Are you looking for the best place to buy property in San Francisco? As a San Francisco resident since 2001 and a San Francisco real estate investor since 2003, I have the answers!
The pandemic has changed working and living forever. If you no longer have to come into the office 5 days a week any longer, then then you will logically want to buy a great home in a lower cost area of the city. Further, you care more about having a great floor plan if you work from home and have children.
Best Place To Buy Property In San Francisco To Work From Home
The best place to buy property in San Francisco to work from home is in the western region. Specifically, single family homes in: The Sunset, The Richmond, Golden Gate Heights, Parkside, and Outer Sunset.
Below is a map that shows where I'm talking about. These neighborhoods over more land, more space, better value, cleaner air, and more peace and relaxation.
The best neighborhoods to buy property in San Francisco are now all on the west side. No longer do you need to commute to downtown east side as often or at all.
The western region of San Francisco is much less dense, which is great for people who want to avoid other people and the coronavirus.
The western region has tremendous outdoor space and parks. Further, the Sunset and Parkside area are not littered with condo buildings.
My favorite area on the western side of San Francisco is Golden Gate Heights. There are single family homes in Golden Gate Heights with panoramic ocean views that would sell at a 50% – 150% PREMIUM in any other international city.
As the work from home trend grows, especially in San Francisco, given there are so many tech firms that allow work from home, there will be a mass westward migration shift.
As a result, panoramic ocean view homes are likely to sky rocket in value in San Francisco, because they currently trade at the median price/sqft in San Francisco of roughly $1,000.
Personal Experience Moving To Western San Francisco
After living in the more expensive, northern part of San Francisco for 13 years, I wanted a change of pace. Everybody looked the same, worked at the same jobs, went to the same parties, did the same events, and ate the same food.
I also wanted to save money since neither my wife nor I had full-time jobs and we wanted to start a family. If we could find a more quiet neighborhood in San Francisco that was more family-friendly that also cost less, we’d move. And move we did in 2014.
By moving just three miles west, we were able to reduce our housing expense by a whopping 45%! The house we sold in 2017 in The Marina cost $1,326 a square foot. The fixer-upper we bought in Golden Gate Heights in 2014 cost $725 a square foot.
Other Costs In Addition To Housing Went Down Too
Not only did we cut our housing expense by 45%, but we also cut our food, basics, and entertainment expenses by at least 30%.
If it’s just to save money, you can easily save 20% – 50% by moving to a lower cost area of your city. You should absolutely do this rather than relocate to an entirely different city just to save money.
After all, if millions can more often work from home, an extra 15 – 30-minute commute two or three times a week is no big deal. If I want to go to downtown from Golden Gate Heights, I'd hop in an Uber that will take me there in 25 minutes versus 10 minutes when I lived in the Marina. No big deal.
Further, if you can work from home and keep the same salary, then relocating within your city to save on living expenses becomes an absolute no brainer. In this scenario, you are triple-winning.
The Best Types Of San Francisco Real Estate You Should Buy
Cheap ridesharing options have already made commuting from less centrally located areas of your city much more affordable.
With work from home becoming more common, the demand for property in less densely populated areas in or around your city will boom.
Here are the types of property in San Francisco you should consider investing in to take advantage of the work from home trend:
- Single family homes over condominiums if your budget allows.
- Single family homes with a backyard for the kids
- Single family homes with ocean views
- Single family homes with decks to provide indoor and outdoor living
- Single family homes or condominiums that back up to or are near a beach, a lake, a golf course, or public park.
- Single family homes or condos in the hills, which are harder to find and get to by the public.
- Single family homes or condos as far away as possible from public transportation routes (buses, trains, etc). This is a big shift from the past.
The coronavirus pandemic has helped drop mortgage rates to all-time lows. I just refinanced to a 2.625% 7/1 ARM jumbo for no cost. Now I'm getting a new loan at 2.125% 7/1 ARM jumbo to purchase a new property in Golden Gate Heights. It is my forever home.
Real Estate Diversification
In addition to looking for real estate investment opportunities in San Francisco, look to diversify your real estate investments across the country where valuations are lower, net rental yields are higher, and growth rates may be higher.
Check out Fundrise and their eREITs. eREITs give investors a way to diversify their real estate exposure with lower volatility compared to stocks. Income is completely passive and there is much less concentration risk.
If you are bullish on the demographic shift towards lower-cost and less densely populated areas of the country, check out CrowdStreet. CrowdStreet focuses on individual commercial real estate opportunities in 18-hour cities.
I've personally invested $810,000 in real estate crowdfunding across 18 projects to take advantage of lower valuations in the heartland of America. My real estate investments account for roughly 50% of my current passive income of ~$300,000.