Some neighborhoods are rich and some are poor, but some fall in a grey area where you’ll find a mix of modest homes and mansions. Which neighborhoods are which in San Francisco?
Ever wonder where the other half lives? (We do, though it’s mainly because we love to gawk at the homes of the rich on our sister site, Luxe Living). But just how far do you have to look to find mega mansions like this $38M hilltop mansion on Billionaire’s Row (aka, where the most expensive homes in San Francisco, between Lyon and Divisadero on Broadway Street, are located)?
Then there’s an even bigger, more relevant question: is it possible to find a home in that same neighborhood at a non-billionaire price? In this case, the answer is “yes.” A few blocks away, but still in the same ZIP code as the homes on Billionaire’s Row, is this relatively affordable $300K 2-bedroom condo.
The bottom line is—in neighborhoods like this, with homes for sale at a wide range of price points, you’ll have a better chance of buying a place near the upper crust and enjoying the same ritzy neighborhood amenities (such as schools, shops, parks, etc.) that the rich enjoy, even if you can’t afford the mansion. Meanwhile, in neighborhoods where home prices are very similar, you’ll find either all expensive homes or all cheap homes, since the mix of homes usually has a pretty big impact on the vibe of a neighborhood.
So to figure out which neighborhood is which (when it comes to home price ranges), we’re going to do a monthly spotlight on the range of asking prices within neighborhoods in different major cities across the country. And to kick things off, we’re going to start with an inside look at our hometown of San Francisco.
What we found is that the most expensive SF ZIP code (based on median asking price) is 94123, which includes the Marina, Cow Hollow and Pacific Heights. Meanwhile, the cheapest ZIP in SF is 94124, which includes Bayview and Hunter’s Point. To put this into perspective, the median home in Marina/Cow Hollow/Pacific Heights is 3.5x more expensive than the median home in Bayview/Hunter’s Point.
But what’s really interesting is what’s happening within neighborhoods. We know that the Marina/Cow Hollow/Pacific Heights is the most expensive neighborhood in SF, but is it only made up of mansions? Can someone who’s not working at Facebook or Instagram afford to live in that neighborhood and take advantage of the same amenities that the millionaires have access to? That’s the burning question when it comes to the range of home prices in different neighborhoods—is there a selection of homes for sale at different price points? Or is the cost of buying a home in the neighborhood the same for most homes?
To figure out the range of asking home prices within different neighborhoods, we took all the for-sale homes listed on Trulia.com in 2011 in each SF ZIP code and identified the 90th percentile asking price (aka the price of a home that’s MORE expensive than 90% of the other homes in its ZIP code) and the 10th percentile asking price (aka the price of the home that’s MORE expensive than only 10% of the other homes in its ZIP code).
We then calculated the Home Price Range Index by dividing the price of the 90th percentile home by the price of the 10th percentile home. Here’s an example of the calculation for the visual learners out there:
90th Percentile Asking Price: $1 million (aka Rabbit’s Home)
10th Percentile Asking Price: $100,000 (aka Eeyore’s Home)
Home Price Range Index = $1,000,000 / $100,000 = 10
Interpretation: Rabbit’s home is 10x more expensive than Eeyore’s home
So since 94123 has a Home Price Range Index of 5.8, this means that a 90th percentile home in that neighborhood is 5.8 times more expensive than the 10th percentile home.
In that same vein, a neighborhood with a higher Home Price Range Index means that there is more home price variation than a neighborhood with a lower Home Price Range Index. Thus, 94133 (HPR Index =6.8) has a bigger range in home prices than 94134 (HPR Index = 2.1).
After crunching all the numbers, we created an interactive infographic to show which neighborhoods have a wider spread when it comes to asking home prices. Here’s what we found.
The largest Home Price Indices in San Francisco are in 94133 (which includes Fisherman’s Wharf, Russian Hill and North Beach) where the most expensive homes are 6.8x more expensive than the cheapest homes. So if you’re set on living in this area, but aren’t willing to shell out $2.8M for a high-end home, there are still plenty of homes under $1M that will allow you be a part of this neighborhood and be kinder to your pocketbook.
