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January 23, 2017

Think Outside the Neighborhood Box for Under $1M

The single-family home market in San Francisco is a very competitive one, and the average price for a house is above $1M at this point in time. So it takes some serious strategizing, compromising and an open mind when it comes to finding a house for under a million dollars.

Most buyers in this price range realize quickly that if they want a house, they’ll need to go beyond buyer-saturated neighborhoods like Bernal Heights, Glen Park or West Portal. Because for every ten people who’d like to live in Bernal, there are maybe five that’ll consider less obvious and familiar areas.

That’s why I decided to highlight five neighborhoods that I believe are up-and-coming, meaning that someday, I may sit down with new buyers and hear them say that one of these areas is actually their target ‘hood.

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: $871,114
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: $921,944
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: $876,533
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: $784,297
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: $912,024
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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