San Francisco Neighborhood Guide For Homebuyers

San Francisco is one of the most interesting cities in the world. With its laid-back sophistication and broad-minded elegance, it is no wonder that real estate in San Francisco is highly sought after. It is a competitive real estate market, with homes tending to sell fairly quickly, and often over asking price; but with due diligence it is possible to find the perfect home at an affordable price.

San Francisco is one of the most interesting cities in the world. With its laid-back sophistication and broad-minded elegance, it is no wonder that real estate in San Francisco is highly sought after. It is a competitive real estate market, with homes tending to sell fairly quickly, and often over asking price; but with due diligence it is possible to find the perfect home at an affordable price.

If you are looking for a home in San Francisco, understanding the layout and neighborhood distinctions is important. San Francisco is a compact city, covering an area of approximately 7 x 7 miles. It is organized into 10 Districts, each determined by geographic boundaries. Within these Districts are neighborhoods. Some are characterized by distinct ethnic and cultural heritage, others by lifestyle or industry.

Districts 1, 2, and 3 are at the westernmost edge of San Francisco, and were among the last areas of the city to be developed. Because of their proximity to the Pacific Ocean the weather in these Districts can be changeable, switching from some of that famous San Francisco fog to brilliant sunshine when the ocean breezes kick in.

District 1 – Northwest

The Richmond District, as District 1 is sometimes known, is a culturally diverse community surrounded by parks and recreational spots; Lincoln Park, the Presidio, Golden Gate Park, and the Pacific Ocean. Homes range from the exclusive mansions in Sea Cliff to the tidy little Victorian and Edwardian single-family homes of Laurel Heights.

District 2 – Central West

District 2, sometimes referred to as the Sunset District, is home to the UCSF Medical School and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. This District has the laid back feel of a small town, with an intriguing ethnic mix and some great restaurants. Housing in District 2 is eclectic, ranging from early mid-century homes by Henry Doelger, to the whimsical houses designed by Oliver Rousseau.

District 3 – Southwest

District 3 is home to San Francisco State University and the Stonestown Galleria, which is a suburban style shopping mall plunked down right in the city. Residences in District 3 range from the gracious homes in Merced Manor and Pine Lake Park, to the single-family, middle class homes built by the Gellert brothers in Lakeshore.

Districts 4, 5, and 6 are in the heart of San Francisco and include some of the more colorful neighborhoods in the city – Haight Ashbury, the Castro District, and the western edge of the Mission District. Some of the most gracious homes in the city can be found within the boundaries of these districts.