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Old 01-05-2012, 03:04 PM
 
7,263 posts, read 4,213,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiovn View Post
Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the good advice! I have noticed that practically every listing I've seen says, "Sorry, no pets", which is frustrating. The thought of "getting rid of" my cat is like getting rid of a kid. No can do. I wonder, do renters just bring their cats anyway and hope the landlord doesn't find out, or doesn't care?

No. no. no. Don't do that. That's ground for the landlord to terminate the lease and kick you guys out. Don't take that chance in such a tight rental market. There are plenty of rentals that accept cats. Below is a few examples:

2 room inlaw unit-location (http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/2782158917.html - broken link)

Nice 2 Bedroom 1 BR flat near USF & SFS (http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/2782059909.html - broken link)

2 Bedroom and 1.5 Bath with Indoor Parking (http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/2779738319.html - broken link)


It doesn't hurt to ask if the landlord is open to accepting a cat. Offer to pay a pet deposit and/or extra rent to entice the landlord. Management tends to view cats more favorably than dogs.

Also, check out the Presidio Appartments. Presidio is a historic district in SF (just north of Richmond), former military base now runs by the federal government Some units accept pets and all come with parking. I'd use them as a fall back position in case you can't find anything.

Residential Leasing - Presidio of San Francisco (http://www.presidio.gov/presidio/Templates/ResidentialHome.aspx?NRMODE=Published&NRORIGINALUR L=%2fleasing%2fresidentialleasing%2f&NRNODEGUID=%7 bFA71EAE5-A18A-4E3B-8B2B-DEB9CB026F33%7d&NRCACHEHINT=Guest - broken link)
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:18 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
330 posts, read 586,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiovn View Post
I'd rather not spend $3000 on rent, but I will if it means that I'll have a decent place that's close to work.

@SunDevil1212 I take it that you're an ASU graduate? I'm there right now, about to finish up my M.S.! You might be right about not needing a car... definitely something I'll consider. My boyfriend will be working at UCSF, but I'll be working at CAS (Cal Academy in GGP), and as I remember, there aren't as many lines that go there. I don't want either of our commutes to be any more than 15 minutes. I know that might be a lot to ask, but I'm going to try for it!
The only suggestion I would make, is if living right by UCSF is your starting point (say, like 3rd Ave and Irving) for your apt hunt, I would take your hunt towards the direction of east rather than west. First, the farther east you go, the less fog and nicer weather you'll get (generally). Second, the closer you get towards the direction of Market St, the quicker you'll be able to get access the other neighborhoods via public transit, if you like to explore and get out of the house frequently.

And yes, I'm an ASU alum. There's quite a few of us here. Check out the NorCal alumni association when you come. Good luck and Go Devils!
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:41 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 21,500,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdwstrnkid View Post
If you are willing to go up into the $2500-3000 range, I don't think that you should have much of a problem landing a decent 2BR place in either the Sunset or Richmond. You might be able to find a place in Laurel Heights in that range.
Yes, they will. Or, rather, they won't have a problem finding a place in that price range, but they'll be just one of many applications. The rental market in SF is brutal right now. Believe me, we've been to the open houses and have submitted the applications! It could potentially improve by the time they arrive here, of course, but I wouldn't expect it to be smooth sailing anytime soon.

I would get forget about getting the garage, as that would expand options. Or, better yet, dump the car and get by with MUNI. There are lots of Zip Car and City CarShare locations around, so if you're not using the car for commuting purposes you'll probably be better off financially (and expand your housing options and/or save yourself the hassles of street parking) if you just use those when you need a car. We also used to rent cars for the weekend at the Enterprise on Geary. I'm not a driver so don't know the details, but my husband had a fairly cheap non-car owner insurance policy that covers him if he needs to drive someone else's car for some reason.

RE: getting to CAS via public transportation, there's one (I think just one) line that drops off right outside the door, but it's a very quick walk to the entrance from either the Richmond or the Sunset side of the park. If you lived by the Panhandle it would also be a nice commute by foot (or bike).

