Pacific Heights has a reputation of having some of the most expensive real estate in all of San Francisco. When looking at the grandeur of the homes and the unparalleled views that houses in this neighborhood enjoys, it is not hard to see why. These Victorian mansions are clearly made for its many affluent residents. The surrounding businesses are tailored to fit the high end needs of the residents. Trendy, high fashion boutiques are in abundance as well as cafes, bookstores, wine shops and other hallmarks of high class living. For some shopping and fine dining, the Fillmore District is the place to go. The lovely Alta Plaza Park and Lafayette Park are great for some outdoor recreation.
Breathtaking views of the bay and gorgeous, grand old mansions make Pacific Heights the most desirable neighborhood in San Francisco. It’s home to Haas-Lilienthal House, an 1886 Queen Ann Victorian that is now a museum and houses the San Francisco Architectural Heritage Society. And famed author Danielle Steele resides here. She lives in Spreckles Mansion, a pre WWI, French Baroque Chateau.
Victorian mansions may dominate this neighborhood, but you’ll also find Mission Revivals, Edwardians and Chateaus. These homes are in pristine condition and are mainly owner occupied. Most properties for sale are condominiums. Pacific Heights also houses a number of luxury apartment buildings with high monthly rents. Condos and apartments make up the majority of housing which may be why Pacific Height shows such a high percentage of renters.
Most of the homes were built before 1939 and many of them after the 1906 earthquake. There was a small building boom in the mid-2000s due to the success of the tech industry. Today there is another building boom underway. Most of the new construction is in the form of condos.
Pacific Heights is home to University of San Francisco High School, a university preparatory school known as a leader in secondary education in the Bay Area. Also within its bounds are the San Francisco Waldorf School and San Francisco Public Montesori. There are also a number of highly rated preschools and you’ll find the University of San Francisco only a few miles away.
Nearby are two of University of California San Francisco medical centers. The one at Parnassus houses the Benioff Children’s hospital. What some might call the Rodeo Drive of the North resides in the center of Pacific Heights. Tourists and even people from other neighborhoods drop by to shop in the designer boutiques on Fillmore Street. It’s also the home of the Fillmore Jazz festival every summer.
The focus may be on shopping, but there are plenty of places to dine after a long day. You’ll find diverse choices like Mehfil Indian Cuisine that is a favorite of locals, Ten-Ichi Sushi Bar which is said to rival the sushi in Japantown, and the highly rated Eliza’s Chinese known for its vegetarian options. Fine dining options include Fresca -Nouveau Peruvian Cuisine and Out the Door Asian cuisine.
This elite neighborhood has a number of local markets that make grocery shopping a breeze. There is Avenue Fine Food Market or the classy Chez Berlue that carries imported French foods and wine. Just outside the borders are larger markets such as Mollie Stone’s Markets and the Real Food Company.
Overall this is a quiet neighborhood. There is little in the way of nightspots though there is a movie theater, concert hall and a place called Solstice that has a DJ and attracts Hipsters. At the moment there are a number of properties for sale, mostly condos which sell quickly. The market was a little on the cool side in February. Home values are rising and are expected to continue to do so over the next year.
The most recent data shows that sales have increased. Though the trend is in rising value, homes are selling for less than list price. The median list price of a home in Pacific Heights, 2.4 million, is more than the San Francisco average, but the median sold price is only 1.5 million. It seems it’s still a buyer’s market. As market value rises and the economy continues to recover, sellers can expect to see their chance to retrieve that value in the next couple of years.
Regarding value, this neighborhood has the added bonus of two beautiful community parks, Alta Plaza Park and Lafayette Park. Each has tennis courts, a playground, picnic tables and an off-leash dog area. This is a dog-friendly neighborhood. Right next door is The Presidio, a large park that has 25 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of paved roads for bicyclists. You can also visit museums or learn about nature at the many nature and recreation sites.
You can see why Pacific Heights is the most desirable neighborhood in San Francisco as well as the most expensive housing market in the United States. It has large beautiful homes, amazing views, and charm that is unrivaled by any other neighborhood today.