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Western Addition / Hayes Valley / Alamo Square
The Western Addition, Hayes Valley and Alamo Square typically offer some of the least expensive properties in the City. Properties consist of units in funky old Victorian buildings along with modern high-rise buildings. Hayes Valley and the Western Addition have not seen the same gentrification as other parts of the City.

Fillmore Street is the most popular spot for shopping and dining in the Western Addition. Nearby Japantown and Japan Center offer many great restaurants concentrated in a four-block radius.

Bernal Heights
Tucked between Bayshore on the east and the Outer Mission on the south, Bernal Heights is a pocket of paradise set in the hills. Bernal Heights saw most of its building after the 1906 Earthquake; stucco bungalows, cottages and colorful Victorians are still standing. In the late 60s many freethinking not-so-wealthy people moved to the neighborhood for the expansive views, the sun and the anything-goes attitude. Since then Bernal Heights has been defined with an optimistic community spirit and unconventional vision. Prices vary, but most of which are on the moderate end of the price range.

Bernal Heights is a neighborhood yet to be invaded by mass retail; an independent bookstore and Latin-American craft cooperative are among the businesses on the small commercial stretch. Charming little restaurants have locals lined up for breakfast. Sit next to the fire at a local coffeehouse and sip your mocha while reading or playing games.
Haight / Cole Valley / Buena Vista / Ashbury Heights
Perhaps the world's most well known neighborhood, the Haight, is located west of Downtown and below Golden Gate Park's Panhandle. During the 1960s, the Haight was at the center of the counter culture, free love and antiwar movements. It was home to Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead. Young people still flock to the area but families are taking up residence as well. Prices are more reasonable than other areas of the City. South of the Haight is Cole Valley. Some of the loveliest houses in the City can be found here. There are lovely homes, duplexes and grand apartment buildings located around Buena Vista Park and the area known as Ashbury Heights.

While you'll find remnants of the "Summer of Love" here, the Haight has gone through a makeover in recent years and smokeshops have given way to funky (and pricey) shoe boutiques, record emporiums and a great variety moderately priced restaurants. Cole Valley has a quaint neighborhood feel with a hardware store, pubs and restaurants and appeals to a more mature resident than nearby Haight.

Castro / Eureka Valley / Dolores Heights
At the upper end of Market Street is the lively Castro District, a neighborhood that caters largely to the gay and lesbian community. Prices range from moderate to pricey with residents paying for location. The sunny neighborhood, marked by the Castro Theatre marquee and a gigantic rainbow flag blowing in the wind, has become a symbol of gay and lesbian pride throughout the world - somewhat of the gay Mecca.

Visitors are always welcome in this friendly neighborhood which offers a huge array of bars, restaurants and specialty stores. Shoppers will enjoy a great selection of modern clothing, bath products, rainbow striped gifts, books and antiques. Inexpensive food on the go dominates the dining choices, although the area is home to outdoor cafes and upscale restaurants.

Civic Center / Cathedral Hill / Van Ness Corridor
Although the area is most closely associated with central government and the performing arts, Civic Center has a variety of properties to offer. Many great, affordable units can be found on Van Ness Avenue, Gough and Franklin streets but the compromise for moderate prices may be the noise of traffic on these busy streets. What the area around the Civic Center lacks in "neighborhood charm" it makes up for in location and convenience.

Dining in the area caters to everyone's needs from fast food to fine sit-down restaurants, which are popular amongst patrons of the arts. Hayes Street and Van Ness Avenue are loaded with shops and restaurants. The AMC movie theaters and two gyms are nearby. There is also shopping and dining to be found on Polk Street.

Cow Hollow
South of the Marina, across busy Lombard Street, you'll find Cow Hollow (so named for the 30 dairy farms that flourished here in the 1800s) and the Union Street shopping district. Along eight blocks of Union Street, classic Victorians have been transformed into stylish restaurants, chic boutiques and upscale bakeries. Cow Hollow is a very desirable location with prices at the high end of the scale.