I think life will be easiest if you get rid of the car -- you'll greatly expand your neighborhood and and apartment options that way. Run the numbers and you may also be able to have more flexibility with your rent budget, or at least (if you do score a nice but more affordable place) more money to have fun in the city or enjoy some additional weekend vacations!
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:01 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
801 posts, read 1,919,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
Yes, they will. Or, rather, they won't have a problem finding a place in that price range, but they'll be just one of many applications. The rental market in SF is brutal right now. Believe me, we've been to the open houses and have submitted the applications! It could potentially improve by the time they arrive here, of course, but I wouldn't expect it to be smooth sailing anytime soon.
Wow, I would have guessed that they wouldn't have that much as an issue given the number of units that I saw on CL in the Sunset/Richmond in the low-$2K range.

I wonder if the current market is as bad as it was during the summer of 2008. Because the mortgage meltdown had begun (so people were opting to rent instead of buy) but the economy had not yet fully tanked, the rental prices were sky-high. We felt lucky to land our 2BR/2BA unit that we did, even though we were playing $4K/month.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:25 AM
 
4 posts, read 5,601 times
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I spent some time yesterday researching Zipcar and was pretty happy with what I found out. Of course, the most ideal situation would be to own a car and have a garage to park it in, but I would much rather forgo the extra expense (parking, parking tickets, insurance, repairs...). Not to mention the hassles of owning a car in a city like San Francisco. It's a good thing some of you brought up ditching the car, because we were about ready to buy a new one! Now we'll just keep the little crap car until we make the move. And the sale will help out with moving costs.

The Presidio is so beautiful! I think I would be happy living there, but we'll probably start looking right around 3rd-6th Ave and Irving. Luckily, I've been to San Francisco twice, once for a conference at the Academy, so I have a pretty decent picture of what the neighborhoods around the park are like. The Panhandle might be pretty good too.

You're probably right about the cat - I have had luck in the past with negotiating with landlords to let me keep her. I have an excellent rental history and I'm willing to pay a pet deposit, so maybe I'll be able to work something out.

Thank you so much for all the help, everyone! And with luck, the rental market will loosen up a little bit by the time we get there.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:41 PM
 
6,018 posts, read 2,841,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdwstrnkid View Post
Wow, I would have guessed that they wouldn't have that much as an issue given the number of units that I saw on CL in the Sunset/Richmond in the low-$2K range.

I wonder if the current market is as bad as it was during the summer of 2008. Because the mortgage meltdown had begun (so people were opting to rent instead of buy) but the economy had not yet fully tanked, the rental prices were sky-high. We felt lucky to land our 2BR/2BA unit that we did, even though we were playing $4K/month.
I still don't understand why the rental market has gotten so ridiculously crazy so quickly in the last year, or so. Prices for apartments that I looked at in late 2010/early 2011 are now renting now for ~$400 or more, a month.

And it isn't just SF. I'm renting a 1BR in San Mateo for ~$1400, and just out of curiosity, I found out that the room I live in now would go for ~$1650. Studios are now over $1400 in my building!(?)

Seriously, what is going on?? It doesn't make sense why things have changed so fast. The economy hasn't improved THAT much in 9 months, has it??? Maybe I'm missing something...I know there's a "tech bubble," but that still doesn't explain the sudden increase (at least, to me).
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:23 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 21,500,595 times
Reputation: 6647
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdwstrnkid View Post
Wow, I would have guessed that they wouldn't have that much as an issue given the number of units that I saw on CL in the Sunset/Richmond in the low-$2K range.

I wonder if the current market is as bad as it was during the summer of 2008. Because the mortgage meltdown had begun (so people were opting to rent instead of buy) but the economy had not yet fully tanked, the rental prices were sky-high. We felt lucky to land our 2BR/2BA unit that we did, even though we were playing $4K/month.
I think many of those apartments sit listed on CL for a few weeks, not because they can't find anyone qualified to rent it, but because they want to load up on application fees. Or at least I'm assuming that's what's going on, as we've applied to multiple units (with good credit, good references, more than enough income to qualify), and when they have open houses there are always a lot of people, many of them also filling out applications on the spot, and presumably many of them also have good jobs and good credit and references. I can feel my blood pressure rising by the minute when I read the latest CL listings and see places we looked at a week ago (and applied for) holding yet MORE open houses, which is, unfortunately, a fairly common practice these days.

