Where To Find Senior Housing in San Francisco

I’m often contacted by seniors or their families inquiring about what available housing in San Francisco. The truth is that the city has somewhat limited options for seniors. But I decided to round up the options in one blog post that will hopefully be a useful resource.

Senior housing in the city generally falls into three categories: full-service facilities with built-in healthcare services, buildings that are zoned for senior occupants, and centrally located complexes with amenities that I personally think are appealing and useful to senior-age residents. Here’s my roundup, with sales data courtesy of the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service:

1. Full Service Communities
If you’re looking for a residence that will let you easily transition into assisted living, these full-service communities are the best option in San Francisco. You’re basically paying an occupancy or entry fee, with monthly fees that cover your living expenses. All three of these communities are located in the Lower Pacific Heights area, with easy access to public transportation and nearby retail areas in Japantown, Polk Street, and Hayes Valley.

The Carlisle [1450 Post | Lower Pacific Heights]
What It Offers: Continuing care retirement community providing independent and assisted living services for those 62 and over.
How It Works: You purchase your unit and pay a monthly fee (from $4,000) that covers meals, housekeeping, activities, wellness center, cinema, and the usual HOA-related utility expenses such as water, trash, electric, cable, maintenance, and insurance.
What It Costs: 2017 sales ranged from $230,000-$690,000 for the one bedrooms, and $675,000 (with $6,000 monthly fee) for a 1,040-square foot two bedroom/two bath with parking.
What’s Currently Available: Ten one bedrooms ($180,000-$560,000) and three two bedrooms ($550,000-$699,000).

The Sequoias [1400 Geary | Lower Pacific Heights]
What It Offers: Continuing care retirement community with approximately 250 units, also includes memory care. Physician, skilled nursing, and rehab center on site.
How It Works: Pay an occupancy fee and then a monthly fee that covers dining, housekeeping, fitness and wellness services, and activities such as day trips and an art gallery.
What’s Available: A mix of studios ($120,000-$220,000 occupancy fee); one bedrooms ($200,000-$370,000); two bedrooms ($300,000-$780,000). Monthly fees range from $3,200-$6,700, depending on the size of your unit.

San Francisco Towers [1661 Pine Street | Lower Pacific Heights]
What It Offers: Meals, activities, fitness facilities and healthcare.
How It Works: You can choose between a lifetime or continuing care agreement. The former offers services, amenities and health care for a fixed and permanent monthly fee that doesn’t change regardless of what services you might need. The continuing care version is similar, except that the monthly fee can change as you require different levels of living and healthcare. Both programs have an entry fee and a monthly fee. Entrance fees start at $188,000 for a studio to $1,000,000+ for a two-bedroom deluxe apartment. Current monthly fees range from just over $4,000 for a single resident in a studio to just under $10,000 in a two-bedroom, penthouse-style unit.
What’s Available: Studios (470-570 sq ft); one-bedrooms (600-850 sq ft) and two-bedrooms (950-1,450 sq ft).

Peninsula Del Rey [165 Pierce Street | Daly City]
What It Offers: Breakfast + lunch or dinner daily; activities, movie theatre, happy hours, fitness facility, weekly housekeeping; transportation; assisted living options. Just south of San Francisco, so you get more value for your money.
How It Works: You pay a $4,000 entry fee and then a monthly fee for your apartment and services. One perk is that every unit has a full, good-sized kitchen and in-unit washer/dryer.
What’s Available: Studios (476 sq ft, from $4,250/mo); one-bedrooms (617-704 sq ft, from $5,200-$5,830/mo) and two bedrooms from (1,003 sq ft, $7,210/mo).

2. Zoned For Seniors
Active seniors with no near-term continuing care needs might consider one of two buildings in the city, which don’t provide services but have some convenient amenities. Inventory is limited to resales. Occupants must be 55 or older, but there isn’t an age restriction for the actual buyer. Prices tend to be lower than condos elsewhere in the city that don’t carry age restrictions, which makes this category of senior housing appealing for families who are looking to purchase a condo for a parent.

