Apartment in San Francisco for $1400

Work located in financial district. I need a place starting in June/late May. Can I get a studio in a residential area(away from downtown, noise) for this much?

I would appreciate if someone can recommend specific rental communities and the price.

I prefer an area which looks like the equivalent of the Upper West side(around Columbia University)-ie young families, not too commercial.

Ps. I'm married so spouse will be visiting a lot so really can't live with other people.

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (34)

Jan 16, 2012 - 1:49pm
buybuybuy:
You're not going to find a nice studio in a good area for that price. Get some roommates.

This.

You're looking for the impossible at that price range. You either need to change your expectations (ie a different type of neighborhood) or get some roommates. I have a couple of friends that are young professionals, making decent money, who still have to commute in from Oakland (the hills) or places like that.

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Jan 16, 2012 - 2:04pm

You can get some really nice places in safe areas outside the city. But of course, you will be out of the city.

For the record, I don't recommend living in the TL unless you like that sort of thing.

Jan 16, 2012 - 2:10pm
excite2012:
hi ravenous. can you tell me how much I'd have to pay to find a good studio in,say nob hill or the marina(or any nice place)

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/

Knock yourself out.

Don't believe everything you think.
  • 1
Jan 16, 2012 - 2:19pm

I don't know about Nob Hill but it's probably expensive. The Marina is also ungodly expensive. Because of the geography and the retarded zoning laws, SF has some of the worst housing and apartment rental prices anywhere. There is no "arbitrage" opportunity in SF (cheap / good place / good location). There just isn't.

If I were you, I would probably look at North Beach. I'm not familiar with pricing there, but it should be at least a little less than some of the other surrounding neighborhoods and it's probably a decent place to live with an easy commute.

Would definitely avoid any of the following (just my opinion):

Tenderloin: Crime ridden shit hole

Castro: This is where the gay people live. Nothing wrong with that per se, but you will see some interesting things.

The Mission: This is where the "other queers" live, aka Hipsters

Russian Hill, Nob Hill and Pac Heights are nice but super expensive. Places in Richmond are pretty good as well but further away -- you might find a place in your price range there.

Jan 16, 2012 - 2:31pm
Ravenous:
I don't know about Nob Hill but it's probably expensive. The Marina is also ungodly expensive. Because of the geography and the retarded zoning laws, SF has some of the worst housing and apartment rental prices anywhere. There is no "arbitrage" opportunity in SF (cheap / good place / good location). There just isn't.

If I were you, I would probably look at North Beach. I'm not familiar with pricing there, but it should be at least a little less than some of the other surrounding neighborhoods and it's probably a decent place to live with an easy commute.

Would definitely avoid any of the following (just my opinion):

Tenderloin: Crime ridden shit hole

Castro: This is where the gay people live. Nothing wrong with that per se, but you will see some interesting things.

The Mission: This is where the "other queers" live, aka Hipsters

Russian Hill, Nob Hill and Pac Heights are nice but super expensive. Places in Richmond are pretty good as well but further away -- you might find a place in your price range there.


Agreed with everything here.
Jan 16, 2012 - 4:16pm

I've started to look for apartments also, you certainly will end up spending 16-1800 min for a studio. Most one bdrms are going for a premium. I've been looking at 2's, and they start at about 2800 on the lowest end, unless you want to live in a shithole. You can look in SOMA also, but there isn't that much around the area, nice new bldg's tho.

Jan 16, 2012 - 5:33pm
excite2012:
westcoaster, this apartment cost thing didn't cross my mind when I was negotiating my salary. mad at myself.

Srsly? SFO is notorious for high rents and COL - everyone knows this. if you really didn't check a COL calculator then the rent will be the least of your shocks. There's the sales tax, personal income tax and those pesky toll bridges in SFO - isn't one of them like $6 each way??? Welcome to California kiddo!
Jan 16, 2012 - 5:32pm

Yeah, so depending on where you are coming from, SF could be as high as 50% more expensive on total cost of living than where you used to live (I calculated it once and it was >40% more expensive than where I moved from). It's not just the apartment, it's parking (easily $200 a month and many apartments don't include parking as standard), food costs, entertainment, ridiculous bridge tolls if you leave the city, -- everything. It's just expensive as hell here, and that doesn't even include the parasitic income tax in California. It's remarkable the state still managed to go functionally bankrupt.

