Home Buying in Potrero Hill>Question Details

Larrychung, Home Buyer in Potrero Hill, San Fr...

Is Potrero Hill a good area to buy?

Asked by Larrychung, Potrero Hill, San Francisco, CA Wed Aug 5, 2009

How is the upward price potential, and what about the safety and community? Would buying a 2 bedroom condo and renting a room out be a good idea both life-style wise, and financial-investment wise?

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Yes, sure the real estate agents will say every area is great. Don't be a sucker. Rent. Dont buy!! Real estate is hosed for many years.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 24, 2010
Potrero is close to a couple nice job markets... depends on the particular deal. I think the area has potential.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 13, 2009
Hi Larry,

I'm late to the discussion, but was unable to reply when you first posed the question. I have lived on or near Potrero Hill for eight years and agree with what my three colleagues have written. However, I'd like to expand on what I think is the core of your question: Is Potrero Hill a good area to buy?

I think Potrero Hill has some excellent advantages. First, there is a thriving, if small, local neighborhood community on the hill. Both 18th and 20th Streets offer charming breakfast, lunch and dinner destinations. You also have small grocers, a wine shop, book sellers and shop keepers of other varieties. Second, some of my favorite downtown views are located on the north face of the hill. Near 20th Street you might even get East Bay views.

Though public transportation might be difficult to the Financial District, there are options. For folks who commute to the south bay or peninsula, Caltrain stops on the south side of the hill or you have excellent and easy access to both 101 and 280.

With the expectation of thousands of high-paying medical and research jobs coming to neighboring Mission Bay AND the relatively sterile style of development growing into the area, I think Potrero Hill stands to benefit tremendously.

One issue you'll have is that there isn't much available right now! Good luck to you!

Jason Chapin
McGuire Urban Bay
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 8, 2009
Hi Larry,

Potrero Hill offers some great alternatives to the more traditional "condo" neighborhoods in San Francisco. You can't beat the Whole Foods Market on Rhode Island and 18th Street has some of the best restaurants in the city!
The condo market in Potrero Hill has definitely softened and you will do well with a smart buy.

A few things to consider...

Renting the second bedroom will depend on the tenant. Potrero Hill doesn't offer the best commute to and from the Financial District which may preclude a potential roommate. Safety is always a concern however that is really a neighborhood by neighborhood consideration. (This is a great opportunity to put your agent to work!)

I think you will do well with appreciation in this area and you may also wish to consider Dogpatch. We have a few projects that have worked out very well for our clients and I am happy to pass along the information.

It can be difficult to convey all of this information on a post and I am happy to provide you with some statistical data that may also help you.

Warm regards,


James Testa
Paragon Real Estate Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 6, 2009
Dear Larry,

In a word, yes, Potrero Hill is a good area in which to buy. The North slope has always done better than the South slope in appreciation for various reasons. With regard to safety, please go to http://www.sfgov.org and click on the police website. You can also access it from my website link below under Resources/Links. The police keep a record of crime in every neighborhood. Only you can decide the safety of any neighborhood!

Be careful about rentals. The Mayor's website also has a link to the Rent Board. Check out the laws regarding renters. I do not deal in rentals but I would make sure I had a clause in my lease about showing the property (if you decide to sell.) What would happen to your renter should you sell? Check that out as well.

Lastly, regarding life-styles. I would check out all the neighborhoods in the City and see which ones work best for you. Then make your own decisions.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 6, 2009
The only answer that one can give to you about lifestyle is that it depends on you and what you want. Price appreciation on Potrero will do fine. The reasons are that it is close in to the downtown area nad Mission Bay job markets. Some properties will do better than others. The live work lofts over by the SF Food Bank on the southeast side will not do as well as the homes on the northeast view side of the hill.

I tell all my condo clients that it is better to choose a condo that has an intrinisic value. A view or some other difference that sets it apart because there is new construction going on and when it is time to sell and you have a cookie cutter condo the market will be tough because new cookie cutter will sell first before old cookie cutter.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 6, 2009
Jed Lane, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
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