My goodness, it's been a while since our last stage. If you were to drive the districts of our city in the order that we have featured them on this tour, you'd be amazed at how truly different one is from the other. This week is no exception. If you drive from Westwood Park into Sunnyside your world is going to turn upside down. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it is just amazing how a street can be so much more than just a street. It can literally be the border between cultures, income brackets, and lifestyles. That border being Ridgewood. Trees suddenly become less abundant, cement shows up in places it shouldn't (front yards), and cars suddenly crowd the streets and your sights.
Home on Gennesee
When we tour Sunnyside, the differences we notice south of Monterey Blvd are striking from that which we notice north of Monterey. Homes on the south side are much more run down, there are a lot of concrete front yards, cars are parked everywhere, the area feels much more dense, and there is much less greenery. That doesn't mean there aren't a few standout homes and homeowners loving their location and taking care of their investment. However, from outsiders looking in, the evidence is there.
Homes on Staples looking east
Homes on Hearst near Congo/Detroit
Homes on the bottom of Staples
Lots of terraced yards
Amazingly enough, if you cross over Monterey to the north there is that much more pride of ownership and the area feels much more "neighborhoody", if you know what we mean.
Joost (Named after the guy that "founded" Sunnyside)
Different variations of the same thing (Joost)
Views to the south from Corner of Baden and Mangels
Homes on Baden
Again, exceptions apply, such as this home on the corner of Baden and Mangels
If you think about it, and refer to the map above, the less desirable and more dense areas of this district are closer to the I-280 (makes sense). As you get further away from this side of the district, and consequently closer to Glen Park, Miraloma Park, and Westwood Highlands you get much more of that "San Francisco" feel so many of you seek.
Homes in this area are generally around 1300-1400 square feet, and you can actually find some pretty good deals for your money here. Some homes sell quickly, and some sit. The ones that tend to fly off the shelf are either priced extremely low or one of two more things...in total disrepair, or complete turnkey, move right in. The homes that are kind of in the middle of this range tend to sit a bit longer. This is one area of the city that tends to see a little bit more susceptability to market fluctuations such as the recent "credit crunch" we're experiencing.
Let's talk weather for a second. Whoever named this area "sunny" side was clearly off their rocker. ;-) Summertime is shrouded in fog, and there is a pretty brisk wind that blows from west to east through this area from Spring until Fall...the same wind that plagues the entire city, so don't think Sunnyside gets the short end of the stick. Beyond that, there are pockets of this area that are relatively protected from the wind, so don't rule it out if wind isn't your thing.
The commercial area closest to Sunnyside is Monterey Blvd, which happens to be a wide four lane road lined with trees on both sides, and down the middle. There are some great restaurants on this street, as well as all the conveniences you've come to love. It's quite nice, really. Something else to note is that a large percentage of this district houses the campus of San Francisco City College, but if you pick a home north of Monterey, you'll hardly know it is there.
This is the only part of town where you can order money, cash a check, eat coffee and donuts, and chase it back with a slushpuppy 24 hours a day. ;-)
That ought to give you a pretty good taste for the area. As with anything in life, if you're going to jump in, don't trust one opinion. We invite you to drive or walk the area on your own should you be considering a purchase here.
We're out...have a good weekend, and thanks for reading.