Moving to a More Affordable Neighborhood Near San Francisco, CA

by Carson BuckAugust 7, 2017

San Francisco Real Estate Is Expensive, But These Neighborhoods Offer Some Relief

San Francisco, California is one of the most desirable places to live in the U.S. It has culture and charm by the boatload and as for a more welcoming city, you’d be hard-pressed to find one more accommodating than SF.

But truth be told, San Francisco’s real estate is also among the most expensive in the country. It makes one believe that they need to be among the 1% if they want to live here. Thankfully, this isn’t the case. There are some neighborhoods just outside of San Francisco where you can find more affordable housing and still be close enough to Downtown to enjoy everything San Francisco has to offer. Here are three of the best for you to consider.


Temescal is actually located in the Oakland area but it’s just 30 minutes away from San Francisco. Formed in the late 1800s, Temescal is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Oakland. It is similar to San Francisco’s Mission District in that it’s culturally diverse and considered a go-to destination, thanks to its trendy restaurants and boutiques.

In fact, in the area around Telegraph Avenue and 51st Street, you’ll find what the locals consider the East Bay’s second Gourmet Ghetto with such beloved eateries as Pizzaiolo, Burma Superstar, Bakesdale Betty, and Sura. As for real estate in Temescal, you’ll find a varied selection of housing available, but the neighborhood is largely made up of condominiums and single-family homes.


Millbrae gets its name from it being the home of the Darius Ogden Mills Estate (which is no longer standing) and from the word “brae” which is Scottish for “rolling hills,” of which the area has plenty. This city exudes a small-town atmosphere thanks to its traditional residential neighborhoods, good schools, and safe streets.

Millbrae is just 30 minutes away from San Francisco by car, but it is also served by public transportation options like BART, SamTrans, and Caltrain. Millbrae sports plenty of locally owned businesses, restaurants, grocery stores, and shops. It also hosts the Millbrae Art & Wine Festival every year around Labor Day weekend, and is home to the Green Hills Country Club, which was designed by famed golf course architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie.

The housing in Millbrae is similar to that of Temescal, and consists largely of condos and single-family homes.


Novato is about an hour’s drive away from San Francisco, but the quality of life in this city makes the drive well worth it. Novato is one of the most popular places to live in Marin County thanks to its impeccable views of the San Pablo Bay and its stellar collection of restaurants, including local favorites Grazie Restaurant, Wildfox Restaurant, and the scenic Hilltop 1892. There are also dozens of specialty stores, many of which are owned and operated by locals.

The city’s economy is one of the strongest in the area, largely due to the growing number of high-tech, bio-tech, and software firms moving in. Novato is also home to the county’s largest employer, The Firemen’s Fund as well as the innovative Buck Center for Research and Aging. Along Highway 101, you’ll find a cluster of retailers sure to satisfy your every need and with several parks, golf courses, marinas, and museums in and around Novato, you’ll never be without something fun and entertaining to do.

The real estate in Novato is reasonably affordable, especially for the area, with most single-family homes priced to sell in the $700-$900k range. True to California’s housing market, there are also plenty of condominiums available in Novato with prices averaging in the $375k-$575k range.
For many people living outside of California, the above neighborhoods might still seem expensive, but when you compare them with the real estate prices in San Francisco, you’ll see just how affordable these communities really are. So, if you’re planning on moving to San Francisco, take a moment to look beyond the city itself and you just might find your ideal home or condo in a more affordable market. is the place to dream and discover your ideal home! Are you starting to get the itch to look for your first or next home, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place! Browse our real estate and lifestyle blog for home buying tips, mortgage guides, DIY ideas, interior design, lifestyle topics, general home inspiration, or just some homes fun. We are sure you can scratch that itch and find all the information and tools you need to help in your home search. Want to start looking at available real estate right now? Head to our home page and check out homes for sale or rent listings all over the country. Happy house hunting!

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About The Author
Carson Buck
Carson is a real estate agent based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Carson loves data and market research, and how readily available it is in today's world. He is passionate about interpreting these insights to help his clients find and buy their perfect home. Carson got into the real estate industry because he loves the feeling of handing over the keys to a new home to happy clients. In his free time, he works on his backyard bonsai garden and spends time with his wife, Julia.

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