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San FranciscoSan Francisco is a thriving 46-square mile city at the end of a peninsula bordered by the Pacific and the SF Bay. The rich history of immigrants, gold seekers, and cultural visionaries is intertwined with the evolution of housing and urban developments. It has been called a natural place for storytellers and a society at the edge of thought. This is a cosmopolitan city that, because of its geography, retains an intimate feel within its close knit neighborhoods. In minutes you can travel from the blue skies of the Embarcadero to the shadows of the financial district to the neighborhoods filled with Victorian, Queen Anne, and Edwardian homes that make up the central and western portions of the city. Often, the property values rise with the hills and the views. Neighborhoods have shopping and dining areas that define their lifestyle, whether it is the dog-friendly coffee houses in Bernal Heights or the trendy urban shops that identify Hayes Valley.
Marina/Cow HollowThe operative word for this scenic corner of San Francisco is "fun." Besides excellent shopping and dining, there are three palace-style movie houses, live theater, museums, and miles of gorgeous paths and trails inside the Presidio and along the Marina Green. If you live here, you can wake up on a sunny Sunday, take in a latte with your paper on Chestnut Street, stroll to the Palace of Fine Arts, rollerblade on the Marina Green, and finish with dinner and a movie on Union Street. The Marina and Cow Hollow are separated by Lombard Street, a busy six-lane thoroughfare that whisks Marin Commuters towards downtown. Below Lombard in the more crowded Marina neighborhood, are 1920s "Marina-style" homes and apartments with practical layouts and lovely features like high-coved ceilings and bay windows. Above Lombard Street in Cow Hollow, you'll find older architecture with quaint cottages, dramatic mansions, and elegant, turn-of-the-century apartment buildings.
Pacific Heights/PresidioKnown as one the most prestigious neighborhoods in the City, with some of the most expensive housing, Pacific Heights is famous for its elegant mansions with stunning views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge, boarding schools, foreign consulates and luxury condominiums, co-ops and apartments. Pacific Heights offers many pleasures including numerous parks and the fashionable restaurants, shopping and theaters of Fillmore Street. Located just west of Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights is a small enclave of elegant homes with virtually no apartments. Close to the Presidio, one can enjoy the plentiful space, jogging trails, golf course, etc. Sacramento Street has upscale shops and dining, and Laurel Village on California St offers the convenience of two grocery stores, banks, a Starbucks, and a GAP kids - this is an area where you will see lots of strollers.
RichmondThe Richmond District spreads across the northwest corner of San Francisco and is known for its orderly residential streets nestled around Russian cathedrals, Asian restaurants, and Mexican open markets. The commercial center of Clement Street offers a rich variety of dining experiences that draw people from all over the City. Public transit options are the Balboa and Geary bus lines, which run express buses during commute hours. There's also easy access to the Golden Gate Bridge by car via Park Presidio Boulevard. The majority of homes were built in the 1920s and 1930s, but the turn-of-the-century styles that San Francisco is known for are represented as well. If you find being near the beach appealing, you should check out the Sutro Heights area above Geary, which offers breathtaking views of the San Francisco shoreline.
Sea Cliff/Lake StreetSea Cliff is an immaculate residential enclave with manicured lawns and impressive gardens. Most of the houses were built between 1920 and 1929 in the Mediterranean style. Visible between the single family, freestanding homes are slices of the dramatic panorama of the Golden Gate and the Marin headlands. Sea Cliff is the only SF neighborhood that touches the Ocean. Nestled below the dramatic seaside homes is China Beach, named after the fishing shacks that once huddled here, and Baker Beach. If you like green open space there is Lands End, which is part of the Golden Gate National Park, directly to the west of Sea Cliff. Nestled south of the Presidio and east of Sea Cliff is the neighborhood of Lake. Mostly Edwardian homes and apartments line the streets of this quaint neighborhood that provides easy access to Presidio Golf Course and has very ample parking.
