SF South Beach / SOMA condos - good place to buy?

Hi all,

Are these good places to buy now?


The price seems to have gotten stuck since early this year (or gone down in some units).

We work in South Bay but we’re quite bored with living in South Bay - thus the thought of moving up to the city. We’ll be taking shuttles to work, and South Beach / Soma areas are the place with the most frequent stops. Having said that, I’m not sure how the prices will be in longer term given that they’re condos.

On the other hand, Mission Bay (near UCSF hospitals) seems to be a better / newer / up&coming area, but that area seems to be quite a bit pricier (1.3~1.5M). What do u guys think?

Couldn’t put more than 2 links per post. Here’s few others…


Don’t buy a condo. Go buy a small SFH or a fixer instead of buying a box apartment that they are making more and more of each day and why would you want to pay another $700 or so each month for HOA? Others may disagree but I think a SFH (if you can afford it) is the better way to go. You get to design it however you like. No governing board rules over you. If you buy one with potential, you can build it out as your needs increase or even rent out the extra space for additional income.

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Yup. I forgot to explicitly mention - we both work and both absolutely hate upkeeping homes. Even if we buy a house, we’ll end up buying new homes in a community with hoa - that’s the trade off we’re making with doing things ourselves.

Yes, SFH would appreciate faster, but typically they are worse (or older, or smaller, or bad neighborhood ) condition than condos / townhomes for the same prices. We’re moving up to the city for the purpose of going out, coming to a clean, well maintained home, etc., while commuting to south bay on the weekdays. So the top needs are something to the effect of:

  • easy access to south bay (or at least shuttle)
  • well-maintained, secure place
  • good to go out, etc.

Given these preferences, I’m sure that’s why these condos in south beach / soma are expensive - but will they continue to be in demand is the tough question :slight_smile:


I think SOMA is pretty dead at night. I never understand the appeal. It’s mostly offices there. Maybe you can come stay in SF for a couple nights and explore different neighborhoods? AirBnB can let you deep into neighborhoods.

You are right. SOMA prices have been flat to down a bit. I saw a few taking a while to sell. Unlike @sfdragonboy I don’t mind condos. :slight_smile: But high HOA (anything above $500) gives me pause.

I have yet to see convincing data.

Interesting. At least soma felt safer than few places I visited(Potrero Hills, Mission, etc). Where are good places for living+going out+safe etc?



Please, what do you live in? A condo or a SFH?

Mission is the most happening I think. Noe along 24th, Castro, the Panhandle, Haight Ashbury are all quite good. In fact on Google map and on Redfin, the busy streets are colored orange. You can use that as a hint to explore. SF is interesting in the sense that it’s really different from one street to the next. I think spending some days and nights AirBnB’ing different hoods is a good (and fun) exercise.

@manch is correct, SOMA is pretty dead after business hours. I work down by the infamous Millennium Towers/Saleforce towers and the area generally speaking quiets down considerably after hours (unless if the Giants are playing or say Friday night).

Personally, I find the Mission as well overrated and certainly unsafe at night. You won’t find me in Portrero Hill at night.

I would consider the following areas for you: Pac Heights, Marina, North Beach/Telegraph Hill, Russian Hill. These areas are all pretty safe and while I am not sure if there are condos there there should be stuff for you to consider. If you are looking at 1M+ condos, it sounds like you can afford most areas of the city.

North Beach is too touristy. The other on the list are too preppy… :wink:

Bernal is pretty popular these days. But it’s only a one-street pony. I like Noe and the Panhandle.

About safety, I often see young women running by themselves along Cesar Chavez in Portrero Hill. Is the area really that unsafe?

These are nice areas, but I sense @notabene wants to go out some. Not a lot you can go to (restaurants, clubs) in Bernal or Noe…

North Beach is highly underrated. The weather in the NE quadrant of the city is usually very good. The proximity to the water, downtown and freeways is good and not to mention all of the activities. It is not that touristy at all.

Thanks! These are all good suggestions!

We drove by some neighborhoods in Pac Heights + Russian Hill. They were indeed pretty clean & felt safe. The downsides are of course the super hilly roads (don’t know if my wife can park + drive around this area) and our commute to South Bay would be about 30mins longer compared to departing from SOMA. Hmph.

Some places in Mission / Dolores Park looked interesting:


But a lot of these older neighborhood places are pretty old… I guess everyone lives in such places and I’m just too chicken to live in a 90yr old house…

I’ll check out more today before heading down to south bay :slight_smile:

Ok, I’m not giving up just yet…:slight_smile:

Colder and foggier but very neighborly and fairly safe would be the West Portal neighborhood out in the west side. Relatively close to freeways heading south. Some cute small shops and restaurants along the main drag. If you ever wanted to head downtown and not drive, Muni metro lines are right there.

Are you serious? People would kill to live in a dolled up 100+ year old victorian home here. The older homes of SF is what makes SF what it is. What you see in Soma is not interesting and very much so look like office buildings. How residential is that?

I get the allure of the Mission with its restaurants and nightlife but I certainly wouldn’t call it a safe neighborhood. Parking can be challenging too.

Glen Park and Golden Gate Heights are other great, sleepy neighborhoods that are safe but don’t have a lot of restaurants and shops.

Contrary to everyone’s opinions, we continue to look at SOMA/Mission Bay. With the shuttles & caltrain access, it’s hard to give up that area. Given that we’ll be going out mostly in the weekends, having close vicinity to areas like mission isn’t all that issue so long as we’re in the city.

Having said that, anything wrong with this unit?


Perhaps that price range is too high / rare even for soma?

Looks nice-- how hard would it be for someone to jump up on your balcony? Seems close to ground. I know someone who lives there and likes it. Ballpark traffic sucks.

For that price I’d go somewhere else but IMO there’s nothing wrong with getting a place YOU like as long as you don’t view it as an investment and plan to live there a long time

It’s on 3rd floor, so s/he would have to jump up really hard. :slight_smile:

What makes this a bad investment? Because it’s a condo? Or too high end price for a condo? The location seems to be good for many folks.

Too close to the freeway and Caltrain for my taste (noise issue).

There are a lot of new supplies targeting this segment of luxury condos. Have you looked into the ones that are brand new? If not you owe it to yourself to at least check them out I think. At 1.5M you have lots of options. That’s why this one is not selling. Because there are lots of others to choose from.

SOMA has cooled down quite a bit. This one has view. Some older townhouses for example on Harrison can be had for 1.1 or 1.2. So the price for this one is too high.

We did look at some of the new constructions - the area south of the Mission Creek tend to be $1100/sqft and the new constructions are selling for ~$1300/sqft. At least this one is <1000/sqft. With the new ones, it’d be at least 1.5+ for units with similar views/sqft/etc.

There are new constructions in South Beach (Lumina, Infinity, Harrison, etc), but we didn’t like that area - a bit too in the city. At least mission bay has parks and markets, etc.

While SOMA has indeed cooled down a bit, places with low $/sqft seem to go pretty quickly. I guess the buyers need some type of justification nowadays (location, sqft, price, …).