San Francisco Home Prices Rebound; What $685K Can Buy You

60 Rausch St., San Francisco, CAThe housing market is bouncing back in San Francisco, where sales of houses and condominiums jumped 50 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier. Improving technology stocks and a limited housing supply are credited with the increase.

And not just more homes were sold, but at higher prices, with the median price rising 5.4 percent to $685,000. The city and the metro area have ranked first or second among the most expensive U.S. housing markets for 19 of the past 20 years, as homebuyers flock there for its weather and high quality of life.

But how much home can the median price of $685,000 buy in San Francisco? For about $680,000 there are plenty of foreclosures to choose from, many near the border of Daly City. Most are near the edges of the city, but a few are near its center. Here are three San Francisco homes for sale in different parts of the city that are worth taking a look at, and are all in good neighborhoods:
60 Rausch St., San Francisco, CAHome #1

At 60 Rausch St. you get two bedrooms and two bathrooms in a 1365-square-foot condo for the exact median price in San Francisco: $685,000. Of the homes available at this price or lower, this looks to be in the best neighborhood. It's south of Market Street and you can walk to AT&T Park: It's about a 20-minute stroll to the stadium where baseball's Giants play.

Rausch Street is wide and tree-lined, with ample parking and easy access to all freeway entrances, public transit and vibrant nightlife. It's just blocks from renowned restaurants including Rocco's Cafe, Triptych and my favorite, LuLu. Shops such as Harvest Urban Market, Whole Foods and Costco are also nearby. The condo is within walking distance (although some of it is uphill) to many San Francisco attractions.

The two-story condo has an open first-floor kitchen and living room, and a stairway leading up to a room and a walkway that overlooks the first floor. It has radiant heating.

Comparable homes have sold for $704,000, making the price of this condo a bit of a deal.

1013 Cabrillo St., San Francisco, caHome #2

For $679,000, this condo at 1013 Cabrillo St. is a deal when compared to other homes in the area. It's in a great location -- across from Golden Gate Park, a green swath that stretches in a long rectangle from Ocean Beach.

The newly-converted condo is a classic 1915 Edwardian flat in a two-unit building. It has one bedroom and one bathroom. According to the real estate agent from Coldwell Banker, the flat has been restored with an eye toward maintaining abundant period details, including decorative fireplaces, built-in cabinets, glass-paned pocket doors, bay windows with seats, box-beam and coved ceilings, hardwood floors and wainscoting. Included are laundry facilities, a sunny garden, deeded storage and upgraded electrical and lighting.

The average sold price for a similar home in the neighborhood is $843,000.

861 Universitiy St., San Francisco, CAHome #3

This four-bedroom, two-bath home of 1,800 square feet is at 861 University St., and at $679,500 is one of the biggest homes available near the median price. That's probably because it's so far outside of the center of the city. But it's still in a great neighborhood, across from John McLaren Park, and has views of the bay.

It has a living room, one full bathroom, family room with deck, and a kitchen on its main level. Its two side-by-side garages have storage, and there's a large garden with a pond. Comparable homes have sold for an average of $522,000.

See more great San Francisco homes for sale at AOL Real Estate.
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