Another Jaw Dropper in Bernal

315coleridge
The San Francisco market has been somewhat off the hook in 2014, with eye-popping sales happening in full force in seemingly every neighborhood in the city. But even I’m caught off guard by some buyers’ willingness to fork over disarming amounts of money on certain properties.

Case in point: The 3BR/2BA, 1358-square foot home on 315 Coleridge. Sold in January 2012 for $850,000, the house had two bedrooms and one bath on the main level, a remodeled kitchen and a bedroom/bath on the garage level. Outdoor space consisted of a small patio area just outside the main level, with stairs going up to a deck with views.

Fast forward to March 2014, when 315 Coleridge was listed for $1,150,000. The selling price? $1,501,000. I would have liked to been at the table when that winning offer was revealed.

Microhoods Key to Bernal’s Home Values

bernalheights
Bernal Heights has many distinct areas within its neighborhood. From the hip enclave of Precita Park to the winding streets on the East Slope, the price of real estate literally varies depending upon which part of Bernal you’re in. So it’s important to lean heavily on sales in your particular part of the neighborhood when you’re accurately trying to determine property values in Bernal.

To help buyers and sellers with that task, I’ve deconstructed Bernal Heights into seven unofficial microhoods, complete with their respective price averages and low/high prices, as well as recent sales volume.

A few ground rules: My geographical boundaries are rough approximations, and there will be some overlap with streets that fall on microhood borders. Also, sales information is for single-family homes sold from September 2013-March 10, 2014.

North West Slope
Average Price: $1,195,589
Low: $699,000 High: $1,688,888
Number Sold: 10
northwestslope
The North West Slope has quaint tree-lined streets, hidden staircases and lots of charm. It’s near Mission Street’s bus lines and not far from the 24th & Mission BART station/30th & Church J Muni, as well as The Front Porch, Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack, Cole Hardware and Safeway. Five homes on the North West Slope sold above $1.3M over the past seven months, including a 2BR/2BA at the top of Bocana listed for $1,095,000 that sold for $1,610,000.

North of Cortland
Avge Price: $1,260,818
Low: $910,000 High: $1.6M
Number Sold: 11
northofcortland
This area just north of popular Cortland Avenue is generally its most expensive. Because who doesn’t want to be in walking distance of restaurants, cafes, shops, a grocery store, and library? North of Cortland’s narrow streets are dotted with architecturally appealing homes and have a village-like feel. There’s also easy access to Bernal Hill’s trails. Notable sales include the renovated Victorian at 228 Ellsworth for $1.6M, and the contemporary home at 77 Anderson, which had a down-to-the-studs renovation and sold for $1,499,000 in an all-cash transaction.

Precita Park
Avge Price: $1,206,125
Low: $934,000 High: $1,605,000
Number Sold: 8
precitapark
The Precita Park microhood has really blossomed over the past several years, and the high real estate prices here reflect that. From Precita Park Cafe and Hillside Supper Club to Harvest Hills Market and Precita Bark dog wash/shop, there’s a nice selection of retail businesses for locals to enjoy. And the park itself is a great place to relax and unwind, particularly for kids and dog owners. Prices for houses ranged from $934,000 for a modern cottage on Shotwell to $1,605,000 for a 4BR home just up the hill on Folsom.

East Slope
Avge Price: $1,097,467
Low: $700,000 High: $1,575,000
Number Sold: 15
eastslope
There was a time when Bernal’s more remote East Slope was home to dirt trails and vacant lots. As the area developed alongside Highway 101, streets were paved and staircases built to help people get around on the hilly, sometimes twisty streets. (In fact, a couple streets are only accessible by stairs.) Prices for homes on the East Slope aren’t stratospheric; the roughly $1.1M average was influenced by three sales for $1.4M+, including the 4BR contemporary view home at 365 Franconia that sold for $1,575,000. East Slope dwellers appreciate their low-key microhood, and even have their own architectural design review board to maintain the character of the area.

South East Slope
Avge Price: $937,500
Low: $750,000 High: $1,375,000
Number Sold: 6
southeastslope
The South East Slope is bordered by 101/Bayshore Boulevard and Alemany/280, and isn’t wildly convenient to the retail portion of Cortland. But the houses offer good space in a neighborhood where it’s a challenge to land a single-family house for less than $1M. For example, a really cool, 3BR/2BA mid-century modern home with east bay and southern views sold for $789,000 at 463 Nevada. And the best part? The Alemany Farmer’s Market is at your doorstep!

