11 Actual “Rooms” For Rent In SF That Are More Than Your Midwestern Mortgage

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11 Actual “Rooms” For Rent In SF That Are More Than Your Midwestern Mortgage

Let’s be honest, every apartment for rent in San Francisco is more than the average Midwestern mortgage. An ordinary 35-44-year-old homeowner in the U.S. hands over about $1,073 per month for their house payment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The SF average for a one bedroom apartment is nearly three times that, at $2965 per month.

Of course, the high rent has much to do with high demand and not enough supply. As more and more tech workers have moved to the Bay in the last few years chasing a glut of job openings and a nurturing environment for their startup dreams, citizens seeking a place to lay their head at night have felt the squeeze in a city with a complicated and now woefully inadequate rental quantity (burrowing owls, etc.) .

Here we present to you some of the most ridiculous rooms advertised, clearly capitalizing on the city’s skyrocketing rental market.


This windowless, kitchenless, 170-square-foot apartment for $1,200

Only in SF. Check out this teeny, tiny apartment for vampires and those who don’t require sunlight ever for $1,200 per month. Note the fine accordion doors to wall yourself off when going to the bathroom.

But even this shoebox is a hot commodity in the city. Someone likely rented the 170-square-foot space already as the Craigslist ad is now gone.


$965 a month for this tent near Caltrain

Twenty-two-year-old tent landlord John Potter thought to capitalize on the crazy rent market by offering this tent in his parent’s backyard for $965 per month, or $46 per night on Airbnb, according to CNBC.

The listing is no longer up (possibly because it’s rented?) but it did make provisions for whoever occupied it to use the kitchen and bathroom inside the house.


A sectioned off part of the living room

Someone on Craigslist actually put up what amounted to a portion of their living room for $1295 per month in their fancy high rise apartment. As you can see, it was sectioned off with some classy A-F panels for privacy.

The post was flagged by Craigslist users and taken down.

*Image courtesy of SFist.


Bunk beds, $1800 a month per person

You can now rent a shared room with a bunk bed in San Francisco for $1800 a month. Vinyasa Homes, the co-living project renting out these four bunks to a room, likes to keep it private, but according to local SF TV news station KPIX, about 30 people live in the experimental housing project – most of them from out of the country or just getting their start in San Francisco.


More bunk beds, $1,250 each

Someone handling the property at 1042 Folsom Street also seemed to think bunk beds were the sweet answer to San Francisco’s ridiculous housing market. A Craigslist ad enticed renters to “live with friends” by way of sharing a room with a bunk bed for $1,200 each at the time. The place packs 25 people and rent is currently in the $1,250 to $1,900 range, according to a site connected to the property.


So many bunk beds!

You may be getting the picture this is a trend in the city. Bunk beds seem a good deal for landlords looking to squeeze as much rental real estate in as possible. This time, you get these bunks all to yourself in a private room for $1495 per month.

The Craigslist ad doesn’t mention how much it is to split the room, but does mention the apartment is “convenient to Tech companies, start-ups, incubators and schools” and connects to 14 fully furnished rooms in this shared living space.

Tech communes for the win.


A bed bug infested nightmare, murder scene included for $2,000

This one might be vomit-inducing. Skip through if you can’t handle creepy-crawlies. Tenants reported their apartment building off of Octavia in the Soma neighborhood as full of bedbugs, rats, mold, gas leaks and blood stains that hadn’t been cleaned up from a murder that happened a year ago.

One couple told SFCurbed they were paying $2,000 a month for their two bedroom unit before authorities got wind of the deplorable conditions inside.

The tenants eventually sued the landlord for $10 million in damages.


$1500 for a corner of the living room, sectioned off with cardboard

You don’t even get a bedroom with this one. The Craigslist ad for the place is no longer up, but according to SFist, two engineer dudes in tech decided to section off a portion of their living room for $1,500 a month.

Your new tiny corner of hell comes fully furnished with some rather drab furniture, too (basically what looks to be an IKEA mattress on the floor and a bookshelf cleverly built out of cardboard boxes doubling as a privacy wall).


$4,000 for the master in this just so-so two-bedroom apartment

Sure this 1,500 square-foot apartment on Craigslist is nice looking, but it’s not spectacular and the $4,000 to share one-half of it is an outrageous price, even in this market. Chances are, the future subtenant will be paying for the lease owner’s part of the rent – and then some – at that rate.


Illegal shipping containers, $1,000 a month

Are these 160-square-foot shipping containers safe to live in? Debatable. Are they legal? Definitely no, but that doesn’t stop landlord and dystopian dreamer Luke Iseman from collecting $1,000 per month from each of his tenants.

The 17,000-square-foot warehouse space containing these live-in boxes provides renters with a common cooking area and community showers. What a time to be alive.

Bloomberg reported Iseman’s scheme has been shut down at least two other times.


This single mom renting a tiny garage for $1,000 a month

This one is kinda sad, but CNN first reported on a single mom with an 18-month-old baby girl who couldn’t find affordable housing in the Bay Area and had to live in a shelter, until she found a single car garage space in San Mateo for $1,000 a month. There’s a small bathroom with a shower just off the garage and she cooks in a microwave on top of a clothing cabinet. She told news outlets this summer that she planned to stay put and was currently pregnant with her second child.


Bonus 1: This Google employee living inside a moving truck

The rent is so damn high Google employee Brandon actually decided to live in a moving van in Google’s Mountain View parking lot.

While the truck Brandon lives in is not actually for rent (he bought it for $10,000), it’s one of those so crazy it’s true and would only happen in Silicon Valley stories we had to mention here.


Bonus 2: A software engineer living inside a VW Bus

Cost-conscious software developer Katharine Patterson was sick of finding Silicon Valley rental listings for $1,000 for shared bunk beds. Her solution –  take the equivalent of three months rent and buy a 1969 VW camper van to live in all by herself.

Patterson wrote about her experience living in the van for Quartz in October.