I'm less familiar with studios, but a decent one bedroom in a good neighborhood might go for $2,000 to $2,500 a month which is unreal. You can do it for a lot less if you have roommates obviously. Buying isn't necessarily better either. I started looking at condos in mid-2009 hoping to find some bombed out prices and was shocked to see 500 sq ft studios in good neighborhoods (Pac Heights) going for the ask price of $300K (HOLY SHIT that's $600 / sq ft). It's amazing how you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars and still feel relatively poor in this city after getting gouged at multiple levels.

Anyway, that's my rant, would love to move somewhere else that isn't as shitty. Hope you like it more than I do.

Jan 17, 2012 - 12:10am
Ravenous:
Yeah, so depending on where you are coming from, SF could be as high as 50% more expensive on total cost of living than where you used to live (I calculated it once and it was >40% more expensive than where I moved from). It's not just the apartment, it's parking (easily $200 a month and many apartments don't include parking as standard), food costs, entertainment, ridiculous bridge tolls if you leave the city, -- everything. It's just expensive as hell here, and that doesn't even include the parasitic income tax in California. It's remarkable the state still managed to go functionally bankrupt.

I'm less familiar with studios, but a decent one bedroom in a good neighborhood might go for $2,000 to $2,500 a month which is unreal. You can do it for a lot less if you have roommates obviously. Buying isn't necessarily better either. I started looking at condos in mid-2009 hoping to find some bombed out prices and was shocked to see 500 sq ft studios in good neighborhoods (Pac Heights) going for the ask price of $300K (HOLY SHIT that's $600 / sq ft). It's amazing how you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars and still feel relatively poor in this city after getting gouged at multiple levels.

Anyway, that's my rant, would love to move somewhere else that isn't as shitty. Hope you like it more than I do.


Yeah, San Jose got crushed by the bubble, but San Francisco was pretty much untouched.
Jan 16, 2012 - 5:53pm
excite2012:
lol. salary.com told me that the cost of living is lower in SF. moving from Manhattan.

I cant imagine that they gave you a large difference if you were looking at it as a total move. Sure, rents are not Manhattan, but they're not cheap. And when you factor in the personal & sales tax, SFO is right up there, if not more expensive, than "Noo Yawk".
Jan 16, 2012 - 6:25pm

maybe i'm wrong but it seems that there are more options in New York as a whole for 1400 apartments in decent places than SF. again, i'm not sure because i've spent just 20hours in san francisco. for less than 1400 i had a great place on the upper west side around Columbia Univ. great location, renovated plumbing, nice kitchen.

Unless the responses are skewed, it seems i won't get a good place like this anywhere in the City of San Francisco.

Jan 17, 2012 - 10:33am
excite2012:
maybe i'm wrong but it seems that there are more options in New York as a whole for 1400 apartments in decent places than SF. again, i'm not sure because i've spent just 20hours in san francisco. for less than 1400 i had a great place on the upper west side around Columbia Univ. great location, renovated plumbing, nice kitchen.

Unless the responses are skewed, it seems i won't get a good place like this anywhere in the City of San Francisco.


I can assure you the replies are not skewed. I won't be daft and ask for your salary, but based on me living in CA (ie I know the taxes and COL) and having friends that are in the SFO area, I wouldn't want to live in SFO unless my salary was in the range of $175K. I'm being conservative there, you could do it on less, but not a whole lot less. I'm talking about SFO proper here, you could do it on a lot less in the outlying areas, but you're obviously interested in being in the city.
Jan 17, 2012 - 12:50am

Yeah, SF real estate never really corrects the way other markets do. There isn't that much land, and there are less than 100 developable lots in SF (I read that anyway) with tough zoning restrictions. Since a lot of people want to live here, there is a permanent structural imbalance in supply vs. demand. It's brutal.

Jan 17, 2012 - 10:44am

I sort of agree with Jack, but you could do it for a lot less than 175K, you just wouldn't do it the way you want to do it. I have friends that make 75K all in who live in the city (non-finance professionals). They have roommates (one guy pays $800 a month for a room in a house), live in less good neighborhoods, and don't drive. Not having a car in SF is an enormous money saver. But yeah, you can make 200K in this city and feel middle class without any problem, which is a ridiculous thing to say, but is ultimately true.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

May 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (35) $364
  • Associates (194) $234
  • 2nd Year Analyst (110) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (96) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (26) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (402) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (327) $82