Your Bonkers Bernal Heights Real Estate Report for Early Autumn 2014


Let’s check in on the state of our residential real estate market, shall we?

The data-trackers at Downing and Company did one of their occasional Bernal Heights home sales roundups for July 2014, and this is what they found:

Home prices in Bernal Heights continued to soar during July. Last month 19 homes traded hands at an average price of $1,321,805 setting a new record high for this neighborhood.

Prices were up across the board including rehab properties. Fixer uppers in Bernal Heights are now selling in the $800K to $900K price range (see 43 Bache Ave, 44 Azterc St, 671 Peralta Ave, and 45 Richland Ave). Previously rehab properties were trading between $600K to $750K. Post rehab developers are now looking to sell north of $1.5 million in Bernal Heights.

Sellers clearly remain in control of the market as evidenced by the pace of sales. Buyers put on their running shoes, moved quickly, and scooped up homes in an average of only 26 days last month.

Woa. The image above illustrates those July 2014 sales; if you’d like a more detailed breakdown, visit the Downing and Company website.

Over at Bernal neighbor (and realtor) Michael Minson’s blog, Ann Cervantes summarizes the year so far:

San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood experienced a 19.7% increase in estimated home value from August 2013 to August 2014.

The median estimated home value in Bernal Heights was $1.06M. The median home value in San Francisco was $927K.

Double woa.

Meanwhile, two Bernal properties have been attracting some attention in the last few days.  On Friday CurbedSF highlighted a “quirky Bernal bungalow” on Highland with a backyard pool that just hit that market with a $990K asking price:


Hiding behind an ugly green facade in Bernal Heights is a Craftsman masterpiece filled with period details and surprising touches. And in the backyard is an even bigger surprise: a heated saltwater pool built by the current owner, a New Zealander who loves to swim. Flowers and greenery surround the pool, which includes four exercise jets and was built in 2008. Inside, the home’s Craftsman details are almost entirely intact, with dark wood everywhere, box beam ceilings, and a brick fireplace.

Tiki lanterns sold separately.

Then, if you picked up a copy of last Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle, you might have noticed this brand-new home on Elsie on the cover of the real estate section:


152 Elsie has four levels, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and an asking price of $2.2 million. The Chron gushes:

A staircase made of glass, steel and hardwood connects all four levels, and the ground floor includes a family room with bar area and art niches. Sliding glass doors open to the rear garden, a space with planter boxes and high privacy fences. The lowest level also hosts two bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as the laundry room.

Crowning the home is a master suite with view deck, walk-in closets and a spa-quality bathroom with soaking tub and separate shower. The oblong tub is oriented beneath a window to maximize views of San Francisco’s rolling hills.

Sutro Tower sold separately.

30 thoughts on “Your Bonkers Bernal Heights Real Estate Report for Early Autumn 2014

    • $2.2M would also be the record for the sale for a single family home in Bernal. I don’t think that will happen without parking, no matter how much of a bubble we are currently in.

    • This house was designed for those who are on the wait list for flying cars. And in the meantime they will just have their self-driving cars valet park themselves in your driveway.

      • You can’t deny that this blog has been one of the biggest contributors of attracting techies and affluent a-holes the world over by letting the internet in on the once secret gem known as Bernal Heights. Ok, the New York Times article 5 years ago was also pretty big. Before then, no one outside of the general area knew or cared about Bernal Heights. Now the cat’s outta the bag and if you don’t have the privilege to own, you don’t have a chance to live out your dreams here.

      • Nope. I’m NOT saying that those who came after me are a-holes, I’m saying that this blog has attracted more than its fair share of a-holes to the neighborhood in recent years.
        It sounds like you don’t want to accept responsibility for promoting the neighborhood to the world wide web while you continue to do so.

      • Again, I’m not calling all newbies assholes. But it’s a cryin’ shame how so many have moved to the neighborhood in the past four years.

      • Oh please. You’re validating my original thesis. You don’t know who these folks are or when they arrived, or how they approach our neighborhood. You just resent them because… they drink at a bar that’s not to your taste? Sorry, but that says far, far more about you than it does about them.

        My point is simply this: It’s cranky and arrogant to speak of entire classes of people in such broad strokes. Specifically, it’s just another awful form of entitlement. I know there are very real issues involved here, and very real economics, but that approach does not lend itself to effective and neighborly problem solving.

      • It’s funny because this reminds me of, “I liked this band before it was cool” I’m guilty of that myself, but it seems extra silly to me when talking about neighborhoods. Like living here is like have an exclusive membership to Gilman St. and no one who makes a white collar living should be allowed to join.
        The cat was out of the bag on Bernal whenever they knocked down those housing projects on Army St. It didn’t start with Facebook and Google.

      • Before you get all high and mighty about the new neighbors not being to your taste, throw a little blame at your former neighbors who sold out on the neighborhood dream they robbed you of.

      • Blame the neighbors who lost their homes to foreclosure? Or the neighbors who passed away? Or the one who had to placed in assisted care?
        Anyway, I think I’ll continue to blame the assholes for being assholes. As they say, get fucking used to it, right?

      • imho, Holy Water is a nice addition to the neighborhood, and i have met neighbors there who grew up in bernal or who moved in the 70s, 80s, 90s and more recently.

        blaming todd for promoting the neighborhood is hilarious, just today i heard someone at the good life say, ‘i heard that on bernalwood’. bernalwood is one of the best neighborhood blogs anywhere, its a real neighborhood treasure and we are lucky to have it! bernalwood is kind and charming, just like the best of bernal heights. the views, the weather, great places to hang out, mostly very nice people and mostly great neighbors.

      • – Blame the neighbors who lost their homes to foreclosure?
        Whose fault was that?

        – Or the neighbors who passed away?
        They should have planned better so your vision of the neighborhood was unencumbered.

        – Or the one who had to placed in assisted care?
        Should have planned better for your sake.

    • There are also those who founded the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center to create housing for those who do not have the same privileges as others.

      • I know many of them, too. Funny thing is, it was one of the founders who, when we first went to them for advice on what we thought was egregious activity happening, who first called these particular newbies assholes 😀 We were advised to try to work with them even though they’re assholes, which we did try but that later led to slander and more egregiousness and later authorities being contacted. Because assholes are assholes no matter how you try to work with them…

      • it was one of the founders who, when we first went to them for advice on what we thought was egregious activity happening, who first called these particular newbies assholes

        “You’re assholes who are unfit to share the air you breathe with us locals. Now give us money, please.”

        I can’t imagine why you might face difficulty with your neighbors.

  1. Bernalwood isn’t just ruining Bernal, it’s ruining the whole city!!! Down with Todd! Todd go home! Oh.

    Aaanyway, looks like the below-grade sidewalk on that part of Elsie may have precluded car ingress, but deep down the listing it says there is indeed parking included for $300/month… not sure where:

    Parking Information
    # of Garage Spaces: 1
    Parking Access: Independent
    Lease Parking Fee: $300

    Awesome house, I’d live there.

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