It would seem to me that San Francisco might have a higher rental rate period regardless. Non-owner occupied (rentals) are high in the City. Possibly a reason they have rental control laws in place too. If you are targeting SF, this is the reality of the market there. There is always the risk of the next tenant not being "so dreamy." Resale is indeed impacted by poorly kept and undesirable nearby properties for certain. But it is hit and miss. Some owners have yard services that keep the houses automatically in good condition. Cars on the lawn or blocking the street â€” call the police. Like Patrick said, pick a desirable area â€¦ and then hope for the best. Have an agent or someone pull up the rental to ownership ratio in your specific neighborhood you are targeting, or name it here on Trulia in a response and hopefully a SF savvy agent will chirp in.
I posted an article below for you to read on tenants in the City.