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10 Great San Francisco Starter Homes

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The term "starter home" means something different now than it did a couple of decades ago. Heck, it even meant something different eight years ago. In many cities, San Francisco included, it meant spending a modest sum on a one- to two-bedroom house where a young family or single person could purchase their first piece of real estate. Well, here in the city and elsewhere, those days are long gone. In 2016's San Francisco, a "starter home" could mean a one-bedroom condo the size of an ice cube. Or it could mean a shack bordering on demolition status.

Fret not. As part of Curbed's big feature on first-time home buying, we set out to uncover 10 great starter homes in the city, covering a wide range of what's available in San Francisco right now. Ranging from a detached home in Bernal Heights to a one-bedroom condo in tony Rincon Hill, we have the city covered. While we wish we could have price-capped this at $700,000, that is simply not possible in today's middle class-eroded Baghdad by the Bay. You will find homes near the $500,000 mark, yes, but also a couple that are just under a million—specifically, starters located in the impossibly and exhaustingly hip Inner Mission District.

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1. 1314 Greenwich - Russian Hill

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1314 Greenwich St #1314
San Francisco, CA 94109

This loft-like home inside this Greenwhich Street building in Russian Hill is, in a word, stunning. Recently remodeled, it comes with one bedroom, one bath, and 668 square feet. But what footage it is! The bedroom is more of a "sleeping area," which is on an upper level with a large walk-in closet. The condo has a private terrace and storage unit. Not the most sensible home on this list, of course, but it's certainly one of the coolest. HOAs come to $525 month. Asking is $699,000.

2. 471 23rd Avenue - Richmond District

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471 23rd Ave #2
San Francisco, CA 94121

A tenancy in common (TIC) in the Richmond would be a decent first home for any native or transplant to the city. (We adore the Richmond District right now, especially considering it has so far evaded the twee gentrification that has besmirched the Mission and parts of Western Addition.) This one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo was recently remodeled and is located near public transit (38 Geary 4 life) and shops on Clement. It's asking $505,000.

3. The Harrison - Rincon Hill

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401 Harrison St
San Francisco, CA 94105

The Ken Fulk-designed interiors of The Harrison, one of several new high-rises in Rincon Hill, is perfect for anyone who wants to own a piece of the chicer side of SF. The one-bed/one-bath residence features floor to ceiling windows, hardwood floors, polished white slab Carrara marble countertops in the kitchen, and a super tight 606 square feet. Not ideal for young families looking to plant roots. HOAs come to a (staggering) $1,022/month. Asking is $786,000.

4. 23 Roscoe - Bernal Heights

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23 Roscoe St
San Francisco, CA 94110

This updated three-level Bernal Heights Victorian is located in one of the city's hottest hoods. And it almost borders on affordable. (A San Francisco real estate miracle!) It comes with two bed, one bath, and 1,050 square feet. The top floor has been converted into an extra bedroom, the deck leads to the garden/patio, and it has a garage. Asking is $695,000. (Whoa, indeed.)

5. 3258 Market - Corona Heights

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3258 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

This Corona Heights condo inside a six-unit building offers spectacular views of the bay. What's more, it comes with one bedroom, one bath, 569 square feet, and an impressive deck. While it's technically near the Castro, it is a good walk away from the main shops and restaurants. (Many people in the neighborhood have/can afford to have cars.) HOAs are $204 month. It's asking $598,000.

6. 627 York - Mission District

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627 York St
San Francisco, CA 94110

The priciest offering on this list is, of course, located in the city's Mission District. For under a million (asking-wise, at least), you get two bedrooms, one bath, and 1,0784 square feet. This bottom-floor flat is inside a remodeled Victorian features your own garden, reclaimed woodwork accents on the walls, and DBI permit possibilities to convert the attached garage to habitable space for additional roominess. HOAs are $550/month. Asking is $925,000.

7. 2200 Market - Castro

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2200 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

This new 22-unit "boutique building" is part of the recently expanding Castro District, poised to see an influx of new residents over the next coming years. Luxury condos are in bubbling up all over, and The Century offers this one bedroom, one and a half bath home to anyone who wants to live in an area with a bustling nightlife and pedestrian-friendly vibe. (In other words, this is not a neighborhood for those who feel the need to call the police when the party's just getting started.) This one has all of the contemporary trappings: open-floor plan, wide plank wood flooring, chef's kitchen, and bright white interiors. HOAs come to $481/month, while asking is $899,000.

8. 922 Shields - Merced Heights

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922 Shields St
San Francisco, CA 94132

One of the detached homes on the list, 992 Shields has been recently remodeled and is excellent for any families looking to put their anchor down in San Francisco. It comes with four bedrooms, two baths, and 1,561 square feet. New flooring, new kitchen, and ocean views. But it will cost you—asking starts at $898,000.

9. 236 Shipley - SOMA

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236 Shipley St
San Francisco, CA 94107

A new home inside the shiny new Shipley House is available for those who yearn to live South of Market in an arguably chic residence. The building is made up of one- and two-bedroom floor plans, with 15 homes in all, designed by Chris Miniello. Unit #303 features one bedroom, one bath, super sleek contemporary accents, and an ideal location between Harrison and Folsom. It also comes with a fireplace and rooftop access to boot! HOAs come to $486/month. It's asking for $660,000.

