There are currently five single-family homes on the market in San Francisco’s Crocker-Amazon neighborhood, all of which are listed for under $700,000, including 93 Morse, the three-bedroom Arts & Crafts fixer above which just hit the market listed for $549,000.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Futurist

    There ya go.
    To all those, with HIGH incomes, who still say they can’t afford to buy in San Francisco, this is a great example..and a neighborhood that is up and coming.
    The Southern neighborhoods will be like Noe/Glen Park/Bernal are today, in just a few years.

  2. Posted by Rillion

    When we were looking back in 2007 we considered this neighborhood but ultimately decided against it because it felt too suburban for our tastes. I do agree that this neighborhood has a lot of potential.

  3. Posted by Zig

    “The Southern neighborhoods will be like Noe/Glen Park/Bernal are today, in just a few years.”
    I think this is pretty unlikely just due to access and housing stock. Still around Geneva there are some nice homes
    Certainly compared to the Mission the issue in these areas is they are almost totally the wrong type of housing stock

  4. Posted by Craig

    @Rillion: When we were looking around the same time I felt that way about most of Noe even. Further south was even worse.
    Very little of SF proper is actually dense enough to actually feel urban rather than suburban, to me at least. If I wanted to feel like I was living in the burbs I would just move there. At least I would be able to move to one with good schools.

  5. Posted by Futurist

    I find it truly laughable that one would consider Noe, as an example, to feel “suburban”. Is this some kind of a joke? Maybe you’re being sarcastic?
    I may be reading between the lines (somewhat) but dissing these Southern neighborhoods because they are too “suburban” is maybe just another way to say they are not hip and cool enough for us, therefore we still can NOT afford SF.
    At one time Noe, esp the southern part was pretty run down, treeless and “way out there”. and cheap.
    Fast forward now. Look at Upper Noe now. Those neighborhoods further south are just like Noe used to be.
    That house for $549k will be $995k in less than 5 years.

  6. Posted by RonMonster

    The southern areas (Crocker Amazon, Excelsior, Vis Valley, and Little Hollywood) have lots to offer in the sub-million dollar range, but the ‘hoods lack the new era “SF” feel (3rd generation coffee, local-organic cafes, parklets, wine shops, organic grocery). There are plenty of MUNI lines, T-Third LRV, and access to freeways, but they’re definitely another 10 years out from being, say, southern bernal or Portola.
    I’m a little biased, though, since our family has roots there.

  7. Posted by katdip

    Too suburban? OK, it’s not North Beach, SOMA or Nob Hill, but it’s very similar to the vast majority of SF – 25 ft lots, small houses built between 19-teens – 1940s, mostly not detached. This is more urban the Glen Park, and outer Noe. What’s missing is a hip/desirable urban retail district – Mission Street and Geneva have some good places but are not particularly attractive to higher-income folks.

  8. Posted by Craig

    I am just calling it as I see it; reasonable minds may disagree. I used to literally live in the distant burbs of a different US city before moving here in 2006, so I have some first-hand perspective to go on. Noe and all points south feel suburban to me since they are mostly low-rise single family homes and there is generally little street activity on any given residential block there. Sorry to “diss” your neighborhood Futurist, but it is not for me nor is the neighborhood at issue here. Glad that it works for you though.
    I live and own North of the Panhandle since 2007, for reference.

  9. Posted by zig

    “I may be reading between the lines (somewhat) but dissing these Southern neighborhoods because they are too “suburban” is maybe just another way to say they are not hip and cool enough for us, therefore we still can NOT afford SF.”
    No I think it is a spatial argument. San Francisco is structured like a medium sized city despite the pressure to become more dense so these areas like the Excelsior, which were built to be suburbs in the city are now have immigrants crammed into the garages and dinning rooms

  10. Posted by EJ

    Maybe suburban, but all the parking on the sidewalk that you could ever desire.