South of Cortland
Avge Price: $918,000
Low: $660,000 High: $1.5M
Number Sold: 9
southofcortland
Similar to its North of Cortland counterpart, the South of Cortland microhood is in proximity to the heart of Cortland Avenue. And you can actually find homes in the $700,000-$900,000 range. (Though the recent $1.5M cash sale half a block off Cortland at 330 Banks is the most expensive home ever sold in this microhood.)

Holly Park/St. Mary’s Park
Avge Price: $1,000,556
Low: $750,000 High: $1,255,000
Number Sold: 4
hollypark_st.mary's_south
Situated between Cortland and the Excelsior, Holly Park/St. Mary’s Park probably has the highest population of homeowners whose properties have been in their family for years. The homes in St. Mary’s are laid out on streets shaped like a bell, and St. Mary’s Park itself also has a popular, fenced-in dog area. Just to the north is Holly Park, which was renovated about ten years ago and is very popular with locals. It’s also only a few blocks from Cortland’s Avedano Holly Park Market, as well as the heart of the retail area. And nearby Mission Street gives you access to bus lines. Single-family home prices are solidly in the $900,000s, with the high-end topping out at around $1,255,000.

Excelsior in the Spotlight, SF Gets Dynamic

The latest Zephyr MarketTracker shines the spotlight on the Excelsior neighborhood. Recently profiled in The Chronicle for its residents’ desire to build up the retail area along Mission, the Excelsior continues to attract first-time home buyers.

We also take a look at which American cities are considered to be the most dynamic based on a variety of factors. Guess which city tops the list?!

Plus recent sales and stats. It’s all here in the Zephyr MarketTracker!

What You Could’ve Bought: For Under List Price

It’s unusual in the current San Francisco market for buyers to be able to purchase a home for less than the list price. Most of the time, a property has to be on the market for at least a couple months, and even then, there’s no guarantee the seller will be willing to take less. But here are three homes that changed hands for substantially less than asking:

1966-68 Greenwich
Cow Hollow

List Price: $3,900,000
Sale Price: $2,650,000
Days on Market (DOM): 99
1966_68greenwich
1966-68 Greenwich was billed as a family compound, and consisted of two condos. There was a 3BR/2BA home with two-car parking at the front of the lot, and a rear 2BR/1.5BA cottage with one-car parking (which the seller was renting on a short-term basis for an income of $100,000/yr). Both buildings were extensively remodeled, and the cottage had its own private entrance. The seller also included plans for enlarging the rear unit by 2500 square feet. Great location near Union Street shops and restaurants, as well as 101.

21 Laidley
Glen Park

List Price: $1,950,000
Sale Price: $1,410,000
Days on Market (DOM): 57
21laidley
This 2BR/3BA, deco-style single-family home on a quirky street in Glen Park had nicely landscaped gardens, a view deck, and an artist studio. It was all about the large lot, and there was no garage. The new owners are now just up the hill from the 30th Street and Church Street corridors, which feature restaurants such as La Ciccia, as well as the J Muni line to downtown.

345 Richland
Bernal Heights

List Price: $849,999
Sale Price: $750,000
Days on Market (DOM): 55
345richland
Though the final selling price of the 3BR/1BA single-family house at 345 Richland didn’t sell for dramatically less than asking, it kind of is dramatic when you consider that buyers have been paying an average of 12% over asking since November 2013 in Bernal Heights (with six homes selling for 25%+ over the list price). 345 Richland wasn’t in a prime Bernal location, as it’s fairly far south of Cortland. And the house is a fixer. But kudos to the buyers for bucking the throw-money-at-Bernal-houses trend.

Lots of Love for Bernal + Latest SF Sales

Is Bernal’s north slope the best neighborhood in the United States? According to Redfin, that’s apparently the case, and you can find out why in this edition of the Zephyr MarketTracker. We also take a look at some of Bernal’s current listings.

And San Francisco is the best place to…have a baby? Yes, as per the folks at What To Expect. No explanation from that group as to why most families seem to move out of San Francisco for the ‘burbs, but I’ll go with it.

Find out what citywide properties sold over the past 21 days, and get the most current sales stats.

