What $500K Will Get You in the SF Real-Estate Market Right Now

The first rung on the property ladder is always the tallest

What $500K Will Get You in the SF Real-Estate Market Right Now

This is The Listings, a series that covers the best of Bay Area real estate, in all its wild glory.

S.F. housing is a Clockwork Orange-level nightmare. But are there ways onto the property ladder? There are.

You’ll need to be creative and know your BMRs from your TICs, your mobile homes from your manufactured ones, your C-2 zoning from your empty lots (with Bay views!).

Below, we’ve compiled five on-the-market properties that are each going for under $500K. Happy hunting.


Where: 888 Seventh St. #114
Pricetag: $324K
What you’ll get: A long box with a bed area — but check out those hardwood floors! 
Notes: Available as part of the city’s “below market rate” (BMR) affordable housing effort — you’ll want to scour this website for information on how it works (not exactly like rolling the dice, but not exactly not like that, either) and get up to speed on its shortcomings


Where: 1155 Leavenworth Street #4
Pricetag: $449K
What you’ll get: A 308-square-foot TIC studio (sort of; see below); you’re one block from Trader Joe’s. 
Notes: Ever heard of a TIC, or tenancy in common? Just like with BMRs, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with how tenancies in common operate — consider this a primer. Good for people with a flexible idea of “ownership.” Can we really ever own “property”? Maybe not, at least in S.F.? 


Where: 140 Dockside Dr., Daly City
Pricetag: $379K 
What you’ll get: Uh, three bedrooms, two baths, granite counters? Just don’t count on a basement. 
Notes: Blink and you might not notice this is actually a “manufactured home.” You’ll want to be up to speed on what that means


Where: 202 Union St. 
Pricetag: $500K 
What you’ll get: So. Much. Land. And an education in S.F. zoning laws
Why: “Please consult with a local SF Architect to determine what can be built here,” on this lot with C-2 zoning — uses of which are defined, in rather dense text, here. Dream big? 


Where: 2958 Arelious Walker Dr.
Pricetag: $500K
What you’ll get: A totally normal 889-square-foot 2BR condo, with one bathroom.
Why: You’ll be just steps from the new Crosstown Trail — and after all this house-hunting, you’ll definitely want to sample the nine best bars on the path

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.