Renting an Apartment in the Mission Now Means Bidding on the Place and Offering the Landlord a "Signing Bonus"

This dream could be yours for $3,000 OBO!

Rental prices are going up.  Way up.  And with historically low vacancy rates and new millionaires moving into town, it's a landlord's market.  Take this new development in the world of renting apartments: having to bid upwards of $3k/month for an apartment on Valencia and Duboce.  Check it:

$3000/mo. 1 bd in Mission — ridiculous? Yes. Make offer, let's talk.

Ridiculous rent for a 600 sq ft one bedroom apartment in the Mission?

Even if you can have your pet?
Even if it has lots of natural light, a small working fireplace, claw foot tub, somewhat upgraded eat-in kitchen, including new fridge?


Sounds like a good deal!  What do I need to do to get such a posh pad?


(Your bid will of course be subject to your seeing the apartment).

Your bid should include the following (required):
-monthly rent you are willing to pay (water & garbage paid by owners),
-plus agreement to lease for minimum one year,
-plus your employer name with phone number to verify, and
-last 2 landlords with phone numbers, &
-how many people and pets will reside in the apt, &
-your phone number (we will only respond by phone, not email).
Not required but appropriate:
-info about your pet(s),
-plus info about you — your elevator pitch resume —
-and, if you wish,
—————offer of a signing bonus.
We will see who responds, evaluate the offers, then set up opportunity for top bidders to view the apartment some time between bid close and following week.

Alright, well for that kind of money and effort, what kind of palace are we looking at?

Looks great!  Where do I sign?

Oh, and one more thing:

Thanks for your interest in living in San Francisco's most awesome neighborhood.

Comments (72)

600 sq ft only counts as a “one bedroom” if you’re a dwarf. For the rest of us, that’s a studio with an extraneous wall.

This has to be a joke.

This was my life a few weeks ago. Shit is no joke. Highway robbery.

Build more housing!

LOLOLOL i just got a apt. on gough and fell for 2300$ a month. (Ive been living here for about 3 months) 2 bed room, 2 bath rooms, nice kitchen with dishwasher, Great grill area/communal space, large living room and underground parking. Did i mention we have elevators and its only a 10 year old building. Do not pay these d-bags that think they can make a buck on the old crappy apt’s. That Apt is shit and i pay less! wow. just wow.

A 10 year old building = no rent control. Your life’s stability depends on the whim and fancy of your landlord. There are good things about new buildings, but they do have one serious minus here in SF.

Of course, if we got rid of rent-control then there would be more housing stock available and rents would be lower. I understand that you probably feel entitled to have low rent forever – like many tenants do. But the fact is that there is no basis for your receiving that subsidy. But, hey, go ahead and fight to keep it – just acknowledge you are being greedy.

There’s absolutely zero evidence that removing rent control would lead to lower rents. The invisible hand of the free market does NOT bow to your arbitrary whims.

It would definitely lead to more supply. The problem is the demand is too high. The most obvious solution is to build more apartments.

Right, because when your rent goes up by a factor of 5, you move the fuck out.

A. WAY different neighborhood
B. NEW building means NO rent control - New buildings rent can go up to 40%(or more) after a lease. Rent control is no more than 1%
C. I agree the fact this landlord is having people BID on the apt is NUTS, but I can’t wait to hear the follow up, if he gets what he wants, or if people laugh in his face (hopefully it’s the latter)

as someone who works in the construction industry rehabbing old buildings, I can assure you that most of the ‘new = better’ equation is a myth when it comes to buildings. The old stuff was built well and will outlast most anything new if it is kept up. The fact is that most people can’t afford the materials and craftsmanship that were abundant 100+ years ago. My guess is that the warranties on everything from your new roof to your new windows don’t go past 10-15 years. At that point, they’ll start failing miserably and will require full replacement.

Spot on. Old buildings ~ craftsmanship. New buildings ~ profit & planned obsolescence.

This is by and for those who think the Mission is “better than it used to be”. Welcome to their world.

THAT is insane and reminiscent of the late 90s DotCom days. I don’t think I’ll ever give up my rent controlled apartment. Not. Ever.

$3000/month is bat shit crazzzzzy for that 600 sq ft “1 bedroom”…

Just ‘cause I like math, and to put things in perspective… a $600,000 mortgage at 4% is just under $3000/month… sheesh, I could go buy an entire house in BVHP for ½ to ⅓ of that!!!

like I said bat.shit.crazy…

The actual cost of a condo worth a little more than $500K is about $3500 per month once you factor in property taxes, HOA fees, and insurance. That’s with only 5% down. Rent is often higher for the same place. If you have the ability to buy and you don’t, you are nuts.

they are simply trying to get the most rent possible out of the sucker who has to live in the mission. once they sign the lease, rent control kicks in for however long the person stays, so the higher up front the better for them.

that apartment sucks though.

the mission is BETTER THAN EVER

Wow. That is absoludicrous. Fuck. That.

