Went bachelor pad-hunting this weekend with Stephen and Alex this afternoon. The highlights:
- South Beach is very laid back... people are definitely paying an extra $500-$1000/month premium just to be in the city but to get a very suburban experience. It is remarkably like Lower Queen Anne in Seattle in atmosphere -- just outside of the city, still close to major landmarks (sports stadium) but an upwardly mobile cast of yuppies. It is city living with a premium without the tourists and "urban elements." I hate to admit it, but I liked this area the most. It's the newest, quietest, and most convenient area in SF, but it's also the priciest.
- The Marina ended up being a bust -- wasted $30 on cab fare out there because an utterly negligent property manager forgot to call us to cancel. Bastards. This part of the city is obviously 10 degrees colder than the rest of SF. If you add perpetual clouds to the cold wind of the Marina, subtract $500 to $1000/month in rent, and you have the Inner Sunset.
- We cabbed it again back SOMA, this time to the heart of the Tenderloin -- 6th and Natoma. While preparing my compatriots for the urban elements of 6th St, our cab driver broke into the conversation to say "Don't worry about the 6th Street Boys... hey, you're Asian. Just tell them you're viet and they'll leave you alone." Good to know. I'll tell you the full story in detail if you ask me. Lets just say it was a cultural experience of the first order.
- The Tenderloin loft itself was pretty impressive (huge bedrooms, 5 stories, marble/concrete everything, tons of glass, and a gorgeous roof deck), but the agent explained the place to be "on the knife's edge of gentrification" -- from the window we could tell from the graffiti just one building over that the insane 5 story luxury loft was ACTUALLY on the front line of a wedge driving through the Tenderloin. It was definitely not a place I would let my girlfriend walk to alone (let alone at night), so that's basically out.
- The Y Scraper (Crystal Tower Apartments) in North Beach continues to amaze for its location, view, and reasonable price. Too bad they only have 2 BR's available. Also, one heck of a walk from BART. Get used to slow MUNI rides... North Beach is a pretty good area to live, but then it's absolutely crawling with tourists.
San Francisco has many a storied neighborhood, and the feel of each is absolutely different. Overall, rents are at relatively insane levels for 3 BR options, and we're adopting a 'wait and see' attitude to the whole thing. I've always wanted to live in the city proper, but have always ended up in the burbs, so I'm pretty excited / new to the market.If anyone has tips on finding a great place for a good price in SF, let me know! =)