With a bar (or coffeehouse!) on almost every block, Cow Hollow caters to professional singles out on the town. Restaurant choices range from romantic trattorias to sleek pan-Asian bistros. On the shopping front, national retailers co-mingle harmoniously with independent boutiques.

The Excelsior
Bounded by Highway 280 on the west and north, McLaren Park on the east, and the city line on the south, the Excelsior is one of the best places to find affordable housing, however some may find the district a little too far removed from the rest of the City. If you don't mind living on the outskirts of the City, there are many homes that are within budget for the average buyer. The Excelsior is an ethnically and socio-economically diverse community where there's a sense of renewal as young couples and families search for their first home.

Mission Street is the district's commercial street with produce and seafood markets, butcher shops, hair salons and bakeries. Mission Street runs from the Mission District through the Excelsior District and there are many great taquerias along the route.
Public Transportation & Parking

Financial District / Embarcadero Waterfront
The Financial District begins at Montgomery Street and extends east toward the Embarcadero. Although this area is contained within a few city blocks, it is ranked as one of the top four financial centers in the nation. Most activity in the City's commercial district takes place from 9am to 5pm when workers descend on the area. Large apartment complexes such as Golden Gateway Apartments and Rincon Towers offer great views and a great location for those working in the City's business epicenter. Property near the Embarcadero will be true to market rate with a premium paid for views.

Forest Hill / St. Francis Wood
Originally part of a 4,000-acre ranch, Forest Hill is home to some of San Francisco's largest lots and loveliest homes. This exclusive area has the look and feel of a suburban community. Housing in St. Francis Wood and Forrest Hill consists primarily of single-family homes, with the vast majority being owner occupied. The area is upper middle-class, in part because of the large homes that are relatively expensive for most people. The closest shopping and dining is found in nearby West Portal, a cozy shopping district with many small eateries and a movie theater.

Glen Park
One thing residents like about Glen Park is its relative isolation. Residents call it a village. The City bought Glen Canyon Park in 1922 and the rest of the area was sold for home sites. A diverse population calls Glen Park home including a large gay and lesbian community, many young families, and people of every ethnicity Noe Valley, Glen Canyon Park and Highway 280 border Glen Park. Laidley Street is a mishmash of colorful Victorians and modern homes; two mansions located here were brothels for many years. Though not as expensive as neighboring Noe Valley, the prices to be had around Glen Park will vary from moderate to high depending on location and the property itself.

The village centers on Chenery and Diamond streets. All the necessities are right at hand: a coffee shop, taqueria, pizza parlor, bookstore, bars and much more. Enjoy the great outdoors at beautiful Glen Canyon Park!
Ingleside
Located in the southwestern corner of the city, Ingleside has a diverse mix of residents. Ocean Avenue is the main drag feeding traffic between 19th Avenue and Highway 280. It is also the commercial heart of the district. The area is gaining in popularity with 'lower' home prices and convenient transit access. Property in the area are mainly flats and single-family homes and prices are moderate relative to other districts. With its close proximity to San Francisco City College and San Francisco State University, Ingleside is a popular district for students.

On Ocean Ave., you'll find many small independently owned stores including a cycle shop, hobby shop, produce markets, and ethnic grocery stores. Dining options include a real 1950's diner and a cheesecake bakery. There's a Pentecostal Church on Ocean Ave where parishioners have been known to speak in tongues.

Laurel Heights / Presidio Heights / The Presidio
Laurel Heights and Presidio Heights are located west of Divisadero Street, east of Arguello Blvd., and south the Presidio. Development began around the 1880s, with mostly large homes being built. Today Laurel Heights is still known for its charming homes. It's an upper middle class neighborhood popular with young professionals and families. Prices are comparable to Pacific Heights and the Marina, all among the most sought after locations in the City. Just outside the Presidio Gates are some of the most grandiose homes in the City. Presidio Heights is predominately owner occupied single-family homes and very, very pricey!