It’s all here in the Zephyr MarketTracker!

SF Overbidders Don’t Disappoint in October

Though overbidding activity in San Francisco this month has been somewhat run-of-the-mill, a few sales are noteworthy for the trends they represent. These buyers are officially inducted into the SF Overbidders Club for paying 25%+ above the list price:

88 Hoff #109
The Mission

1BR/1.5BA
List Price: $775,000
Sale Price: $975,000
Overbid Amount: 26%
Closed Escrow: 10/4/13

The sale of 88 Hoff #109 shows you just how much buyers are willing to pay for a loft space in what is now considered to be a prime Mission location. Situated on a street bordered by 16th & 17th and Valencia and Mission, this loft has that ginormous private patio (above), as well as a den area. Lofts continue to have their limits with respect to privacy and enclosed space. But with the average price for a 1BR loft in the Mission being $753,333 since August, it’s clear that something really resonated with this loft buyer.

514 Precita
Bernal Heights

2BR/1BA
List Price: $995,000
Sale Price: $1,255,000
Overbid Amount: 36%
Closed Escrow: 10/7/13

Bernal Heights’ single-family home market has been off the hook for a while now. So it’s no surprise that this 2BR home with bonus room, nicely done yard, and two-car garage right on Precita Park attracted multiple offers. The cash buyer who purchased this home actually didn’t pay top dollar; that honor goes to the buyers of three other 2BR Bernal houses which sold in 2013 for $1,325,000-$1,525,000.

239 14th Avenue
Central Richmond

3BR/2BA
List Price: $999,000
Sale Price: $1,600,000
Overbid Amount: 60%
Closed Escrow: 10/4/13

What does a big contractor special in the Central Richmond cost these days? If 239 14th Avenue’s sale is any indication, you’re looking at around $1.6M. (And it doesn’t hurt to have cash, which was the case here.) This 2580-square foot home on 14th at California has a huge basement, period detail throughout, and large yard. These all translate into renovation potential, and 14th Avenue’s buyers have already gotten their permits underway for the job.

Where the Cash Buyer Competition Is

If you’re aiming to close on a property in 2013, it’s a good idea to size up the competition and hone your strategy at this point in the year. After all, we only have a couple months left before Thanksgiving (I know!), and inventory slows down right after the turkey leaves the table.

In very thick multiple-offer competition, the biggest wild card will be whether a cash buyer steps into the mix who’s willing to pay top dollar to buy a home. As most real estate fans know, cash sales don’t equal discounts, and cash buyers know that they have to offer a competitive price to win.

So if you’re looking at a hot property in a neighborhood that’s prone to attracting cash buyers, you may be out of luck. For buyers with loans, it’s unfortunately the way it goes: Sellers are looking for a sure thing, and a quick path to their proceeds so they can get on with their lives.

Cash buyers picked up 184 condos/TICs and 98 single-family homes from July 1-September 18, 2013. Where did they appear, and which neighborhoods were hit the hardest?

Eureka Valley, Lower Pacific Heights, Bernal Heights, Portola and Ingleside attracted many single-family home cash buyers in that timeframe, with a majority of the sales prices landing in the $600,000-$1M price range. A total of 18 homes sold above $2M.

On the condo front, neighborhoods such as the Haight, Noe/Eureka Valley; Lower Pacific Heights; Western Addition; Pacific Heights; Nob/Russian Hills; Mission, SoMa/South Beach were the most popular ‘hoods for cash buyers. Sales in the $600,000-$1.2M range were the most common, though there were quite a few sales in the $1.3M-$2M range, and six sales were above $2M.

Word of advice? If you’re looking for a home in the aforementioned neighborhoods and price ranges, and the property you like already has 15 disclosure packages out, it might be a good idea to move on to something else if you aren’t willing to pay top, top dollar and waive contingencies. Buyer burnout becomes quite common at this stage of the year, and a change in strategy is one you might want to discuss with your Realtor if you want to be successful in your house hunt by year’s end.

21 Days & Counting: Hot SF ‘Hoods

San Francisco inventory is typically snapped up within a week in popular neighborhoods. But it may come as a surprise to find that there are many properties that have been on the market for three or more weeks—and are still available.

