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April 7, 2011

How’s The Market In: Midtown Terrace


Developed in the 1950s, Midtown Terrace is situated on the western slope of Twin Peaks. Most homes are detached and the area is as suburban as you’ll get in San Francisco. But unlike the suburbs, Midtown Terrace is located in the center of San Francisco—which means it’s the most central neighborhood many buyers don’t consider when they begin house hunting.

Midtown Terrace is not the best neighborhood for a walk to a retail area, but you can certainly hit its parks and trails. You’re a short distance from pretty much everything, such as Mollie Stone’s on Portola, the Forest Hill Muni station, Diamond Heights shopping center and West Portal. There’s also Clarendon Elementary nearby, and many families are attracted to Midtown Terrace because of that factor. Here’s a snapshot of the general area:

The neighborhood is large and its streets boast some of the highest elevations around. And that means many of the homes have great views, as indicated by the names of the streets: Marview, Dawnview, Glenview, and the like. Buyers purchasing homes in Midtown Terrace typically appreciate the quick rides to all the surrounding stores and retail areas. But more importantly, they like the prices.

The average single-family home price for the first quarter of 2011 was $927,008, but Midtown Terrace’s average in the same timeframe was $686,192. A total of 18 homes have sold since October 2010. (The most expensive houses top out in the $800,000s; most sell in the $600,000-$700,000s.) The least expensive home sold in November at 428 Dellbrook, a 2BR/1BA with a remodeled kitchen that changed hands for $520,000.

The average days on market for Midtown Terrace since October has been 92. So the neighborhood is not as go-go as some of those which are in walking distance of more services and retail areas. There are only four homes on the market at present, and five in contract. My favorite deal at the moment is at 61 Marview:

61 Marview is a 3BR/2BA home with 1272 square feet; it’s been cleaned up and is totally habitable. A probate sale and court bidding are involved, so you’ll first have to overbid the current offer and then contend with any other buyers who show up. Marview has partial ocean views, and its roof is newer. They started out at $749,000, but got down to the $712,500 list price before an offer was accepted subject to court confirmation.

Buyers can expect more competition for the lower-priced homes in the $500,000-$700,000 range. But that competition may be a little lighter these days, so if you play your cards right and take the right approach, you can certainly land yourself a comfortable and affordable home here. And keep in in mind that Midtown Terrace is also a a good bet for FHA buyers, as the average prices tend to fall within the acceptable loan limits.

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