81 Frank Norris | Van Ness Corridor/Russian Hill
Who It’s For: Very independent seniors who want a reasonable location with parking near the Polk corridor and Hayes Valley’s cultural and retail center.
What It Offers: 32 units in an elevator building that has a common roof area, parking, storage and bike lockup area. Gas ranges and laundry in the units. Some have walkout balconies.
What It Costs: There isn’t a lot of turnover here, with only three reported sales since 2016 ranging in price from $485,000 to $718,000. HOA dues are in the $475-$600 range and include water, trash, property management, maintenance.
What’s Currently Available: No listings at this time.

Silver Park Condominiums [901 Bayshore | Silver Terrace]
Who It’s For: Buyers who are looking for an affordable place to live in the city, and don’t mind being across the street from the freeway. Retail in walking distance includes shops and services on San Bruno Avenue.
What It Offers: 40 one-bedroom condos over commercial/retail space in a development built in 2003. Amenities include elevator, parking for most units, social room, deck. Laundry rooms on each floor.
What It Costs: There were seven sales in 2076, from $199,000-$325,000 (527-659 sq ft). HOA dues range from $320-$425 and cover water, trash, building maintenance, property management. #205 is in contract with a list price of $339,000.
What’s Currently Available: No listings at this time.

3. Buildings in Convenient Locations, Not Zoned for Seniors
There are a few developments I’ve toured over the years that I think would be a great fit for independent seniors. Two are in very central locations, and one is in a more peaceful, quiet neighborhood.

Opera Plaza [601 Van Ness | Civic Center]
Who It’s For: Seniors who want an amenity-rich complex that’s only a few blocks from the heart of the Hayes Valley cultural and restaurant scene that includes the ballet, opera, symphony and SF Jazz Center.
What It Offers: 450 condos, which are a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom condos built in 1982. Amenities include heated pool, gym, 24-hour security, concierge, club house, elevator, laundry room. Parking is on site and is leased for an average of $250/month.
What It Costs: 18 one bedrooms sold in 2017 for an average price of $620,000, with an average price-per-square foot of $924. And the five two-bedroom units that sold last year cost an average of $841,000, with a price-per-square foot of $795. Homeowners association fees are an average of $750/month (1BR) and $1,000/month (2BRs) and include water, trash, internet, basic cable, building and earthquake insurance, building management.
What’s Currently Available: A studio for $527,500, and a one bedroom for $588,000.

La Galleria [900 Bush | Downtown]
Who It’s For: Independent seniors who will appreciate being in a very central location near Union Square, Nob Hill, great restaurants, theatre district and public transportation. (900 Bush has a 99 Walk Score.)
What It Offers: Mix of 187 one- and two-bedroom condos in a 1982-built complex. Full-service building that includes 24-hour door person, on-site management, elevator, fitness center, common laundry room, outdoor pool (heated seasonally) and plaza.
What It Costs: One- to two-bedroom condos range from $650,000-$900,000, with HOA fees in the $800-$900/month range. These cover water, heat, trash, cable, grounds/building maintenance, door person, security service, HOA insurance and internet. (Owners pay separately for electric, which is needed for the heat and stove.) There are no separate parking fees.
What’s Currently Available: No listings at this time.

Diamond Heights Village [115 Red Rock Way, 940-990 Duncan, 5140-5160 Diamond Hghts Blvd) | Diamond Heights]
Who It’s For: Seniors who walk or have a car and are looking for a quiet, bucolic community with amenities. Diamond Heights Village is one block from the Safeway shopping center, Noe Valley is just down the hill, and the West Portal retail area is a five-minute drive away.
What It Offers: The Village occupies seven acres and has a total of 396 units, from small studios to one- and two-bedrooms spread across 14 buildings spaced among the trees. There’s a clubhouse, billiard room, library, gym, outdoor heated pool, management office, parking and meeting facilities.
What It Costs: Studios are selling in the $400,000s-$500,000s; one bedrooms in the $700,000s and two bedrooms in the $800,000s. Overall, units are selling for approximately $873/sq foot. HOA dues are $400-$600/month and pay for water, trash, organized activities, exterior building/grounds maintenance, HOA and earthquake insurance.
What’s Currently Available: No listings at this time.

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Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate



BRE# 01352627

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