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Zephyr Real Estate

Across San Francisco, 10 decent options for starter homes right now

All of these abodes are under seven figures

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Outside of below-market-rate housing, there are little to no affordable homes in San Francisco, period.

But there are a smattering of lovely abodes, ranging from studios to condos to single-family houses, that hover under the seven-figure mark, making them what one could call a “starter home” within the language of SF’s unforgiving real estate bubble.

According to Zillow, the median asking price for a home in San Francisco is $1,387,000. Egads. But the following homes are well under that price, with one of them even asking a mere $399,000.

Peek below, cock your eyebrow, take a deep breath, and see where you might find a starter home in San Francisco right now.

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1. House in Parkside for $895K

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1938 35th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94116

Located just a block from Noriega Street and Sunset Boulevard, this downright gorgeous Doelger specimen in Parkside is on market for $895,000. Built in 1943, 1938 35th Avenue comes with a living room, kitchen, and dining area on the top floor. The lower floor offers a bonus room, as well as a one-car garage and storage.

The listing through Jason Chan of Barbagelata Real Estate.

Photo by Open Homes Photography, courtesy of Barbagelata Real Estate

2. Inner Sunset TIC for $899K

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1345 16th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122

The baby blue facade alone at 1345 16th Avenue, unit 3 worth bragging rights inside this circa-1924 Edwardian asking $899,000. It comes with two bedrooms, one bathroom, hardwood flooring, crown molding, and a private garage for parking and storage. The kitchen and bathroom have been updated in recent years. And the unit (mercifully) faces the back of the building, reducing the amount of street noise you’ll hear while catching beauty sleep.

The listing is through Lance Fulford and Daniel Marshall for Compass.

Photo courtesy of Compass

3. Contemporary condo in Western Addition for $649K

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1332 Scott St
San Francisco, CA 94115

Located inside a gated community, this circa-1986 condo has been rebuilt and permitted to 2019 standards. Featuring one bedroom, one bathroom, and 709 square feet, 1332 Scott Street #B comes with quartz counters, new appliances and flooring, tub, and tankless water heater. HOA comes to $514 per month. Asking price is $649,000.

The listing is through Stephanie Pascal of Climb Real Estate.

Photo courtesy of Climb Real Estate

4. Top-floor Excelsior condo for $829K

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523 Munich St
San Francisco, CA 94112

Benefitting from a total renovation, this Victorian condo now features an open-floor concept, soaring ceilings, exposed beams, and heaps of natural lights. Featuring two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1,087 square feet, 523 Munich Street, Unit 525 comes with plank flooring, a private patio deck, shared patio, and a downright lovely facade. HOAs are 300 per month. Asking is $829,000.

The listing is through Radha Tomassetti of Compass.

Photo courtesy of Compass

5. Garden condo in the Marina for $899K

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3120 Franklin St
San Francisco, CA 94123

This one-bedroom garden condo in the heart of the Marina, asking $899,000, is as affordable as it will get in the tony neighborhood. Coming in at 843-square-feet, 3120 Franklin, Unit 2 features hardwood flooring, period details like crown molding and french doors, updated kitchen, walk-in closet, and lots of natural light care of the picture windows in the living room. HOAs are 332 per month.

The listing is through Dan McLean of Coldwell Banker.

Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker

6. Western SoMa condo for $965K

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1542 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94103

This 1911 Edwardian comes with period details aplenty with a gentle refresh that doesn’t mar its original vibe. Featuring two bedrooms, one bathroom, and 1,207 square feet, 1542 Howard is the priciest home on this list. The bedrooms are found at the front of the exceptionally long flat, with an office/multi-use room, a split bath, exquisite living room, eat-in kitchen, and laundry room at the back. Don’t miss the shared outdoor space and garage parking for one.

The listing is through Betsy Linder of Compass.