That landlord = scumbag. I encountered similar things during my recent apartment search. We decided to move out of town instead.

“signing bonuses” are the same as key money

key money is the same as a bribe (i.e., they are both Illegal and unethical)

someone else commented about the lessor’s unwillingness to correspond via email. this seems to lend support to the “scumbag” argument.

still, it’s pretty brazen/stupid to put it in writing on craigslist - a smart scumbag would just ask for it in person when touring the property

whats unfortunate though is there will undoubtably be a scumbag prospective tenant willing to pay a bribe to get the place (therefore encouraging more of this bullshit behavior by other landlords)

btw property tax records, which contain the name and address of the ownership entity for any propert, are public record. it would take about 10 minutes for someone to figure out who owns this bldg and report them to the SF Tenants union (and/or whatever gov’t authority is in charge of enforcing this stuff)

Sad thing is the landlord probably got a landslide of replies and will get $4k month for that POS plus whatever BRIBE (signing bonus, my ass) is offered on top of it.

This is clearly not a landlord or property management company; clearly a renter trying to sublease their apt. And make some money…
OR, they’re a renter trying to feel out the rental market. Shady either way.

It sucks for now, but it’s only a temporary problem; in five years the majority of the high-paying programming / software dev. jobs will be outsourced somewhere overseas.

Anyone know of a soon-to-be-hip neighborhood in Mumbai?

You say “clearly.” Care to clarify? I think this reads like a landlord. Some d-bag who inherited the building from grandpa.

Lots of people sublet apartments in the Mission; sometimes for years (like my old neighbor), often times at exorbitant rates - this has been going on for a long time. I think a good tip-off is that they don’t want to communicate via email, only over the phone. perhaps trying to avoid getting caught by the actual landlord / property manager.

Of course we can’t be sure, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet. Not that I would put it past a landlord, either…

The person can’t even spell Duboce.

Holy caca. Next time LA-based anarcho genderless rioters bust up windows in the Mission, I might be a little glad to see them. These rents are embarrassing! Shame on the landlords. Let’s all bid $1/month.

This is the exact scenario I encountered 6 months ago while apartment hunting in the mission. An open house would be listed for 2100 or so and within 30 minutes of arriving, the going bid would be at least 600 more and rising (with volunteered “signing bonuses.” What a waste of a perfectly good Saturday.

I actually just got an apartment at Valencia & Duboce for $2400/month. Brand new appliances, all hardwood floors, plenty of storage and 700 sq ft. This article made me feel extremely fortunate! It’s ridiculously how varying the market is right now, and it really does comes down to sheer dumb luck. We got really lucky with the circumstances surrounding ours. I will say, it did take us months of searching and checking CL religiously before finding a ours. So don’t get discouraged, just allow yourself plenty of time to look and eventually everything will fall into place.

it sucks that someone who pays 2400 dollars a month for a one bedroom at valencia and duboce actually feels grateful in this market!

seriously, 2 years ago my $1650 West Add 1BR was considered overpriced….now I’m ‘lucky’ to be getting gouged every month.

In 2002, my old landlord tried to charge us $2100 for a rent-controlled 3.5 BR in the Upper Haight. We told him he was crazy and he conceded by lowering it to $1850 without thinking twice. Our argument was simple “we can move anywhere else in this hood for way less and then you’ll have to market it all over again”….that was a compelling case back then.

Amen EW77. These people have no idea just how much rentals have gone up WAY UP over the last 20 years. They also are probably not new enough to know just how bad the rental situation was in the mid 70’s to have housing activists push hard enough to get rent control. Anyone who does not know SF history farther back than 1980 should do some homework and see what no rent control would possibly re-create here in the city. Look up the Gartland Fire in the mission. See how greedy and out of hand property owners/developers can get if left unchecked. Remember, a HUGE amount of SF real estate has been bought by multi-national corporations, not mom and pop property owners. We know what happens when the slumlord is not even in the country to be held accountable. San Francisco IS a rent controlled city and it should always remain that way. It was a long hard fight to create a little bit of safety and security for renters. Remember without them, real estate owners would make NOTHING! The rich are only singing this song because they have never been on the flip side. Watch how fast they would turn their argument if put in such conditions! And it might happen… In this town, nobody is safe for good here.

This is not new - seen places at duboce + market and along that corridor go for extremely high rents. No idea why people pay it, but they do.

The rent is TOO DAMN high! [drops mic…walks off-stage]

I recently got a 1 bedroom apartment not far from there at Duboce and Church for …wait for it… $2300 / month and that includes UTILITIES paid.