For buyers who are tired of competing in multiple-offer situations, it’s time to revisit the listings that are taking offers as they come. Today we take a look at three homes in the hot neighborhoods of Bernal, West Portal and Cow Hollow that have been on the market for 21 days or longer:

86 Wool
Bernal Heights

Days on market (DOM): 71
4BR/3.5BA, 1890 sq ft
1 pkg
List Price: $1,399,000

Purchased as a 2BR/1BA, 1125 square foot home in April 2012 for $801,000, 86 Wool has since undergone a transformation into a 4BR/3.5BA house. The property was on the market in the Spring for $1.5M; that price didn’t work. (Though the house was briefly in contract in July.) Now asking $1.4M, the sellers are hoping there are buyers out there who will appreciate 86 Wool’s renovation and prime Bernal location. As larger and not necessarily renovated homes in the neighborhood have been selling for well above $1.3M, I think 86 Wool could be an opportunity for someone to buy a “done” house without enduring a bloodbath offer situation. Honestly, had the sellers listed the house for $1.2M, it probably would’ve been sold for $1.4M by now.

2428 14th Avenue
West Portal

Days on market (DOM): 55
5BR/2BA
2 pkg
List Price: $1,249,000

For buyers looking for a large single-family home in proximity to the West Portal retail area, 2428 14th Avenue definitely fits the bill. There are three bedrooms on the main level, a large, remodeled kitchen and two more bedrooms and family room on the garden level. You’d be hard pressed to find a house of this caliber for less than the list price, so serious buyers may want to take a first (or second) look at 14th Avenue.

1853 Filbert
Cow Hollow

Days on market (DOM): 69
2BR/2BA, 1034 sq ft
1 pkg
List Price: $1,125,000

The main issue with this unit is that the large bedroom is half of the double parlor, and the second bedroom is small. But if you can get past that and utilize the space properly, 1853 Filbert may be a great fit for you. It has a nicely remodeled, eat-in kitchen and a lovely shared patio and landscaped garden. There are six units in the building, and the HOA dues are a reasonable $375/month. First listed for $1,185,000 in June, the price has come down since then. May be time to make a deal, particularly if you’re looking for an excellent Cow Hollow location a block from Union Street.

Welcome to the SF Overbidders Club

We have some inaugural entrants into what I am officially calling the San Francisco Overbidders Club. What does it take to make the cut? You need to overbid more than 25% for a property and close the sale.

There are two underlying requirements to make it into the Overbidders Club. The first is wherewithal, meaning you have to have the financial means to pull it off. In most cases, we’re talking half down, or all cash. The second is will. You have to want that property enough to be willing to pay well above what all other buyers may be offering.

And now, here’s a look at the properties that were picked up by our first group of Club members:

227 Central
The Haight

Single-Family Home
4BR/2BA, 2063 sq ft
List Price: $1,095,000
Sale Price: $1,500,000
Overbid Amount: 37%
Closed Escrow: 6/26/13
This tenant-occupied, rambling Victorian on Central at Page was the perfect project house. Sold off market and in a probate transaction, the buyer will undoubtedly be livin’ the dream of renovating a Victorian in a classic San Francisco location. The idea here is that with time and money, the owner will ultimately see a property value of well over $1.5M in the future.

1680 9th Avenue
Inner Sunset

Single-Family Home
3BR/2BA, 2032 sq ft
List Price: $1,275,000
Sale Price: $1,650,000
Overbid Amount: 30%
Closed Escrow: 7/18/13

1680 9th Avenue is situated in the Windsor Terrace section of the Inner Sunset, which is in reasonable walking distance of retail areas and public transportation. The three bedrooms are all upstairs on the same level, and there’s a chef’s kitchen with an island. These are always big selling points. The garage access is via an alley behind the property, and there isn’t much outdoor space. But with only about a dozen homes on this level selling this year in the neighborhood, this buyer gave it all he had to make sure he’d own this one.

364 Crescent
Bernal Heights

Single-Family Home
4BR/3BA, 2725 sq ft
List Price: $1,275,000
Sale Price: $1,600,000
Overbid Amount: 25.5%
Closed Escrow: 7/12/13

Located six blocks south of Cortland and within earshot of 280, this sprawling Victorian at 364 Crescent is unique for a neighborhood with smaller homes. It sits on an oversized, corner lot and didn’t need any work. Excellent period detail, great kitchen, huge garage, and hot tub in the yard. But in the end, this is a big price to pay for this location in Bernal.

