Battle Royale: Outer Richmond or Outer Sunset/Parkside…if you had to choose

Our last attempt at a healthy discussion as to whether you’d choose Pacific Heights or the Marina kind of took a turn for the worse when comments got a little heated and were taken a bit personally, but that isn’t stopping us from trying again. So…if you had to choose, Outer Richmond or Outer Sunset/Parkside, which would it be and why? We want to hear the good, the bad, and YOUR OPINION as to why you’d choose one over the other. Learning from our last attempt and other discussion on whether Bernal is better than Noe, we’re going to ask that you please keep comments civil, and don’t take anything personally.

We’ll kick things off with a little spin on the old debate and do what we do best…that is make it about real estate, stick to the stats, and give you some averages:

Outer Richmond (source: SFAR MLS)


Outer Sunset/Parkside (source: SFAR MLS)


Richmond (SFR Median: source Altos Research, same for Sunset, Parkside graphs.)



We leave the rest to you. The weather is equally as shitty in both neighborhoods in the summer, so we know you can’t argue about that. ;-)

Tell all your friends to come on over to theFrontSteps and hash it out in this thread.

Up next: Hayes Valley or Haight Ashbury

On deck: West Portal or St. Francis Wood

If you’re not familiar with your “districts” here is the best, most detailed map we could find online.

Pacific Heights or Marina…if you had to choose [theFrontSteps]

Stump the Stammtisch: Bernal on Fuego or Hielo [theFrontSteps]

10 thoughts on “Battle Royale: Outer Richmond or Outer Sunset/Parkside…if you had to choose

  1. Public transportation: Outer Sunset:1, Outer Richmond: 0 — OS has the trams that are more predictable and efficient.

    Food Culture – Outer Richmond 1, Outer Sunset 1 — OR has good shops, cafes, movie theatre, (and that great Egyptian restaurant) along Balboa as well as Clement. OS has great shops on Taravel and Judah. I think it’s a tie

    Getting to 280 / SiliValley – Outher Sunset 1, Outer Richmond 0.

    So I will give a slight edge to Outer Sunset.

  2. I’m sure glad i dont have to choose. both are crappy neighborhoods.

    wind, fog, acres of concrete sidewalks. major lack of street trees or landscaping.

    tons of cheap stucco facades.

    whats up with paving your front yard and then painting the concrete green???

  3. Both are middle-class family and relatively safe neighborhoods, a rarity in SF. Believe it or not, there are even schools nearby. You can still get somewhat affordable SFHs that are significantly less than $1 million here. Both have reasonably priced restaurants and grocers that won’t break the bank. However, given the recent run-up in prices in the Sunset, my choice is the Richmond district because there are still some deals to be found. Moreover, Richmond is older, more established, and cheaper than the Sunset.

  4. I don’t know too much about either area except when the weather is super nice, my friends and I hit the beach. And judging by the map, we’d have to prefer the beaches of the Outer Sunset because they are less crowded with all the thugs and gangsters that hang around that parking lot in front of the Beach Chalet. Of course, the Beach Chalet is fun on a nice day to sit in their back area and drink some beers. It’s also fun to get a coffee at Java Beach though.

    So from an outsider’s perspective, I’d have to give it a tie. Good beaches in the outer sunset, good beers in the outer richmond.

  5. I’m biased: I live in the OR, we frequent the aforementioned shops/restaurants/theaters on Balboa, my kids go to school here. My kids also, however, spend a lot of time in the OS, and that’s where, for me, the OS has an edge–playgrounds. Better, cooler, newer playgrounds.

    N-Judah is a big plus (when it runs well), but the express buses on Balboa and California are faster. And there are options (5-Fulton, 31-Balboa, 38-Geary can all get you downtown), vs. only the N & L on Sunset side.

    In a big tsunami, the OS will be swept away, while the OR will suffer minimally in comparison. So I’ll stick to my hood, though I like them both.

  6. As a resident of the Central Richmond and frequenter of both the OS and OR, I’d have to say it is a toss-up. From an aesthetic point of view, I would have to say the OR is much more appealing to the eye. The streets are much cleaner, the homes bigger, and seem more taken care of, and there is much more character. You’ve got Lincoln Park in your back yard, all the shops and restaurants already mentioned, and Safeway right on the beach. Plus, the surf on the north end of OB is way better and that falls in the district of the OR.

    Transportation is a breeze and proximity to all points north is great too. OS on the other hand is desolate, the homes are boxy, the streets windy and dirty, too many cars parked in front yards, and too far from civilization.

    I guess it is not a toss up. Now that I think about it, my vote is for the OR. Hands down.

  7. How can the median price in the Parkside and the Sunset be so low? This isnt accurate accounting.

    What property in either area is listed at less than $500k ? Everything, even condos and TIC’s are north of $500k.

    These numbers/graphs have been proven wrong, again.

    Please ask your sources how they compile these numbers. I would like to see if they respond

    [Editor’s note: Email has been sent to our source.]

  8. Charting trends at this level can be tough, because inventories are so small. it looks like Sunset for example has maybe 10 available condos/tics and 4 are in a tic conversion, each priced under $400k. That’ll pull down the median for the zip pretty dramatically.

  9. outer sunset, hands down. i live in the outer richmond and it is ridiculous- public transport is terrible, there are no decent restaurants or stores…it’s just silly.

    outer sunset has the N Judah, lots of great and decent dining, and a much better social atmosphere.

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