Forget the “Top 10 Neighborhoods in SF” lists. Try these more affordable alternatives.
Priced Out Of: OUTER SUNSET
Median Price SFR: $1,400,000
Median Price SFR: $1,120,000
Everyone knows the Sunset is on *fire*, with 30+ offers on just about every home, and prices spiking from one week to the next. Ingleside, just south of Ocean Ave, offers its own scrappy, locals-only community vibe that reminds us a lot of the Outer Aves. There are smaller-scale homes, much like the blocks west of Sunset, that offer some more affordable entry points to single-family home ownership. Plus (ding ding!) there is a Muni rail line, a Whole Foods, and tons of great ramen shops and yoga studios on Ocean Ave.
Priced Out Of: NOE, CASTRO, and COLE VALLEY (Condos)
Median Price Condo: $1.4m and $1.5m, respectively
Try: TWIN PEAKS
Median Price Condo: around $1m
Twin Peaks is an oft-overlooked neighborhood; surprising considering its central location. The trek up the hill and the foggier climate are the main contributors to prices that are downright cheap compared to anywhere else in District 5 (which includes Duboce Triangle, Mission Dolores, Noe, Castro, Cole Valley, etc.), but it’s closer than you think! Did you know that there’s a secret footbridge that connects Corbett with the top of Noe Valley? Take the stroll one day – you may be surprised. Plus, Twin Peaks offers jaw-dropping views of the city skyline and access to one of the best urban hikes in the US.
Priced Out Of: PACIFIC HEIGHTS (condos)
Media Price Condo: $1,450,000 but has been as high as $2.1m in the past 12 months
Try: JORDAN PARK/LAUREL HEIGHTS
Median Price Condo: hovers right around $1.3m
If Pacific Heights is feeling out of reach, try looking just south of California Street. Jordan Park and Laurel Heights are fantastic alternatives that still offer access to that north side, old SF feel. Jordan Park has some wide streets populated by grand-scale single-family homes, but condos in smaller classic buildings can also be found. There’s a lot of beautiful architecture to enjoy, the gourmet shopping experience at Laurel Village is excellent, and you can still stroll Sacramento Street.
Priced Out Of: ST. FRANCIS WOOD
Median Price SFR: $3,400,000
Try: FOREST HILL
Median Price Condo: $2,500,000
Tree-lined streets, stately facades, expansive lots… these are the hallmarks of St. Francis Wood, and they can all be found in nearby Forest Hill. Forest Hill also offers many blocks that are a comfortable stroll away from West Portal Ave; a convenience that drives prices and desirability in both neighborhoods. Like St. Francis Wood, Forest Hill has a neighborhood association. There is more architectural diversity in Forest Hill; red-roofed Mediterraneans, Mid-Century moderns, and California craftsmans can all be found there. The gem of Forest Hill is the clubhouse, designed by famed architect Bernard Maybeck and used for community events.
With more than 90 distinct neighborhoods in San Francisco, there really is something for everyone! Keep an open mind during the home buying process, and you might get pleasantly surprised.
*median prices listed above are prices from March 2021. Email us anytime for updated info on home prices in San Francisco.