The area's main commercial center is on California Street, between Laurel and Spruce. Laurel Heights Village has just about every convenience: banks, cafes, restaurants and a children's clothing store. Sacramento Street from Lyon to Laurel is another area full of boutiques that cater to the little luxuries in life. You'll find locals lined up for breakfast at any one of the many neighborhood eateries. The Presidio development is a slowly evolving project. Leftover from its military past are a bowling alley and gym (now the YMCA) and the City's only Burger King with a sweeping view of the Golden Gate Bridge!

Marina
San Francisco's prestigious Marina District occupies the northern tip of the City. The Marina is primarily residential in nature and buildings are well maintained making this a quiet, clean and very desirable neighborhood. Charming older apartment buildings and expensive single-family homes offer excellent views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. A cozy refuge for young professionals on the rise, as well as wealthy socialites and lifelong residents. Competition for property in the Marina is fierce. Prices are on the upper end of the scale, but residents believe the charm and distinction of the Marina is more than worth the price.

Chestnut Street (from Fillmore to Divisadero) is the "main drag" in the Marina District. Catering to a mostly young local clientele, Chestnut Street offers a variety of boutiques, cafes, bars, restaurants and movie theaters. Lombard Street is a busy commercial street and Union Street is a reasonable walk. There's the Marina Safeway located across from Fort Mason (known as 'single's Safeway due to the large population of young single residents).

The Mission
On those uniquely San Francisco days when the rest of the City is shrouded in fog, the Mission District is typically bright and sunny. Once an area overlooked by many, the Mission has grown in popularity as prices in San Francisco have escalated. With its rise in popularity have come upscale restaurants and bars. An ethnically diverse district, the Mission is heavily populated by the City’s Hispanic community as well as representing a wide variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Properties consist mainly of less expensive Victorian flats and houses. In recent years a number of warehouses have been converted into live/work-style loft buildings. Located south of Highway 101 and Market Street, the Mission is one of San Francisco’s oldest neighborhoods.

You won’t find a better burrito at a lower price anywhere in the City and colorful bargain shops guarantee you hours of free entertainment (not to mention apartment furnishings). Nearby Valencia Street has experienced a gentrification in the past few years and several of the City’s hippest and most well reviewed restaurants and bars are located here.

Nob Hill / Lower Nob Hill
Along with some of the most luxurious hotels in the world, Nob Hill has the exclusive on some of San Francisco’s finest properties. The Fairmont, Mark Hopkins and Stanford Court hotels barely hold a candle to the elegant apartment buildings atop Nob Hill. Originally settled by railroad and mining magnates, the hill is a postcard-perfect scene any day of the year. Only a select few will have the budget for a prime Nob Hill addresses. But as you expand the radius downhill (i.e. Lower Nob Hill) there are many homes with a more palatable price tag. An apartment near Nob Hill offers great access for those working in the Financial District, Union Square or Civic Center. The clang of cable car bells outside your window adds to the sensory seduction of Nob Hill.

Romantic neighborhood restaurants are a great bet and Nob Hill is within healthy walking distance of North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown. Also close by is Union Square, San Francisco’s world-renowned shopping district and the Theater District. These surrounding areas offer a great variety of restaurants, shops, entertainment and more!

Noe Valley
If you wait long enough or look hard enough, you may find a home in highly sought-after Noe Valley. Located in the valley on the east side of Twin Peaks and just south of the Castro hill, this neighborhood is sunny and detached enough to seem to have a pace of its own. You get a true sense of community in Noe Valley. Renovated Victorians attract as many families as young professionals. Turnover is much lower here than in other districts. Small, charming houses predominate on three steep hills overlooking the 24th-Street shopping district. The nook-and-cranny placement provides views of the Bay and the other hills. Prices for choice homes in the heart of Noe Valley rivals some of the City’s luxury districts.

