San Francisco is an amazing place to live, which, as we all know, makes apartment-hunting in the Bay tricky. You may even consider desperate measures to shift the rent/income ratio in your favor—something transplants quickly realize after moving here. Affordable San Francisco apartments are hard to come by, but they do exist. Whether you want to live in Pacific Heights or the Mission, check out our rotating selection of digs ranging in price between $1,000 and $2,000 per person, per month, from real estate site Zumper’s inventory. But do it quickly: These will be gone before you can say “security deposit.”
Three-bedroom in the Mission, $5,800/month ($1,933 per person)
This interior-designed crib makes us want to move in yesterday… Too bad the place is rented unfurnished. Okay, so it probably won’t look like this once you’ve hauled in your five-year-old couch and botched Ikea bookcase, but the space is impressive and the kitchen is a Rachael Ray wanna-be’s fantasy. Not to mention the fact that it’s five measly blocks from BART, and half a block from the hipster hub that is the 24th Street corridor. The trendy neighborhood around Treat Street is rapidly gentrifying, and the “Techies go home” graffiti might make you feel bad—until you grab a beer from that stainless steel fridge and kick back in the shared backyard.
Studio in Nob Hill, $1,950/month
This property may be a tad schizo—the humble exterior above a nail salon gives way to a gilded lobby, which leads to the no-frills top-floor studio. But the space is sunny with some period charm and a skyline view. Ignore that door that appears to be hanging from one hinge—the main plus point is the prime location, on the block between Van Ness and Polk, literally beside the (good) cable car line. Move here and it’ll be just like living in a Rice-A-Roni commercial—in a good way!
Two-bedroom apartment in Pacific Heights, $3,650/month ($1,825 per person)
Say hello to the cutest attic apartment in the city. Seriously, it looks like the scene of a sitcom about great-looking people following their dreams in San Francisco. We didn’t know apartments this adorable existed, much less in Pac Heights for this price. It’s close to several parks, as well as the darling shops and restaurants on Fillmore Street, and the tilted ceiling only adds to her charm. (This apartment is definitely a her.)
Three-bedroom apartment in Noe Valley, $4,200/month ($1,400 per person)
Okay, okay, this is technically a two-bedroom. But like many San Francisco spaces, converting the dining room into a third quarter makes this lovely flat in Nanny Valley affordable(ish) for a family. While there’s no dishwasher, the apartment does come with one parking space. Scrubbing a few dishes is a small price to pay for that, plus the lush, shared backyard (or get the au pair to do it!)
Two-bedroom apartment in the Excelsior, $3,200/month ($1,600 per person)
While the Excelsior is not one of San Francisco’s most desirable neighborhoods, its reputation is improving while the rents stay the same… for now. Take advantage of this great deal on a massive two-bedroom, complete with parking, on-site laundry and a kitchen that belongs in a 1990s sitcom. (Closet Deadheads: We don’t have to remind you of its proximity to Jerry’s birthplace.) In a few years, the occupants of this pad will be basking in the glory of San Francisco rent control, and marveling at their luck. Until then, pick up some pepper spray just in case.