  11. Posted by Futurist

    Oh, you’re not dissing my neighborhood, you’re narrowly defining what the term “suburban” really means.
    Interesting, but rather amazing to have SF neighborhoods called suburban.
    Sure, it may not be for you. But for those who can’t buy in the hip/cool ‘hoods, (or won’t), these southern areas of SF could be seen as attractive and affordable, and will continually improve as demand rises.

  12. Posted by zig

    I think the point Futurist is the supply of housing doesn’t match the demand in terms of the type of housing people want and need. This is true in other parts of the Bay Area too. A lot of this has to do with zoning
    These areas had some early development along the main streets but mostly were later developed to be suburbs in the city. My Dad’s family as an example moved out of the Mission after WWII. They had three choices basically: Sunset, Excelsior or the Peninsula. In each they would get a single family home. That house in the Excelsior has without a doubt now people crammed into the garage and dinning room and the front yard is paved over

  13. Posted by Craig

    I would say that it is a broad definition of suburban as it encompasses Noe, something others would likely define as not-suburban.
    Like I said, if I wanted to feel like I was living in sluburbia I would just up and move there rather than this Crocker Amazon neighborhood or even Noe. Better schools and all that. (I have kids)

  14. Posted by B

    No interior pictures. Fixer might mean you can’t get a loan. Will probably sell for $600K cash.

  15. Posted by anon

    “…like the Excelsior, which were built to be suburbs in the city are now have immigrants crammed into the garages and dinning rooms”
    This is so true. Essentially every single-family house in the Southern and Western sections of the city is now supporting 1.5 to 3 times the original design capacity in terms of inhabitants. This means people doubling up in bedrooms, living rooms converted to bedrooms, in-laws in the garage, and in-laws in the back yard.
    The ratio of cars to people is also comparatively high, probably about to 1:1.75. Part of the reason for that is the fact that feasible transit options are basically limited to Balboa Bart, Glen Park Bart, 14L bus, and 8X bus, with other busses and Muni trolleys being so slow and/or infrequent that car travel becomes all but essential for most people.
    So with 6-8 people and 3-4 cars for each single-family house, and each house coming with 2-3 parking spaces (including garage, driveway, and street parking out front), you can see why parking on the sidewalk and converting front yards to parking spaces is so popular. Parking is basically issue #1 there, above just about all other concerns.
    In fact, pretty much all the opposition to upzoning these areas comes from neighbors who don’t want to see the parking problem get even worse.

  16. Posted by around1905

    Futurist and others seem to be operating on the assumption that the gentrification/improvement of SF neighborhoods is on an inevitable march southwards.
    Jane Jacobs, in her ‘death and live of great american cities’, had a fair amount to say about which neighborhoods will indeed go up and which will go down. Crocker Amazon’s trajectory is not a forgone conclusion. It is not dense enough to foster the variety of interesting activities that makes for an ‘urban’ neighborhood, yet its too far from the SF core to benefit from the traffic of folks en route to other, presently more interesting places…

  17. Posted by Joel

    Crocker-Amazon/Excelsior’s future is directly linked to how the Hunter’s Pt. & Candlestick developments play out. Many of these new residents will venture west to go to CCSF or SF State. The only east-west routes are 280, Alemany, or Ocean-Geneva. That might put pressure to improve transit along those routes and even upzone.

  18. Posted by Rillion

    To further clarify what felt ‘suburban’ to us about this neighborhood was mainly having to take a freeway or a train (BART/MUNI) to get downtown. Our jobs were/are downtown and east bay. Our friends are all in upper market/castro. It was also more a neighborhood where we would have done most of our shopping by getting in a car and driving. To us that felt like more a suburban lifestyle. Instead we bought in the Western Addition.

  19. Posted by redseca2

    For me, suburban is getting in a car to go grab a coffee or buy a sack of groceries and urban is when it is actually easier to walk.
    By that token, San Francisco can be really mixed up with definitions (for me) changing block by block.
    I would probably be happier on Morse Street a half block from Mission than Edgewood Avenue in the Upper Haight or Grand View in the Castro or Laidley in Noe Valley.
    I have/had friends who moved to each of those desirable and seemingly urban and central addresses and quickly realized they might as well have moved to Fairfax in Marin County for their new found dependence on their cars for everything.
    A couple moved within the first year.