North Beach
Often compared to Paris’ Left Bank, North Beach has been influenced by successive waves of immigrants. It’s definitely San Francisco’s most European neighborhood but there’s more to North Beach than just pasta al’dente and strong coffee. North Beach is absolutely one of the best spots to experience San Francisco living– provided you don’t own a car! You will never be at a loss for exciting diversions, delicious meals or convenient access. Narrow streets partition this historically Italian neighborhood, centered around Columbus Avenue between Broadway and Lombard streets. Property in North Beach cover the spectrum from old apartment buildings to single-family homes to renovated flats. Nestled between Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf, many residents and visitors consider North Beach to be San Francisco’s most exciting neighborhood.

Pacific Heights / Lower Pacific Heights
Outlined by Pine, Divisadero and Broadway and Van Ness Ave., Pacific Heights is one of San Francisco’s most upscale neighborhoods. The stately mansions are home to the City’s social royalty, celebrities, new-money dot comers and the wealthy ‘first families’ of San Francisco. It’s popular for the views, the great neighborhood dining and shopping, parks and that safe happy feeling the neighborhood exudes. The City’s growth led to the construction of luxury towers and art-deco apartments where residents maintain entire floors. Expect to pay for this exclusive location; quality of life has its price tag. Like the nearby Marina, young professionals flock to the area and are willing to pay whatever it takes to secure one of San Francisco’s most in-demand zip codes.

Most shopping and dining can be found on Fillmore Street. It has upscale shops, restaurants and a surprising number of thrift stores. There are banks and a market but the closest Safeway is located in the Marina District. Union Street is a healthy walk from Pacific Heights.

Potrero Hill
Lifelong residents of Potrero Hill have had their ?best-kept secret? divulged! As real estate prices around the Bay Area, and in particular San Francisco, have soared, developers have descended on this up and coming southeastern corner of the City. A major gentrification is still in progress; Victorian restorations, condo conversions and live/work loft construction seems to be taking place on every block. Once a great place with affordable properties, Potrero Hill is now inhabited by young two-income families looking for the excitement of the City with great freeway access to the Silicon Valley. You’ll find some of the sunniest weather the City has to offer and priceless views of Downtown and the Bay Bridge. Potrero Hill prices will vary from the high side to more moderate end of the scale. This serene neighborhood is not far from the warehouses South of Market and the piers at China Basin which gives the district an industrial feel. If you were hoping for Noe Valley as your next address but get shut out, Potrero Hill would make a great runner up.

Richmond
Framed by the Pacific Ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park, the Richmond District is within driving distance to almost any corner of the City. Prices in this middle-class district vary from affordable single family homes and apartments to lovely flats commanding top dollar. Those in the market for large homes (3BD, 2BA) may have better luck looking in the Richmond or Sunset Districts. Divided by Golden Gate Park, the Richmond and Sunset both reflect San Francisco’s ethic diversity with their significant Asian and Russian communities. The University of San Francisco is located nearby on Fulton Street. The Richmond, like the Sunset, has some of the foggiest weather in the City, but on an occasional sunny day there’s nothing like taking in the sunset from Ocean Beach.

Russian Hill / Polk Gulch
With so many beautiful buildings offering stunning views, it’s no surprise that prices for a prime Russian Hill home is on the very high end of the scale. It’s a great neighborhood and there are less expensive options the closer you travel towards North Beach or in the area known as Polk Gulch. The Gulch is defined as Polk Street between Union and California streets and the bordering streets. Polk Street is two very different worlds. California Street has served as the unofficial dividing line on Polk Street between the pleasant shopping district and seedy southern portion of the street that runs through the Tenderloin. North of California Street there’s a variety of shops, coffeehouses and restaurants for every budget and taste. There are many small markets, a pharmacy and a health food store on Polk Street but you’ll need transportation to get to a major grocery store.