10. 1702 Broderick - Pacific Heights

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1702 Broderick St
San Francisco, CA 94115

This gorgeous Victorian condo is located inside a six-unit building with a private gated entrance. The one bed, one bath, 760-square-foot residence features high ceilings, built-ins, and a separate office space. Storage and on-site laundry is mercifully available as well. What's more, the remodel is stunning. Form the colorful tile in the kitchen to the wood shelves in the office, it's an irresistible in a wonderful (albeit polarizing) neighborhood. HOAs are $265/month, while asking is $695,000.

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1. 1314 Greenwich - Russian Hill

1314 Greenwich St #1314, San Francisco, CA 94109

This loft-like home inside this Greenwhich Street building in Russian Hill is, in a word, stunning. Recently remodeled, it comes with one bedroom, one bath, and 668 square feet. But what footage it is! The bedroom is more of a "sleeping area," which is on an upper level with a large walk-in closet. The condo has a private terrace and storage unit. Not the most sensible home on this list, of course, but it's certainly one of the coolest. HOAs come to $525 month. Asking is $699,000.

1314 Greenwich St #1314
San Francisco, CA 94109

2. 471 23rd Avenue - Richmond District

471 23rd Ave #2, San Francisco, CA 94121

A tenancy in common (TIC) in the Richmond would be a decent first home for any native or transplant to the city. (We adore the Richmond District right now, especially considering it has so far evaded the twee gentrification that has besmirched the Mission and parts of Western Addition.) This one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo was recently remodeled and is located near public transit (38 Geary 4 life) and shops on Clement. It's asking $505,000.

471 23rd Ave #2
San Francisco, CA 94121

3. The Harrison - Rincon Hill

401 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94105

The Ken Fulk-designed interiors of The Harrison, one of several new high-rises in Rincon Hill, is perfect for anyone who wants to own a piece of the chicer side of SF. The one-bed/one-bath residence features floor to ceiling windows, hardwood floors, polished white slab Carrara marble countertops in the kitchen, and a super tight 606 square feet. Not ideal for young families looking to plant roots. HOAs come to a (staggering) $1,022/month. Asking is $786,000.

401 Harrison St
San Francisco, CA 94105

4. 23 Roscoe - Bernal Heights

23 Roscoe St, San Francisco, CA 94110

This updated three-level Bernal Heights Victorian is located in one of the city's hottest hoods. And it almost borders on affordable. (A San Francisco real estate miracle!) It comes with two bed, one bath, and 1,050 square feet. The top floor has been converted into an extra bedroom, the deck leads to the garden/patio, and it has a garage. Asking is $695,000. (Whoa, indeed.)

23 Roscoe St
San Francisco, CA 94110

5. 3258 Market - Corona Heights

3258 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

This Corona Heights condo inside a six-unit building offers spectacular views of the bay. What's more, it comes with one bedroom, one bath, 569 square feet, and an impressive deck. While it's technically near the Castro, it is a good walk away from the main shops and restaurants. (Many people in the neighborhood have/can afford to have cars.) HOAs are $204 month. It's asking $598,000.

3258 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

6. 627 York - Mission District

627 York St, San Francisco, CA 94110

The priciest offering on this list is, of course, located in the city's Mission District. For under a million (asking-wise, at least), you get two bedrooms, one bath, and 1,0784 square feet. This bottom-floor flat is inside a remodeled Victorian features your own garden, reclaimed woodwork accents on the walls, and DBI permit possibilities to convert the attached garage to habitable space for additional roominess. HOAs are $550/month. Asking is $925,000.

627 York St
San Francisco, CA 94110

7. 2200 Market - Castro

2200 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

This new 22-unit "boutique building" is part of the recently expanding Castro District, poised to see an influx of new residents over the next coming years. Luxury condos are in bubbling up all over, and The Century offers this one bedroom, one and a half bath home to anyone who wants to live in an area with a bustling nightlife and pedestrian-friendly vibe. (In other words, this is not a neighborhood for those who feel the need to call the police when the party's just getting started.) This one has all of the contemporary trappings: open-floor plan, wide plank wood flooring, chef's kitchen, and bright white interiors. HOAs come to $481/month, while asking is $899,000.

2200 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

8. 922 Shields - Merced Heights

922 Shields St, San Francisco, CA 94132

One of the detached homes on the list, 992 Shields has been recently remodeled and is excellent for any families looking to put their anchor down in San Francisco. It comes with four bedrooms, two baths, and 1,561 square feet. New flooring, new kitchen, and ocean views. But it will cost you—asking starts at $898,000.

922 Shields St
San Francisco, CA 94132

9. 236 Shipley - SOMA

236 Shipley St, San Francisco, CA 94107

A new home inside the shiny new Shipley House is available for those who yearn to live South of Market in an arguably chic residence. The building is made up of one- and two-bedroom floor plans, with 15 homes in all, designed by Chris Miniello. Unit #303 features one bedroom, one bath, super sleek contemporary accents, and an ideal location between Harrison and Folsom. It also comes with a fireplace and rooftop access to boot! HOAs come to $486/month. It's asking for $660,000.

236 Shipley St
San Francisco, CA 94107

10. 1702 Broderick - Pacific Heights

1702 Broderick St, San Francisco, CA 94115

This gorgeous Victorian condo is located inside a six-unit building with a private gated entrance. The one bed, one bath, 760-square-foot residence features high ceilings, built-ins, and a separate office space. Storage and on-site laundry is mercifully available as well. What's more, the remodel is stunning. Form the colorful tile in the kitchen to the wood shelves in the office, it's an irresistible in a wonderful (albeit polarizing) neighborhood. HOAs are $265/month, while asking is $695,000.

1702 Broderick St
San Francisco, CA 94115