The 11 San Francisco Roommates You Just Might Live With When You Rent

Burning Man is a journey. A year-long journey. When you live with a Burner, you’ll know what you mean. 

If you rent in San Francisco, there’s a good chance that at some point you’ll have a roommate. After all, in a city where supply and demand has pushed rents to new heights, finding someone to split the cost of living with is, for many, the only way to afford living here. The good news is that having a roommate can be fun – just as long as she’s not the type to finish the milk and put the empty carton back in the fridge. Or worse: drink your last beer.

Still, it’s always good to know what you might be in for. So we’ve compiled a list of the 11 San Francisco roommates with whom you just might be lucky enough to share a DVR, bathroom, and electric bill. Oh, and life-long memories, of course. Don’t forget about those.

1. The Burner

6086926110_1748163eff_bOh, did you want to park your car in here? | Photo courtesy of SharonaGott.

Savor the ten days he spends each year on The Playa because every other day will be spent listening to him talk about getting ready for Burning Man, “decompressing” from Burning Man, or spending $2500 on LED lights for his Burning Man art project. That he’s building in your living room. Where his Burning Man friend has been staying on the couch for a month.

2. The Tech Bro

RS5753_TechBuses20130722-scr-e1386614790147He gets to nap and watch Netflix during his commute; you get to stand on a crowded muni bus next to a guy who’s singing along to his radio and a woman carrying a live chicken. | Photo courtesy KQED.

Is it annoying that he makes 10x more than you do, rides a fancy bus with Wi-Fi to work every day, eats all of his meals for free, and never leaves SoMa? Absolutely. But at least you know he’ll always have the rent money and in this economy, that’s worth a lot.

3. The Native

san_francisco_native_womens_cap_sleeve_tshirtIf only she didn’t insist on wearing this every time you guys go out together. 

No matter how much fun you have doing something, the Native San Franciscan is there to remind you that it used to be even *more* fun twenty years ago. Still, she does know where the best all-you-can-eat sushi is, (hopefully) has a family vacation house not too far away, and always invites you to Thanksgiving dinner.

4. The Startup Engineer

236037928_132a3912f9_bAlso, he probably has a cat. | Photo courtesy of Jon Ward

He comes home after midnight and is still asleep when you leave for work. If you can get over the fact that he’s never once made his bed, thinks socks with sandals is an acceptable look, and has no shame about eating McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this might be the perfect person with whom to live.

5. The SF Newbie

3137280135_3e846ec920_bOkay, so maybe next time you’ll go on the bike ride. | Photo courtesy of Ben Godfrey.

Like a sweet little puppy, this recent transplant is bursting at the seams to go to all of the bars, eat all of the food, climb all of the hills, and see all of the things. Sure, you’re going to pass on riding bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge and going to Alcatraz for the fifth time, but admit it: it’s kind of nice to live with someone who wants to go to the Exploratorium as much as you do.

6. The Girl with a Car

9953161623_bc10acf053_kBy the way, you owe her gas money. Seriously. | Photo courtesy of Joe Goldberg

You don’t have a car because you refuse to pay $300 for a parking space (although the reason you give others is that you’re super into taking care of the environment). Thank goodness for your roommate who’s always cool about driving you to IKEA, taking you grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, and letting you tag along on her weekend trips to Tahoe or Stinson.

7. The Guy Who Works From Home

3169836251_b62772064d_bWhat exactly does he DO anyway? | Photo courtesy of Logan Ingalls.  

8 a.m.: You’re leaving for work; he’s sitting on the couch, wearing last night’s pajamas, computer on lap, mug of coffee on table.

6 p.m. You’re coming home from work; he’s sitting on the couch, wearing last night’s pajamas, computer on lap, and… well, at least the coffee mug now has wine in it?

8. The Social Media Addict

11362345725_8433cd2d12_bBut first, let me take a #selfie. | Photo courtesy of Mary Rose Munoz.

Forget about privacy because you’re life is about to become a series of OHes, Instagram pics, and untagging yourself from unflattering Facebook photos. And yes, she really posted that video of you drunk at 1 a.m. for the entire world to see. And no, she doesn’t understand why that’s a big deal. “This is just what people do now!”

9. The Couple

SF coupleOh, did you want to sit down? On your couch? In your living room? Sorry: not gonna happen. | Image courtesy of Suse Wall

Oh, did you think you were just going to be living with Mary? Hahahahaha. Sure, Mary promised that her boyfriend would only sleep over “once in a while,” but as soon as she told you Tom lives in the East Bay, you should have known you’d be a third wheel in your own home. And yes, they’re in the shower together. Again.

10. The Old Dude

432933463_17a0b6bf0a_o“Wake me up when it’s time to go to the bar!” | Photo courtesy of 沈祥玄.

That stereotype about “grownups” getting married or at least getting their own place when they’re old? Yeah, that’s not a thing in San Francisco. Add one part Peter Pan syndrome with three parts soaring rents and you get people in their late 30s, 40s and 50s still living with roomies.

11. The Hipster

9338723370_f6946644c8_zThere’s nothing ironic about this. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Fuentes.

Every day his jeans will be a little tighter, his scarf a little brighter, and his unkempt beard a little longer. Also, he will consistently invite you to hang and drink Ballantine IPAs with him at Dolores Park. On a Monday. At 11 a.m. He’s just not into the whole 9-to-5 corporate thing, ya know?


Cover photo courtesy of Abraxas3d.