Rentals in San Francisco, California
San Francisco is one of the most famous cities in the world, renowned for its iconic, towering Golden Gate Bridge, its ethnically and linguistically diverse population, its cultural offerings, its artistic freedom, and the impressive ethos of social tolerance that pervades San Franciscan society. From its thriving high tech industry to its proximity to the educational Mecca of Stanford, San Francisco has long been a popular draw for professionals and students alike, not to mention artists, writers, musicians and free spirits from all walks of life. While San Francisco is one of the most exciting places to live in the country, finding San Francisco rentals is undeniably a challenge. San Francisco rental housing flies off the inventory list at a mind boggling rate, despite the high price tags, and can leave apartment hunters feeling a bit lost and bewildered. However, even though it is a tough rental market, with a little effort and a lot of patience and flexibility, it is possible to find the San Francisco rental home of your dreams.
San Francisco Living
Theaters, the opera, the symphony, the ballet, independent film screenings, artists' enclaves, Chinatown, outdoor adventure, bike trails, walking paths – the list of San Francisco amenities is endless. Whether you are a struggling student or a busy professional, San Francisco has plenty to offer in the way of entertainment and relaxation in your downtime. With a well-connected transit system and a thriving cultural scene, there is no shortage of things to do and see in the city of Saint Francis by the bay.
Found 2,138 properties for rent in San Francisco, CA
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The Real Facts about San Francisco
Availability: Walk into any San Francisco neighborhood and you will find yourself surrounded by old brick apartment buildings that fairly reek of character, interspersed with stately Victorian mansions and houses. It might seem to most prospective renters that there is a glut of available housing to choose from, but this is not the case. The fact remains that San Francisco is one of the most desirable places to live in and San Francisco rental housing is a tight market with a very small inventory. So while you might have a long wish list of features and amenities that you want for your dream apartment, you will most likely have to curtail that list significantly in order to find a San Francisco rental that is available and affordable.
Price: Affordability is, of course, the most important factor on any prospective renter's list and unfortunately, San Francisco has the dubious distinction of having perhaps the highest cost of living in the country. So keep that in mind when hunting for your San Francisco apartment, but don't let it unduly discourage you. If you are willing to be flexible about the neighborhood you want to live in and certain amenities, (for instance, you are willing to make do with a 2 bedroom, 1 bath instead of a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath apartment), you can find a number of San Francisco rental housing options that will work for you.
Process: The San Francisco rental housing market works at a blinding speed. Due to the high demand and the lack of a large citywide rental inventory, those apartments that are available tend to go quickly, sometimes within the space of a couple of days. So be prepared to act quickly – dillydallying about whether or not you really like a certain apartment will get you nowhere. The chances are very good that by the time you make up your mind, the apartment will be gone. Also go to any apartment viewing with all of your personal and financial documentation readily available. This includes your employment letter, a few pay stubs, two forms of state or government issued ID and a credit report if you have one. The point is to apply for an apartment you like on the spot, before it gets rented away to someone else.
Time: Finding and securing San Francisco rentals can be very time consuming, not only because of the time you have to put in to looking at apartments, but also because of the fact that at least a few of the apartments you like will be rented away before you even get a chance to put in an application, leaving you to start from square one all over again. At times, there will be nothing available that meets your requirements, so you will be stuck waiting weeks or even months for something to open up. That is why when looking for San Francisco rentals it is important to keep an open mind about the type of apartment that will work for you so that you don't have to wait forever to find your home.
Insurance: For anyone interested in San Francisco rental housing, it is important to remember that San Francisco straddles a major fault line and has been the site of several major, devastating earthquakes over the years. For this reason, a lot of landlords require renters to take out a comprehensive renter's insurance policy that offers earthquake coverage as well. A lot of San Francisco apartment buildings and homes are earthquake proofed, but it never hurts to make sure that you are covered in case of a massive tectonic event, which is unfortunately more probable than possible in San Francisco.