Laurel VillageThis corner of San Francisco consists of 3 distinct residential areas including Jordan Park, Laurel Heights and Lone Mountain. It's a quiet neighborhood that was even quieter long ago when it was covered with cemeteries. Now it's a secret part of San Francisco that people who are new to the housing market don't find out about right away. That's because there's little turnover and people who are lucky enough to live here tend to stick around for awhile. Housing types and amenities will vary here depending on which part you go to. Around the USF Lone Mountain campus, you'll see elegant homes and flats from the 1920s and 1950s on cul-de-sac streets like Hemway and Ewing. Jordan Park, north of Geary, is a delightful find with its broad tree-lined streets and spectacular 1920s mansions. Finally, the Laurel Village Shopping Center on California Street anchors a neat little pocket of 1950s homes and apartments set on curving streets with front lawns.
Russian HillVisitors and residents fall in love with the steep hills, cable cars, jewel-box buildings, and dazzling vistas of Russian Hill. This area offers an abundance of Edwardian and Victorian apartments, with a handful of full-floor contemporary view units thrown in for good measure. These housing styles, set in quintessential San Francisco locations, are a hit with young couples, although single first-time buyers who are willing to squeeze into smaller square footage can also get a footing on the market here with a small one-bedroom or studio.
Nob HillNob Hill was settled in the late 1800's by four mining and railroad industrialists known as the "Big Four" - Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins and Collis P. Huntington. Their once huge mansions have now become some of the most well known hotels including the Fairmont, Mark Hopkins, Stouffer Stanford Court and Huntington. In 1843 the cable car line was completed and led to the residential development of Nob Hill. Today it remains one of San Francisco's most desired addresses, highlighted by several hotels, Grace Cathedral, tremendous views and a quick walk to the Financial District.
Telegraph Hill/DowntownLocated in the upper northeast part of San Francisco is the district of North Beach/Financial District, which also includes North Waterfront and Telegraph Hill. North Beach is located between Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf and was first settled by Italian immigrants in the 1870's. Today, the area is predominantly Italian and is often called the Little Italy of the West. At the heart of North Beach is Washington Square, a grassy piazza where the Church of Saints Peter and Paul sits. Located directly east of North beach is Telegraph Hill, which is known for sweeping 360 degree views and it's well known landmark, Coit Tower. Numerous high-end, high-rise condos and beautiful turn of the century single family homes grace the summit and sides of the hill and offer beautiful views of the Bay.
Western AdditionAn eclectic cultural mix defines this almost-perfect rectangle known as Hayes Valley/Alamo Square. Restaurants and boutiques, from funky to high-end, flourish in the Haight-Fillmore and Hayes Valley neighborhoods. Nightlife options range from hip-hop clubs in the Lower Haight to the Civic Center's symphony, opera, and ballet. To get back and forth, take a bus - there are 14 Muni lines, and a BART Station sits at the foot of Grove Street. Easy access to downtown and the freeway via Gough and Franklin Sts. shorten commute times considerably. Most of this area is covered with San Francisco's celebrated Victorians - the most famous being the Postcard Row homes at Alamo Square. You can also find contemporary lofts and condos springing up around the Hayes Valley area. This area also has one of city's highest concentrations of residential income properties. Its new status as a growing, changing, and progressive neighborhood has given it an air of dynamic sophistication.
Hayes ValleyAn eclectic cultural mix defines this almost-perfect rectangle known as Hayes Valley/Alamo Square. Restaurants and boutiques, from funky to high-end, flourish in the Haight-Fillmore and Hayes Valley neighborhoods. Nightlife options range from hip-hop clubs in the Lower Haight to the Civic Center's symphony, opera, and ballet. To get back and forth, take a bus - there are 14 Muni lines, and a BART Station sits at the foot of Grove Street. Easy access to downtown and the freeway via Gough and Franklin Sts. shorten commute times considerably. Most of this area is covered with San Francisco's celebrated Victorians - the most famous being the Postcard Row homes at Alamo Square. You can also find contemporary lofts and condos springing up around the Hayes Valley area. This area also has one of city's highest concentrations of residential income properties. Its new status as a growing, changing, and progressive neighborhood has given it an air of dynamic sophistication.
