A featured article by curbed.com

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, a regular column exploring what you can rent for a set dollar amount in different neighborhoods. Is one person’s studio is another person’s townhouse? Today’s price: $5,200.

Sick of all-white interiors? Then this home, located at 1786 Golden Gate Avenue in NoPa, has a deal for you, with a two-bed, one-bath, loft-like condo replete with a smashing baroque interior and, merciful heavens, an eye-popping, non-neutral color palette that literally paints the town red. Well, maybe more cranberry rather than red, and not so much the whole town as this one apartment, but still. The bedroom count here is a little dicey, since the ad specifies “two lofts that could easily be used as bedrooms” rather than actual dedicated spaces, as well as a “gorgeous Zen bathroom.” Some calming Zen influences are perhaps for the best when you’re paying $5,000 per month for a home. At least the deal includes cats and dogs.

On the other hand, renters who prefer the glacial color scheme favored by most designers these days can scoot down to Hayes Valley, where a two-bed, one-bath townhouse at 445 Fulton looks positively immaculate with its white surfaces and converging angles, all concealed behind row after row of brown shingles. “High ceilings, huge custom windows, skylights, and hardwood floors” come with the $5,200-per-month asking price. No word on pets.

This competing loft in South Beach has an almost retro-futurist vibe to it: the lack of color, glossy translucent surfaces, and low ceilings in certain spaces recalling visionary but slightly low-budget sci-fi sets from forty years ago from certain angles. But in this day and age, it’s just a “quiet three -bedroom loft near Rincon Hill.” Yes, a three-bed loft, plus two bathrooms and “maple cabinetry, black granite countertops” in the kitchen, with hardwood floors downstairs and carpets on the mezzanine. No dogs allowed, but cats are okay—loft living presumably appeals to their feline predilection for looking down on everything. It costs $5,200 per month.

Consider what a difference a few blocks make. In the Outer Richmond on 40th Avenue, $5,000 per month nets a full four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house with 1,800 square feet and a wide barrel-front facade beneath the slightly ungainly looking trapezoidal roof. The inside sports a remodeled bathroom and refinished hardwood floors, but the fireplace is out of commission. Strangely, the landlord specifies that the garage and the backyard are not included in this deal. Cats are allowed here, but no dogs.

Whereas Lake Street is really just a short jaunt down the road from the former home, it offers contrasting arrangement in a “lovely circa-1904 garden flat” with three beds and a single split bath. “Wood floors, calm light,” and a “Euro-style eat-in kitchen” are among the amenities—no word on the interior dimensions, but the Euro-style kitchen is often landlord speak for a “cozy,” so be warned. The apartment is pet-free, but that’s the only thing free you’ll find around here. Rent is $5,000 per month.