I think the market is worse than in 2008. We actually landed our last place then, and it did take about two weeks -- and at the time everyone was telling us it was the worst time to be looking! (and it was frustrating to see how prices went down later on, while we were still stuck paying our 2008 price!) My impression is that (at least in the Richmond) prices now are a bit lower then they were then, but the competition to get a place is tighter. At the time I thought we were paying through the nose, but at least we could find a place! When we decided to move back to SF we thought it would be easy to just find a place in the old neighborhood, but have now had to expand our search. I'm sure these places do rent eventually (although there have been some scams lately, including in the Richmond), but it feels like you practically have to win the lottery to actually be the lucky person who gets the lease. Not to be too big of a downer about it, as there ARE some apartments out there, including some very nice ones, but you've got to move fast and budget a lot of money and time for application fees.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:31 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
801 posts, read 1,919,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyMac18 View Post
I still don't understand why the rental market has gotten so ridiculously crazy so quickly in the last year, or so. Prices for apartments that I looked at in late 2010/early 2011 are now renting now for ~$400 or more, a month.

And it isn't just SF. I'm renting a 1BR in San Mateo for ~$1400, and just out of curiosity, I found out that the room I live in now would go for ~$1650. Studios are now over $1400 in my building!(?)

Seriously, what is going on?? It doesn't make sense why things have changed so fast. The economy hasn't improved THAT much in 9 months, has it??? Maybe I'm missing something...I know there's a "tech bubble," but that still doesn't explain the sudden increase (at least, to me).
From what I've heard, in Silicon Valley, rents for studios and 1BR places have a lot of price elasticity because there is a lot of demand for them by young, single techies. I lived in a 1BR unit in Santa Clara for seven years (starting in 2001), during which my rent fluctuated between $1300 and $1950 a month. However, the price for a 2BR was usually only $200-300 more a month. What you might be seeing is the result of high demand for studios and 1BR units.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:40 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
801 posts, read 1,919,385 times
Reputation: 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
I think many of those apartments sit listed on CL for a few weeks, not because they can't find anyone qualified to rent it, but because they want to load up on application fees. Or at least I'm assuming that's what's going on, as we've applied to multiple units (with good credit, good references, more than enough income to qualify), and when they have open houses there are always a lot of people, many of them also filling out applications on the spot, and presumably many of them also have good jobs and good credit and references. I can feel my blood pressure rising by the minute when I read the latest CL listings and see places we looked at a week ago (and applied for) holding yet MORE open houses, which is, unfortunately, a fairly common practice these days.

I think the market is worse than in 2008. We actually landed our last place then, and it did take about two weeks -- and at the time everyone was telling us it was the worst time to be looking! (and it was frustrating to see how prices went down later on, while we were still stuck paying our 2008 price!) My impression is that (at least in the Richmond) prices now are a bit lower then they were then, but the competition to get a place is tighter. At the time I thought we were paying through the nose, but at least we could find a place! When we decided to move back to SF we thought it would be easy to just find a place in the old neighborhood, but have now had to expand our search. I'm sure these places do rent eventually (although there have been some scams lately, including in the Richmond), but it feels like you practically have to win the lottery to actually be the lucky person who gets the lease. Not to be too big of a downer about it, as there ARE some apartments out there, including some very nice ones, but you've got to move fast and budget a lot of money and time for application fees.
Are you working with management companies or directly with the owners of the apartment? For our place, we worked directly with the owner of our unit. They asked for an application fee to cover the credit report, but since we each had a current copy of our report, they just took that and didn't charge us for getting it. Perhaps we were in a unique situation in our case. (Note that we did look at around 20 places before finding our current home, but that was mostly because we didn't like what we were seeing - there were tons of crappy units renting out for tons o' money...)
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Old 01-06-2012, 04:07 PM
 
6,018 posts, read 2,841,635 times
Reputation: 3133
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdwstrnkid View Post
From what I've heard, in Silicon Valley, rents for studios and 1BR places have a lot of price elasticity because there is a lot of demand for them by young, single techies. I lived in a 1BR unit in Santa Clara for seven years (starting in 2001), during which my rent fluctuated between $1300 and $1950 a month. However, the price for a 2BR was usually only $200-300 more a month. What you might be seeing is the result of high demand for studios and 1BR units.
That makes sense, I've never thought about that factor before (price elasticity in the 1BR and studio market). I guess I must have come in at a good time. Which is funny because initially, since I had moved here from upstate NY (where I was paying $700 for a VERY nice and large apt), I thought the price I got for my 1BR was absurd...I can't believe people moving in now are paying the prices they're charging. I never realized how quickly the apartment market here can move up and down.
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