Apartment Blitzkreig

Four hours, eight apartments. Thank all the gods for City Car Share: there’s simply no way I could have done this on foot or even my bicycle. I think I burned though my San Francisco parking karma for a lifetime this morning: I never had to spend more than 2-3 minutes looking for a space at any location.

I’m mainly posting this because I’d like feedback on the locations from my SF-savvy friends. The rest of you probably couldn’t be less interested, so I’ll just hide it behind this cut…

Okay, pictures of all of these are uploaded at:


  1. 3247 Harrison St, $1850

    Listed as Bernal Heights, but really on the border of Bernal and Mission, not too bad a walk from the shuttle and BART.

    Pros: Very cute. Owner/landlord was a nice guy. A huge living room with two patio doors leading out onto a private lanai, looking out over a shared back garden and letting in a lot of light. Seperate dining area from kitchen. Decent sized bedroom; sizewise it’s about the same as Josh’s place, maybe a bit larger. New floors (pergolaminate). Garden is gorgeous, neighborhood is cute, right next to precita park.

    Cons: only a shower in the bathroom. Ground floor, so the office and bedroom in front won’t get a lot of light. There’s a rented cottage on the other side of the garden, so possible privacy issues there if we don’t keep the drapes closed. Ugly carpet in bedroom/office. Ugly bathroom fixures. No laundry, no hookups.
  2. 2319 Bryant St, Mission, $2250

    The landlord officially says no cats (but was okay with a dog?!); the agent seemed to think there was wriggle room, but who knows?

    Pros: Big! Entranceway, big living room with a working fireplace, decent sized office, bedroom. Nice fixtures, for once a non-horrible paint job. Shared back yard. EIK. Utility room behind kitchen; builtin pantry in kitchen. Shared back yard.

    Cons: Expensive. Ugly carpet. Questionable wiring. No laundry, but hookups in util room.
  3. 435 Jersey St, Noe Valley, $2100

    Listed as a 1BR+Office on craigslist; a weird moment of realtor honesty? First floor of a 2-floor unit, but off street level. Front space divided into carpeted living room and pergo dining area attached to kitchen. Back “office” room has strange raised, carpeted area, door to shared back yard.

    Pros: awesome location. On-street parking didn’t seem impossible during saturday brunch hours. Big enough! Weird back room perfect for office/guestroom.

    Cons: ugly carpet. Light didn’t seem bad for a 1st-floor unit, but who knows on a cloudy day? Back yard contained enormous dog (belongs to upstairs neighbors) who seemed nonplussed to meet me. No real fixtures; very “1980s renovation” feel. No laundry, no hookups.
  4. 333 Haight St, Lower Haight / Hayes Valley, $2300

    Split-level: three bedrooms and one bath upstairs, downstairs a single large living/dining area (carpeted) with working fireplace.

    Pros: HUGE. New kitchen fixtures/appliances. Big skylight in ceiling letting light into both levels. Coin-op laundry in basement. Parking garage, no spaces currently available.

    Cons: neighborhood had bad vibe; accosted by one persistant homeless guy within seconds of leaving my car. (He spend 2 minutes trying to convince me that SF didn’t really require parking meters on saturday and that I should give him my change instead.) Building exterior ugly as sin. Expensive.
  5. 3567 18th St, Mission/Valencia Corridor. $2000

    Nearly perfect. Wouldn’t take our application. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.
  6. 1159 Kansas St, Potero Hill $1950

    Floor-through flat about midway up the hill. Shared rear garden, currently a little overgrown.

    Pros: Big! Gorgeous! Nice fixtures! Amazing old stove in the kitchen! Bay windows in dining and living room. Funky mechanical door opener at top of steps. (A big metal lever built into the wall; I neglected to take a picture.) Tons of on-street parking. Good view out the front windows…

    Cons: …except that the view includes the 101. (The front window is about 15 feet above Kansas street; the freeway is another 20 feet or so below street level: it’s not a roar, but more of a rushing river kind of noise.) Front of the apartment was definitely noisy, although adding furniture and drapes would probably help a lot. Close to MUNI, but a bit of a hike to BART and the shuttle.
  7. 2 units at 1410 Guerrero, Mission, $1645

    Listed as Noe Valley in a fit of optimism: really in the mission, at Guerrero near Cesar Chavez. The front unit on the third floor was listed on CL, but the rear unit (basically identical mirrored layout) also turned out to be available. The rear unit was $40/month more; the lardlord said it was a little bigger but I’m dubious. Since it faces the back, it’s certainly quieter. Possible parking spots available. Smallish kitchens just open out onto decently large living/dining areas.

    Pros: big enough. Cheap! Skylights! Good location. Parking available. Coinop laundry in building. Non-ugly views out front and back. Landlord very friendly.

    Cons: ticky-tacky feel (like Josh’s but not so well-renovated). Ugly carpets. Building interior hallways need paint desperately. Electric stoves (arrrgh). PINK BATHROOM FIXTURES!

Not bad for a day’s work. With the exception of the Haight street location, I could be excited about living in any of these places.

The Noe Valley one would probably be my best all-around choice, with the Bernal Heights place a close second if the privacy issue isn’t a dealbreaker. Guerrero street was the least pretty but was well-located and was the best monetary deal by far. Kansas street obviously has the huge drawback of the freeway in front, but it was by far the prettiest and probably the 2nd-largest unit I saw, and had laundry and parking. Bryant street was the 2nd-prettiest behind Kansas, but was over $2200; but since we’re applying for Jersey St from the same company, I might as well see what happens…

Thoughts from the crowd? , what’s going on with your place? :)

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How much does it cost for car rental? Tom Keane
Tom: I used City Car Share, so it was $4/hour plus a mileage fee.