Ken, Home Buyer in Los Angeles, CA

Looking at SFH in Bernal Heights, and would like to learn more about the area. How is the house market or earning potential living in BH?

Asked by Ken, Los Angeles, CA Mon Oct 24, 2011

I am quite new to SFC. I have been looking for an area that fit my living style. Earlier, I was looking at Noe Valley and Potrero Hill, but the inventory is limited and the condition is not as great for houses under 1m. Some friends advice me to look into Bernal Heights as it is more affordable and I might find a fixed up house for under 1m. How is the area and how is the neighborhood? What is consider a better part of BH and where should i avoid? What is the city plan in the next 5-10 years? Will there be a Whole food in the area? I usually see Whole food in a more prestiges area like Noe Valley and Potrero Hills. Please advice

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Values and demand seem to be very high in Bernal Heights. I will be listing a home completely redone with great views for $1.3.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 21, 2012
I am a broker specializing in Bernal Heights. I have a lovely listing it's an in law apt, just coming up. Will be in the 1 million range. Let me know if you are interested.
There is no Whole Foods in Bernal, however, they do have a great natural food store on Cortland street, which carries a lot of daily needs. The neighborhood has gentrified a lot in the past 10 years, and is in very much demand. I have worked and lived in this neighborhood for thirty years, and know it inside and out.
Tap me if you need more information
Florence Monzasch
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2016
I live in a semi gentrified area of Bernal, and have to say that it's GREAT for couples with small children, couples/professionals without kids, and pet owners.... I would say that down the hill along 280 isn't the more gentrified area, although there are pockets of redos and charming streets scattered everywhere, it varies. The North Slope is 1m+ at this point, and the South Slope is probably more affordable. We have a 3br/3ba edwardian that has been totally renovated (by my architect wife) on the interiors, and are now looking at the possibility of moving, due to the fact that the likely middle school for our oldest child may end up being across town. We've been sending our kids to Clarendon Elementary from here, and it's very convenient to the best schools in the area: Clarendon, Alice Fong Yu, Alvarado, Rooftop, even some of the great private schools are around here too. Flynn elementary in Bernal has made huge strides in the past 2 years, and we have wonderful parks-- in our case, each one a block from our house, and Bernal Hill is close as well with a great view. I think it varies in this neighborhood, but there are many gems, if you care to look, since it's quite a large area... Glen Park is great, too, although it's not very large, so it's hard to find that many listings there, in my past experience. Most of Bernal is near Bart, Muni, 280, and 101. There are farmer's markets within 1/3 mile on either side of us each weekend. Good Life Grocery is an excellent locally owned and well operated successful organic grocery, anchoring Bernal Heights's cortland street main strip... a more unique take on the Whole Foods experience, as Whole Foods is the Starbucks of organic groceries. There are some great local restaurants along there, all eclectic and innovative. A new artisan bakery just opened up, great thai food along there, a local bookstore, multiple unique (non starbucks) cafes with blue bottle coffee and good food to nosh. .... my 2 cents.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 6, 2011
Very well put, and if you need an experienced (30 years) specialist in Bernal, give me a call or email. I've sold at least 8 homes on the Holly Circle itself plus all over that area for years. I've likely sold homes to your friends and neighbors and have reference letters you can see as well.
Florence Monzasch, Broker with Berkshire Hathaway,
415-601-9910 or flomostudio@gmail
Flag Thu Feb 11, 2016

Glen Park is another option for you to consider. It has a quaint down town with shops, restaurants, a Farmers Market, Public Library, trails and Glen Canyon Park. It also provides easy access to public transit and highway 101 & 280.
You should definitely visit the neighborhood and see if it appeals to your lifestyle.

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 25, 2011
Good afternoon Ken,

Your friends are right, Bernal Heights is a desirable neighborhood evidenced by less than 20 homes currently for sale. Searching for a home in move-in condition can be a challenge regardless of price range, but is doable.

The housing market in San Francisco has not suffered like other cities. It is still a seller's market here and your potential for future appreciation is positive. When the job market improves appreciation rates will accelerate as well, especially if mortgage interest rates remain low.

Regarding BH, the other brokers who answered you are right. North of Cortland is the most appealing and popular area. South of Cortland (the shopping area), say 5 blocks, is fine as well. Homes with a view are mostly available in the northeast section, but scattered throughout the neighborhood The area between Crescent, south of Cortland, but north of the freeway has detached homes with side yards and wider streets that appeal to many.

Finding a home in a new city can take patience, but it should be enjoyable. I offer free consultations if you would like to share with me what you have in mind. I'd be delighted to tour BH with you, look at some homes in other neighborhoods, too; and offer my best guidance, advice, and current research.

Sincerely and happy searching to you,

Gregory Karr
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 24, 2011
Hi, Ken. Certain parts of Berhal Heights might suit you very well -- and I have put many happy clients there. I can also think of at least 2 other areas other than Noe & Potrero Hill you would do well to consider. I'm a native San Franciscan and strongly believe this is a great time to invest in a home here -- with the right location. Also, I know many parts of Los Angeles, so it would be fruitful for you and I to chat about analogous neighborhoods...Please contact me at your convenience, and I'd be happy to help you any way I can.

Best Wishes,

Ugo Baldassari
The Paragon Real EState Group
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 24, 2011
Buying in Bernal can be more affordable, and you should not have a problem finding a SFH
for less than $1m. The homes close to and north of Cortland tend to sell faster and at
a higher price per sq ft.. It might be considered an up and coming area due to the lower prices,
proximity to Hwy 280 and 101, the good weather, and the growing retail interest in Cortland.
I would think Whole Foods and others like it have an interest in this area.
I just had a client buy in Bernal. We looked at the entire area, until they decided on a
SFH north of Cortland. I would be happy to send you information about some current
listings that may be of interest.
Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 24, 2011

BH is a great area and it's being steadily improved by the current and new homeowners. I feel it's a great neighborhood to live or invest in. For the best selection of homes I would concentrate on the area bordered west by Coleridge, south by Tompkins, east by Gates and north by BH Park. The area should receive a boost with every jump in the Peninsula and SF tech sectors. Here is a link to all active listings in the neighborhood (all data is updated every 2 hours):

Please feel free to contact me directly for quicker response and assistance.


Oggi Kashi
Broker Associate, Paragon Real Estate Group
All data from sources deemed reliable but subject to error and omission, and not warranted. CA DRE 01844627
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 24, 2011

Bernal Heights is a fine place to live, although parts of it should definitely be avoided The best part is north of cortland and within a few blocks of the commercial district. Where you can find homes under a mil in the city depends upon how big a place you need. It's a tough call between renting and buying right now because interest rates are low, but typically we recommend that buyers unfamiliar with the city spend some time figuring out where they think they would like to live and rent there first.

Where you want to live in the city also depends upon your lifestyle. If you like to have easy access to downtown, there are neighborhoods with better accessibility. If you want a more detailed response you can contact me offline.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 24, 2011
Hi Ken-

Bernal is a great area. Still connected to the "City" it allows those wanting to own their own home to do so while feeling like they're a part of SF. Adjacent to the Mission and Noe Valley, Bernal has lots of shops, restaurants and nightlife. Cortland is their main drag "downtown". Bernal is also close to the freeways so if you communte for work, it's a perfect location. There's often fixers available in Bernal for much less than $1M, depending on how much work you want to do.

I'd be happy to help you more. Just give a shout.

Welcome to SF!

Rich Bennett, Realtor

Zephyr Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 24, 2011
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