Cheaper alternative neighbourhoods to Noe Valley in SFO?

We're moving from Vancouver to the valley & really excited about living in SF. Specifically, we really want to live in Noe Valley because it seems like everyone says it's great for young families (my wife & I have the cutuest 1 year old son in the whole world, & another one coming in april - don't know if he'll take over the cutest hall of fame - will let you know) - however the price for rent is crazy ($4K/month seems to be the minimum for a 3BR apartment).

My wife doesn't want to go out of SF, since that's one of the main reasons we're moving from Canada. So what are your thoughts on any similar neighborhoods in SF? Ideally, we're looking for
1) shops, cafes, bakeries, boutique stores all within walking distances (1-2 blocks)
2) lots of other families with younger children
3) proximity to the Google shuttles (
4) great community & laid back lifestyle
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual and not those of StreetAdvisor.
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2 Answers

Sunset might be a little bit worse in terms of crime, but not much. The farther east and north in you go in Noe the more dangerous it gets as you approach the Mission, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in SF (I think they get more yearly murders than the Tenderloin--which most people consider, along with Hunters Point, to be the most dangerous spots in SF.)

It is definitely foggier. Your have a line of hills and small mountains on the western end of Noe that create a sort of barrier so that it is not quite as foggy as the Sunset. Noe is actually known as one of the sunnier spots in SF.

As to deciding whether to live in the City or not, it all comes down to how much you want to, of course. The practical solution without regard to the romance of living in the City is to just live down by where you work where it is far more suburban, safer, and warmer (the fog breaks at around San Bruno and you get a real mountain range for separation), and to head into the city for weekend fun.

With a kid and wife, I think that would be what I would do. (San Jose, btw, has many attractions of its own. It is actually bigger than SF and has museums and theaters and restaurants as well.)

Good luck.
1 vote
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual and not those of StreetAdvisor.
StBloomSF 2yrs+
If I were you I would try in the Sunset District to the west of Noe Valley. Rents are a little more subdued there and you will still find some coffee shops and such especially in the Inner Sunset up by University of SF. You are close to Haight Ashbury and Golden Gate Park up there. It is not Noe Valley--but nothing affordable is.

There is a Google shuttle on 19th and Taraval. You are a little bit farther from North Beach and Mission but public transportation is good and schools are pretty good around there as well. (Other possibilities are keeping an eye out in Potrero Hill and Bernal--but you rarely see a steal in those places these days.)

Crime, however, is lower the farther you get from the center of SF so that is a plus.

The difference is substantial though. You can find a 2 bedroom there for under $2K no problem. (You might also try Diamond Heights or Twin Peaks--I just saw a 2 bedroom on Zillow listed at $2.4K in Diamond Heights. Not within walking distance of anything though.)

Good luck!
1 vote
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual and not those of StreetAdvisor.
jonchui Thanks for the great answer

Our area specialist mentioned sunset has less sun and more crime. True?

I guess this might be off topic but is it even worth staying in sf if I'm working down in mountain view and will have 1.5 hour commutes one way?
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