21 Days & Counting: What’s Not Selling Quickly

Most of the homes that hit the San Francisco market are in contract within a week or two, with multiple offers and an ultimate selling price of well over the list. However, there are actually properties sitting on the market that have somehow slipped through the cracks. If you’re a buyer on a budget and sick of complaining about how there’s no inventory, you may want to consider one of these single-family houses that has been on the market for 21 days or longer:

250 Elsie
Bernal Heights

2BR/1BA, 1100 sq ft
No parking
Days on Market: 23
List Price: $759,000

The Scoop: 250 Elsie was built in the mid-1800s but has an open floor plan and a loft above. The yard has mature fruit trees, formal box hedges, and rose bushes. The foundation has been upgraded and there’s a large, undeveloped basement.
The Location: Steps from Bernal’s Cortland Avenue retail strip, and close to the Mission Street corridor.
Background Check: This is a probate sale that’s not subject to court confirmation.
Bottom Line: If you’re all about outdoor space, 250 Elsie will fit the bill. Consider leasing a garage, parking is not that easy in this location. Or contact your favorite garage contractor and see what the possibilities are for creating a one-car garage out of all that basement space.

740 Foerster
Miraloma Park

2BR/2BA
1 parking
Days on Market: 29
List Price: $899,000

The Scoop: 740 Foerster is a lovely art deco single-family home with a remodeled kitchen and family room down. Stairs to yard that’s mostly concrete. Low termite report on file.
The Location: A bit of a hike to the downtown Glen Park area and BART, but great freeway access and a peaceful environment.
Background Check: Last sold for $1,010,000 in 2007.
Bottom Line: Solid house in good shape that doesn’t need work.

1766 10th Avenue
Inner Sunset

3BR/2BA, 1425 sq ft
2 parking
Days on Market: 37
List Price: $949,000

The Scoop: A spacious home with open beam ceiling, 1766 10th Avenue has a formal dining room, large split bath with separate shower and tub, and two good-sized bedrooms overlooking the large yard. Lower level has two bonus rooms, full bath, laundry and two-car tandem parking.
The Location: Reasonably close to the 9th and Irving retail area, UCSF Medical Center (for all you physicians in the crowd), and Muni lines.
Background Check: Went into contract, but fell back out.
Bottom Line: Nice neighborhood location and overall attractive house with good period detail.

Smackdown: Bernal House vs SoMa Loft

It’s time for another San Francisco real estate smackdown. In this edition we pit a sweet Bernal Heights cottage against a spacious SoMa loft at the $800,000 price point. Which would you prefer?

3770 Folsom / Cortland
Bernal Heights

1BR + bonus master suite
1 pkg
$799,000

Situated half a block from Cortland, 3770 Folsom is a nicely renovated Victorian cottage that makes good use of its limited space. The main level has a living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen with vaulted ceilings that leads to a deck overlooking the garden. Downstairs is a snappy master bedroom open to the garden, with the large, spa-like bathroom down the hall. For buyers seeking a functional and lovingly remodeled home with proximity to a retail area and the freeways, 3770 Folsom is a good bet. (Offers due today!)

28 Jennifer Place / Folsom
SoMa

2BR/1BA, 1 pkg
HOAs $157/mo
$795,000

If you’re up for a more urban neighborhood, larger 30-unit building and almost 1500 square feet of living space, 28 Jennifer Place may work for you. The living/dining areas have soaring ceilings and a fireplace, as well as an outdoor patio and decent-sized kitchen. There’s a loft area, as well as another bedroom; both would provide office/bedroom functionality. You also get an exclusive-use garage with laundry and interior access (unusual for SoMa). 28 Jennifer is a small street located between 4th and 5th Streets and Shipley/Clara, so you’re in proximity to Whole Foods, restaurants like Le Charm, Oola, Zero Zero and 280.

So which would you pick?

52 Bonview is Back Like a Boomerang in Bernal

The 3BR/1BA single-family home at 52 Bonview is back on the market, literally less than a month after it sold for $1,210,000 on April 5th.

Situated at the northwest base of Bernal Hill, the house has great views but is a hike from Cortland and is relatively small, with only about 1100 square feet and one bathroom. Kitchen and bath finishes are fairly mid range. Views are excellent. The story here is that 52 Bonview came on the market listed for $799,000 on March 20th. A swarm of buyers materialized, apparently driven by the aforementioned attributes. 16 offers later, the winning buyer purchased the property for $1,210,000.