If you look at the top five ZIPs with the biggest ranges of asking home prices, you’ll notice that they’re all in the northern part of the city (check out the maps below).
Since the housing stock in these parts are older and denser, you’ll probably have more luck finding a “bargain” fixer-upper (relatively speaking) alongside a multi-million dollar pad.
Home prices are more uniform in places that are farther out from the center of the city and more recently built, like Portola, Excelsior and the Sunset. As such, it’s not surprising that the narrowest range of prices is found in 94143 (Portola, Visitacion Valley and Excelsior) where the priciest homes are only 2.1x more expensive than the cheapest homes. If you live in one of these neighborhoods, it’s likely that your home’s asking price will be pretty similar to your neighbors’.
So, what does this mean if you’re looking to move? Long story short, it’s just another reason why “location! location! location!” needs to be your house hunting mantra. Because for $600k, you could have one of the nicest homes in Bayview/Hunter’s Point, but you could also have one of the cheapest homes in the Marina/Cow Hollow/Pac Heights. Choose wisely. The decision is yours and yours alone—would you rather live in a neighborhood where all the homes are more or less equally priced, or would you rather live among a mix of mansions and modest homes?
What do you think of our little analysis, and, more importantly, where we should head next?
Trulia's Latest Study Reveals Buying a Home Trumps Renting in 98 out of the 100 Largest Metros
Since the housing bubble burst, it seems like everyone and their mother can’t stop talking about what a great time it is right now to buy a home, but how good is it really? After years of seeing home prices drop like flies and rental markets tightening up better than pair of Spanx, it’s safe to say that homeownership is very affordable almost everywhere. In fact, it is now cheaper to buy than to rent in 98 of the 100 most populous metros – including (shocker!) pricey places to live like New York, Los Angeles and Boston.
Says who you ask? Our Trulia’s Winter 2012 Rent vs Buy Index – that’s who! To give you a little bit of background, this Index is what we use to figure out whether buying a home or renting in a given metro is easier on the pocketbook. To do this, we look at asking prices for rentals and homes for-sale on Trulia.com while also factoring other costs like taxes, insurance and maintenance, etc.
Just see for yourself. After ranking all the metros (marked as dots in the chart below) in order of where buying is most expensive relative to renting, notice that the two metros at the top of the list —Honolulu and San Francisco — are no where close to being orange, let alone being in the red (read: renting is cheaper relative to buying). At best, they are a nice mustard yellow, which means that the asking price between renting and buying isn’t all that different. Instead, what really matters if you’re only doing a basic cost comparison is (1) your tax bracket and whether you can benefit from the mortgage interest deduction and (2) how long you actually plan to live in the house.
Start Spreading The News, I’m Leaving NYC For The Suburbs Today
Truth be told, it won’t surprise anyone to say that you need to be making some serious bank in order to be a Manhattan homeowner. Housing crisis or no housing crisis, it’s still going to be a really expensive place to live compared to pretty much anywhere else in the U.S. of A. However, if you can let go of Manhattan city living (like Miranda in “Sex and the City” did), then you might be pleasantly surprised to know that buying a home is definitely doable. You just got to look even further than Brooklyn and Staten Island (priced-out Manhattanites have bid up home values in many neighborhoods…boo! hiss!). How far? Think Queens, the Bronx and other nearby suburban counties.
|New York City Area|
|Borough or County||Price:Rent Ratio|
|Bergen, NJ (Hackensack)||12.5|
|Hudson, NJ (Jersey City)||12.1|
|Nassau, NY (Long Island)||11.8|
NOTE: The lists above rank the major metros where renting a home is most expensive relative to buying, and vice-versa. Price-to-rent ratios that are 15 and under indicate buying is less expensive than renting, while ratios that are 20 or higher indicate renting is less expensive than buying. Between 15 and 20, the rent-versus-buy calculation depends on tax deductions and other personal circumstances.
