Where can I live in San Francisco for the summer?
April 21, 2013 2:16 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any information on good deals on apartments in the Mission/Potrero/Soma neighborhoods of San Fran? I need a few months this summer for an internship.

Hey guys-

I'm a graphic design student from Florida and I recently got an internship with a company in San Francisco- but compared to finding housing, getting the internship was relatively simple. I've been trying for a few weeks now, already almost been scammed once, a couple more sure-deals dropped out, and I'm just frustrated and I'm not sure where to go next. It doesn't help that I need to figure this out during finals week.

Does anyone live in the area/who is familiar with the area know where to go for decent deals on housing? It's a paid internship thank goodness, but it affords me 1200/month to spend on housing. Food and everything else is another story altogether. so I'm trying to stay below 1400-1500/month.

I've been scouring craigslist, airbnb, etc, but come up short.

Thanks for any and all help.
posted by drd to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You might want to look into places in the East Bay, particularly the areas of Berkeley and Oakland close to BART stops. A lot of UC Berkeley students move out or otherwise sublet their apartments for the summer, so you might have better luck looking in that side of the bay. I can't 100% tell from your post, but if you're working in SoMa or the Mission, you'll have a relatively easy and quick (~30 minutes-ish) commute on BART, and a bit longer to Potrero Hill. Good luck!
posted by un petit cadeau at 2:32 PM on April 21, 2013

Those are all rather expensive places to live in the city and apartments with roommates will be harder to find. It is going to come down to luck. If you haven't already you should definitely ask your employer and any friends you have if they have any leads.

Your best bet at finding a place in time is to expand your search to include the rest of the city and Oakland and Berkeley. The commute time will be about the same, like around 30 - 40 minutes and you might actually find a place at that price.
posted by grizzly at 2:41 PM on April 21, 2013

Thirding the east bay. SOMA, Mission, and Portrero are low supply/high demand, while Oakland’s downtown area remains relatively affordable. Memail me (I’ll try to remember to check) if you want any neighborhood safety & amenity spot checks.
posted by migurski at 2:58 PM on April 21, 2013

Craigslist, on the 'temporary/sublets' page, but even going further west in San Francisco would open up the Castro, Lower Haight, Western Addition, Haight Ashbury, Inner Richmond... most of which are not that far away by bike or transit. They are expensive in their own right, but the wider the net you cast, the better your chances. You might also consider taking temporary one-month rentals and bouncing around from place to place. It will be much much easier to sort this out in person when you're in the city than if you're coming from far away.

Also, check airbnb again. Use the keyword search 'hacker'. There are new places called 'Hacker Houses' popping up that offer bunk-bed hostel-style accommodation and cater to people in your sort of situation. Many have monthly rates. Here's one for $975/month in SoMa.
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:17 PM on April 21, 2013 [3 favorites]

I agree that expanding your choice of neighborhoods is your best bet. If your job is in downtown SF it would have decent access for much of SF and places on BART.
posted by oneear at 3:55 PM on April 21, 2013

You should also check the area around SF State, which is farther away but on a Muni (train) line. Re: the East Bay, keep in mind that you'll need to factor BART costs into your budget (not cheap on a daily basis, cross-bay x 2 trips per day); however, your rent (especially if you share housing) will be much lower so you'll probably come out ahead.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 4:11 PM on April 21, 2013

Something else to consider is that there is usually very very little housing on craigslist that is up a couple months in advance, like it sounds like you've been looking. You'll probably start seeing more stuff ~30 days before your move-in date, when people are giving, well, their 30 days notice. And seconding PercussivePaul that you probably won't be able to find something ideal until you're actually in the city--most people I know wouldn't rent to someone they couldn't meet in person.
posted by tan_coul at 11:49 PM on April 21, 2013

As I understand it, people in SF, especially in those neighborhoods, get barraged with messages whenever any roommate wanted ad is posted. You'll have to get lucky. That said, I think $1,200 will still get you a bedroom (though even that may be a little low these days).

Maybe it goes without saying, but you're not going to find your own place at that price in those neighborhoods.

There are hacker houses, as @PercussivePaul mentioned, but be forewarned that you may be living with 10-plus young men who are up at odd hours in a place that doesn't get cleaned very often. Not all hacker houses are that way, but don't be surprised.

Here's an article about people in the city renting closets and laundry rooms.

Look for roommate situations, maybe sublets near USF or San Francisco State and as others have said, you might also look near BART stations in Oakland and Berkeley (but not South Berkeley), where you're much more likely to find success at that price.
posted by cnc at 2:42 PM on April 22, 2013

I would definitely expand your geographic area a bit. You don't say where your internship is, but as long as it's accessible by some form of public transportation then you can live in a lot of places, including the East Bay. Google Maps has transportation directions and you can also look up Muni and BART maps online.
posted by radioamy at 6:09 PM on April 22, 2013

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