SomaSOMA's huge city blocks of residential and industrial buildings are the place to be for the new urban professional. There's easy freeway access and more top restaurants and bars than anywhere else in the city. SOMA draws people from other cosmopolitan cities because it has a true urban feel. Entertainment and culture abound at Yerba Buena, SFMOMA, and at the SOMA. Most are newer construction on busy one-way thoroughfares like Harrison and Folsom or old warehouse alleys like Clara and Ritch. If you buy here, it's likely your building will be flanked by light industrial businesses like auto shops and fabric wholesalers. An exception to this rule is the area right around Yerba Buena, where residents walk to movies, restaurants, and venues. Another pocket of SOMA with a more intimate feel is Langton Street, between Howard and Harrison, with its tree-lined blocks and slightly older architecture.
Inner MissionThe Mission is a colorful neighborhood in San Francisco that is surrounded by Valencia Street on the west, Hwy 101 on the east and north, and Ceaser Chavez Street on the south. This neighborhood is full of colorful Victorians and converted warehouses. A stroll through its heart will take you down 24th Street where Latin music and the smell of Mexican food floats through the windows of colorful eateries and shops. Valencia Street and 16th Street, the area's others retail corridors, have taquerias, noodle shops, and creperies that line the streets. You can find charming pockets of Victorian cottages and flats on 22nd and 23rd street, along alleys like Lexington between 18th and 22nd, or on Shotwell between 20th and 23rd. Loft lovers have a choice between crisp new construction and converted warehouse lofts. New construction is exemplified at 2875-21st and 725. The converted warehouse lofts are at 720 York in the Mill Building or at 728 Alabama in the Alabama Lofts.
South BeachUnder the Bay Bridge is a scenic stretch of waterfront property known as South Beach. One of San Francisco's newest neighborhoods, most of it didn't exist before 1989 when an earthquake toppled the overhead Embarcadero Freeway. Before the earthquake, South Beach was a warehouse district. Today, South Beach is reaching the dramatic potential of its light and views with great restaurants and a spectacular waterfront promenade. You'll find brick-and-timber lofts in converted warehouses on Bryant, Delancey, Beale, and Spear Streets. You can pay as much for a sought-after South Beach loft as for a condominium in Pacific Heights. Options in South Beach are brand-new luxury units with stunning views at One Embarcadero South and The Brannan Towers or equally stylish units at the more seasoned Portside and Baycrest complexes. There are also options for first time homebuyers as many buildings have smaller units where first-time homebuyers can find space.
Potrero HillJust south of SOMA lies the community of Potrero Hill, a quiet, laid-back neighborhood with sunny weather, arresting architecture, and incredible downtown views. The commercial centers on 20th and 18th are magnets for residents on the Hill. On weekends, locals take their kids to the library, meet and greet each other at the ice cream parlor, or bask in the sunshine at cafes and coffee houses with outdoor seating. Potrero Hill's architectural profile is slowly shifting as its Victorians are renovated into spectacular view homes. The Hill's north side is expensive and highly sought-after because of its views and proximity to shopping and dining. By contrast, the Hill's overlooked southwest corner offers some good opportunities among its rustic older homes, with modern condominiums and lofts on streets like Kansas and De Haro.
Bernal Heightsis located on the southeast side of San Francisco on a hill rising above the Mission District and Noe Valley. Ten years ago, everyone considered Bernal's North Slope to be the better part of the neighborhood. That's changed with the advent of commercial development along Cortland Street, which now boasts a clutch of nice restaurants, a grocery store, bookstore, and other small shops. Bernal Heights is one of the last parts of San Francisco where a Victorian can be found for a reasonable price in a sunny neighborhood. If Victorian's are not up your alley, then look no further than St. Mary's Park. This is a great section of Bernal Heights and features 1920s and 1930s bungalow homes with tidy front yards.
