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West Portal's coming up in the world

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Those in the know recognize West Portal as a quaint, walkable retail and residential district. It looks, however, as though those in the know are increasing in numbers. That’s according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which reports that while off the beaten path, the neighborhood, among others, is beginning to appeal more strongly to buyers.

So what exactly is going on? According to the Chron, an informal survey reveals that agents are finding that the latest up-and-coming areas for buyers, in addition to West Portal, include the Excelsior, Crocker-Amazon and Mission Terrace. In the article, the Chron questions whether West Portal is the new Noe Valley.

I would say that West Portal’s walkability factor plays a large role in its appreciation. The architecture comes from a later period than Noe; stucco bungalows and large gracious Mediterranean homes are common. It’s not unusual to find ones that have the magic three bedrooms and two bathrooms on one level – and those are the ones that are going for a premium.

As for West Portal Avenue, it enjoys a light-rail stop on one end and is lined with coffee shops, restaurants and some retail stores. It has not yet gone upscale in terms of the businesses and products they sell. The main reason West Portal seems like a value is the weather. It is west of Twin Peaks and gets more fog.

“All these neighborhoods are close to public transportation and major transit corridors, as well as parks,” Eugene Pak of Climb Real Estate told the Chron. “They provide easy access to freeways and everyday amenities such as grocery stores and cafes. Also, these neighborhoods are part of or immediately adjacent to new development.”

Kevin Birmingham of Park North Real Estate Group chimed in that West Portal is becoming a likely alternative for already-hot neighborhoods such as Noe Valley. What’s your opinion?

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email cblase@paragon-re.com. www.ceceblase.com

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