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May 17, 2013

What You Can Buy: North End Condos for Up To $1M

It can be a challenge to find a 2BR condo with parking in classic San Francisco neighborhoods such as the Marina, Nob Hill, and Pacific Heights. Today we look at three properties that fit into that price range:

1655 Chestnut #302
The Marina

2BR/2BA, 1100 sq ft
HOAs $523/month, 1 pkg

The Scoop: One of the few properties that isn’t in a liquefaction zone in the Marina, 1655 Chestnut #302 boasts a top-floor position in an 11-unit building, along with neighborhood views from the living/dining areas. Well appointed with Brazilian cherry wood floors throughout, the unit has a remodeled kitchen with high-end appliances, and skylights. The building has a roof deck, garden/BBQ area, storage, and an elevator.

The Location: 1655 Chestnut is about three and a half blocks from the heart of the Chestnut Street retail area, so you’re out of the fray a bit and don’t have to deal with constant activity outside your door. It’s also an excellent location for North Bay commuters, who can jump on Lombard and head to the bridge. Many bus lines run nearby to downtown, as well.

Background Check: The unit last sold in 2007 for $951,000.

939 Jackson #202
Nob Hill

2BR/2BA, 1088 sq ft
HOAs $397/month, 1 pkg

The Scoop: 939 Jackson #202 is perfect for the Nob Hill buyer on a budget. Though you don’t get views, you do get decent space in a newer, 2005-built property. The unit has nice finishes and an open kitchen/living/dining room floor plan. Bedrooms aren’t huge, but are nicely painted. Jackson is right on the cable car line (though the unit is located at the rear of the second floor, so it’s quiet). And there’s a great roof deck with 360-degree views.

The Location: The only problem here is that you may have more house guests than you might want; you’re in walking distance to North Beach, Russian Hill, Chinatown, downtown, and Union Square.

Background Check: #202 just sold in June 2012 for $903,000. #301 in the building is currently in contract with a list price of $949,000; that unit had views from every room and was one floor up.

2315 Divisadero, Unit S
Pacific Heights

2BR/1.5BAs, 1115 sq ft
HOAs $432/month, 1 pkg

The Scoop: My favorite of this trio, 2315 Divisadero unit S has newly reinvigorated common areas and gets great natural light. It’s on the top floor of a nine-unit building constructed in 1962, and has an open dining/living area. The kitchen is on the small side and is tucked at the rear of the unit, but it’s totally workable and clean. The master has only a half bath, but it’s better than one bathroom for the whole place. The unit’s hardwood floors have recently been refinished, there’s a wood-burning fireplace, and designer lighting fixtures. And don’t forget about those common areas, they’ve been painted, had carpet replaced and new front doors for each unit installed (with plantation shutters for the hall windows on the way). There’s an elevator in the building.

The Location: Though you’re right on Divisadero, the unit is quiet with the windows shut and you can’t beat the central location.

Background Check: Six of the nine units are rentals, so your choice of lenders will be limited to First Republic. No 30-year fixed loans available, but you can get a 15-year fixed at a low interest rate.

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