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April 2, 2014

What You Can Buy: For Up to $500,000


The average condo price in San Francisco in the first quarter was just over $1M, and for houses, it was around $1.4M. So what can you buy if you can afford…half that amount or less?

I surveyed first-quarter sales to nail down specifics about what you can expect to be available in the $500,000 range. So let’s get to the point and look at each property category.

The condo category will have the most inventory in this range. Studios or one bedrooms will come up most frequently in larger buildings in neighborhoods such as Ingleside Heights, South Beach, Downtown, the Van Ness corridor and Potrero. For example, a 400-square-foot studio with parking at 750 Van Ness in Symphony Towers (pictured above) sold for $454,000 and overlooked the courtyard.

Other buildings that often have units in this range are 631 O’Farrell and 900 Bush, along with 8400 Oceanview Terrace in Ingleside Heights.

Two-bedroom condos do come up for under $500,000, but are typically located in Hunters Point or Crocker Amazon.

About a quarter of condos in this range were purchased in cash transactions in the first quarter.

Single-Family Homes
Inventory here mostly consists of houses that need work or are tenant occupied (or both) in the city’s southeastern neighborhoods such as Bayview and Visitacion Valley. Many of these are purchased in cash transactions.

It’s possible to purchase a TIC in this range that will be in a smaller, more charming type of building, in a more popular neighborhood, However, such units will be in properties with three or more units and will require fractional financing.

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