I signed the lease sometime late April 2012 this year. It comes with a brand new front loading high efficiency washer and dryer set, sink with garbage disposal and sink hose, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, massive gas stove, and hardwood floors throughout. It’s been completely refurbished AND they allow pets (including LARGE dogs) for a small $500 deposit. No pet rent.

Honestly, it’s luck and being super aggressive and looking at EVERYTHING. When I first looked I thought this place was TINY compared to my HUGE place in the Tenderloin. Then again it was in the Tenderloin and I hated everything about that neighborhood (but was somehow paying $2100 for my *old* place). Respectable management companies will not require you to bid. I’d steer far and clear of a place that requires you to do that shit.

2100 is not a good deal for a 1BR. I can’t believe this is even acceptable.

When I moved to the city, 2 of my friends got studios. Once paid 1600 in Russian Hill, the other paid $1250 in Lower Pac Heights. I remember laughing at both of them at the time because I thought they were getting ripped off.

Now people are bragging about $2100 for a 1BR? Jesus.

I should note that this was almost exactly 2 years ago.

Yeah, I had exactly the same thought.

I too think that is insane!

My friend just signed a lease for a tiny ass studio (like really tiny) on Valencia and 20th for $1700!!!!! I think I will hold on to my 5 bedroom in Lower Haight for $2830.

Seriously! I’ve had my 2br at 23rd & Harrison for 4 years. Rent’s $1800. This still seems like so much money to me. I can’t even fathom paying almost as much, if not more, for a smaller space.

P.S. That apartment is ugly. I don’t know who would EVER pay $3000 / month for that pile.

Is that one of the Zeitgeist Hotel rooms?

I recommend sending this greedy piece of poo an email, letting him (her?) know what a, well, greedy piece of poo they really are. It feels nice.

All the people who complained about the rent. You insist on living in SF and then you complain the rent is too high. There are other places to live, you know. Whenever I mentioned Oakland, Daly City, even Crocker Amazon, just to name a few; people is like: OH no, I’d never live there! I want to be in SF! Well, you want SF you have to pay up. It’s that simple. Why don’t y’all just decide to live somewhere else so I will have less competition!!! ;)

All you people who are living in rent controlled apt paying $600 for a two bedrooms in someplace like Nob Hill. Screw you too! You guys are just as greedy as this landlord. My high rent goes to subsidize you guys! Why don’t you move to somewhere you can afford so the rest of can have more rental stocks to chose from!! I’ll give you a pass if you’re elderly or disabled. I be glad to subsidize you guys.

Hooey. That old “Rent Control causes high rents!” myth was debunked years ago. Only the truly delusional still push that line of snake oil.

Mind debunking it one more time for the rest of us? I’m not necessarily doubting you, but the intuitive answer (which admittedly is often misleading) doesn’t seem like it has a lot of holes in it.

Property owner desires at least an X% rate of return on investment, has to rent some units below the necessary rent to achieve that RoR due to rent control, rents at a higher rate to new tenants to make up for the difference. Of course there’s a limit to how much you can raise the rent before potential tenants start rejecting it, but given the recent surge of money coming in plus the huge amount of people from all over the world who want to live here, that limit seems to be pretty high.

It’s not so much an issue of “debunking,” it’s that there’s no compelling evidence to support the hypothesis.

Don’t cop out on me now, can you at least explain your version of the simple scenario above?

I can’t do that unless you explain how your scenario affects rental prices in both scenarios. You didn’t really compare the two.

No, you’ve got it backwards. It doesn’t matter what rate of return the property owner desires. What matters is how much people are willing to pay for an apartment. The rate of return only comes into play, really, when someone is figuring how much to pay for an apartment building.

The argument that rent control increases prices goes something like this:

Rent control discourages people from moving out of their cheap apartments. Fewer people moving mean that there are fewer apartments becoming available. So you have more people chasing the fewer apartments, and they’ll drive prices higher.

Also, there may be owners who leave their apartments empty because they want to use them for something else in the future (maybe selling them, or for family members) and feel that having rent-controlled tenants would be more trouble than the rental income is worth. Again reducing the number of apartments available.

People might also be willing to pay more for the knowledge that their rent will be fixed and that they can’t be evicted. All else being equal, a rent-controlled apartment is worth more than an identical one that’s not, and so people will be willing to pay more.

There are hundreds of market rate apartments that are being built in and around the mission or planned to be built in the near future. I don’t think that landlords would lower rents based on more apartments being available, it would still be what the market bears and those rents would still be pretty high. Rent control is invaluable to alot of people and families who don’t make close to 80-100K.

The one flaw I see in this argument is that, if a person moves from one apartment to another, that doesn’t put more apartments on the market. That just puts a different apartment on the market.