7. Tiny Downtown studio for $569K

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901 Bush St
San Francisco, CA 94109

Sure, 901 Bush, unit 104 is small. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in amenities and location. This Downtown pied-a-terre studio, located near the nexus of FiDi, Union Square, and Nob Hill, has been recently renovated and comes with in-unit washer and dryer, lots of storage, and even a brick-clad private patio with twinkling lights. While the insides are contemporary to the hilt, the facade still boats its original circa-1909 Beaux Arts splendor. HOAs are $380 per month. Asking is $569,000.

The listing is through Kevin Wakelin of Compass.

Photo courtesy of Compass

8. Studio at the edge of SoMa for $399K

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520 Natoma St
San Francisco, CA 94103

As the city’s real estate market soars, the all-too-rare instances of utter affordability in San Francisco are headline-worthy events. Take, for example, this humble studio at 520 Natoma in SoMa, seeking a mere $399,000. It comes with an eat-in kitchen with dishwasher, its own bathroom with shower and tub, updated flooring, and 11-foot ceilings. And the circa-1911 Edwardian’s cool blue facade isn’t to shabby, either.

The listing is through Mr. Heffner at Vanguard Properties.

A four-story building painted blue with bay windows. Photo courtesy of Vanguard Properties

9. Victorian renovation for $749K

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1043 Hollister Ave
San Francisco, CA 94124

This updated Victorian cottage at 1043 Hollister comes with two bedrooms, one bathroom, and 875 square feet. The home features an open layout, natural light from three sides, and bamboo flooring. The small abode is located near highways 101 and 280, the Third Street Muni, and an elementary school. There’s also a driveway with ample room for parking.

The listing is through Bobbi Levenson of Zephyr Real Estate.

Photo courtesy of Zephyr Real Estate

10. Midcentury in Bayview for $899K

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1369 Quesada Ave
San Francisco, CA 94124

This circa-1965, two-story home in Bayview comes with new additional aplenty, including a brick facade, custom spa in the master bathroom, mirrored walls galore, and a blue tile party in the kitchen. Featuring a whopping five bedrooms, three bathrooms, and 2,400 square feet, 1369 Quesada Avenue is the largest property on this list. Also of note, per the listing, “Easy path to create an ADU unit if desired.” To which we say: Yes, please, to more ADUs!

The listing is through Darin Holwitz of Compass.

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1. House in Parkside for $895K

1938 35th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94116
Photo by Open Homes Photography, courtesy of Barbagelata Real Estate

Located just a block from Noriega Street and Sunset Boulevard, this downright gorgeous Doelger specimen in Parkside is on market for $895,000. Built in 1943, 1938 35th Avenue comes with a living room, kitchen, and dining area on the top floor. The lower floor offers a bonus room, as well as a one-car garage and storage.

The listing through Jason Chan of Barbagelata Real Estate.

1938 35th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94116

2. Inner Sunset TIC for $899K

1345 16th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122
Photo courtesy of Compass

The baby blue facade alone at 1345 16th Avenue, unit 3 worth bragging rights inside this circa-1924 Edwardian asking $899,000. It comes with two bedrooms, one bathroom, hardwood flooring, crown molding, and a private garage for parking and storage. The kitchen and bathroom have been updated in recent years. And the unit (mercifully) faces the back of the building, reducing the amount of street noise you’ll hear while catching beauty sleep.

The listing is through Lance Fulford and Daniel Marshall for Compass.

1345 16th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122

3. Contemporary condo in Western Addition for $649K

1332 Scott St, San Francisco, CA 94115
Photo courtesy of Climb Real Estate

Located inside a gated community, this circa-1986 condo has been rebuilt and permitted to 2019 standards. Featuring one bedroom, one bathroom, and 709 square feet, 1332 Scott Street #B comes with quartz counters, new appliances and flooring, tub, and tankless water heater. HOA comes to $514 per month. Asking price is $649,000.

The listing is through Stephanie Pascal of Climb Real Estate.

