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June 4, 2018

Think Outside the Neighborhood Box for Under $1.5M

We’re still in a super sellers’ market in San Francisco when it comes to single-family houses. And the average citywide house price, year-to-date, is just above $2M. So it takes some serious strategizing, compromising and an open mind when it comes to finding a house for under $1.5M.

What’s the key? Go beyond buyer-saturated neighborhoods like Bernal Heights, Glen Park or West Portal and hit up the less obvious areas. But make no mistake: Homes in these neighborhoods are fetching multiple offers and over-asking prices.

But if you approach your purchase the right way, your offer could be the one that prevails. So here, for your consideration, are my picks:

1. Ingleside
Average house price: $1,154,293
The Scoop: Has a solid retail strip with cafes, restaurants, gym, a Whole Foods, rail line and freeway access, and hasn’t been completely overrun by buyers just yet. Yes, the weather is foggy. But if you can deal with that, you will have a convenient location that’s a quick drive to Stonestown Galleria. There’s also a lot of student life with nearby City College. Developers are taking notice, too; there are at least two residential condo developments in the works on Ocean Avenue.

2. Excelsior
Average house price: $1,058,806
The Scoop: With Mission Street as the retail strip, Excelsior is well connected by bus or the nearby Balboa Park BART line. Small grocery stores, bars and shops line Mission Street, and McLaren Park is a great place to spend an afternoon.

3. Crocker Amazon
Average house price: $1,150,017
The Scoop: Just south of Excelsior lies Crocker Amazon, another neighborhood populated with single-family homes. Nearby Mission Street provides multiple transportation lines, and the Balboa BART station is not very far. Good for commuting to downtown or the Peninsula. Two of my clients purchased a house in Crocker Amazon and have since remodeled. They love their home and neighborhood.

4. Bayview
Average house price: $961,184
The Scoop: Bayview continues to transition into one of the more popular neighborhoods in the city for buyers on a budget. New businesses are popping up regularly in the area, and the Third Street rail line provides transport to downtown. Residents enjoy the newly refurbished Bayview Opera House, as well as recently renovated library. And Bayview boasts some of the best weather in the city. The Shipyard in Hunter’s Point has also brought a new influx of residents into the area.

5. Oceanview
Average house price: $1,026,001
The Scoop: Oceanview is an excellent location for South Bay commuters, with easy access to 280. A number of homes still stand from the Victorian and Edwardian era, as well as more recently built row houses. The neighborhood has a tight-knit community, and there are small storefronts and businesses that dot the landscape. Just north of Oceanview is Ingleside, with its Ocean Avenue retail area (see #1, above).

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