The buyer was reportedly an investor who never moved into the house but now wants to pursue another opportunity out of state, and wants out. This owner now has re-hired the original listing office, and 52 Bonview is back for $1.1M.

It will be interesting to see whether any of those 15 buyers who wrote offers only a few weeks ago will step up and make a play for this house. These days, there always seems to be at least one outlier who’s willing to throw a ton of money at a property, and if that happens here again, I’m guessing that waiving an appraisal contingency will be required.

Smackdown: Midtown Terrace vs Bernal Heights

Our single-family home inventory comes in many architectural styles and floor plans. I try to regularly spotlight a variety of homes that appear to provide good value and which are located in central areas. Here’s a look at two cool houses listed in the $900,000 that are very different in style and location:

223 Anderson
Bernal Heights
4BR/4BA
List Price: $899,000

223 Anderson is a sweet, two-level Victorian that features two bedrooms, two baths, and living areas on the main level, as well as two more bedrooms and bathrooms down. Of course, you’re valuing bedrooms and bathrooms over parking, because there’s no garage. But 223 Anderson is situated in a prime Bernal location, on the north slope and half a block to the Cortland Avenue retail area. The kitchen and baths have been remodeled, and there’s also a small outdoor space that could be supplemented with potted plants. (There’s enough room for a grill.) 280 is a shot away, and you’re not far from the Mission Street bus line to BART (or the J Church at 30th & Church).

98 Midcrest Way
Midtown Terrace
3BR/2BA, 1650 sq ft
1-car pkg
List Price: $899,000

For those who love mid-century modern, 98 Midcrest is a great find. The home has been stylishly remodeled, and offers excellent space and views. There are two bedrooms on the main level, and a master down. There’s a lovely yard accessed by stairs off the rear, and a hot tub is there, too! This house has amazingly remodeled bathrooms, as well. I really like the exterior, which features Brazilian teak, copper and smooth stucco. The thing about Midtown Terrace is that it’s not in great walking distance to shops, restaurants and services; however, it is in the geographical center of the city. So you’re not very far from wherever you might be going in our 7×7 city.

So which house would you choose, readers?

Which Neighborhoods Have the Best Weather?

If you’re new to San Francisco, then it’s important to be aware that our city has a variety of microclimates. One minute you can be driving around with the top down, sweating, and the next you’re turning on the seat warmers. If you’re considering purchasing a home here and are particularly weather sensitive, it’s important to know which neighborhoods tend to have the most favorable climates.

Of course, San Francisco has citywide fog and wind no matter where you go. But some areas have longer periods of time during a given day when the sun shines and the wind is at a minimum. So here’s a quick rundown:

Bernal Heights. Make a good garden space a priority in Bernal, because you’ll be able to spend a lot of time enjoying it. And the Cortland retail strip is usually pretty hoppin’ because you can wander in and out of the shops and restaurants and not have to keep zipping and unzipping your jacket.

The Mission. Bernal’s neighbor is the Mission, which also shares in the weather fun. The nice part about the Mission is that the dining scene has exploded, so there are tons of restaurant options, as well as unique shops along Valencia and throughout the neighborhood. If your commute involves walking to BART at either 16th/24th and Mission, your morning and evening strolls won’t force you to confront driving winds.

Noe Valley. I live in the part of Noe that’s defined as “Upper Noe”—the area bordered by Guerrero, Cesar Chavez, 30th Street, and up as far as Diamond. For the most part, you can avoid the high winds in Noe, but it does depend on how into the “valley” part you are. Most days when I walk my dogs in the late afternoon, I’m wearing sunglasses and have a light jacket on. However, up there in Diamond Heights, the fog hangs thick. And when I drive down, say, Clipper, from Portola in the Twin Peaks area, I typically experience a transition from no sun and heavy fog to sun. There’s a notable difference every time.

South Beach. Located right off The Bay, South Beach is blessed with lots of sun most of the time. This is conducive to a very desirable, urban lifestyle that involves walks to the Ferry Building, runs along the Embarcadero, and Giants games.

