6.9 out of 10

Balboa Terrace

Ranked 64th best neighborhood in San Francisco
37.7312260223687 -122.467811999289
Great for
  • Schools
  • Clean & Green
  • Pest Free
  • Medical Facilities
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Cost of Living
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Well-Placed Hidden Gem"

Balboa Terrace is one of those neighborhoods that you can’t quite believe when you visit. It has old historic homes—lots of them are in the Mission or Mediterranean style and they give you a feeling of an extremely orderly elegance. The perfectly kept lawns will often have squat palm trees, and on garbage day, the garbage cans are all perfectly lined up along the sidewalks, like lines of soldiers at attention.

This is definitely a homeowner’s neighborhood. Though you might find some moderately affordable housing at the edges of the neighborhood, you will be hard pressed to find any homes for rent in the middle of this neighborhood. And if census records are correct, this is really a neighborhood for the super-wealthy with the average household income being well into the six figures.

On the west side of the neighborhood is Commodore Sloat Elementary—which is housed in really attractive mission style buildings as well and right next to a similarly housed YMCA. It’s always hard to tell with elementary schools, but it looks as if they are definitely doing their job there—test scores place them well into the 90th percentile across the board.

Nearby Aptos Middle School is a lot more of a mixed bag. It is a solid school, but test scores are only slightly above average. They are hardly the soaring scores that you would expect from such a well-off neighborhood.

What does this neighborhood have to offer?

For High Powered Professional Couples—For those high powered couples where one has a job in downtown SF and the other has to commute down to Stanford or Silicon Valley this neighborhood is just far enough south where the commute is not too bad for the south bound half. Of course, to own a home here you would have to have the salary of two high powered professionals. You are also very close to the all the restaurants and entertainment of the city without actually having the hassles associated with it.

For Well-Off Families—Balboa Terrace offers the kind of neighborhood that is also perfect for families in that it is relatively safe as far as city living goes and has solid schools. (Though, of course, if you are well off enough to live in this neighborhood, you are probably well-off enough to send you kids to private school should you choose.)

Really, this little mentioned neighborhood is exactly the kind of hidden gem that people so often look for.
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Great Location
  • Good Schools
Cons
  • Very Expensive
  • NO Rentals
  • No Nightlife--Not for Singles
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Small quiet area"

Balboa Terrace is just a lovely place in general. I have a relative who lives around the area that I visit frequently. And every time I pass by this neighborhood I receive a very lively sensation, strange. But I guess it could be because of the lively suburban aura that the neighborhood releases. Yes, the area is very suburban-styled, the homes are set up so that they are apart, and the lawns are nice and green and rich with colorful flowers. Living here would be a great way to raise a family. With this said, a family raised here can have their kids (at the appropriate age) attend Aptos Middle School which is just due East of Balboa Terrace. I have never figured this out, but there is also a school in the neighborhood, from what I’ve seen it looks to be an elementary school, sadly I’ve never figured out the name of this school.

Balboa Terrace also lies right next to Ocean Avenue, although the portion of Ocean Avenue they are connected with does not have as many restaurants and stores, it is only a short walk to reach that certain part of Ocean Avenue. There is also a church and easily accessible public transportation.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"I recommend this neighborhood to anyone with money to spare"

Balboa Terrace is a very nice neighborhood, but it also looks to be very expensive. There are a lot of very cool homes with a very romantic feeling. These homes were built in the 20’s with lots of attention placed on creative, classy home appearance. There is a thread of Spanish design that runs through the architecture. But if you are buying a home in Balboa Terrace, be prepared to spend.

According to City Data in 2008, the average income is $164,000. This is more than double of the average person’s income in San Francisco, which is roughly $73,000. These statistics mean that your neighbors in this part of town will typically be making a very good income.

The streets are very clean and people seem friendly in Balboa Terrace. You will find nicely manicured gardens and hedges. For the amount of tranquility that you get in this neighborhood, you also get a lot of convenience that comes with the big city. You are close by the City College of San Francisco and also San Francisco State University. You also are close to golfing on the coast. And if you live in Balboa Terrace, chances are fairly high that you like golfing.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"The perfect place to trick or treat"

Balboa Terrace is very suburban and feels that way. Tons of trees and homes with small manicured front yards make this neighborhood very family friendly. Yes, it is the perfect place to raise a family. Trick-or-treating is spectacular in Balboa Terrace as neighbors actually take time to get to know other neighbors.

Most San Franciscans are friendly by nature, but Balboa Terrace seems to house them all. The sidewalks are always clean and trash is kept at a minimum, unlike other neighborhoods when the wind picks up. Homes in Balboa Terrace are a hot commodity and often times bidding wars can occur when in the market to buy. It is doubtful you'll find anything under one million dollars in Balboa Terrace.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5
2yrs+

"Quiet Retreat in the City"

Like it's neighboring area, St. Francis Wood, Balboa Terrace is a delightful area filled with lovely streets, trees, bold houses and a general feeling of fiscally comfortable people living there. The area is conveniently located near 280 for easy retreats to the south and following 19th Avenue north to the Golden Gate makes a Napa retreat a breeze. The southern part of this neighborhood is bordered by Ocean Avenue, providing access to some smaller shops and food establishment. This area deserves a 4.5 star rating, not a 4.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids

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Best Streets in Balboa Terrace

1

Darien Way

4/5
"Some of the nicest homes in the city"
37.7317867807838 -122.46683726851
2

Aptos Ave

2.5/5
"Noisy and busy with traffic before and after school hours"
37.7299365784562 -122.466406538913

Unranked Streets in Balboa Terrace

"Beautiful houses on this street"
37.7312745876719 -122.465231791922
"Quiet street with huge houses in San Francisco's prominent St. Francis Woods district!"
37.7311029556314 -122.467898056977

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