Golden Gate ParkGolden Gate Park is the ultimate haven away from urban chaos. A little history about the park, it was deeded to the people in 1870 out of the prescient notion that San Franciscans would one day feel overcrowded. At that time much of the park was covered in sand dunes and blasted by the harsh winds from the ocean. In 1871 a 25 year old civil engineer named William Hammond Hall was appointed the park's first superintendent. Over the next five years, Hall established the park's original design (including the Panhandle) and began introducing grass, trees and numerous plants in an environment most thought too barren for lush foliage. Many of the park's iconic buildings arrived with the 1894 Midwinter Fair, a sprawling expo and carnival meant to boost the economy and increase tourism. San Francisco wanted to prove that it had culture - so a fine-arts museum was built. To prove that outdoor activities could be pursued, horse stables and vast, un-landscaped greens were preserved. And to showcase the exotic and quirky atmosphere of the city, several theme areas were developed, including Cairo St., Japanese Village and an Eskimo habitat. Today the park is home to several activities including boating in Stow Lake, picnicking, sunbathing, watching bison or a concert, visiting the incredible playground including in ground slides and a mini rock wall, riding a carousel, or taking in one of the many museums and gardens. These include the California Academy of Sciences, Conservatory of Flowers, the Garden of Shakespeare's Flowers, the Japanese Tea Garden, De Young Museum, Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum, and the loving Rose Garden which was designed in 1961. You top it all off with a view filled meal at the Beach Chalet, upstairs from the Park Chalet at West edge of the park across from Ocean Beach.
Mission Dolores/Eureka ValleyThis Upper Market district, which includes Duboce Triangle, Mission Dolores and Eureka Valley/Dolores Heights, offers a rich variety of attractive homes, many of them Victorian that are very well maintained. This hilly area offers a variety of dramatic city views. The many amenities on and around Market and Castro Streets make this one of the City's more self-contained neighborhoods. Buses and light rail make commuting downtown and elsewhere within the City easy. It's a vibrant, walkable neighborhood and a great place to people watch. Upper Market houses a progressive population with trendy Castro Street being its hub. The Duboce Triangle is a transition zone, being strategically located between the Lower Haight and the Castro. This former enclave underwent a personality change in the 1970s, when business and home-owners began renovating the area's Victorians, a trend that quickly spread to other parts of the city.
Noe ValleyLong ago Noe Valley's fertile land was covered with cattle and sheep. Now the real estate here enjoys some of the fastest appreciation in San Francisco. This neighborhood is a hit with families and young couples who stroll down busy 24th Street or amble about the outer Church area. There's good access to the freeway and light rail, warm weather, nice views, and great shopping. Noe Valley is best known for its grand turn-of-the-century single-family homes. Its true housing stock is quite eclectic but always charming. Examples are tiny garden apartments on alley streets like Elizabeth and Vicksburg, Edwardian flats on Sanchez or Church Street, peaked-roof hillside cottages above Diamond, and contemporary view homes that sit where Castro Street dead ends in the neighborhood's southwest corner.
Sunset/ParksideThe Sunset, San Francisco's largest neighborhood, is roughly 450 blocks laid out in a grid of numbered streets and alphabetized avenues. Most of it is quite flat, except for Golden Gate Heights where spectacular view homes sit on streets that twist and wind around Grandview Park and the Golden Gate Heights Playground. The homes in the Outer Sunset are generally post-WWII construction. The Inner Sunset is anchored by the UCSF Medical Center on Parnassus. The homes of the Inner Sunset are built in Victorian and Edwardian styles. The neighborhood has quite a few of the popular Doelger-built homes, known for their high-coved ceilings and gracious floor plans.
