On the surface this sounds like an easy question to answer. That’s because San Francisco neighborhoods generally have a main commercial street which the neighborhood radiates out from, with hills, major traffic arteries, and/or freeways drawing its boundaries.
The San Francisco Association of REALTORS® (SFAR) map divides the city into numbered and lettered areas for real estate purposes. Some areas like Bernal Heights, District 9A, have boundaries that are sometimes difficult to understand.
Bernal Heights—which is south of the Inner Mission—is known for having a friendly commercial street with shops, cafés, and even a library branch on Cortland Street. The weather is generally warmer than much of the city and the homes are smaller too. Today a home there can be found for $700K or less.
Recently, I’ve held Sunday open houses at 66 Cuvier Street in Bernal Heights—or District 9A as noted on the SFAR map. Normally this isn’t a neighborhood that is thought of as within walking distance to BART, but 66 Cuvier Street is actually a short walk to and from the Glen Park station.
While chatting with buyers at my open house, the question came up: “Exactly where is Bernal Heights?” The house was clearly about a mile from the neighborhood’s central commercial area and only a few blocks from the Glen Park Village. Therefore, I answered with: “According to the SFAR map, you’re IN Bernal Heights.” This particular district has what one buyer called a “tongue” that reaches out south of the central neighborhood.
The moral of this story is, look closely at the SFAR real estate map to define your search when shopping for a home. That “southern tongue” in Bernal Heights, District 9A is closer to the Glen Park BART station than some parts of Glen Park, which SFAR lists as District 5C.
The SFAR map can be found online, but it’s always best to have a hard copy to spread out and make notes on. If you’d like your own copy, just give me a call and we can make a plan to meet and go over the map, or any other San Francisco neighborhoods.
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