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10 great San Francisco starter homes

From downtown to the Outer Sunset, these SF pads would be perfect for first-time homebuyers

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The concept of a starter home meant something different two decades ago than it does today. Alas, it meant something different five years ago than it does today.

In many U.S. cities, San Francisco included, a starter home once meant spending a modest downpayment on a one- to two-bedroom home where a young family, couple, or single person could purchase their first piece of real estate.

Those days are long gone.

In 2017's San Francisco, a starter home means a studio, a one-bedroom condo the size of an ice cube, or an inhabitable teardown.

But wait, it gets worse: The median price for a San Francisco home went up to record-breaking $1.5 million this year. (For perspective, back in 2000 a three-bedroom house in the city averaged $543,059—roughly $786,000 after inflation.)

The good news is that not all SF homes are out of reach.

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 Portola to the Richmond, we have the city covered.

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1. 2411 47th Avenue

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2411 47th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94116

This one-bed, one-bath condo in the Outer Sunset comprises 35% of a detached house. It comes with its own separate entrance, has a shared floor, and features remodeled interiors. Best of all, it’s a jump away from Ocean Beach.

Asking is $375,000.

Photos via Redfin

2. 228 18th Avenue

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228 18th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94121

This Central Richmond home’s Edwardian layout comes with two beds, one bath, a formal parlor room at the front, and pocket doors to the master bedroom. There’s also a brick fireplace and details like wainscoting and crown molding. Swoon.

Asking is $899,000.

Photos via Redfin

3. 1030 Ortega

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1030 Ortega St
San Francisco, CA 94122

This detached Inner Parkside abode comes with two beds, one bath, and roughly 1,050 square feet. Built in 1940, 1030 Ortega has been completely renovated to feature new interiors with pastel hues.

And dig that red door. Sharp.

Asking is $998,000.

Photos via Redfin

4. 726 Joost

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726 Joost Ave
San Francisco, CA 94127

Over in the small Sunnyside enclave, a detached home comes with two beds, one bath, and a waist-cinching 706 square feet. But what this home lacks in size it makes up for in charm (quiet location! shingled facade!) and comparative affordability.

Asking is $759,000.

Photo via Redfin

5. 180 Dolores

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180 Dolores St
San Francisco, CA 94103

A tenancy-in-common nestled in prized Mission-Dolores, just across the street from Whole Foods, this one-bed (separated by French doors), one-bath, approximately 600-square-foot condo is arguably the best location on this list. Located near Market Street, it’s next to several major transit lines, equidistant from the Mission and Castro.

Renovated throughout, HOAs come to $333. Asking is $750,000.

Photos via Redfin

6. 73 Waller

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73 Waller St
San Francisco, CA 94102

Inside a four-unit circa-1900 Victorian in Hayes Valley, this studio is, well, tight. But also beautiful. It features an open living/sleeping area with a separate kitchen and dining area, an exclusive-use patio off the kitchen, high ceilings, and brick kitchen detailing.

Storage is included, and there is a shared laundry room in the building.

HOAs are $366.80. Asking is $628,000.

Photos via Redfin

7. 666 Post

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666 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94109

O to live the downtown lifestyle! A one-bedroom condo inside Crown Towers, famous for the Downing red facade and its Beelzebub-possessed address, comes with arched doors, a fireplace, a bathroom with both walk-in shower and bathtub, and glorious downtown views.

HOAs are $742. Asking is $779,000.

Photos via Redfin

8. 844 Colby

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844 Colby St
San Francisco, CA 94134

The only midcentury-modern gem on this list, a detached fixer-upper in Portola features one bed, two baths and 836 square feet. The main level comes with a large kitchen that opens to the living room. Downstairs has an additional bedroom and an expansive garage.

Also of note, the 3,000-square-foot lot located in the back makes an ideal gardening spot.

Asking is $699,000.

Photo by Redfin

9. 614-A San Bruno Avenue

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614 San Bruno Ave
San Francisco, CA 94107

Up in Potrero Hill, new homebuyers can find a roomy condo inside an Edwardian, featuring roughly 1,000 square feet, one bed, and one bath. New details can be found throughout. But it also maintains some of its original integrity. Lovely.

HOAs are $279. Asking is $799,000.

