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

Living in one of those areas, I don’t think most people do view these as commodities; but you’re caught up in the market all the same. My wife and I didn’t think we’d be spending half a million dollars on a house chock-a-block full of asbestos that’s older than us and worse than the homes the two of us grew up in, but that’s what the market requires in the area I live in.

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Yup, that’s what I encountered. I had a Japanese guarantor, I worked for a Japanese company, and I spoke reasonably fluent Japanese and still had problems finding a place to rent. I eventually found a wonderful landlady who was like an aunt to me, and who actually dropped the rent for the first year so I could afford the key money (paid in cash, up front).

Workarounds at the time included employer-sponsored apartments, homestays, and companies that dealt specifically with foreigners, though the rents were often higher. It was always assumed the foreigner would one day disappear without a trace, leaving a trashed apartment behind.


It does, but if you want to live in a large city in the U.S. it’s less expensive on average than buying on a monthly basis.


Right? It’s a tiny little shoe box apartment, with a good view and all that, but nearly $4000 (and that’s the discounted rate!) is insane. The Portland place was larger and include utils!

It’s not about how individuals view them it’s about investors view them. There are companies that buy up properties to rent and less often resell, for a profit, and that’s driven prices up to ridiculous levels. Of course most individuals don’t great their home as a “commodity” but our SOCIETY does. And that’s at the heart of this current housing crisis.


^ the non-paywall version

it’s not clear to me though how they estimate “housing costs” for a mortgage, and it’s not clear whether they are comparing similar places.

can you find a place with cheaper rent than a mortgage? generally*. but, often you’re comparing an apartment or a part of house with a whole house, or a less desirable location.

my point was just that if you’re paying 1400 for an apartment in a city like portland, you could be paying less for more while also building equity. ( and if you’re willing to share, you can always rent to housemates while paying off the mortgage )

since they don’t explain their methodology, their comparison isn’t all that useful.

( *assuming you have good credit. if you have bad credit, renting will be more expensive and most definitely will be in a less desirable area. but, then you can’t get a mortgage either… so. )


tangent: wync had a great set of podcasts on eviction and how people with bad credit generally pay the same, if not more, than people with good credit. with worse conditions and locations.

meanwhile profits are higher when renting for people with bad credit than good credit ( because landlords don’t pay as much – if at all – for upkeep, and tend to also charge more fees )


I live in Manhattan and this price looks pretty good.

Another market that’s out of control.

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That’s The Avery, my neighbor. Her building was just completed last year. 3 bedroom town homes next door are $10,000/mo


Uuuuum. Are these people renting a luxury condo?

There are currently over 600 1br apartments on San Francisco CL for less than $2k.

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