I Could Live Here: Bernal Heights Beauty
Last weekend I ventured up to Bernal Heights to babysit the adorable son of a good friend. It was one of those treks that necessitated the Vespa, as buses or bikes aren't really adequate if you don't want to spend an hour traveling across the city. Bernal Heights is far and high-up and sleepy…but once I got there all those facts started to seem less like complaints and more like charms.
For starters, my friend, who also happens to be an interior designer, has a lovely house, with pretty light and comfy furniture and a sunny back patio. Also, I could take the baby on a scenic and peaceful walk around the neighborhood without getting screamed at by an unstable homeless person or offered Class B narcotics. Although I didn't take the baby for said walk because lesson number one I learned about having a baby around is that time is violently sucked into an abyss.
But I swear this is about real estate. The very next day I spotted a listing for this home for sale just a few blocks away. I couldn't help but start dreaming, especially because its modern facade and smooth gray walls are far less intimidating than the sometimes crumbling, centuries-old gems that are usually up for sale in that area.
With my own baby scheduled to make its appearance in less than three months, I was wooed by all of its suburban charms, such as the spacious garage, bi-level fenced-in back patio, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and an unbelievably upgraded kitchen.
The windows look a little small and sparse in a few rooms, but others (like the open plan kitchen, living and dining room that open onto the patio) make up for it.
The new appliances and modern fixtures are all there, but they wouldn't necessarily be what I would pick if I were starting from scratch. In the kitchen, the floors, cabinets and tile are all lovely, but seem a strange pairing. And because they are brand new and quite nice, I would feel to guilty swapping them out right away with the more statement making backsplash I would prefer.
Plus, I know the neighborhood is "white hot" as the realtor says, but I'm betting all those upgrades nearly doubled the listing price, which stands at $1,195,000, especially because this house sits on what looks like the back slope of Bernal—an area not quite as picturesque as the tippy top of Bernal or even the side closer to the Mission. But no doubt, with the state of all things real estate right now in San Francisco, it stands to be perfectly lovely and twice as expensive in no time flat.
And my relocation would actually rectify the one complaint my friend has about her neighborhood—that there is no one near by to have dinner parties with.