Left My Heart In San Francisco…As I Move To The East Bay
When it comes to buying a home in the SF Bay Area, you’re going to have to pay a pretty penny as compared to renting to do so in San Francisco, the Peninsula (San Mateo County) and in the South Bay (Santa Clara County). You’re more likely to get a better deal once you cross the Bay Bridge and head to the East Bay (Alameda County and Contra Costa County). That’s because there’s been more empty homes and foreclosures on that side of the bay.
|San Francisco Bay Area|
|Santa Clara (San Jose)||14.5|
Buying Beats Renting 99 Miles From LA, But Not Always
Generally speaking, homeownership in SoCal gets pricier as you move away from the coast towards the desert, but this “rule” is by no means set in stone. There are a couple of big exceptions: Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley. These two real estate markets are really far from the beach, but are crazy expensive places to buy a home as compared to renting. Heh, go figure.
|Area Code||Price:Rent Ratio|
|Westside LA / Beaches /Coast (310 / 424)||15.8|
|Pasadena / San Gabriel Valley (626)||15.8|
|Orange County South (949)||14.4|
|Central Los Angeles (213 / 323)||13.4|
|Orange County North (714 / 657)||12.8|
|Long Beach (562)||11.9|
|San Fernando Valley (818 / 747)||11.7|
|San Bernardino (909)||10.2|
If You’re Living in Chicago, It’s Cheaper to Buy vs. Rent
No matter how you slice and dice it, being a homeowner in Chicago is much more affordable than being a renter. Even in the heart of the windy city (the Loop and Near North Side), buying is relatively cheaper than buying than in many suburbs of New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
|Area Code||Price:Rent Ratio|
|Loop and Near North Side (312)||11.4|
|Chicago except downtown (773)||8.0|
|North/Northwest Suburbs (847 / 224)||7.7|
|Western Suburbs (630 / 331)||7.5|
|South Suburbs (708)||5.0|
To check out the all the findings from the report, check out the Slideshare deck below.0 comments
Trulia Local gives you the local scoop on where violent crime happens, adding an extra layer of insights to its crime maps.
Last year, we brought our Crime Maps to life, which illustrated where crime happens in 50 U.S. counties and later did an investigation into when crime happens. Most recently, we launched Trulia Local which expanded the coverage of our original Crime Maps across the entire country (while also providing insights on schools and neighborhood amenities) to help house hunters answer the question: “What’s it like to live here?”
What we’ve done up to this point for our heat maps is show you crime density — that is, where are the areas with the most crimes? As you can see in San Francisco, there’s a lot of action in the Tenderloin, some in the Mission and Downtown, and not much elsewhere. Given the Tenderloin’s reputation, most people (who think they know the the city) would say that sounds about right.
But is it right? Ask any native San Franciscans and they’ll probably balk and say, “what about Hunters Point?” (FYI, this neighborhood has a notorious reputation. In fact, the NY Times described it as being “one of the city’s most violent neighborhoods.”)
Well as it turns out, Hunters Point, which is located in the southeast part of San Francisco, doesn’t experience a ton of crime — but when it does happen, they’re violent: fights, shootings and assaults.0 comments
Strata 2012 showcases Trulia's interactive data visualizations at the conference's art gallery.
Last week, the Trulia Insights team took a little field trip to Santa Clara, CA (a town south of San Francisco for all our non-Bay Area peeps) to check out Strata 2012: Making Data Work.
All in all, it was an awesome experience and we left feeling a little smarter. But what was even more amazing was seeing our work being showcased at the conference’s data visualization gallery.
We compiled all of our favorite interactive data visuals for a display on a touch-screen monitor.
Watch this video to see the magic of the touch screen and our data visual in action. Just be careful, it might make you a little dizzy.0 comments
You can get a lot of house for practically pennies OR very little house for way too much money depending on where you’re looking.
Sure seems like everyone is looking for a deal these days, especially when it comes to buying a home. But the truth of the matter is that where a local market ranks on the value scale depends a LOT on its location.
Why is that? Well, consider this real estate fact of life — a “bargain bin” home in New York City’s got nothing on the dirt cheap real estate in Detroit. But, what happens when we look at the price of a home on a per square foot basis? It levels the playing field and allows us to see how much of a bargain homebuyers can really get in different cities. And those numbers are definitely surprising.
To help shine a little spotlight on this very important data point that every homebuyer and seller needs to consider, we charted out the median square footage for the 100 largest U.S. cities, and then sorted everything by the price per square foot. Check it out.0 comments