Homes for Sale in San Francisco
San Francisco holds and an important place in the development of the American West from its early days as a settlement to today’s status as modern high tech and financial hub. It is also an iconic American city whose rolling hills, historic streetcars, and Golden Gate Bridge have featured in movies including Bullitt, The Maltese Falcon, Dirty Harry, and Vertigo
San Francisco is the United States’ second-most densely populated city and California’s fourth-most populous (a little under 874,000). Home prices in San Francisco are the highest among large California cities, beating Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose. Be sure to register for alerts when new homes come on the market.
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San Francisco Real Estate
Surrounded on three sides by water, San Francisco has a more temperate climate than the cities mentioned above, with up to 30% more rainfall and an average July temperature of 67 degrees. The "City by the Bay" might be the right groove for folks who prefer ocean breezes to sweltering heat.
Like other major cities, many starting their career journey who move to San Francisco typically rent (45%) until they get settled and ready buy a home. Home prices here are what one could expect in an area bustling with economic opportunity – they are high. And they should remain so: the greater Bay Area is expected to grow significantly by 2040. The Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy (CCSCE) predicts a near doubling of the population between 2010 and 2040.
The city has 36 official neighborhoods (designated by the San Francisco Planning Department) and many more districts, some of which overlap the official ones. Each has a distinct character that makes them feel like different cities unto themselves.
Some communities are defined by their weather. For example, a person living in Lower Haight might travel to Noe Valley for brunch because the microclimate is warmer and a little less breezy in the morning.
Some neighborhoods are partly defined by culture. For example, fun-seekers will find a high concentration of causal bars and late-night Mexican food in the Mission District.
Housing often defines the vibe of SF neighborhoods. For example, South of Market (SOMA) is chock full of condominiums, whereas the housing stock in the Richmond District is primarily single-family residences.
Perhaps no other San Francisco district is as widely known as Chinatown, one of the largest Asian neighborhoods in America and the oldest, having been settled in the 1850s by Chinese immigrants from the Guangdong Province. It retains a unique and thriving Chinese culture, including places of worship, parks, social clubs, and herbalists. Although devastated by the earthquake and fire of 1906, locals vigorously opposed resettlement, and the area was rebuilt. Chinatown remains one of the liveliest neighborhoods to explore on foot.
About San Francisco
Founded as a settlement by the Spanish in 1776, early San Francisco was an important port and trading hub. The area became part of Mexico in 1821 and was claimed for the United States in 1846, during the Mexican-American War. At that time, the city was called Yerba Buena, then it was renamed San Francisco, after St. Francis of Assisi. Within just a few short years, the city experienced a significant influx of settlers during the Gold Rush of 1849. The transcontinental railroad's completion in 1869 sealed San Francisco's fate as a major economic force.
San Francisco became a Mecca of counter-cultural lifestyles from the late 1950s when Beat Generation poets, including Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, kicked off the San Francisco Renaissance. Hippies, writers, and musicians flocked to the Haight-Ashbury district in the 1960s, and the area became the nexus of American “flower power.” The Beat Museum provides a vivid history of this period.
Today, San Francisco has a vibe like a European city or Manhattan. The city is dense (17,837 people per square mile), and there is a daily buzz with many moving parts – people, streetcars, trains, and automobiles – all of which operate simultaneously in a persistent hum.
The population density encourages the use of public transportation (which is excellent here, by the way) and walking. For able-bodied folks, there is no need for a car to get to-and-from work or for running routine errands. Some residents opt-out of car ownership altogether. Over 3,480 restaurants are crammed into San Francisco's 49 square miles, and around every corner is something to explore.
Exporing San Francisco
San Francisco is one of America’s greenest cities, with 220 city parks. Some of the best views of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge can be obtained from Golden Gate Park, which contains formal gardens and a Japanese Tea House.
There are numerous wilderness areas within easy reach outside the city, including the Muir Woods National Monument (great for giant redwood spotting) and the rugged red coastline at Reyes National Seashore. Both are within a 75-minute drive from downtown SF.
In a city surrounded by water, boat trips and fishing excursions are plentiful. The rival Blue and Gold and Red and White fleets are among the best-known tour and ferry operators, but there is no shortage of motor and sailboat options to explore. Fishing fanatics can fish from the piers or charter a boat to catch mackerel, herring, or salmon at sea.
Famous city landmarks include the Golden Gate Bridge (built in 1933), Lombard Street (known as "the crookedest street in the world"), and Alcatraz, the infamous island prison which is still open for daily visits. One of the city's great pleasures is seeing its many ocean views appear over the crest of a hill as you ride one of the legendary cable cars or streetcars in near-continuous operation since 1873. The cable cars are the oldest (and slowest!), but the streetcars are just as popular with tourists and locals alike.
Explore Chinese culture at the Asian Art Museum, which holds one of the world's most extensive collections of Asian art. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is also a must-see. The Exploratorium at Pier 15 has a fascinating range of events and exhibits for those intrigued by science.
San Francisco Realtors®
If you'd like to buy real property, contact our San Francisco real estate agents; we're the LOCAL experts and can answer all of your home buying and neighborhood questions.
Please get in touch if you're thinking of selling your home in San Francisco or the surrounding area. Our listing agents can provide dates and prices of recently sold units nearby and up-to-date local real estate market information.