Artem, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

Why is Diamond Heights one of the cheapest San Francisco neighborhoods in terms of real estate prices?

Asked by Artem, San Francisco, CA Mon Aug 27, 2007

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Ed’s answer
As a Diamond Heights Village resident, I can say that it isn't foggy nine months out of the year. Nor is it far from shopping -- the Diamond Heights shopping center is friendly and has everything I need (bank, post office, dry cleaners, pharmacy, Safeway, etc.). A lot of people buy in SF for the excitement and attractions, and Diamond Heights is undeniably a quiet, non-urban neighborhood -- but I can walk to the heart of Noe Valley in 15 minutes, or drive downtown in 10, then return home and enjoy beautiful surroundings along with peace and quiet. I have great neighbors and find the professional management to be helpful and responsive. It is also a neighborhood where I feel safe. I feel it's undervalued and couldn't be happier with my choice to buy here.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
As a condo owner now relocated to the east coast, this is a property I miss daily. I have seen many sunny days and a clear view of the bay from the living room and bedroom windows. The heated pool is a luxury in San Francisco and the property is well maintained. The bus stop is right across the street. The walk downhill to Noe Valley is pleasant and quick. The shopping center is just a block away and frankly, I've never felt as safe walking alone in San Francisco as I do in Diamond Heights. That is priceless!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 4, 2012
I love living in Diamond Heights Village. The views are incredible and it is only a 5 min walk to Noe/Castro area. The safeway is pretty much next door to us. I love being able to work out here and not have to pay a gym membership. Our family and friends love coming to visit us and using our heated pool. Wouldn't buy anywhere else!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 4, 2010
Hi Artem;

For many years there had been a lot of deferred maintenance in the condo complexes on Red Rock Hill (Diamond Heights Village, Safira Court, Red Rock I & II, Harbor View etc) and that was reflected in the pricing. Some of the complexes, most notably, Diamond Heights Village, have upgraded themselves and prices are now comparable to Twin Peaks.

The neighborhood gets a bad rap because of the weather. It does get foggy in Summer, but it is nowhere near as bad as it is in Miraloma Park.

If you have any more questions, please let me know. I am the top Realtor in Diamond Heights with over 33 sales over the past fives years

Charlie Mader
Vanguard Properties
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 12, 2008
because it literally has about the worst weather of anywhere in the city. you have to go to daly city to match it's unlivable conditions for 9 months out of the year.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 7, 2007
Hi Artem - Both Jed and Artur have great answers on Diamond Heights. Another factor for why it's not as popular besides the architectural style may be the fog factor. If you are considering the area, I would encourage you to spend some time in the area and check out a few open houses to see how you like it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 1, 2007
I'm assuming you mean the price of condo's. The Eichlers are not inexpensive and there are many large homes in the area too. The condos in Diamond Heights village are inexpensive due the style and volume of them. The prices range based on views because the amenities are the same. It is a nice place to live, very convienent and good amenities, but they lack the flair that most SF buyers want.
Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 28, 2007
Jed Lane, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
Hi Artem,
Did you get a chance to read an article in Examiner "Lost Eichlers: Diamond Heights - Tucked away in the Big City Highlands"? If not, here is the link: It is great story about the Diamond Heights neighborhood and it pretty much explains why its prices were lagging behind. It was a "modern" neighborhood developed in the 60th. It was an "oddity" if compared with a "look and feel" of other SF neighborhoods. This plus fog could contribute to its prices lagging behind. Will it stay this way? It definitely has an "acquired taste".
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 27, 2007
Artur Urbans…, Real Estate Pro in Burlingame, CA
Curb appeal.
Rents are high, but not high enough to draw in the truly affluent, or at least people who can discern the difference between quality vs: declasse. I try to pick up garbage off the street, but with absolutely no cooperation from THE REST OF YOU, that's just the little taste of the Tenderloin that makes the most difference. Trashy landscaping prevails and nobody seems to realize that Hedera is a noxious and ugly weed.
Also, the trashy little notices that Priscilla Aguilar compulsively puts on all our walls and hallways is another detraction, insofar as Diamond Heights Village itself is concerned.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 4, 2014
DHVA is a poorly converted inexpensive apartment building. It is not built to order condo complex.
1. You get food smells from neighboring units because of poor venting
2. You hear noise through the thin walls - especially thru the kitchen and baths. You hear every step somone makes above you. I even hear people rolling around in bed and opening closet doors. That really sucks!
3. You can't have in-unit laundry and you have to schlep laundry down the hall to laundry rooms that are shared among 2 buildings. Usually on the ground or first floor.
4. Renters are a higher percentage of owners than banks and insurance companies would prefer so this makes the complex a liability.
5. It is an expensive complex to insure because of aging pipes, associated water damage claims, and the hazardous wooden shingles (not fire resistant)
6. The drains backup so you get someone elses sewage in your unit every so often--yuk
7. The contractor who built the place went to jail because he did not build to the specs he delivered to the planning commission.
8. The interior wiring is horrendous and does not support modern day electrical demands
9. The place should be torn down and rebuilt as proper condos
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 4, 2013
9(b). Inadequate ventilation in bathrooms. The hot water is outstanding, but if you actually use it, the bathroom fogs and drips prodigiously. Modern codes specify considerably better ventilation in order to avoid property damage and health risks from rot and mildew.
Flag Fri Apr 4, 2014
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 14, 2012
Artem et al,

YES!!! Diamond Heights is undervalued because of PERCEPTION and a bad rap.

