Compass via MLS
San Francisco is one of the U.S.'s most thriving, culturally and historically fascinating, and (yep) expensive cities. It also happens to be the greenest, at least per a recent Wallethub ranking, thanks to its clean energy, recycling programs, biking infrastructure, and farmers markets. It also has lots of green space, like Mission Dolores Park, The Presidio, Golden Gate Park, and, my personal favorite, Lands End, the shoreline located right at the mouth of the Golden Gate Bridge.
There's more to San Francisco than parks and recycling, of course. The city is so full of history it's hard to know where to start (though you can probably skip the overly touristy Fisherman's Wharf). San Francisco has the oldest and most established Chinatown, a slew of museums (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Exploratorium, de Young Museum, and the Asian Art Museum are some of the best ones), quirky neighborhoods, an endless supply of bars and nightlife, some of the best food in the country (not to mention the best burritos, specifically at La Taqueria), and City Lights, one of the loveliest independent bookstores you'll ever visit.
Of course, with all that it has to offer—plus its proximity to Silicon Valley—San Francisco also has some steeply priced real estate. The median listing price is $1.3 million, according to Zillow, and forecasted to rise; for comparison's sake, Manhattan's median is $1,025,000. Still, there are plenty of spots in San Francisco below that price. Also note: If you're hooked on the Bay Area, there are some deals further out in the East Bay.
Here's a taste of what's available:
833 Douglass St., Noe Valley
This three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath condominium, also pictured top, takes up an entire floor of this 1908 Victorian, and has period touches like fireplaces, high-coved ceilings, wainscoting, and hardwood floors. Other highlights include an open-concept kitchen with a breakfast island and dining room, and a private deck in the back. The condo is located in the Noe Valley, a family-oriented neighborhood located next to the Mission that's filled with quaint Victorians and a lot of strollers. The unit is priced at $1,295,000.
916 Alabama St. #A, Mission
The Mission is probably San Francisco's coolest neighborhood, which is a tall order in a city full of them. In addition to housing San Francisco's best burrito joints, the Mission's got great bars, some of the city's hippest restaurants, multiple BART stops (the commuter train that connects San Francisco to the East Bay) as well as boutiques and vintage shops.
It also has this two-bedroom, two-bath condo, which takes up a whole story of this funky-looking Victorian. Built in 1900, the unit features vintage touches like fireplaces and a formal dining room, but has been updated with a wholly modern kitchen, bedrooms, and bathroom (note the checkered tiling in the kitchen and hallways). There's also a laundry room with both a washer and dryer as well as a garden shared with the upstairs neighbors. The unit is priced at $995,000.
1546 Jones St., Nob Hill
Nob Hill was once home to San Francisco's richest railroad barons, and it's still one of the city's more exclusive neighborhoods, with high prices and high altitudes (Nob Hill is...hilly.) The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath condos on sale in this boutique building are some of the pricier options on this list, but they come with a lot: two floors, massive bay windows, high ceilings, and snazzy all-white kitchens with stainless steel appliances, to name a few. Other highlights include large master bedrooms, lots of closet space, and a shared rooftop deck with great views. The units are priced at $1,495,000.
138 Langton St., SoMa
This two-bedroom, two-bath townhouse has bay windows, a modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a wood-burning fireplace, and a private patio, in addition to a private deck connected to the loft-like bedroom on the second floor. The townhouse is in SoMa, or South of Market, which is located a little further out from downtown than some of the other neighborhoods on this list, but still has some great restaurants and the San Francisco Giants' AT&T Park. The house is priced at $895,000.
993 Dolores St., Dolores Heights
Dolores Heights is bordered by the Castro, Noe Valley, Upper Market, and Dolores Park and has some beautiful Victorians and a lot of sun (the city's famed Twin Peaks actually block out some of the fog here). This two-bedroom, two-bath unit was recently added to an older Mission Dolores Edwardian, and has modern updates, like a cavernous open-concept living area, a modern kitchen with a full fridge, and a super-private master suite. There's also a shared backyard and a private patio off the kitchen. The house is priced at $1,095,000.
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