This Small SF Apartment (With a Toilet in the Shower) Is Still for Rent

And more dystopian listings that have joined it since it was first listed in July.

On more than one occasion, I’ve played the heartstrings that pull on my love for all things tiny living. (Never Too Small’s YouTube channel is my consoling balm on bad days — and a creative well for ways to organize my own 160-square-foot domicile.) But there is such a thing as going too small, too minimalistic. When these quirks begin to affect your quality of life, particularly when it comes attached to a high rental price, we’ve crossed that undefined line.

Alas, that’s exactly what this demoralizing San Francisco apartment has done.

It’s 116 square feet; there’s a toilet in the shower; there’s no cooking stove; when the Murphy bed is deployed, the entire room effectively becomes a bed frame.

And it can still all be had for a dizzying $1,500 a month. 

 The studio apartment located at 698 Bush Street, Unit 405, remains one of the smallest living spaces to come onto the market in recent memory on Zillow — a sobering reality made worse with the introduction of new like-sized domiciles offered with similar monthly rents. 

Photo: Courtesy of Zillow

For example, two single-room occupancy (SRO) units at 952 Sutter Street are on the rental market for $1,450, each of them smaller than 180 square feet and include shared bathrooms. The Mission CoLiving, a swanky take on adult dorms, is marketing a handful of 125-square-foot units at $1,395 a month; these, too, appear to have shared bathrooms. 

(To quell any criticisms re: the shared bathroom situations, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them. I live in a 160-square-foot SRO with a bathroom I share with another hallmate. But I pay less than $1,100 for my unit — hundreds of dollars less than these units, which I could [and still can] justify. Had I been forced to pay the amounts listed above, my quality of life would’ve suffered and those monthly savings would’ve ultimately faded into tighter budget restraints and fewer nights spent on drinks poured at the Cinch Saloon.)

Photo: Courtesy of Zillow

The Zillow listing, which was authored by SF Bay Rental Company, described that the kitchenette features a “stone countertop, stainless sink, mini fridge, and modern cabinets,” though no oven or stovetop is included. As for the wet bathroom, the company notes it comes complete with “modern fixtures and shower.” 

Like I’ve said prior: What my eyes can’t unsee isn’t ironically the shower curtain rail placed over the toilet, but the frosted-over bathroom doors walling off the living space.

And to comfortably afford such a dwelling — meaning someone spends no more than 30% of their gross income on housing, which would include any rents, mortgages, and utilities — an applicant would need to bring in around $60,000 a year. 

For an apartment that is less than twice the size of a standard jail cell. In a city where the average apartment has increased about 14% from this time last year — amid a time in this country where housing supplies are exhausted and rental markets in other coastal cities, like New York, are seeing renters who took advantage of “pandemic pricing” are being priced out.

We welcome $10,000 student debt forgiveness, but it’s not the lifeboat we need; it’s a floaty that will only keep our heads above water for only so much time. And with inflation now having risen over 8.3% over the past year, respite isn’t on the horizon. It’s not even on this mortal plane… or so it feels like.

But should you wade through this increasingly expensive time to be alive in this apartment, at least you won’t have a long trip to the bathroom.

Feature Image: Courtesy of Zillow

1 Comment

Leave a Reply