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. [Read more...]

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?