San Francisco Apartment Search
Just a little bit over a year ago, I came out here with my friend-turned-roommate to go apartment hunting for our first shared place in San Francisco. We made what seemed like a million appointments to various apartments throughout the city – from independently owned spots on the fringes of town to huge towers of name-brand places in the heart of the city. We filled out applications, shook hands with apartment managers and current tenants and debated about the merits of living in various sections of town.
In the end, our decision was an easy one. Due to a combination of bad credit, lack of employment /income proof and non-existent prior renting history, we were turned down by almost every place that we applied. In fact, there was only one place which accepted us – primarily due to my intense persuasion of the current tenant to put in a good word for us and my willingness to pay an exorbitant deposit and to practically sign in blood that I’d be a good tenant.
And in the end, it worked out. A year later, we’re still in the same basically-in-North-Beach apartment and I love it here just as much as I thought I would. Yes, it’s pricey. Yes, we’re crowded. Yes the bar fights which provide regular entertainment nearly every weekend night are not so entertaining. But I’m comfortable with where I’m at. And yet, as the end of the lease comes up, we debate a lot about whether or not to stay in this apartment.
I’ve been here long enough to see friends go through the apartment search. I’ve attended dozens of open houses and offered up my couch for between-places buddies and looked at the prices go up in various neighborhoods. Our credit’s better and our rental history is good. But I haven’t really figured out any more about San Francisco apartment hunting than I knew a year ago. So, I ask you – if we end up having to look for a new place, what are your best SF apartment search tips?