Residents hear have often told me this is one of the better kept secrets of the City we love...

Let us address the complaints:

>>Oh it's too far from a cafe or shopping...

Really? There is a Safeway Grocery Store, Coffee Shop, Walgreen's Drug Store, US Post Office, Vet, Restaurant, Tennis Courts, Community Garden and two parks. (I may live in Bernal - but I shop at Diamond Heights Safeway since our local Safeway is third rate.)

>>Oh it's too long a commute...

Really? The MUNI 52 Line runs regularly between Forest Hill Muni Metro Station and the Glen Park BART Station. WALK two blocks and you can pick up the 37 Corbett and the 48 Quintara for additional service. Driving is easy to 280 or 101 or any neighborhood since we're in the geographic center of San Francisco.

>>Oh it's so foggy there...

Really? So when it's foggy here, fog has often already engulfed the following neighborhoods; Sunset, Richmond, Golden Gate Heights, Sea Cliff, Lakeside, Lake District, Laurel Village, NOPA, Pacific Heights, Marina, Russian Hill, Sunnyside, Miraloma Park, Excelsior, Crocker Amazon and Glen Park...

Honestly if I look out my window and see fog on the top of Twin Peaks and Diamond Heights, it often means there is howling and chilled wind throughout our town; Bernal Heights, Noe Valley, Eureka Valley, Hayes Valley, California and Montgomery - Downtown, SOMA and South Beach (SOBE). Is it any wonder the Ohlone indians and Spanish missionaries chose to live near the Mission? Even Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Bayview and Hunter's Point districts have their own wind issues.

Please forgive my little rant, these are just my observations growing up around Baghdad by the Bay over the past 50 odd years. As we head into the coldest months of the year in San Francisco; July and August - just remember September and October are FABULOUS.

We're all about San Francisco and the little known secret of Diamond Heights Village.

I hope you find this amusing and informative. These are my own personal observations gathered over a 15 year career selling real estate in San Francisco coupled with a prior 15 year career at our very own San Francisco Chamber of Commerce...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2012

Most of the others have outlined lots of good reasons for the lower prices. I think the prime reason is that it does not stand up to what most people define as the prime San Francisco experience - walkability to San Francisco's best eateries and bars and short transportation to downtown. While it isn't a long drive, driving changes everything, and with all due respect, the weather is some of the worst in the city.

I used to play tennis with a friend who lives in DH and we played semi-regularly at douglas park, which I could look up the hill and see from where I used to live. I cannot tell you how many times it was high 60's - low 70's where I was, but windy, foggy, and cold there. The overwhelming majority of the clients we have and have had would not live there because of that, regardless of how great the views are when it's clear.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 4, 2010
Also, the condos in Diamond Heights Village do not allow washers and dryers to be installed in the units. That can mean, depending on your location in the complex, a long walk down a couple halls and up and down some stairs to a laundry room. This causes a lot of folks these days to pass on this condo project.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 28, 2008
The weather and it's not close to anything you can walk to. In other words, it is the suburbs of San Francisco, in San Francisco.

p.s. If you're not familiar with the city, there are micro climates that can affect your living experience significantly. No joke! The fog in Diamond Heights is consistent and dissipates as it goes down the hill. A home just a few hundred yards from the area you're asking about can be consistently sunny at times of the day when DH is foggy!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 13, 2008
I've lived in Diamond Heights for 16 years and love it. For the same square footage, and two car deeded parking, I'd have to pay triple elsewhere in The City. As for the weather affecting the prices here, take a peak at pricing in areas with the same or worse weather: Sea Cliff, St. Francis Wood, Telegraph Hill, etc.
There are micro climates in The City - some sunnier and with less fog in our foggier months - but If I didn't like the weather in San Francisco, I'd probably move - I came here FOR the weather.
We have good public transportation here and easy access to the freeways - as well as a very nice neighborhood shopping center. It's has been less expensive because there were deferred maintenance issues with the larger condo developments - but boy has that changed! If you're asking about the area because you like the views and the pricing, I would highly recommend it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 7, 2008
Fog and proximity to shops seem to be what object to. The most expensive real estate in the city is often within easy walking to a hot shopping corridor, like 24th or Church in Noe, Polk in Russian Hill, Chestnut in the Marina, Fillmore in Pac Heights, Castro in the Castro. And while Noe is "just down the hill", it's the hill that keeps the fog away.... on many days when it feels like winter up the hill, Noe Valley residents are in short sleeves.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 5, 2008
I strongly disagree with James. I've lived in Diamond Heights for 5 years and love it. The weather is typical San Francisco weather. The community was built up primarily in the mid-1960s, so there is a very mid-century modern feel to it. There is a mix of houses (some Eichlers) and condos that were built in this era (as well as some newer condos). The condominium complexes have nice, large manicured grounds with mature trees. Diamond Heights has wonderful, sweeping downtown views of San Francisco, close proximity to Noe Valley (which is just down the hill), wonderful walks (up to twin peaks or through glen park canyon). There is also a neighborhood Safeway which is one of the nicest in San Francisco. It has a slight sub-urban feeling to it. Your friends can actually find a place to park on the street without having to circle the block once. I think Diamond Heights is a hidden gem.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 3, 2008
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