Tuesday, August 17, 2010

House Hunting in San Francisco

After over 2 years of chatter on this blog about possibilities of moving to San Francisco, it's actually happening. Jimmy accepted a new job in the city and if all goes to plan, we'll be San Francisco residents by October 1st.

We spent 3 of the past 4 days in the city, driving by homes listed on Craigslist, learning about more neighborhoods, contemplating the pros and cons. We thought we knew a lot about San Francisco, but turns out we were pretty darn clueless.

One of the neighborhoods that we fell in love with is West Portal. What we love most about it is the public transportation of Muni Metro to downtown and that almost all the homes are single family homes with a garage and lots of available street parking.

We haven't seen the inside of this one yet, but it was the house that brought our attention to the neighborhood. But after a couple of drive-bys, we've decided to check out other options first. If those don't work out, maybe we'll take a closer look at this one.

Yesterday we made an appointment to see this house. Looked promising from the outside and the inside was pretty nice, too. It's a 3 bedroom, 1 bath home.

Gorgeous bay windows in the front room.

Cute niches above the bookcases and a welcoming fireplace. Nice crown molding, high ceiling and wood floors.

The kitchen wasn't anything special. It hasn't been updated, yet it doesn't have that charming appeal of an original kitchen from a house built in the 1930s.

But the biggest drawback is that the garage isn't available because another tenant is living in it. That's very common in San Francisco where the garage is converted into an apartment. We haven't crossed it off the list because there's plenty of street parking, but we're hoping to find something that will suit our needs better.

We also looked at this house yesterday. It's beautiful, but not quite our style. But most of all, a long commute for Jimmy. It's on the other side of town in the Sunset district, where he'd have to deal with 19th Avenue which is notorious for problems and delays. Also, public transportation is much less accessable than in the West Portal neighborhood.

Sunday we went to an open house for this home in the Castro/Upper Market neighborhood. 3 bedrooms, 2 bath. Very thoughtfully remodeled and painted, except for the bathrooms which were original to the 1950s home. The best part of the house was the massive 2 car garage and the beautiful yard with a built in firepit and high end grill. However, Jimmy would have to drive into work, but it'd be a much closer commute than the house in the Sunset.

Tomorrow we have an appointment to look at this house in the Westwood Highlands neighborhood. It's a 3 bedroom, 2 bath Tudor style home. No public transportation, but close to the freeway, a 15 minute commute.

We also have an appointment to check out a condo tomorrow evening. We're thinking completely out of our box on this one but the best thing is it's only 2 1/2 blocks from Jimmy's office.
A modern 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo is available in this 20 story skyrise in SOMA (South of Market). We've never lived in anything this urban so if we end up moving here, this will be the biggest change in our lifestyle. Moving to San Francisco will be a huge change in and of itself, but living in a skyrise will be major. But something we're both more than willing to consider.

More to come on both of these properties after we take a look at them tomorrow.

Thankfully we have a little bit of time to make our decision so we don't have the anxiety of having to settle just because of time restraints. All the homes we've seen so far have been nice, but we would like to find something that suits our needs better. Hopefully we'll find that in the next week or two. I'll keep ya posted!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You suburbanites with your must have garages!!! Take the plunge! Get rid of a car and live the city life to it's fullest. :-) - v