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6 Things To Know Before Buying A Home In San Francisco

By Jamie Richardson | November 10, 2021

From bay views to rolling hills and skyscrapers, there’s no doubt that San Francisco is one of the top choices for homebuyers seeking a place that has it all. However, it’s essential to note that having it all doesn’t usually come cheap.

If you’re planning to buy a home or looking for homes for sale in San Francisco, there are various things you should know. Regardless of your budget, below are the things to remember before you purchase a home:

Buying a vacation or 2nd home
  1. Hire A Real Estate Agent

To make the buying process hassle-free and easy, you need to hire a real estate agent. Licensed and experienced real estate agents have deep knowledge regarding the real estate market in San Francisco, which can be of great help, particularly if you’re a first-time homebuyer.

However, not all real estate agents are the same. To find the best match for your needs when buying a property, be sure to ask around and interview each one of them. You can also read reviews online and check their profiles.

  1. Know Your Preferred Neighborhood

As you look around an unfamiliar neighborhood that meets your criteria and looks affordable, it’s critical to do your research. If you have free time, walk around the neighborhood and check the crime statistics. However, always take note that a neighborhood is more than just its statistics.

The most crucial thing is determining if the neighborhood is ideal for your current lifestyle and stage of life. For instance, if your work requires you to drive around the Bay Area, you may prefer living in a neighborhood around East Bay where most houses have easy freeway access and garages.

If you want to enjoy surfing after or before work, find a home in the Sunset District where you can have quick access to the beach. It’s also essential to think of your future when buying a home in your preferred neighborhood. Are you planning to live there for a long time or just for several years?

If you’re single and young who prefer easy access to bars, you can opt for properties in edgy neighborhoods in San Francisco like South of Market. However, if you’re planning to start your own family, such neighborhoods are never a good idea and can be a problem over time due to the noise from nearby freeways. So, make sure to consider your lifestyle and preferences before you decide to find a house in a particular neighborhood.

  1. Do A Home Inspection

When purchasing a home in San Francisco, things may move fast. For this reason, never forget to have an inspection contingency. A home inspection will help you decide better as you’ll get more information on which properties to consider. In addition, it can give you an opportunity to negotiate with the seller and know more about the property.

  1. Know How Much You Can Afford

Buying a house in San Francisco can be costly, so it’s crucial to know how much you can afford. If possible, know your financial resources, the ongoing costs, and other things beyond the property’s purchase price.

Knowing how much you can afford won’t only help you find the right home for you and your family. It can also allow you to focus on the properties suited for your budget, giving you a better idea of what houses for sale are available for you.

  1. Take Advantage Of The Off-Season

Since most people don’t prefer moving around the holidays or during the winter, the demands for homes for sale are also low. This can be a smart time to buy a house and get a better deal. You may even find a house immediately. So, if you have time before or during the holidays, make sure to take advantage of the off-season to find and buy your dream house in San Francisco.

  1. Consider Looking Beyond The Paint

When purchasing a home in San Francisco, you should always look beyond the paint. While fixing cosmetic problems in a house is inexpensive, major changes like gutting a bathroom or moving walls can be expensive. But it doesn’t mean that you should give up on houses for sale that requires fixing up.

The key is to factor in the repair costs to determine if the house is worth its price. To make a well-informed decision, ask your real estate agent to help you determine which types of fixes are cosmetic and which require a long-term commitment in terms of budget and time.


Buying a house in San Francisco is no easy task, especially for first-time homebuyers. So, make sure to keep the above things in mind before you start your hunt for your dream home. Moreover, don’t hesitate to work with the best real estate agents to make the buying process more convenient and hassle-free.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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