Thursday, January 31, 2008

Haight Ashbury

Continuing through District 5 in our neighborhood series, we come to 5B, or Haight Ashbury. The Haight is a neighborhood that is internationally known for the hippy movement of the sixties. Musicians such as Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, and the Greatful Dead all lived within blocks of the famous Haight/Ashbury intersection. There is actually a building currently on the market on Lyon between Page and Oak that advertises on the listing the fact that Janis Joplin's former residence was just two blocks away.

This neighborhood is bordered by the panhandle to the north and Golden Gate Park to the west, so greenery is all around you. It includes the area around UCSF (University of California Medical Center) and parts of Cole Valley. Buena Vista park and Divisadero are the south eastern borders.

You will definitely not be without things to do in this area. If you enjoy the outdoors, Golden Gate Park is a wonderful place to explore. Visit on a car free weekend afternoon where the main road in the park is closed to automobiles and allows you to bike, skate, or just walk through and enjoy the fresh air. You may also stop and visit one of the many attractions such as the Japanese Tea Garden, the Flower Conservatory, or the de Young Museum just to name a few. The children's playground was recently given a major face lift and is quite amazing.

If you're feeling more like shopping, eating, or drinking, the Haight has an unlimited supply of options as well. On and around Haight Street you will find restaurants, cafes, shops, bars, a movie theater, and even a few bed & breakfasts for the tourists. You can do everything on Haight street from selling your clothing to one of the exchange stores like Crossroads or Buffalo Exchange to filling an eyeglass prescription at City Optix. Among the tourist shops, tattoo shops, and smoke shops, you can also find boutique style clothing stores such as Ambiance or Behind the Post Office as well as upscale vintage clothing such as La Rosa.

How about housing you ask? The majority of the housing available in this area are condominiums or TICs (Tenancy in Common). There are single family homes, but only a handful at a time which range in price from one to three million. The average price for a condo is about $785,000. What does that get you? At the moment there is nothing available in that price range (what a surprise). You could get a one bedroom TIC on Carl Street for $529,000. This is a top floor unit with a remodeled kitchen and is located in the Cole Valley or southwestern corner of the Haight. This is a very popular and upscale neighborhood with eateries and wine and cheese shops lining Cole Street. You also benefit from the J Church Muni train which will take you downtown in minutes.

A step up in price will get you a three bedroom condominium on Oak Street at Shrader. It is a large top floor flat with high ceilings and a wonderful shared garden. It also overlooks the panhandle. It has a lot of original charm including two fireplaces. There is in unit laundry and extra storage in the basement, but no parking. It is listed at $899,000.

Jumping up once more in price, the newest listing in the same spot is this wonderful three bedroom condominium located on Belvedere at Frederick. It is also a top floor unit that has recently gone through the condo conversion process. It is completely remodeled and has plenty of storage and closet space. There is parking, however it is leased for $250 a month. The list price for this unit is $1,049,000.

For school options, there aren't any public schools directly in this neighborhood, but it is centrally located and surrounded by neighborhoods such as the Sunset and Richmond which have many great public school options. There are private school options, one of which is the French International school located on Ashbury. Lycee Francais La Perouse offers classes from two years prior to kindergarten all the way through twelfth grade. Another private school option is the Urban School of San Francisco located on Page St. This is a very well respected and high ranking private high school.

That ends our tour of the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. Please contact the VanFenton Team if you want more information on any of the properties listed above.

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