People love living in San Francisco — despite being the smallest county in California, San Francisco also happens to be the most densely populated. This famous city is known for being a cultural, financial, and commercial hub rich in history. San Francisco is a great tourist destination, and in 2016, it ranked high in the world liveability rankings. Of course, there are the numerous attractions — such as Alcatraz, Coit Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Fisherman’s Wharf — that draw tourists from all over the world, but living in San Francisco offers so much more than that.
Curious to know what makes living in San Francisco so great? As top San Francisco real estate agents, Danielle Lazier + Associates, in collaboration with Compass San Francisco, have learned a thing or two from helping people buy and sell homes in San Francisco. In no particular order (because how could we possible choose?) here are ten reasons why investing in San Francisco real estate is a good idea:
#10 San Francisco Has Some of the Best Parks in the Country
If you have a family or enjoy a bit of nature in an urban setting, the beauty of San Francisco’s parks are enough to make you stay. The parks, ranging from Dolores Park (located in the culturally rich Mission Dolores neighborhood) to Golden Gate Park to the Presidio, were ranked among the top five best in the nation in 2016. In 2017, San Francisco became the first city in the country to have a park within a ten minute walk from every home. And, of course, there are always the beaches, too! Whether you want to swim, picnic, hike, play sports, or ride bikes, San Francisco’s parks have activities for everyone.
For the art lovers or appreciators, there is an abundance of public art found in the city’s parks, such as the Andy Goldsworthy sculptures in the Presidio. In addition to the large urban parks, there are also parklets, created in former parking spaces along San Francisco’s streets. With all the open green spaces, working out seems to have become a town pastime with more and more people enjoying being outside and engaging in physical activity. This is an option for four-legged friends, too, since the city also boasts a number of dog parks.
#9: Culturally Diverse Neighborhoods
Buying a home in San Francisco is like purchasing a slice of history. Our City by the Bay has a long and complicated history that is just as colorful as its citizens. Each neighborhood is distinct from the others and tells a different story. Although the city is small, there is such a mash-up of cultures and lifestyles that walking just a few blocks could transport you to another world. For example the Mission district, which is traditionally a Latino community, is also home to hipsters, young professionals, blue-collar workers, a diverse mix of families, and a lively nightlife. On one block you’ll find some of the best taquerias in the city, while on another you’ll find chic boutiques catering to young urban professionals. The Mission’s proximity to downtown makes it a San Francisco real estate gem.
#8: A World Technology Hub
Hollywood has the films; San Francisco has the technology. The city is a hotbed of technology start-ups, young designers, and software engineers who are drawn to the urban landscape and tech industry opportunities. Some of the major tech companies, as well as smaller companies, have set their bases in the San Francisco Bay area, which makes living in San Francisco a great move for your tech career.
#7: Festivals, Street Fairs, and More Festivals
San Francisco loves to celebrate. It has many diverse and unique parties, street festivals, and parades. The year-round temperate weather provides an easy climate for outdoor celebrations. From the gay Pride parade and festivities to the How Weird Street Fair, there is always a reason to let loose and enjoy. Many of the San Francisco neighborhoods have yearly street festivals that feature live music, community organizations, and arts and crafts vendors. Festivities range from small block parties and farmers markets to grand events like the long-standing Hardly Strictly Bluegrass that takes up several blocks of Golden Gate Park.
#6: Unique Architecture
San Francisco is well known for its Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Both locals and tourists flock to see famous houses such as the row of Pink Ladies in Alamo Square and the house formerly owned by the Grateful Dead in the groovy Haight Ashbury neighborhood. Oftentimes, buying a home in San Francisco is purchasing a piece of history, since many of the houses are located in historic districts and have notable historic qualities in their architectural design. In addition to the colorful Victorian and Edwardian architecture, San Francisco also contains internationally renowned modern design, such as the DeYoung Museum located in Golden Gate Park.
#5: Year-Round Temperate Weather
While San Francisco is associated with fog, the cool mist that often blankets the city is mild compared to extreme humidity, snow, scorching heat, and torrential downpours. When the rest of the country is melting over the summer, San Francisco lounges in the coolest daily summer temperatures. There is no snow in San Francisco with the coolest temperatures going to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and yet if residents want to play in the snow, destinations like Tahoe are only a couple hours away.
#4: A Foodie’s Paradise
Burritos are life in San Francisco. And so is ramen. And tacos. And pizza. And sushi…. You can eat whatever your heart desires in San Francisco. Keeping up with the “restaurants to try” list is impossible. There’s even a rumor that you could eat at one new restaurant per day indefinitely, since by the time you had eaten your way through all the restaurants in the city, just as many more would have opened up to take their place. Just how good are San Francisco’s restaurants? Good enough to earn Michelin stars and to have San Francisco residents lined up around the block, waiting sometimes for hours just to get a seat.
#3: Education from Top Notch Schools
William S. Burroughs once said, “The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.” In addition to having some of the best schools in California (all the way from daycare to university), San Francisco is also a city of progressive values, and these values are embedded in the city’s educational institutions. Regardless if you’re looking for a preschool for your little ones or a university to complete your Master’s degree, you’ll find values such as inclusivity, eco-awareness, and equality in all of San Francisco’s schools. The city values education so much that it has allocated funds in order to provide free tuition at San Francisco City College for all its residents.
#2: Community Acceptance
In San Francisco, you are free to be exactly who you want to be. The acceptance of a variety of lifestyles is a plus if you’re considering buying a home in San Francisco. The city has delightfully refused to move on from the values forged during the hippie movement in the summer of 1967. The city of love is all about acceptance regardless of your religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
This progressivism nurtures strong communities, which creates something of a “villages within a city” structure in San Francisco. Living in San Francisco provides the best of two worlds: you get a small town community vibe combined with the amenities of a city.
#1: Striking Views
San Francisco is a city well known for its views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Ocean, the Marin Hills, the Bay Bridge… and the list goes on. It seems as if there is a striking view of something waiting around almost every corner. In the Mission district, you have beautiful views of downtown that can be enjoyed while sunbathing in Dolores Park. Pacific Heights offers the iconic view of the Golden Gate Bridge and sailboats softly cruising in the Bay. Every neighborhood has its own unique viewing points of different parts of the city. Plus, the upside of a city built on steep hills is that you quickly get into excellent shape from frequently walking at an incline.
Are You Thinking About Living in San Francisco?
There are many, many reasons to love living in San Francisco, well beyond the ten listed here. If you are thinking about buying a home in San Francisco it is wise to work with an experienced real estate agent in order to secure the best return on your investment.
Whether you’re selling a home or buying one, Danielle Lazier + Associates, in collaboration with Compass San Francisco real estate, have the expertise to best guide you through the process. Contact our team about a free consultation or with any questions!