The Sunset Generally:
One of the biggest neighborhoods in the City in terms of geographic size, numbers of houses and population density the Sunset occupies a different place for different folks. It can be the land of recently-immigrated Chinese families (or generations thereof), the old-school original owners who moved in shortly after WWII, the younger family looking for a house in the city, the folks with SF State or UCSF student renter in the in-law unit behind the garage or the home to the surfer crowd.
Traditionally thought of as always being foggy that rep has started to change thanks to global climate change. Buyers who discovered the neighborhood’s foggy disposition is turning into a sunnier one have been buying here while you were busy looking in eastern half of the City and have driven up prices over the past few years by 50-100% in some cases. The area is flatter but once you pass Sunset Boulevard there’s a gentle slope towards Ocean Beach. And homes on numbered streets with addresses in the 1200-1500 range will see Golden Gate Park more. There are great schools and surprises throughout the neighborhood.
Architecturally, one of (truer) stereotypes about the Sunset is that the houses look alike. Okay, they’re not exactly alike but you can see how that rep stuck. Most of the houses are right up against its neighbors. The rows and rows of houses will usually be stucco, have poured terrazzo stairs going up to the main living level with ground-floor garage with a room or some kind of space behind the space. Building materials are almost always stucco and wood with asbestos siding in the rear. Most parcels are 25 feet wide and 100 feet deep with 2 bedrooms, 1 pastel-colored bathroom, dining-living combo with kitchen all on one level. Wood floors are common as are older gravity-style furnaces and older electrical systems that may need some attention. Also, because it’s moist out here, you’re likely to have some kind of pest (termite, dry-rot, or beetle) issue. Many homes that haven’t been updated lately will be sold via probate or trust as fixers or cosmetic fixers. Homes that have been redone can range from the Home Depot fly-by-night fixer to some (rarer) stunning architectural statements.