If $1,125 sounds like a steal for a San Francisco apartment rental, it is—but you get what you pay for. Business Insider reports on the "real-estate bliss" being offered to the city's "desperate renters" by startup HomeShare, which has since 2016 leased apartments in luxury buildings that it then carves up to squeeze out an additional bedroom, lowering the per-person cost: What is originally a 2-bedroom, for instance, gets an "upholstered partition" in the living room that creates bedroom No. 3, which is sized to hold a queen-sized bed and goes for as low as $1,125. (Opt for the unit's bedroom with private bath, and you'll pay a minimum of $1,700). So how big a deal is that? Curbed SF points out a renter can pay HomeShare $1,300 for a converted room in SF's LSeven building—or lease a 472-square-foot studio from the building directly for $3,080.
The company also operates in Silicon Valley and New York City, and while it's tight-fisted on usage numbers, CEO Jeff Pang did tell Business Insider that since its 2016 founding it has gotten 30,000 applications from would-be Bay Area residents. HomeShare takes a slice of the rent, and the residents gain entry to amenities-rich buildings they otherwise couldn't financially swing. As San Francisco Magazine puts it, "It’s a fit for the kind of person who needs to scrounge cash and will tolerate roommates, but craves panoramic views and glistening new plumbing fixtures." As for those roommates, BuzzBuzzNews explains that after completing a questionnaire, HomeShare matches you with "Homies," though those looking to live with friends have the option of doing so. (This man opted to live in a spider-filled van rather than pay rent in San Francisco.)