Homeownership Under $1M: 7 Cheapest San Francisco Neighborhoods

Homeownership in San Francisco is outlandishly expensive–this fact has been glaringly obvious and overly discussed for a long while, to the point where it is cliché to even bring it up.

But the numbers are indeed striking. The median sales price for a home in San Francisco was around $750,000 in the summer of 2012. However, recent market reports for the summer of 2017 reveal that the current median sales price for homes in San Francisco is $1,500,000. Yes, that means that in the last 5 years, home prices have doubled, and more than half of the homes in the City are above $1,000,000.

These prices might be intimidating and unusually high in comparison to national data. But don’t let the discourse of rising home prices discourage you: you can still own a home in San Francisco even if 7 figures is out of your range of wealth.

We have crunched the numbers and located 7 San Francisco neighborhoods where there are still plenty of listings within 6 digits. Scroll down and browse our list of 7 affordable San Francisco neighborhoods for home ownership.

1. The Outer Sunset

Three of Doelger's Freedom style homes file along a street in the Outer Sunset. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.
Three of Doelger’s Freedom style homes file along a street in the Outer Sunset. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.

The Outer Sunset is a lovely place to live, work, and play–even on a budget. Located west of 19th avenue, north of Sloat Boulevard, and south of Golden Gate Park, the Outer Sunset exudes a relaxed neighborhood feel, but still provides endless delicious restaurants, fun bars, parks, and is right next to the beach. Importantly, parking here is significantly more accessible than most places in San Francisco. While plenty of homes are selling well above $1,000,000, there are still plenty of opportunities to find a sizable place within 6 figures.

Related: Surf City, San Francisco: A Guide to the Outer Sunset

2. Crocker Amazon

Photo: Tim Adams, Flickr, Creative Commons
Photo: Tim Adams, Flickr, Creative Commons

Crocker Amazon is located in the southern portion of San Francisco below the Outer Mission. It is similar to other sleepy residential neighborhoods in the City, and is lined with quaint, colorful houses planted along inclined roads. Though it is mostly residential, there is plenty of outdoor fun to be enjoyed in the parks, the Crocker Amazon playground, and the soccer field. There are currently still a few listings for multi-bedroom homes below $1,000,000, which is a steal in comparison to other lower-priced neighborhoods that don’t offer equivalent quality and space.

3. The Excelsior District

Photo: Eric Heath
Photo: Eric Heath, Flickr, Creative Commons

The Excelsior District is nestled south of Bernal Heights. It is mostly residential but nonetheless beautiful. It’s a rare neighborhood that has so far avoided being totally gentrified, but that may not be the case for much longer considering that home sales prices here are well below San Francisco’s median. It is the home to John McClaren Park, which is the City’s third largest park. Its southern location and highway access accommodates the commuter lifestyle, particularly for residents who have a car since street parking here is much easier than, well, most places in San Francisco.

4. Visitacion Valley

Photo: David McSpadden
Photo: David McSpadden, Flickr, Creative Commons

Visitacion Valley, known to some in its vernacular form as Viz Valley, is located in the southeastern quadrant of San Francisco. Adjacent to Excelsior and Portola, it is pretty much similar to its neighboring residential neighborhoods–but flatter, naturally, since it’s a valley. It’s one of the last affordable places in San Francisco that offers space and safety, and it will certainly become more popular once the rest of the world catches on to its attractive attributes.

5. Portola

Photo: Jen, Flickr, Creative Commons
Photo: Jen, Flickr, Creative Commons

Completely hidden, Portola is one of San Francisco’s “secret neighborhoods.” It has a vibrant personality and is more city-like than the other affordable neighborhoods in San Francisco. It has great views, pleasant residential streets, as well as a bustling business scene. In addition to the Sunset District, this is one of the more commercial and community-like neighborhoods among the shrinking list of affordable places to buy property in the City.

6. Ingleside

Photo: Marcin Wichary, Flickr, Creative Commons
Photo: Marcin Wichary, Flickr, Creative Commons

Ingleside is one of the most diverse and picturesque neighbohoods in San Francisco, with plenty of various culturural landmarks and institutions. Located east of San Francisco State University, there are myriad views to be enjoyed from the summits of the inclined streets. This area offers way more street parking than the City’s more congested areas, which makes it easier to get to local commercial thoroughfares if you’re a driver. With geometric and candy colored homes sprinkled across the area, this adorable and safe neighborhood has a plethora of affordable housing opportunities that won’t require you to live in squalor.

Related: Meet SF: A Brief History of Ingleside Terraces

7. Oceanview

Photo: Eric E Castro, Flickr, Creative Commons
Photo: Eric E Castro, Flickr, Creative Commons

Located south of Ingleside, Oceanview is an idyllic, scenic neighborhood that captures much of the cinematic essence of San Francisco. This area has calming neighborhood vibes and is less congested than other stifling areas. Additionally, Oceanview’s location provides sweeping views of the City’s rolling hills, so there’s more than enough eye candy to keep you occupied. It’s tucked away from the busier areas of San Francisco, which is likely why homes here are still well below the local averages. As such, purchasing a home here does not compromise quality for the price.

  • The homes listed in the outer sunset will all but the last 376sft one Will all go well above 1 million. So this is not an effective alternative for the ‘under one million’ article.