San Francisco’s Next Hot Home Buying Area

July 29, 2020

San Francisco’s Next Hot Home Buying Area

Forest Hill and Forest Hill Extension are undergoing a transformation. More and more young families are moving in by buying and modernizing the existing homes in this peaceful and country-like environment. It seems that Forest Hill and Forest Hill Extension are respites within the City and only now being discovered by buyers and developers. No telling what list prices will soon look like for their houses. For now the homes of Forest Hill and Forest Hill Extension offer its residents good value. Newly constructed homes are being built and there are plans for more developments to come in the market.  As buyers look for value, with homes in large lots tranquility and volume, they find themselves choosing Forest Hill and Forest Hill Extension. 

Forest Hill and Forest Hill Extension have the urban/suburban feel where one can find only single family homes with large lots and no condominium or multi-tenancy complexes.  Its lucky residents enjoy the strolls on its quiet streets and country-like lanes with lush landscapes, huge lots and towering mature trees. However, changes are imminent as young couples and families are discovering the value in  Forest Hill and Forest Hill Extension homes.  Evidence of this change are the parked construction trucks along the streets and noises of hammers and building equipment heard throughout the neighborhoods.

Forest Hill and Forest Hill Extension are part of San Francisco’s rich real estate development history. Adolpho Sutro was a German-American engineer, politician and philanthropist who served as the 24th mayor of San Francisco from 1895 until 1897. Adolpho owned and planted the trees in the Forest Hills area.  The land was sold to developers after Adolpho died and Mark Daniels, a landscape architect,  developed the Forest Hill neighborhood master plan.  Bernard Maybeck, a celebrated California architect, designed the Forest Hill neighborhood clubhouse and many other renowned architects designed numerous Forest Hill homes. 

In October 1912, Newell-Murdoch donated and deeded 21 building lots to the City of San Francisco with the agreement that San Francisco build the Laguna Honda subway station. In 1918, The Laguna Honda subway station opened, promising a quick commute to downtown, while the developers were building homes with large lots in a man-made forest. 

When the streets and first homes were being constructed in the early 20th century, the developers advertised the district as a place where residents could have a “country home within the city,” a neighborhood graced by mature trees, decorative stairways, benches, and flower urns. It was, and today still remains, a neighborhood exclusively of single-family residences. Houses set back from the street and separated from each other by a mandated number of feet.

A century later, most of the ideals promoted by the early developer still hold in Forest Hill and Forest Hill Extension. Many of the neighborhoods’ homes are among the most beautiful and historically significant in San Francisco, representing a cross-section of early-to-mid-20th century architecture, as well as distinctive examples of regional design with proportions, rhythms and scale. The trees and landscaping have matured beautifully with age while street furniture and pedestrian steps are tastefully maintained.

Today Forest Hill and Forest Hill Extension are like a museum of fine homes with large lots designed by some of the most notable architects of the 20th century. An area where the blocks reflect the handiwork of Bernard Maybeck, Julia Morgan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Henry Hill. Where the leafy streets and stairways are a legacy of landscape architect Mark Daniel. 

Though Forest Hill and Forest Hill Extension may once have touted its exclusivity as a selling point, today they play up as urban oases with towering trees and homes with big landscaped lots that embrace nature, much like an urban park. They are also among the least densely populated neighborhoods in San Francisco and have a feel of the country, with less traffic, tall and mature trees, homes with grassy medians, curving lanes, stairways, landscaping features and parks. The homes aren’t blandly laid out in rectangular blocks like the neighborhoods of Noe Valley and Bernal Heights or like other densely populated areas of the City. The homes have character and neighbours are friendly. 

The next San Francisco real estate trend may have been established.  Young families are moving into Forest Hill and Forest Hill Extension. Playing children can be heard everywhere.  Families, young couples, parents with strollers and dogs walk the streets enjoying the close-knit residents who look out for not only themselves but for their little piece of town and country as well. The Forest Hill and Forest Hill Extension homes still offer to buyers very good value and moving forward we may see a very good appreciation in the real estate value for Forest Hill and Forest Hill Extension.

Developers have discovered this friendly neighborhood that offers value homes. They purchase older, detached homes on lots larger than the average San Francisco lot and modernize them. The extraordinary home of 42 Dorantes Ave was purchased and developed into an expansive, beautiful home that is now under contract and pending to close in the summer of 2020. Another outstanding development currently for sale is 127 Edgehill Way . It offers a luxurious, open floor plan and voluminous spaces and boasts views of the hills and ocean.  Its architectural expression is positioned in a natural, retreat-like setting. More developments are currently in the building or planning process, cementing the start of San Francisco’s next real estate trend.

Like in the early 1900s and throughout San Francisco real estate history, developers plan and build when they are confident that their investment will be profitable and that the trends are in their favor. Today, we see the developers modernizing older homes one project at a time and they are using private capital to do so. Although some may have a hard time seeing this change as positive, others will recognize that the positive is that home values throughout Forest Hill and Forest Hill Extension will appreciate. 

Dennis Stavropoulos, Founder | Sterling Homes Real Estate |

Forest Hill Heights of San Francisco

Forest Hill Heights of San Francisco, CA

Forest Hill Club House designed by Bernard Maybeck

Forest Hill Home designed by Bernard Maybeck

View of Forest Hill of San Francisco hillside view from Forest Hill Extension

127 Edgehill Way, San Francisco, CA

Evening View of Forest Hill from Forest Hill Extension of San Francisco, CA

Forest Hill Extension of San Francisco, CA

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