any rate.


Yeah, the “key money” (basically a thank you to the landlord), the “thank you payment” (to the real estate agent), the security deposit and the advance rent can easily go as high as 3~4 month’s rent, so there is that. (Outside of Tokyo, in lower demand areas, you can often find places that eschew most of that, so you’ll only end up paying about 1 month’s rent.)

The largest obstacle, though, is that you still need a guarantor (and this is the same for Japanese people as well), who essentially cosigns the lease and agrees to pay any outstanding debts if you skip town. Japanese people can usually get a relative to do it, but the letter of recommendation from your employer does not cut it. If you have someone willing to do that for you, you can find a place (though your options will be narrowed for the other reasons you mention) to rent, but you’ll definitely want to go through a realtor in any case.


Are “thank you” and “here’s your bribe” linguistically or culturally synonymous in Japan? I’ve heard the term “key money” in the U.S., but no-one sees it as a polite gesture.

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I am not sure where the term originates, but it is something that is printed in the room listing and included in the lease agreement, so at the very least, it’s not something that is done under the table. Real estate agents are very up front from the beginning about how much you will have to pay to move in. Still, when all is said and done, you are giving the landlord money simply for allowing you to rent the room.


The demand for the open bribe doesn’t usually appear printed in listings in the U.S., although it might as well. I guess once it’s actually there in black-and-white on paper euphemisms and pretense have to come into play.

I was more wondering if “key money” was genuinely regarded there as a polite gesture to the landlord rather than as baksheesh.

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I had never even really thought of it as a bribe before, though I guess it must have originated as that. These days, because it is a preset amount and is non-negotiable, it’s just seen as one of the many, many fees involved in moving here.

Rather than a polite gesture to the landlord, it may be more of a sign that you are serious about renting this place and staying for at least a good period of time, to reassure the landlord that they are not going to have to go through the hassle of finding a new tenant a few months down the line. That’s probably the best explanation that I can come up with. It’s not quite out of politeness, but not quite a bribe either.

It is set from the beginning as a prerequisite for renting, but throwing in a bit extra is not going to help you secure the lease, while failing to pay it would render the lease void (because it is a contractual obligation per the lease).


i don’t know honestly know if that’s better or worse than the american system which requires a credit check or not, and maybe changes your rent depending on it. ( all as a helpful proxy for race )

people living houseless in tokyo seemed as endemic as any big american city. every park i saw had tents or tent cities, and in all the empty spaces between towns too. needing a guarantor can’t help.

it’s “surprising” in both cases that these sorts of things as opposed to something like an insurance policy which pays for rent skipping. ( but the law is mostly titled the landlord’s way no matter where you live. )


that makes a lot of sense to me. though… first and last months rent seems to do that too.

straying far off topic: i remember a time when austin texas had places giving the first month free if only you’d come live there. those were the days.


There are fairly large (into the tens of thousands) homeless communities in Tokyo and Osaka, and the guarantor requirement surely is not helpful. Other things that can make it hard to find a place to rent include something like a criminal record, a past bankruptcy or any kind of connection with the yakuza (this part is not a joke; contracts usually include a “No Yakuza” clause).

The homeless encampments in Japan are, however, for the most part free of drugs and violent crime. The largest homeless camp in Japan is around Ueno Park in Tokyo, but one can walk through their at night without worry.