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April 29, 2019

What You Can Buy: Small San Francisco Houses

Buying a small house in the city may be the route to go if your budget maxes out well below our single-family citywide average of $1.9M. Yes, I know you can find a mansion in the midwest for that price, but the reality is that there are a whole lot of folks who want to live in San Francisco. And this competition pushes many people to revisit how much space they really need within a budget they can afford.

I’ve rounded up a few new single-family home listings that I think will make excellent starter homes. They’re each in good locations within their respective neighborhoods, and offer very livable spaces:

530 Grafton
1BR/1BA, 664 sq ft

Located three blocks from Ocean Avenue’s retail and Muni line, 530 Grafton is a classic condo alternative. The interior is laid out very efficiently, and there’s some space for an office area. I love the Spanish Mediterranean architectural style, and there are 1930s period details throughout. The house is built to the lot line, so the outdoor space is actually an enclosed area at the front of the house. One-car parking is also included.

283 Madrid
2BR/1BA, 750 sq ft

283 Madrid is a nicely remodeled home with upgraded electrical, plumbing, roof and windows. This is another home without a real yard, though there is a rear deck built to the lot line for outdoor space. There’s one-car garage parking, and space outside the garage for a small car. There’s an elementary school across the street, which may not appeal to everyone. But the location is smack in the middle of Excelsior, convenient to McLaren Park, Mission Street shops and transit, and the freeway.

83 Sunview
Midtown Terrace
2BR/1BA, 978 sq ft

Located in the geographic center of San Francisco, Midtown Terrace is a residential area up on the hill. 83 Sunview is an adorable mid-century home with retro finishes. It sits at the end of a cul-de-sac, and is a straight shot to Portola where you can zip over to the freeway, or head to nearby Mollie Stone’s and West Portal. There’s a lovely rear patio set against a hill of foliage, and one-car parking.

633 Rockdale
2BR/1BA, 1150 sq ft

Situated on the same block as the reservoir, 633 Rockdale is a bit larger than the other homes. It also has 1930s period detailing and Spanish Mediterranean architecture. This house has the best outdoor space of the group, with a walk-out deck and large yard. And there’s two-car parking.

83 Bernard
Nob Hill
2BR/1BA, 1080 sq ft

A house with two-car parking in Nob Hill? That’s 83 Bernard for you. Tucked away on a narrow street, the property has a very functional floor plan, with a rear deck above a small yard. There’s also a basement level. It’s also a great location for people who want to walk everywhere—Polk Street to the west, North Beach to the east, you get the picture. It seems to me that 83 Bernard will appeal to contractor-developers, but the house could make a perfectly fine starter home, too.

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