  20. Posted by Futurist

    Yes, I do think the gentrification/improvement of SF neighborhoods is an inevitable march southwards. Absolutely.
    Noe, Glen Park and Bernal (as examples) were not trendy/hip/cool and gentrified neighborhoods 20-30 years ago. Fact. They were working class.
    I don’t believe, nor do I advocate a HUGE change in density in our residential neighborhoods. Density and height can and will occur along major transit routes/popular streets, and in Soma, Vanness and downtown. That will serve many people who choose to live in a condo/high rise or midrise.
    Families/couples of all kinds who want a house will still want a house. The southern neighborhoods are full of such domiciles. As they slowly gentrify with new, younger well off people, along with cafes, WF, TJ, etc. those areas will become popular. They will be adjacent to all the huge development that will be happening south of Mission Bay/Dogpatch.
    Demand and desirability will happen out there.
    And I don’t subscribe to everything Jane Jacobs said about our city. She didn’t foresee tech/money/young shaping San Francisco, as it is and will.

  21. Posted by Jill

    Noe is totally suburban

  22. Posted by noe mom

    Here is a little historic perspective from a transplanted Easterner.
    When we moved out from the NE quadrant of the City to our single family home in Noe Valley in the mid 1980s, and this is what some here are calling Upper Noe (or south of 24th Street) we had lived within walking distance of the Financial District for 0ver 7 years.
    I did feel like I was moving to the suburbs. You betcha. That is not a knock but just a reaction to the feel of the neighborhood and the fact that we now had to rely on transit to get Downtown. I can understand why some may still have that feeling.
    As for the Excelsior/Crocker Amazon a lot of their development was spurred on my upwardly mobile people from North Beach in the 1920s and 1930s. They had a choice between the Marina or the Excelsior/Crocker Amazon. Many chose the more southern neighborhoods because there were still farms out there. But apparently the price differential between the two areas, Marina or the southern neighborhoods was about the same.
    Obviously they may become very desirable due to high prices in Noe/Mission and elsewhere and their great access to 280 and 101.
    WIth regard to CCSF and their “accreditation problem” I wonder if that isn’t really some kind of land grab to develop all that property as well as the reservoir out there??

  23. Posted by Average Joe

    I live out this way, bought relatively recently, and agree with what’s being said. It is far less energetic than other, more desirable neighborhoods. It has a profusion of illegal rentals. The retail mix is decidedly more down-scale and less interesting (how many uninspired pizza joints can realistically be supported by the Mission/Geneva area – I count at least 6), and its future is far from certain.
    The supervisor for this area likes politics and grandstanding, and will never allow it to become vibrant because that would be “gentrification” (ohh, scary).
    Balboa Park is the worst possible design for a major transit hub that I can imagine (multiple bus and light rail lines, a subway, a freeway, and a arterial street).
    Cow Palace needs to be revamped, Sunnydale needs to be dealt with, Schlage Lock needs to complete, etc, etc, etc.
    On the positive side: little fog, layout (against hills) provides room for height/density without ruining “character”, McClaren Park, etc, etc, etc.
    It could go either way, but will probably stumble blindly along for another couple decades.

  24. Posted by Sam

    Personally I think the Excelsior is fine, and would be ok buying there if it’s still reasonable a few years from now. I also like Portola, the commercial streets there are really interesting and rapidly acquiring hipsters (not many people realize this). I’m fine with Bayview also, and have considered trying to buy a place near the T sooner rather than later. I can’t quite convince the girlfriend since it’s still a fairly violent part of town.

