What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of renting in San Francisco? If you’re like most people in the know, the word that springs to your lips is inevitably “expensive”! Even if the thought of parking your car on the 31% grade of Filbert (don’t forget the emergency brake!) doesn’t set your teeth on edge, coming up with the $3,244 per month (the average rent for a 1-bedroom in The Golden City) might do just that.
Fortunately, there are less expensive rental options within a 30-minute commute of downtown San Francisco that don’t skimp on amenities, either, from carports and extra storage to pools and playgrounds which you don’t usually find in apartment buildings in the heart of the city. Want more room for less money (who doesn’t)? Check out these three Bay Area locations and one of them might just become your perfect new home:
Commute time to downtown San Francisco: 27 minutes (13.2 mi)
Best find: Marine View Apartments, from $1,950 for a 1-bed, 1-bath with 720 sq.ft. to $2,550 for a 2-bed, 2-bath with 946 sq.ft. (check availability)
Perks: beautiful bay views; convenient location to public transportation, Crab Cove, and the Alameda Farmers Market; carports available
The City of Alameda combines the charm of Victorian architecture and the beauty of nature with the conveniences you’d associate with big-city life. Particularly popular among locals is Crab Cove, one of the East Bay Regional Parks that provides ample opportunities to fish, bird-watch, or just enjoy a picnic on the grass—making it possible to almost forget how close you are to one of the largest metro areas in America. Alameda prides itself on being the “City of Beaches and Homes”, and the apartments at Marine View put you close to all that the area has to offer.
Commute time to downtown San Francisco: 23 minutes (12.4 mi)
Best find: 1495 E. 22nd St., from $1,875 for a 2-bed, 1 bath with 800 sq.ft. to $2,175 for a 3-bed, 2-bath with 1,175 sq.ft.; 1-bedroom options also may be available (check availability)
Perks: balcony; new flooring in every unit; covered parking; in-unit washer/dryer; pool and playground
With everything there is to do in Oakland, you may find yourself spending a lot less time in San Francisco! From arts and culture—Paramount Theatre of the Arts, Oakland Art Murmur, and Studio One Art Center, to name just a few—to catching an Oakland Raiders game and more, you’ll soon see why over 400,000 people call the city home. Especially if you have a larger family, the well-priced 3-bedroom apartments at 1495 E. 22nd St. can give you the room you need while keeping you close to your job downtown.
Commute time to downtown San Francisco: 29 minutes (19.4 mi)
Best find: Vue at 3600 Apartments, from $1,225 for a 1-bed, 1-bath with 570 sq.ft. to $1,598 for a 2-bed, 2-bath with 900 sq.ft. (check availability)
Perks: fully-equipped gym, pool, and spa; carports; select apartments with fireplaces, bay/mountain views; extra storage; washer/dryer in unit
If your perfect Bay Area rental looks and feels more like Mayberry, you won’t want to miss Richmond. Catch the Cinco de Mayo and Juneteenth Parades, watch a free movie at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium, or join the co-ed Indoor Soccer League. You will also be pleasantly shocked at the affordability of Richmond’s rental market as well—it’s pretty unlikely that you’d find a well-appointed, bordering-on-luxurious 2-bedroom apartment for less than $3,000 in downtown San Francisco, but the units at Vue at 3600 are one of several complexes in Richmond that provide gorgeous rentals for half that!