Bernal Heights Lives Up to “Hottest Neighborhood” Hype, Despite Ongoing Ambivalence


You may recall that awkward moment last winter when the real estate gurus at Redfin decided to honor and torment us by naming Bernal Heights the Hottest Neighborhood in the Entire Galaxy. Since then, the Citizens of Bernalwood have struggled with a deep sense of ambivalence about what it means to be recognized for our (rather obvious) hotness — and what that portends for the future of our humble-proud village on the hill.

Well, now Redfin has decided to torment us yet again by revisiting their decision to name us Hottest of the Hot, to see if Bernal Heights has lived up to the hype (which they themselves created).

Thankfully, SF Weekly wrote up the result, so I don’t have to:

There’s no better time than the present to quote supermodel turned Project Runway host Heidi Klum: “One day you’re in and the next day you’re out.” Klum is absolutely right in her tough-as-acrylic nails approach; however, we shouldn’t fail to recognize that there’s always an exception to the rule and in this case the Bernal Heights neighborhood is one mighty fine exception.

Back in January, real estate site Redfin chose Bernal Heights as the hottest neighborhood in America, due in large part to its affordable housing (not really, but go on), reasonable commute and a better-than-average school system. Seven months later (as in this very second), Redfin revisited the list and decided that Bernal Heights still smolders amidst the summer heat (felt everywhere but in S.F.) as the nation’s coolest neighborhood.

The reasons behind all this Bernal Heights summer of love include 22 percent increase in the median home sale price compared to this time last year and 81.5 percent of homes in the area selling above the list price.

On the unambiguous side, we can take pride in the fact that Bernal Heights lived up to expectations and did not disappoint, which are core attributes of our neighborhood character and brand identity.

IMAGE: Bernalwood Bureau of Unicorn Management

10 thoughts on “Bernal Heights Lives Up to “Hottest Neighborhood” Hype, Despite Ongoing Ambivalence

    • Home prices are out of our control, but we can avoid Noefication. I encourage all Bernal denizens to paint their house insane colors, display their art, grow plants and tress in planters on the sidewalk outside their homes, and get to know as many neighbors as possible. The culture is already here, it’s just a matter of showing the newer folks how it’s done.

      • Yeah!! I had my home painted bright orange with purple trim. My neighbor painted her house with complementary colors. The flipped homes on our block were painted grey so we really stand out.

  1. Our neighborhood is awesome… So much better than it was 25 years ago.
    Cortland is great, however, still lacking some basic restaurants and services.
    I’m having trouble understanding the negativity regarding Noe Valley.
    I bet that many of our neighbors spend a lot of money on 24th Street…
    A variety of restaurants and shops. Plus – No dog poop on the streets.

  2. A pedantic note for the sake of accuracy.. the “Hot Neighborhood” from Redfin is “North Bernal Heights, which includes only the north slope section, plus the northwest part along Nission south to Cortland and east a few blocks. The bulk of Bernal isn’t included, although I believe Bernalwood World Headquarters is.

  3. Whew, good to know Art. Thank god I’m 2 blocks up off Cortland on Ellsworth. I would hate living in a less hottest part of Bernalwood. What would people think? Especially realtors!

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