Posted Apr 11, 2013

You Know You Rent in San Francisco When…


Few things can test a person’s patience like going through the rental process in San Francisco. Sure, weekend brunch lines wrap around the block and squeezing your way onto the N Judah during commuting hours is no easy feat (just ask the lost souls of Carl & Cole), but searching for and securing an apartment in the City by the Bay proves painful time and again.

Have other experiences to share? Let us know @lovely or in the comments section below!

You don’t mind your building isn’t retrofit for earthquakes because it has a dishwasher!

San Francisco is chock full of charming buildings, but upgraded kitchens are few and far between, especially on a budget. We don’t recommend putting yourself or your roommates at risk, but do consider yourself lucky if you don’t have to scrub your own dishes.

You occasionally donate blood to help pay your rent.

Bottom line: rent is expensive in San Francisco. Check out other creative ways to generate supplemental income that don’t involve your bodily fluids.

You know the boundaries of every San Francisco neighborhood.

SF neighborhoods have plenty of defining characteristics (dogs and babies, anyone?), but perhaps the most significant factor during your apartment rental hunt is price. Rental prices are often dependent on comparable prices in a neighborhood and living even one block away can impact your bottom line.

Your renter’s resume is more up-to-date than your professional resume.

You never know when a dream apartment will become available and renters need to be fully prepared in the competitive San Francisco housing market. Along with other preparatory steps, keeping your rental application materials, including your Lovely Renter Card, up-to-date at all times is a great way to stay one step ahead.

You hoard quarters.

Whether for street parking or laundry, quarters are too hot a commodity not too hoard in SF.

There is a startup operating in the unit above you.  

Why suffer the costs of commercial rent when you can bootstrap from a 3 bedroom flat with your fellow cofounders?

You don’t have a closet…or a living room because it is being used as a third bedroom. 

Many SF renters find roommates help ease their cost of living. Wondering how many roommates you might need to save each month? Don’t worry, we’ve already researched that for you!

You’ve heard your neighbors/roommates have sex.

No sugar coating this one: your studio may be charming, but its walls are also paper thin. We’ve all been there; invest in earplugs and you’ll be counting sheep in no time.

Your boss doesn’t mind if you need to leave work in the middle of the day to visit an open house.

SF residents, including senior management, are all too familiar with competitive open houses and the importance of arriving on time and coming fully prepared. In fact, we found 9am-5pm to be the magic window for apartment hunting, which means you may have to extend your lunch break if you want to lock down your next place.

You needed your parents to co sign your lease, even though you are married with children.

Did we mention rent is expensive in San Francisco?


Elizabeth is the Communications & Marketing Lead at Lovely where she helps spread the word about Lovely's mission far and wide. She loves corgis, Beyonce and helping renters enjoy the best possible experience in their homes.

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