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What Apartment Hunting In San Francisco Is Really Like

We all know shopping for a place to rent in one of America's best cities is no cakewalk.

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You religiously, obsessively hit the ‘refresh’ button every 5 minutes on whatever listing website you’re using.

You can spot a scam listing from a mile away. $1,000 a month one-bedrooms don’t exist in this city.

You arrive at an apartment showing to find out you’re the 20th in line. You try to contain your waves of panic …but hey, at least you’re not that guy who’s number forty.

There’s a bouncer at the apartment showing because letting everyone in would be a fire hazard.

You arrive at a showing prepared with your checkbook, plus the obligatory manila file documenting every detail of your rental history. It may or may not include a resume for your pet cat.

You act like a sycophant to pass the roommate interview process.

Weird roommates? You can deal! (Hey, the rent’s under $1200!)

Median rent in San Francisco is $3,300 a month. If you spend one-third your income on rent (the amount the federal government says you should budget for housing), you should be earning about $9,900 a month, or $118,800 a year.

So most likely you’re either spending half your income on rent (and earning 72K per year) or living with a roommate. According to Zillow, median rent is $3,300 a month and rising 10 percent year-over-year.

So most likely you’re either spending half your income on rent (and earning 72K per year) or living with a roommate.

According to Zillow, median rent is $3,300 a month and rising 10 percent year-over-year.

But hey, renting is more affordable than buying. The median home value in San Francisco is $876,400.

With 20 percent down on a 30-year mortgage, you’d be paying at least $5,441 per month based on today’s 4.466% interest rate, according to Zillow's mortgage calculator.

With 20 percent down on a 30-year mortgage, you’d be paying at least $5,441 per month based on today’s 4.466% interest rate, according to Zillow's mortgage calculator.

So once you find a rent-controlled apartment, you are never, ever going to move. Ever.

Choosing a neighborhood is a lifestyle choice.

And you secretly judge those who don't live in your neck of the woods.

And you secretly judge those who don't live in your neck of the woods.

Not all rents are overpriced in San Francisco, unless you want to live in the fog…

or a 30-minute bus ride away.

or a 30-minute bus ride away.

You’ve been beat out of an apartment (or out-bidded) more than once.

You settle on a rental budget and keep adding to it in $100 increments.

If you ask anybody how they found their apartment, they say something about "just getting lucky."

But in reality everyone crashes on their friend's couch or moves home to buy a few more weeks to apartment hunt.

But in reality everyone crashes on their friend's couch or moves home to buy a few more weeks to apartment hunt.

But really, the apartment hunt is a rite of passage to live in one of the most amazing cities in the world.

Check out rentals in San Francisco on Zillow.com.

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