Home Buying in San Francisco>Question Details

pbear_sf, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

What are the differences between West Portal and Glen Park?

Asked by pbear_sf, San Francisco, CA Sat Nov 10, 2012

West Portal and Glen Park look similar in some ways. But what are the differences? Which one is better for a single person? Which one has more potential?

Help the community by answering this question:


I live in the Sunnyside neighborhood...a sleepy spot in between Glen Park & West Portal, and I like both of them and hang out in both frequently. Here's my quick run down.

Glen Park - right off of Bart. The commercial strip is super small, but high quality -- Canyon Market is (expensive, but...) great, not many food options, but what they have is darn good -- I heart Gialina pizza. Great little book store and specialty shops. Glen Park Canyon is a fun city hike. Super easy to get on the freeway if you commute down the peninsula or drive downtown.

West Portal - easy Muni access. Definitely more suburban feeling. If I had to guess, more families than single people. Cute strip (bigger than what's in Glen Park) - a much bigger bookstore, many more food options than Glen Park, old school movie theater. There's even a decent sized public library. By car it's a harder commute to downtown & a longer trip to the freeway.

I have kids, so I'd probably pick West Portal. Without kids, I would've picked Glen Park. I hope this was helpful -- good luck!
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2012
nice details
Flag Mon Nov 19, 2012
I actually like West Portal better and have lived in the area for quite some time.

The neighborhood has a more suburban feel to it, but the housing stock is more consistent, there is built in demand and the neighbors are friendly.

The streets are wider and rectilinear, so it could feel less quaint than Glen Park.

The MUNI does make it convenient to down town, so that isn't an issue. Great restaurants and relatively easy to park on the Avenue if you drive there. Walking is pretty convenient too.

There is a good selection of shops on West Portal Avenue (much more than Glen Park) and the location is convenient to the Peninsula and the Beach.

You should hang out in both areas at different times of the day and night to see which you like better. It's all personal preference.

Best of luck to you.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2012
Both areas are very neighborly. I have been in Glen Park for about 18 years and have watched it change from a little bit of a tired village to a busy, vibrant little Hamlet. If you want to be part of your neighborhood you will be welcomed and should enjoy the community.
Glen Park is a wonderfully diverse neighborhood.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 10, 2012

There are many differences between Glen Park and West Portal. Transportation accessibility is one of them. Glen Park has a BART station right in the village as well as quick access to both 280 and 101.
Both have very nice villages with several restaurants and shops. West Portal is a little larger with a few chain stores whereas Glen Park is more "locally owned businesses" - although there are many in West Portal too. The housing stock is a bit different too. The West Portal homes are a little larger, in general, hence prices are a little higher. I would say the weather, in general, is a bit better in Glen Park as it's right on the fog line and some days misses the fog. All is all both have some very fine qualities and are wonderful places to live. I would be very happy to answer any other specific questions that you have. Feel free to e-mail or call anytime.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 10, 2012
Thank you, everyone. Very helpful info! Like I said before, I am already pretty familiar with both neighborhoods and have spent time in both during the day and at night. But visiting a place is always different from living there... These two neighborhoods definitely have some common properties (metro centered, "village" like atmosphere, walkable, tight-knit). But some of the differences were less obvious to me (fewer chain stores in Glen Park, streets not being rectilinear in GP making it feel a little more cozy/quaint)... Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 18, 2012
What are the differences – too many to list here actually. The neighborhoods have very different histories and very different demographics.
Which is better for a “single person” will depend on the person. Seriously one could sell either as beneficial but it would be much better for you to experience them and see how you feel about them.
The housing selection is also very different –just on a superficial level - the properties in the West Portal area have more detached homes while Glen Park has more zero-lot line homes. The weather is different, the restaurants are different, access to Downtown is different – one uses BART the other uses the Metro. On and on I could go.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2012
Jed Lane; Fog…, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
I think there's definitely development potential in both areas. Not sure what specifically you are referring to, but if you mean in their village areas, there's always room for development.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2012
Thank you - I am definitely looking to be a part of a community where people know each other.

Do you think Glen Park still has development potential, given the limited space?

Is West Portal community as tight knit as Glen Park?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2012
I don't know first hand, but I have a friend who lies in West Portal and says the community is strong. As for development potential, I'm not sure what you mean? There is very little space, so I'm guessing very little new development will be very limited.
Flag Sun Nov 11, 2012
Thank you for all the info. I am somewhat familiar with these two neighborhoods and like them both but don't know what it's like to actually live there.

What about the community? Are both neighborhoods equally neighborly? If not, how are they different? How about the demographics? Is Glen Park significantly younger?

Also, where is there more potential for development in the coming years?

Thank you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 10, 2012
I wanted to put my two cents in having grew up in San Francisco. Both very good areas and both having their own vibe. Families tend to favor the West Portal area because of the wider frontal area of homes. The steeper hills of Glen Park make it less family friendly. I have found more single people favoring Glen Park because of the proximity to downtown and Noe Valley. Because there is more turnover in a single environment I would hazard to guess Glen Park has more potential for future developments.

Hope that helped.
Flag Wed Nov 14, 2012
In my view Glen Park would be better for a single person for the simple reason you're closer to downtown and have easier, faster access, but it is a bit more expensive. West Portal has better restaurants, but you're isolated there without a trek.

As for pricing,

In Glen Park avg 3BR single family home sold for $1.177M and avg 2BR condo sold for $693K
In West Portal much lower number of properties but for 3BR home avg was about $100K less than Glen Park and only one condo sold so not enough data to compare.

Why only those two areas? If you want to send me price point and other criteria - beds, baths, condo or house, etc... I could make some more intelligent recommendations. Contact info below.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 10, 2012

They are actually quite similar in terms of pricing for SFH. They are two suburban neighborhoods in the city that provide transportation to down town as well as major highways to the South Bay.
Glen Park has shops and restaurants along Chenery St while West Portal has there own along West Portal Avenue.
I think that there are more lively neighborhoods for single people i.e., South Beach, SoMa, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Marina, Hayes Valley just to name a few. It really depends on your individual prerequisites and short/long term goals.
I recommend you visit the neighborhoods on your own during different times of day so you can get a feel for them yourself.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 10, 2012
West Portal is Muni Trains. Glen Park is Bart and Buses.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 10, 2012
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