Photos via Redfin

10. 1461 Revere

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1461 Revere Ave
San Francisco, CA 94124

This two-bed, one-bath Bayview abode is still under renovation. But this 1907 home’s facade, now painted a vivid shade of yellow, keeps things traditional with a white picket fence. Also of note, according to the listing agent’s ad, “There is a partially finished second unit below which could be completed for additional income or an owners unit. “

Asking is $585,000.

Photo via Sotheby’s

1. 2411 47th Avenue

2411 47th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94116
Photos via Redfin

This one-bed, one-bath condo in the Outer Sunset comprises 35% of a detached house. It comes with its own separate entrance, has a shared floor, and features remodeled interiors. Best of all, it’s a jump away from Ocean Beach.

Asking is $375,000.

2411 47th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94116

2. 228 18th Avenue

228 18th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121
Photos via Redfin

This Central Richmond home’s Edwardian layout comes with two beds, one bath, a formal parlor room at the front, and pocket doors to the master bedroom. There’s also a brick fireplace and details like wainscoting and crown molding. Swoon.

Asking is $899,000.

228 18th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94121

3. 1030 Ortega

1030 Ortega St, San Francisco, CA 94122
Photos via Redfin

This detached Inner Parkside abode comes with two beds, one bath, and roughly 1,050 square feet. Built in 1940, 1030 Ortega has been completely renovated to feature new interiors with pastel hues.

And dig that red door. Sharp.

Asking is $998,000.

1030 Ortega St
San Francisco, CA 94122

4. 726 Joost

726 Joost Ave, San Francisco, CA 94127
Photo via Redfin

Over in the small Sunnyside enclave, a detached home comes with two beds, one bath, and a waist-cinching 706 square feet. But what this home lacks in size it makes up for in charm (quiet location! shingled facade!) and comparative affordability.

Asking is $759,000.

726 Joost Ave
San Francisco, CA 94127

5. 180 Dolores

180 Dolores St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Photos via Redfin

A tenancy-in-common nestled in prized Mission-Dolores, just across the street from Whole Foods, this one-bed (separated by French doors), one-bath, approximately 600-square-foot condo is arguably the best location on this list. Located near Market Street, it’s next to several major transit lines, equidistant from the Mission and Castro.

Renovated throughout, HOAs come to $333. Asking is $750,000.

180 Dolores St
San Francisco, CA 94103

6. 73 Waller

73 Waller St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Photos via Redfin

Inside a four-unit circa-1900 Victorian in Hayes Valley, this studio is, well, tight. But also beautiful. It features an open living/sleeping area with a separate kitchen and dining area, an exclusive-use patio off the kitchen, high ceilings, and brick kitchen detailing.

Storage is included, and there is a shared laundry room in the building.

HOAs are $366.80. Asking is $628,000.

73 Waller St
San Francisco, CA 94102

7. 666 Post

666 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Photos via Redfin

O to live the downtown lifestyle! A one-bedroom condo inside Crown Towers, famous for the Downing red facade and its Beelzebub-possessed address, comes with arched doors, a fireplace, a bathroom with both walk-in shower and bathtub, and glorious downtown views.

HOAs are $742. Asking is $779,000.

666 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94109

8. 844 Colby

844 Colby St, San Francisco, CA 94134
Photo by Redfin

The only midcentury-modern gem on this list, a detached fixer-upper in Portola features one bed, two baths and 836 square feet. The main level comes with a large kitchen that opens to the living room. Downstairs has an additional bedroom and an expansive garage.

Also of note, the 3,000-square-foot lot located in the back makes an ideal gardening spot.

Asking is $699,000.

844 Colby St
San Francisco, CA 94134

9. 614-A San Bruno Avenue

614 San Bruno Ave, San Francisco, CA 94107
Photos via Redfin

Up in Potrero Hill, new homebuyers can find a roomy condo inside an Edwardian, featuring roughly 1,000 square feet, one bed, and one bath. New details can be found throughout. But it also maintains some of its original integrity. Lovely.

HOAs are $279. Asking is $799,000.

614 San Bruno Ave
San Francisco, CA 94107

10. 1461 Revere

1461 Revere Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124
Photo via Sotheby’s

This two-bed, one-bath Bayview abode is still under renovation. But this 1907 home’s facade, now painted a vivid shade of yellow, keeps things traditional with a white picket fence. Also of note, according to the listing agent’s ad, “There is a partially finished second unit below which could be completed for additional income or an owners unit. “

Asking is $585,000.

1461 Revere Ave
San Francisco, CA 94124