South of Market. The blocks are long in SoMa, but that’s okay because if you’re running, biking or walking, you’re not being blown into traffic. The neighborhood is always developing, and it’s definitely the most urban area in this list. But having good weather is key to enjoying those shared rooftop decks that pervade SoMa living.

Mission Bay. Constantly in development, Mission Bay has amenities like Mission Creek Park, the ballpark, and outdoor dining. Developers have taken advantage of the on-the-Bay setting by incorporating as many deeded outdoor spaces as they can in condo complexes.

Potrero Hill/Dogpatch. Potrero is a well-established neighborhood offering a mix of residential and industrial properties, and Dogpatch (a.k.a. the Central Waterfront) has truly been transformed over the past decade into a hub for local businesses, restaurants, wine bars and the like. The T Muni line connects Dogpatch to downtown, and the freeways are extremely convenient to access.

Best Neighborhoods for Dog Owners in San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the more dog-friendly cities in the country, and many of its neighborhoods offer ideal environments for dogs and their owners.

I’m a dog owner myself, and frequently meet clients looking for a home in a neighborhood that will provide what we all need for us and our pets—ideally, proximity to open space, dog-friendly cafes and shops, and a community of dog owners who support each other and their ‘hood.

So here are my picks for the best dog-owner neighborhoods in San Francisco:
1. Bernal Heights. It’s got a great retail area on Cortland Avenue, with plenty of shops and cafes, including Bernal Beast pet shop. But most notably, Fit Bernal Fit is a gym that invites “Bernal locals and their dogs to join us to exercise, socialize and engage in a more healthful, energetic and stress-free lifestyle.” If that’s not enough, there’s Bernal Hill itself, which has trails and off-leash areas, as well as Holly Park. The weather is superior in Bernal, so when you head out for a walk in the late afternoon, don’t expect to encounter much fog.

2. Inner Sunset. The weather may not be as desirable, but the Inner Sunset has Golden Gate Park at its doorstep. Yes, you have to keep your dog on a leash, but at least there’s a lot for your dog to smell and see. (My terriers love the gopher holes.) There’s also the Irving Street corridor, which is a great place to stop for coffee or lunch. Le Video—one of the few bonafide video stores left in the city—also lets you bring in your dog. For pet care, there’s Irving Pet Hospital and Animal Emergency Services.

3. Noe Valley. Ok, so I’m a bit biased on this one because I live here. But if there are two requirements for living in Noe, it’s that you need a dog or a kid. I’ve picked a leash over a stroller, and have plenty of company. There are two dog runs—one on 30th Street, and one up the hill at 27th and Diamond. Noe Valley Pet Company at Church and Cesar Chavez is an excellent store, and K9 Scrub Club lets you wash your dog in one of their many giant tubs. Le Zinc on 24th and Castro has an outdoor patio where you can sit with your pooch. And don’t overlook the Friends of Upper Noe Dog Owners Group, which makes sure the 30th Street dog run stays in shape.

4. Parkside. This is a great neighborhood for dogs because it’s near vital open spaces. There’s Stern Grove, an excellent dog-walking area. But the canine epicenter lies over at Fort Funston, a short drive away. The area even has its own Fort Funston Dog Walker (FFDW) organization that works to preserve off-leash areas and good dog ownership practices. The Parkside is also blocks away from Ocean Beach and the Great Highway, which are great places to bring your dog. The streets in the Parkside are nice and wide, so there’s plenty of sidewalk room, too.

5. NoPa. The North Panhandle neighborhood suits dog owners well, as the architecture allows for spacious flats. It’s a little more low-key than the busier Haight area, which can be stimulation overload for dogs if you decide to troll along Haight Street itself. The Panhandle is a good dog destination, as it’s a sizeable open space for walks. Nearby Alamo Square has a play area. There are a lot of great shops and restaurants scattered throughout NoPa to which you can walk your dog, particularly along the revitalized Divisadero corridor. Don’t forget about Osso & Co, where you can pick up specialty items as well as everyday pet products. (There’s also one in the Inner Sunset.)

6. Mission Bay. Far less established a neighborhood than the others, Mission Bay is your best bet if you want to live downtown and own a dog. The Mission Creek Dog Park lets you meet other Mission Bay dwellers and their pets. If you get bored with Mission Creek, you can simply walk your dog up and down the Embarcadero, which has wide streets and provides nice Bay views.