You're correct in that there are big differences between lofts near 1st street and those near 7th. San Francisco is all about microclimates and â€“ to a certain extent â€“ micromarkets. The areas nearer to the financial district and South of Market area are the ones that are newer construction, high-rises,full-service/door person buildings. These areas are east of 5th/4th Streets. Meanwhile, areas closer to 7th to 10th St. will have the larger, big volume lofts with less amenities. The areas are a bit rougher and less walker friendly. But this translates to lower HOA dues for landlords that may translate into lower rents for you. Still though, rents are high for lofts like everything else in SF anf you should expect rents to start at $2500+ which may make buying more appealing.