1332 Scott St
San Francisco, CA 94115

4. Top-floor Excelsior condo for $829K

523 Munich St, San Francisco, CA 94112
Photo courtesy of Compass

Benefitting from a total renovation, this Victorian condo now features an open-floor concept, soaring ceilings, exposed beams, and heaps of natural lights. Featuring two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1,087 square feet, 523 Munich Street, Unit 525 comes with plank flooring, a private patio deck, shared patio, and a downright lovely facade. HOAs are 300 per month. Asking is $829,000.

The listing is through Radha Tomassetti of Compass.

523 Munich St
San Francisco, CA 94112

5. Garden condo in the Marina for $899K

3120 Franklin St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker

This one-bedroom garden condo in the heart of the Marina, asking $899,000, is as affordable as it will get in the tony neighborhood. Coming in at 843-square-feet, 3120 Franklin, Unit 2 features hardwood flooring, period details like crown molding and french doors, updated kitchen, walk-in closet, and lots of natural light care of the picture windows in the living room. HOAs are 332 per month.

The listing is through Dan McLean of Coldwell Banker.

3120 Franklin St
San Francisco, CA 94123

6. Western SoMa condo for $965K

1542 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103

This 1911 Edwardian comes with period details aplenty with a gentle refresh that doesn’t mar its original vibe. Featuring two bedrooms, one bathroom, and 1,207 square feet, 1542 Howard is the priciest home on this list. The bedrooms are found at the front of the exceptionally long flat, with an office/multi-use room, a split bath, exquisite living room, eat-in kitchen, and laundry room at the back. Don’t miss the shared outdoor space and garage parking for one.

The listing is through Betsy Linder of Compass.

1542 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94103

7. Tiny Downtown studio for $569K

901 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Photo courtesy of Compass

Sure, 901 Bush, unit 104 is small. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in amenities and location. This Downtown pied-a-terre studio, located near the nexus of FiDi, Union Square, and Nob Hill, has been recently renovated and comes with in-unit washer and dryer, lots of storage, and even a brick-clad private patio with twinkling lights. While the insides are contemporary to the hilt, the facade still boats its original circa-1909 Beaux Arts splendor. HOAs are $380 per month. Asking is $569,000.

The listing is through Kevin Wakelin of Compass.

901 Bush St
San Francisco, CA 94109

8. Studio at the edge of SoMa for $399K

520 Natoma St, San Francisco, CA 94103
A four-story building painted blue with bay windows. Photo courtesy of Vanguard Properties

As the city’s real estate market soars, the all-too-rare instances of utter affordability in San Francisco are headline-worthy events. Take, for example, this humble studio at 520 Natoma in SoMa, seeking a mere $399,000. It comes with an eat-in kitchen with dishwasher, its own bathroom with shower and tub, updated flooring, and 11-foot ceilings. And the circa-1911 Edwardian’s cool blue facade isn’t to shabby, either.

The listing is through Mr. Heffner at Vanguard Properties.

520 Natoma St
San Francisco, CA 94103

9. Victorian renovation for $749K

1043 Hollister Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124
Photo courtesy of Zephyr Real Estate

This updated Victorian cottage at 1043 Hollister comes with two bedrooms, one bathroom, and 875 square feet. The home features an open layout, natural light from three sides, and bamboo flooring. The small abode is located near highways 101 and 280, the Third Street Muni, and an elementary school. There’s also a driveway with ample room for parking.

The listing is through Bobbi Levenson of Zephyr Real Estate.

1043 Hollister Ave
San Francisco, CA 94124

10. Midcentury in Bayview for $899K

1369 Quesada Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124

This circa-1965, two-story home in Bayview comes with new additional aplenty, including a brick facade, custom spa in the master bathroom, mirrored walls galore, and a blue tile party in the kitchen. Featuring a whopping five bedrooms, three bathrooms, and 2,400 square feet, 1369 Quesada Avenue is the largest property on this list. Also of note, per the listing, “Easy path to create an ADU unit if desired.” To which we say: Yes, please, to more ADUs!

The listing is through Darin Holwitz of Compass.

1369 Quesada Ave
San Francisco, CA 94124