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Megan, Other/Just Looking in San Francisco, CA

What's your advice for someone who wants to buy in the marina?

Asked by Megan, San Francisco, CA Fri Jul 13, 2007

i'm not buying just yet, but probably in two years. i currently live in an apartment in the marina area, which is a block from the bay. i love this area because there are no hills, it's right by night life and you get a great breeze. at the same time, the ground is pretty unstable. are there any "more stable" spots in the area? or, are there any comparable nhoods to consider.

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Hi Megan - San Francisco is a great city because each neighborhood has it's own individual flavor and vibe. Since you are a couple years away from buying a place, I highly recommend you spend time in other neighborhoods to get an idea of what else the city has to offer. Especially if you have friends outside of the Marina, go and spend a day with them in their hood and have them show you what they love best about their area. (If not I'd be happy to help with that too. I do that often with Clients who are relocating to SF). I have 2 books that I recommend often - "Not For Tourists Guide to San Francisco" and "Style City San Francisco." Both of these books give you a good deal of information more on the vibe and feel of an area. There's no other neighborhood exactly like the Marina. But there are plenty of other great alternatives - Cole Valley, Noe Valley, Pacific Heights to name a couple. Also, I have a great localized email newsletter that helps my Clients get a better understanding of the city itself and the local real estate market. I would be happy to include you if youa re interested.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2007
The Marina is definitely one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in San Francisco, I absolutely love walking the Presidio, Palace of Fine Arts, absolutely gorgeous. And you're so right, so convenient to the social scene although it's pretty easy to get anywhere in the city as long as you live in the city. You are so lucky to live there!

I agree with Jon, if you're worried about the stability of all those structures built on landfill, you may want to consider looking into homes/condos in Pac Heights where there is the highest concentration of properties built into bedrock. You may also want to consider other nearby neighborhoods like Nob Hill, Russian Hill. Though there are quite a few homes scattered throughout the city with reinforced foundations to deal with the damage earthquakes have dealt in the past. Either way good luck in your search when it comes time to buy.
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2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 4, 2007
If the stability of the ground is a big concern, head up the hills a little bit into Pac Heights. It amazes me that there are so many Californians who don't live on bedrock and don't seem to care. You won't be too far from the Marina and it's less likely to collapse on you.

A good real estate agent in your area should be able to help. If you wander into a few open houses on Sunday, you should be able to pick up some good information by chatting with the agents there and be able to remain anonymous at the same time.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 14, 2007
Hello Megan,

To be 100% honest with you, the Marina is pretty unique in all that it offers. However, I would highly suggest Russian Hill because it has everything you mentioned except for the hills of course. You are close to Fisherman's Wharf, the shops/restaurants on Polk, plus you are in San Francisco walking distance to the Marina and North Beach. You can also throw in the "stability" factor.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 4, 2008
There are parts of the Marina that are "more stable", but you're still on shaky ground (includes the market).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 1, 2008
yes, wait a few years

prices still declining


good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 31, 2008
Hi Megan,

Another area to consider could be Mission Bay. It is also flat and there are new restaurants; wine bars and new nightlife spots opening all the time. If you commutte south, it will take at least an hour off your commutte time each day. This is also why a lot of people from the Marina have moved over to Mission Bay. There are more housing options. The weather is more sunny and pubic transportation is easier. I absolutely love crissy field but the fog and expense of the Marina, when compared to the convienence and options of Mission Bay make it an interesting comparison. Check out the parks near the houseboats on Mission Creek. They'll be opening a new kyack rental/launch soon which will give better access to the waterfront.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 31, 2008
It is true that much of the Marina is on liquefiable material, but one must also evaluate risk of living in "bedrock" areas. Bedrock is a misleading term because landslides occur in areas of bedrock material. That being said, you are not necessarily safer by going to higher ground...unless there's a tsunami which areas of the Marina are susceptible to as well. I can provide you with seismic hazard maps if you would like to see liquefaction and landslide zones in San Francisco.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2007
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