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5 Best Neighborhoods in San Francisco to Live in 2019

If you’re planning to move to San Francisco, you want to be sure to choose the right neighborhood. A home purchase isn’t something you can undo! Discover what neighborhoods are best and why it’s vital to work with a professional to make your final decision.
If you’re planning to move to San Francisco, you want to be sure to choose the right neighborhood. A home purchase isn’t something you can undo! Discover what neighborhoods are best and why it’s vital to work with a professional to make your final decision.

Are you planning to move to San Francisco? If so, you might wonder where you should live. It’s a major city and the metro area has over 4.7 million people. Living in the right neighborhood can mean the difference between enjoying your home and neighbors or ending up in a high-crime area.

Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to discover what neighborhoods are good options and which ones you should avoid. This guide will help you uncover the five best neighborhoods in San Francisco, but the best advice comes from a qualified local real estate agent. Be sure you work with one to get the information you need!

How to Pick a Great San Francisco Neighborhood

How do you know what you look for in a San Francisco neighborhood? It may only be 49 miles, but there is a world of diversity in the city. One block difference can mean a completely different culture, history, and price bracket.

Unfortunately, 42% of San Francisco residents wish they had moved to a different neighborhood than the one they currently live in. Don’t make the same mistake!

First, make sure you understand the prices in each neighborhood. Ending up house-poor, where your home is so expensive that you can’t afford other parts of your life, is not something you want. Be sure you are aware of the prices in several areas before you commit.

Second, know the reputation of an area. If you’re interested in family living, you want to know that Noe Valley has a great reputation for that, while Chinatown is well-known as a mecca for new immigrants.

Finally, decide what you want to live near. Do you want to be close to your job? If so, choose a neighborhood nearby or make sure that the transit line in the area is relatively efficient. Don’t use simple distance as your measure – even a commute of a few miles can take over an hour.

Five Neighborhoods to Consider in San Francisco

So what areas should you focus on? Here are five neighborhoods to consider as you plan to move to San Francisco. Don’t forget that your local real estate agent is the best resource available for finding a great area to live that fits your needs.

Bernal Heights

A popular place for first-time home buyers, Bernal Heights attracts a lot of couples and families. It’s an artsy area and boasts great views of the city. This neighborhood has a friendly vibe and people take a lot of pride in the area. If you’re looking to live someplace relatively quiet, clean, and laid-back, this could be the neighborhood for you.

The Castro

The Castro is known for being gay-friendly and even attracts tourists interested in the LGBT+ community. There are a lot of bars and restaurants to choose from, and if you’re off the main strip it’s a great place to call home. There is public transit, including the F Street Car, the K, L, and M metro lines, and several bus lines.

However, the public transit is not great and the area isn’t very walkable, so you may be taking a lot of Ubers or driving to get around.

Cole Valley

If you’re looking for a great neighborhood close to Golden Gate Park, you might be interested in moving to Cole Valley. Homes in this area are quite expensive, but if you work with a great local real estate agent you’ll have a better chance to find exactly what you’re looking for.

The community feel is strong, and it helps you feel like you’re not living in such an enormous city. The schools are excellent and you have easy access to public transportation to both Ocean Beach and Downtown. You can find bars, shops, restaurants, art galleries, along with hiking, biking, and running trails. You won’t run out of things to do in Cole Valley!


If you’re looking for a place to live that’s ethnically diverse and home to a lot of families (and the second biggest park in San Francisco) look no further than Excelsior.

This neighborhood is one of the more affordable areas of the city, with a median home price of $672,933. As a result, most people in the area own their home. The public transit isn’t great, but the schools are very good. You should be sure to work with a great buyer’s agent to be sure you get on a good block and stay away from grittier areas.

Glen Park

Want to be as out-of-the-way as is possible in a huge city like San Francisco? Buy a great home in Glen Park. The majority of residents own their homes, and the median home value is $1.1 million. This is one of the safer neighborhoods in the city, and schools are excellent.

Residents report that it’s easy to commute to the city using the BART or the muni. There are great restaurants and great recreational options. You don’t want to miss this option!

Work With a Professional Realtor to Find the Right Neighborhood

The real key to finding the right neighborhood for your needs (and budget) is to work with an experienced realtor who knows the area. A Clever Partner Agent may be exactly what you need. We can match you with a realtor who knows San Francisco and can help you find the perfect property.

Even better, with a Clever Agent you can get $1,000 toward closing costs! Having a full-service buyer’s agent is vital, and it can even save you money. Get started today!


Jamie Ayers

Jamie is the Director of Content at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents and helps you save thousands on commission. In the past, Jamie has managed columns for clients in a variety of leading business publications, including Forbes, Inc., CEO World, Entrepreneur, and more. At Clever, Jamie's primary goal is to provide home sellers, buyers, and investors with the information they need to successfully navigate the ins and outs of the real estate industry.

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