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Old 01-04-2012, 02:18 PM
4 posts, read 5,818 times
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Hi all,

My boyfriend and I are probably going to be moving to San Francisco sometime this year. Both of our jobs ought to be located right around Golden Gate Park (UCSF Parnassus and CAS). We'd like to find a place in Sunset or maybe Richmond. I've been keeping an eye on CL so I know what to expect in terms of rent. But a friend of mine who used to live in Mission said that a lot of rentals are word of mouth. The CL listings I've seen have been either really dumpy or really expensive. We'll be making around $125k combined, which seems entirely comfortable for San Francisco (especially since we don't have kids), but at the same time, I'd rather not spend $3k/mo on rent!

I'd like a 1+den or 2 bedroom with parking, and it doesn't have to be super nice, but you know... cat friendly, wood floors, maybe a little patio. We're living in Phoenix right now. Any of you live in Richmond or Sunset? What do you think is the typical cost of rent for a place like this? We don't want roommates!

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Old 01-04-2012, 08:48 PM
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The problem will be finding a place. We've been looking for places in the Richmond for the past month, and the competition is EXTREMELY tight. You might also run into trouble with that cat -- so many places don't take pets.

Another option (if you run into problems finding a place) is to consider places without parking, and then just rent a spot somewhere; we don't have a car, but it seems like a garage rental in the Richmond runs around $150, so you could, if necessary, go with a cheaper apartment and just budget for a garage rental elsewhere. We looked at one nice 2-BR apartment in the Richmond that was $2650 including a garage, and another one that was $2500 including garage (that one got a LOT of applications), but neither of those had outdoor space. Nice wood floors, though, and fairly spacious. When we went down to the $2,200 range or so (these were all 2-BRs) the nice wood floors seem to be tougher to find (lots of ugly carpet), and things do get to be dumpier. Or, I should say, the ones that don't get rented by word-of-mouth before they hit CL or get handled by agents are a bit dumpy. Yet another reason to work the connections, just in case -- I'd assume that there's lots of people coming and going from your work, so maybe someone will have an apartment that they will be vacating? (or that you could sublet, perhaps) And if you DO see something you like, apply immediately.

I would definitely talk to as many of your friends as possible, as well as ask around at your new work if anyone knows of a place (if you're on Facebook, post there; you never know when someone -- even if they do not live in SF -- will have a friend-of-a-friend looking to rent out their place!). If you can find something before it hits CL or is otherwise made public you'll have a far better chance of getting it.

We didn't look at anything past 25th, but if you don't mind a quieter neighborhood (and a lot more fog) you will probably have better luck finding nicer things for the $2500 or even less range in the outer Richmond or Sunset. Street parking is easier out there, too, if the garage is not a necessity. I haven't paid as much attention to the Outer Sunset prices; things may (not sure) be a bit cheaper there.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:20 PM
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 10,961,263 times
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I thought I already responded to this, I guess not.

"Expensive or dumpy" pretty much describes any apartment in SF...often places are dumpy and expensive. Should be able to get a 1br for $2k at the most, but prices have been going up quite a bit anywhere in SF, you won't see any 2br's for 2k or less even out in the Richmond/Sunset. Landlords in SF are very anti-pet. And apartments in SF with a garage included are very rare too.

I'd maybe look at Pacifica too if you just feel priced out. Oakland/Berkeley would work except that a commute to UCSF would suck.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:27 AM
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Used to live in Inner Richmond. In early 2010, me and my friends looked at a three beds two baths apt w/ no parking on 12th Ave asking for $1,900. We passed. It stayed unrented for two months. Also a 2bed 1ba with parking on 2nd Ave for $1,450. The manager was so desperate to rent it out he said I could have a dog if I wanted to. Ahhhh, the good old days.

Richmond/Sunset has a lot of inlaw units which tends to be cheaper than a standard apt unit. Some inlaws are pretty big, I've seen a 2 bed 1 ba inlaw in the Outer Sunet. Some inlaws are pretty dumpy while some are very nice.

It's hard to say how much rent you can expect without knowing which part of the Richmond/Sunset. The further out west, rent tends to be cheaper. If you want to be in the Inner Sunset/Richmond, I'd say expect to pay a premium. In the Outer Sunset/Richmond, things can be as much as 25% less than a comparable in the Inner. Plus, street parking is a breeze in the Outer area.

Also, check out Twin Peaks, Golden Gate Heights, Forest Knolls, and Forest Hill Extension, they are a short ride from UCSF; rent for areas around Twin Peaks tend to be more afordable because many yuppies deem them as too suburban.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:42 AM
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,103 posts, read 19,782,056 times
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As long as you are near Public Transportation (MUNI) it doesn't matter how far out you are. In fact being at the end of the line you can even get a seat in rush hour. I lived on 45th Ave and was a block from the 38 Bus. My car sat idle for months at a time
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:02 PM
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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?

I wouldn't mind living in outer Sunset or Richmond (coming from Phoenix, the fog sounds marvelous, trust me!). And a garage isn't absolutely necessary, but it would be nice to at least have a dedicated parking spot. But maybe having a car isn't necessary either? I suppose we could always rent one whenever we needed to leave the city (we love weekend hiking).

Sounds like $2500-3000 might be a reality. Thanks for the idea of asking future co-workers and FB associates, I hadn't thought of that! And I think we might sublet for a few months before signing our own lease, just to give us some time to find the right place.

We're not considering the more outlying neighborhoods because we don't want to deal with the long commute (we would use MUNI or BART). Right now, my daily commute on public transportation is 2 hours a day, and my boyfriend's is more like 3 hours. It's terrible. I would pay extra in rent just to be within a short bus/bike ride from work!
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:37 PM
Location: San Francisco
330 posts, read 617,417 times
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Hello, I moved to SF from Phoenix as well. I recommend selling your car(s). No need for a car in San Francisco, especially if you both live and work there. Between gas, parking, repairs, insurance, (which will be higher in SF compared to PHX), tolls, etc...You'll save a ton of money that you can apply towards your rent. If you want to get out on the weekends, you could look into Zip car or something similar. There's also a surprising number of hikes and outdoor activities that can be reached via public transit (hell, you could spend weeks exploring just Golden Gate Park and not even leave the city)

Also, I don't think you necessarily need to limit yourself to Inner Richmond or Sunset. Since that UCSF campus is right of the N line, you could live conceivably anywhere east of UCSF along that line (all the way up Market St), and you'd have an opposite commute (most people will be going from the Richmond into downtown) so the trains wouldn't be too crowded I would think. Check out the Haight (both the upper and lower haight) and Duboce Triangle. They are both great neighborhoods and have a bit more going on than the Richmond or Sunset.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:43 PM
Location: SF Bay Area
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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.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:22 PM
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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!
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by pleiovn View Post
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.
Then you will want to avoid Richmond unless you are within walking distance of the 44 line that starts at 6th & California. Otherwise you get a two bus commute and that is not going to be 15 minutes due to double waiting time.

An ideal location might be Avalon Sunset Towers since they take pets and you both could walk to work or have a very short bus ride.
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