Twin PeaksFrom both Twin Peaks and Diamond Heights spread some of the most dramatic views San Francisco has to offer. A mix of low-rise apartment and condo complexes and single-family homes comprise this city-center location. Diamond Heights was developed primarily in the 1960s and 1970s and contains a number of sizeable apartment complexes. The Diamond Heights shopping district supplies the area with a newly renovated Safeway, Burger King, dry cleaners, restaurant and cash machines. There are plenty of hiking and dog walking trails in both Twin Peaks and Glen Canyon Parks. Heading west up 17th street off Market and Castro you begin the ascent to an area known as Corona Heights. Exclusively residential this area of the City is anchored on the north by Buena Vista Park, on the East by Corona Heights Park and on the southwest by Clarendon Heights. Clarendon Heights is the gateway to twin Peaks on one side and West of Twin Peaks and the Sunset on the other. All of these areas offer unique vistas with amazing views offering up a different aspect of the City for residence to enjoy. Homes in the area range from Victorians and mansions to family homes, flats and apartments.
SunnysideGlen Park's prosaic name stems from the dramatic canyon park at its heart. Nestled up against the east face of Twin Peaks, it's a cheerful hillside neighborhood with narrow streets and turn-of-the-century homes that often sit high above curbside. Sunnyside sits just to the southwest above and below Monterey Boulevard as it heads out to the Westwood neighborhoods. This corner of San Francisco offers a wide range of housing stretches of arts and crafts bungalows on streets like Hearst and Staples along with contemporary view homes and the occasional Victorian on the streets above Monterey. Glen Park's architecture is predominantly Victorian although it boasts some dramatic newer construction with arresting architecture above and below Laidley Street on its east side.
Bayview/Hunters PointThe Bayview stretches along Third Street south of Evans Avenue, west of the Hunters Point neighborhood. The Anna E. Waden Library, which is scheduled for major renovations and improvements, is located on Third Street and Revere, where the Neighborhood History Preservation Project is housed. Within a block or two of the library are three urban gardens and public art projects, developed entirely by residents, known as the Quesada Gardens Initiative (the Quesada Garden, Bridgeview Garden, and Latona Garden). The Bayview is known for its diverse population, warmer weather and community gardens. The area is served by the T-Third light rail line, and is home to the Bayview Opera House and City College Evans and Southeast Campus. The area is part of a $8 billion dollar redevelopment plan by Lennar Corporation.
PortolaPortola is one of San Francisco's "hidden" neighborhoods. It's situated between Excelsior/McLaren Park and Bayview. Relatively few San Franciscans know about it, let alone visit it. The adventurous who do are rewarded with a pristine streets, water views, hiking trails, varied architecture plus a cool variety of eateries, markets and bakeries along San Bruno Avenue.
ExcelsiorThe Excelsior District is located along Mission Street, east of San Jose Ave, south of Interstate 280 Southern Fwy, west of John McLaren Park, and north of Geneva Avenue. It is one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in San Francisco, with many Hispanic Latino, Asians (including a large Filipino community), and other groups having also settled in recent decades.
West Portal/Forest HillThe area west of Twin Peaks that stretches west to 19th Avenue and Highway 1. is made up of Forest Knolls, Midtown Terrace, Forest Hill and West Portal. This community enjoys cool breezes from the Pacific and spectacular sunsets year round. Though primarily residential, the neighborhood is also the home of Laguna Honda hospital, public long-term care facility. Midtown Terrace Park, Sunset heights and Hawk Hill Park are a few of the outdoors public areas. The West Portal commercial district is a thriving shopping and dining hub considered the area's centerpiece. The streets have a distinctively small town convenient on the K or the M Muni lines. Take Muni going south to get to San Francisco State University or Stonestown Shopping Center.
St. Francis WoodsSt. Francis Woods is a neighborhood in San Francisco that includes Sherwood Forest, Balboa Terrace, Mount Davidson Manor, Monterey Heights, Westwood Park and Westwood Highlands. In these areas, you will find some of the most architecturally interesting and best-cared-for homes and lawns in all of San Francisco. You won't find many rental properties here. St. Francis Woods' residents enjoy easy access to both, the West Portal shopping district as well as Stern Grove and Pine Lake Park. Stonestown Galleria, Hwy 280 and Hwy 1 are all accessed easily via 19th Avenue. Driving along Monterey Blvd and Yerba Buena Avenue you're struck by the sense of a different San Francisco, with wide streets, grand homes, and spacious, lush landscapes.
BayviewInfo coming soon...