  25. Posted by anon2

    “Futurist and others seem to be operating on the assumption that the gentrification/improvement of SF neighborhoods is on an inevitable march southwards.”
    Looking nationally, I’d say that there are many neighborhoods across the country that people expect to gentrify strongly, and I don’t think national economics will support this across the board. Some will and some won’t.
    Again from the Bloomberg article, “But I can also tell a story in which people are paying more than they should for houses in my neighborhood on the assumption that today’s $750,000 house will be tomorrow’s $1.5 million retirement fund, even though incomes in DC can’t really support an entire city’s worth of seven-figure homes. “
    Two points though, Crime is a big destroyer of neighborhoods and property values. And there has been a pronounced and long lasting decline in crime in the US. A decline that has survived even in the face of economic recessions. I feel this will certainly provide a tailwind for urban home prices going forward.
    Secondly, in areas like this with large numbers of illegal conversions home prices can be deceptive. A $600k home could house three families, each of which effectively being about to afford a $200k home, or it could house one family that can afford a $600k home. Gentrification can be occurring in this way even with no apparent change in home prices.

  26. Posted by MossyBuddha

    as a neighbor of the Shipyard’s northern end I’ll disagree about the pull of Crocker-Amazon to HPS’ future residents. The only way in and out of HPS is Innes/HP Blvd/Evans and that inevitably takes you either into the Mission via Cesar Chavez or through Dogpatch/Mission Bay up 3rd Street. With Dogpatch developing at the rate that it is its inevitable that the “gravity” will be there. Geneva has some development potential but the impetus will be Schlage Lock and the Brisbane Baylands, not HPS/Candlestick.

  27. Posted by eddy

    I’ve spent some time in this area recently and it is very nice. Lots of ownership pride and nice landscaping. Parks are great. Lots are a little on the smaller side but very nice. Feels like a neighborhood.

  28. Posted by poor.ass.millionaire

    A lot of interesting comments here. My take:
    1- agree with futurist. Basically people who want an SF zip code, and don’t want a cramped condo/tic (nor pay north of $1.5mil for a nice SFH) will be looking more and more in D10. It’s already happening, and unless our economy tanks soon, it will continue.
    2- the “suburban” debate is all relative. Yes, twin peaks, glen park, Crocker, etc. you need to use your car a lot. But that is different than milpitas or concord! You still have public transport, a dense feel, and a short drive to DT, etc. it’s different than living in the mish or north beach, but to each his own.
    3- D10 is (slowly) getting better restaurants and interesting cafés. The big resistance was the 08-11 recession, but now entrepreneurs are investing again in interesting retail.
    4- to those who live in Bayview or know it well, how do you discern which areas of BV are better than others? To me it literally feels block by block, as opposed to a specific area, say north or south on 3rd, or eastern/western side of 3rd. Also, any word on when the Griffith projects and the ones between palou/oakdale are scheduled to be torn down? Dem is some serious hood!

  29. Posted by Young Tech Guy

    ^ weighing on the state of D10 when you didn’t even know the difference between Mission Terrace and Exelsior?

  30. Posted by poor.ass.millionaire

    A- it’s “Excelsior”. Learn to spell correctly first before you attempt to criticize.
    B- I have my own perspective on the differences, but wanted to pose the question open ended to the guy who lives there.

  31. Posted by Futurist

    Ok, yea, I guess I live in “suburban” Noe Valley. Bummer.
    And I walk all the time to WF to buy groceries. I walk to the bank, I walk to Martha’s for coffee. I walk to the farmers market Saturday morning. I hop on the J to go downtown.
    I use my car when we take off for Tahoe or Sonoma or Santa Cruz.
    Yea, it’s real suburban out here. Must be suburban envy.

  32. Posted by TEJ

    Suburban means grass on all four sides of the house and nothing within walking diatance expect perhaps a neighborhood park.
    How much for the truck?

  33. Posted by Young Tech Guy

    Because the internet is a typo free zone, right dude? You’re hilarious.

  34. Posted by Brian M

    The internet certainly is a holier-than-thou more-local-than-you zone.

  35. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The sale of 93 Morse closed escrow yesterday with a reported contract price of $700,000.

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