What I’m picturing (and what I’ve experienced elsewhere in non-rent-controlled cities), if we didn’t have rent control, is that people do move way more often–like at least once a year. They move and move as their places get more and more expensive, until such time as either [a] it finally gets so expensive that it’d be cheaper to buy a home, or [b] they have to move to a cheaper town or city.

Yeah, the Tooth Fairy debunked it. Along with the myth that the earth is round.

Rent Control should be Means Tested like most other government subsidies (Food Stamps, Section 8, etc).

How is it that an affordable housing subsidy (rent control) is being doled out to Facebook, Apple, Google, Etc employees?

I couldn’t agree more! Incidentally, Crocker Amazon is IN/PART OF San Francisco (and of course Oaktown and D City are not). As are The Excelsior, Portola, Ingleside, & Mission Terrace - all (much more affordable) neighborhoods routinely ignored by the “rent is too damn high” moaners. Yes, you really can live close to Mission St. and not have to pay exorbitant rent - just cross 280 and come a mile or two south. Yes, it’s still San Francisco. Don’t be afraid. And guess what? It’s kinda’ like what the Mission used to be like - if you really are pissed at all the Mission gentrification (and you are, right?) come on down to the land of non-gentrification. You can handle that. Can’t you?

Oh, and it’s safer too.…

I’m glad somebody said it!

Except, then you are part of the gentrification of the bayshore and hunters point. You are moving into their community which has been systematically thinned and forced out of the part of town that they have called home for generations. It is a no win when all these transplants come to our town and start telling us what to do to make them more money.

but I think the point of most of the complaints are that market rate has virtually doubled over a 2 year period. Those of us who set up work, family, life etc within our means have a tough time keeping up when the cost of living changes so drastically over a short period. When we signed our lease 2 years ago, we made sure it was within our budget. If rent control didn’t exist, we would essentially be paying an additional $1400/mth to live in the same place. I don’t know about you, but my salary doesn’t increase at that rate.

And what if we have lived here 15+ years and YOU descend on OUR city and try to force us out with the greedy buck. For some of us, we did not make $200,000 a year but we brought art and culture to “your” precious town. Who the hell do you think you are? YOU ARE THE NEW INFILTRATOR! GO MAKE YOUR OWN UTOPIA IF YOU WANT THIS GATED BLISS! God your F**ed up attitude is what kills the soul of this city! Makes me a bit sick. Go back to where ever you bought your way through to get here!

the blurry images are freaking me out. I keep looking away to make sure it’s not my eyes

For once, I’m glad I own in this city.

I just hope they start rebuilding freeways so I have somewhere to live (underneath one) when I’m 60 and no one wants to pay me to work anymore.

It is only a “Landlord’s Market” when the lease is signed. Over the long run, with usual capped rent increases of < 2% per year, every tenancy benefits a tenant in rent-controlled apartments.

What a dump. It’s only worth $475.00 in the real world. Anyone who would pay $3,000 for that crappy crime-laden neighborhood and that cockroach-laden apartment deserves to be screwed over. The owner must have (a) psychological problems or (b) drug problems. This is the very reason why I moved out of San Francisco. I lived there for years and the greed of the property owners was just overwhelming. Yet fools pay and that sends a message to landlords they can get away with this stuff. The Mission, especially at this location, is loud and noisy day and night, with drunks screaming in the street, muggings, police sirens, VERY BAD parking problems in that area and more. You’ll hear the sound of the buses, street cars and traffic through the windows and won’t be able to sleep at night.

I have friends who own rental properties and rent none of the apartments out. What happened is (at least they claim) when their parents who bought a lot of apartment buildings in the 1960s got hit with rent control in the 1970s their parents did not re-rent an apartment when the tenant moved out. My friends inherited 8 buildings and over 200 apartments and they are all empty, they did not rent a place when the person moved out (or died). So I thought there must be something wrong with the buildings? they said nope. They only pay the property taxes because their parents owned them (no mortgage) by the 1990s when they passed away. Why wouldn’t they sell the buildings? My friends are holding them for the land value only.

I would rent the apartments out. But it’s their property. Their parents refused to do the rent control deal and my friends won’t either. They said a lot of apartments are not rented out anymore because of their same reasons.

I found this link because I still found it hard to believe:…

“31,000, or one in 12, rental units in San Francisco sit vacant. Which should make no sense, why would landlords hold back vacant units when rents are nearing all-time highs?

“The answer: Rent control.

“San Francisco has a maze of rent control ordinances, the intricacies of which fill reams of municipal regulations, to protect tenants against greedy landlords. You know, the 1%. Landlords face strict limits on how, when and where they can raise rents, among just about every other action landlords normally take. As a result, long-time tenants often enjoy super low rents and strong protections against landlords replacing them with tenants willing to pay market rents.

A big part of the reason that vacant properties should be taxed.

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