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 three 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: $700,000
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.
Cool House on the Market: 145 Lakeview
145lakeside
This cute 2BR/2BA corner home listed for $598,000 was recently remodeled and has a new furnace, tankless water heater, washer/dryer hookups, and double-paned windows. Though the floor plan is a little funky (e.g., the second bedroom is actually part of newly permitted space that could also function as a family room or gym), the house is located two blocks from the M muni line, four blocks from the Balboa BART station and 280. List price is $598,000.

2. Midtown Terrace
Average house price: $861,000
The Scoop: Literally located in the middle of the city, Midtown Terrace was developed on the western slope of Twin Peaks. You’ll find a lot of detached houses here, and many homes have views. The neighborhood is completely residential and doesn’t have its own retail area. But you can walk to the Mollie Stone’s nearby on Portola, and a bit further east is West Portal. Buses run along Portola, as well.
Cool House Recently on the Market: 45 Dellbrook
45dellbrook
45 Dellbrook is a gracious 3BR/2BA home that could use updating but is in overall good condition, and was listed for $799,000. All three bedrooms are on the main level, and there is a family room downstairs (with a bar!). The house went into contract within two weeks.

3. Crocker Amazon
Average house price: $614,725
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 home in the area in late 2013, and were able to get past 18 other buyers for their home. They’re in the process of remodeling and are excited about their new ‘hood.
Cool House on the Market: 75 South Hill Blvd
75southhillblvd
The 2BR/1BA home at 75 South Hill is a great project house, as the kitchen needs work and there is expansion potential in the basement, which has high ceilings and parking for at least one car. Only blocks from City College and multiple elementary schools. List price is $599,000.

Just Sold: 231 Jules in Ingleside

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My listing at 231 Jules in Ingleside closed escrow just before the holidays. The property, sold through a short sale, garnered eight offers and was listed for $629,000.

Ingleside has proven to be a popular options for buyers looking to get into a neighborhood that provides access to a growing retail area and a Muni rail line. It’s also near the Balboa BART station and 280. For more on Ingleside, check out the Zephyr neighborhood profile here.

Checking Out Q1 House Averages

With volumes and prices down, the first quarter of the year opened with a whimper. Buyers were reluctant to make purchase decisions, and sellers held back from putting their homes on the market.

Most neighborhood averages were below $1M. That just supports my theory that the most popular price range continues to be $400,000-$900,000. Here’s a look at how single-family homes fared in a variety of neighborhoods:

Inner Richmond
# Sold: 2
Avge Price: $860,000

Inner Sunset
# Sold: 4
Avge Price: $793,200

Parkside
# Sold: 11
Avge Price: $719,000

Ingleside/I. Heights
# Sold: 14
Avge Price: $445,279

Miraloma Park
# Sold: 8
Avge Price: $831,375

Sunnyside
# Sold: 9
Avge Price: $684,333

Noe Valley
# Sold: 19
Avge Price: $1,291,605

Glen Park
# Sold: 8
Avge Price: $941,625

Corona Heights
# Sold: 2
Avge Price: $1,145,000

Pacific Heights
# Sold: 3
Avge Price: $3,524,500

The Mission
# Sold: 2
Avge Price: $592,625

Bernal Heights
# Sold: 11
Avge Price: $710,455

Potrero Hill
# Sold: 6
Avge Price: $952,333

The Excelsior
# Sold: 18
Avge Price: $529,411

Stop in tomorrow for a look at condo averages!

Neighborhood Spotlight: Ingleside

An often overlooked neighborhood is Ingleside. Located south of Sunnyside and City College, east of the Stonestown area, and just west of Mission Terrace, Ingleside enjoys close proximity to Hwy 280. It’s also fairly close to the Balboa Park BART & Muni station, which provides service to downtown San Francisco.

Ocean Avenue is the retail strip that runs across the north end of Ingleside. This is where you’ll find sandwich, coffee, and produce shops, clothing stores, library, veterinarian, and even a massive 24-Hour Fitness.

And the neighborhood is priced within the first-time home buyer range. Approximately 26 homes have sold in Ingleside since October 2008, at an average price of $504,277.