South Beach / Mission Bay
Along the Embarcadero just south of Market is a burgeoning neighborhood that mixes the flavor of San Francisco’s old shipyards with new restaurants, loft spaces and sweeping views of the piers and Bay Bridge. This tiny neighborhood sprung up after the 1989 earthquake and the demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway. As fast as developers can construct housing in South Beach it’s rented at the upper end of the price scale. You won’t find a back yard and loft living is not for everyone, but this ultra-hip section of the City is popular with the affluent 20-something crowd and childless couples looking to live on the cutting edge. South Beach has great nightlife with numerous bars and restaurants.

South of Market / Yerba Buena
Located south of the Financial District and Market Street, the neighborhood known as South of Market (Soma) is experiencing the greatest transition in the City. Tremendous growth and redevelopment has taken place over the past 10 years and many new properties have come on line (and been snatched up just as quickly) in the district once populated solely by industrial warehouses. Most properties located South of Market are modern ?live-work? loft- style units. In recent years, Soma has also become home to San Francisco’s film, video, multimedia and dot com industries. For convenience, South of Market can be a great choice for living close to the office.


Sunset / Parkside / Stonestown
The Sunset District is located in the southwestern section of the city and offers some of the City’s best priced properties, as well as the foggiest weather. It’s an ethnically diverse neighborhood with the largest Asian population outside of Chinatown. The Inner Sunset (near the 9th Avenue commercial area) is moderately priced living, a largely residential neighborhood near UCSF. The Outer Sunset is close to the Great Highway and Ocean Beach (though living near the beach in San Francisco does not command a premium prices, as is the case in Southern California). Golden Gate Park runs the length of the district. Nearby Parkside is the neighborhood near Taraval, west of 19th Avenue. The Sunset and Parkside districts offer great access to San Francisco State University.

Telegraph Hill
With its cottages, stepped streets and gardened lanes, it’s easy to see why artists and writers once flocked to this quintessential San Francisco neighborhood. The maze-like streets offer views of the Bay Bridge and East Bay, Fisherman’s Wharf, downtown and even Twin Peaks - it just depends on which way you turn. At the top of Filbert Street is Coit Tower, providing a beacon of light to its neighbors and a point of reference for newcomers. All of the ?hills? - Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill - are upscale neighborhoods with many wonderful properties commanding high prices. Telegraph Hill is close to North Beach and Chinatown that offer some of the City’s best solutions for dining. There are a few small markets around Telegraph Hill and a few will deliver because of the hill.

Twin Peaks / Upper Market
VIEWS! VIEWS! VIEWS! At the upper end of Market Street you’ll find a high concentration of properties, many with sweeping views of Downtown and the Bay Bridge. Modern homes and condominiums cling to steep and sometimes winding hills in this neighborhood. Prices are not as expensive as Telegraph Hill or Russian Hill; units are clean and modern but most not quite as luxurious. Twin Peaks is removed from, but still in touch with, the hustle and bustle of the City. This lovely area is also close to the Castro, Cole Valley and an easy commute to UCSF. In the heart of this very residential neighborhood there isn’t much in the way of shopping, so you’ll need to visit the Diamond Heights or Market Street Safeways. The best dining options are found nearby in the Castro or Cole Valley.

West Portal
Located in the southwest section of San Francisco, just west of Twin Peaks, West Portal is a pristine tree-lined area. Within walking distance of the avenue are churches, schools, a public swimming pool and playgrounds. Some may find West Portal a bit removed from the pulse of the City but others find it a refuge. It’s a lovely place to live and prices are about average relative to other districts, less than Pacific Heights, more than the Richmond or Sunset Districts. West Portal has an array of shopping and professional services extending for three blocks the streetcar tunnel at Ulloa Street to Sloat Boulevard. Stores include a five and dime, bookstores, antique shops, spa services, hair salons, grocery stores and numerous specialty coffeehouses. There are banks and a movie theater. West Portal also boasts some of the best Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Polish and French cuisine.


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