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Factoring Weather When Buying A Home In San Francisco Is Anything But Simple


We get these kind of inquiries all the time, and it’s certainly something up for debate, as we all have our own comfort levels as to what is considered warm or “nice”. Heck, Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction lives in Sunny warm L.A., but by following his Twitter feed, you’d think he’s better suited for living in foggy Outer Sunset of San Francisco. So a reader brings up the question and maybe this time we’ll get some definitive answers as to just how different one district’s weather is from the other. (We’re going to ask for a little link help from our friends at Curbed Sf and SFist to help spread the word.):

I’m looking to buy and comparing districts, everyone says : Mission and Noe are much warmer, get more sun,…

Is there a good resource that shows sun-hours and temperature (average/per month) like this below would, but by district:
Climate in San Francisco County

It would be quite interesting to many buyers I think!



Our answer, take a look at the San Francisco Districts Map (as it pertains to real estate). Take a ruler, draw a straight line from District 7a (Marina) to district 3J (Oceanview). Anything to the left (west), cold(er) and windy most of the year. Anything to the right (east), warm(er) and windy most of the year.
Simple as that?


We’re thinking there should be a lot more little red lines running all over this map, but the simpleton in us said to do it this way…

[Update: So I had a little extra time on my hands while child #2 napped. Basic, rudimentary mockup here:
Yellow circles are generally where it is warmer. Arrows indicate wind. The larger the arrow, the stronger the wind. The white line down the middle is generally the fog line.]



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10 thoughts on “Factoring Weather When Buying A Home In San Francisco Is Anything But Simple”

  • sparky

    June 25, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Let me start the disagreein’ with this; Proximity to GG park and the wind tunnel it creates makes for much colder/windier/foggier weather in the Haight and Western Addition than it does north of Anza in the Richmond, or East of 19th in most of the Sunset/Parkside.

    Mission and Noe are sunnier and get warmer that part is true, but exagerrated. For example, it has been nice everywhere for the last week, but in Noe/Mission I twice overheard about how it was only nice there and foggy elsewhere.

  • Sophie

    June 25, 2009 at 10:43 am

    when we got our solar panels, the company had some pretty good database of sunshine per zip code. not as good as district, but it was a start. I do not know where they get those data, and did not manage to get a copy for myself. Note that sunshine is not related with temperature or comfort as it doesn’t factor windchill.

    I’m willing to have a weather station on my roof – if anybody wants to plug that to the internet. ?!? one weather station per district would be fantastic – the first attempt ever at having a REAL weather info for SF.
    Also – refer to my previous posts on weather in Noe. Noe is cut in at least 4 different nanoclimates. So picking addresses would be difficult.
    Most of the days, I can see the fog rolling 8 blocks north, 10 blocks south, and 9 blocks east (all of those boundaries being technically in noe) – while my kids are burning their skin in our garden.

    A rather blunt criteria is to check when someone lived there first. The best spots were inhabited 250 years ago. Most if not all the good spots were inhabited 150-140 years ago. Stay away from anything past 1920. (the lot, not the building of course).

    Last – in any district, orientation of the house would be a huge factor. In the sunset, an even number house is not an odd number, and a letter avenue house is not a number avenue house.

  • Sophie

    June 25, 2009 at 10:52 am

    as for comfort, the governments measure that in degreeDay. (see similar URL for months, years, weeks etc)
    One heating degree day is 65F minus outside temperature
    One cooling degree day is outside temperature minus 65F

    ie: how much heat or AC do I need to maintain my house at 65F inside.
    Then those daily numbers are added per week, per month to give you an idea on how much fuel/gas/wood you should have used over that period to heat your house (~electricity/ A/C /cool)

    for NoeValley, check weather station KCASANFR3 on

  • Slappy

    June 25, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Sparky raises an excellent point about the wind tunnels or what I call fog tunnels…I would suggest getting a topographical map and looking at the west-to-east valleys that will carry fog and coolness in from the ocean. An example with the Mission, etc. (roughly since I live in the Richmond so not super familiar with “over there) is that I was walking around up at Diamond Heights and around 24th or so it was nice and you could see the sun and such towards the bay but then when I got to Haas Playground there was fog and cold in the valley where 280 goes through.

    Or conversely, instead of looking for the valleys, look for ridges that will block the fog and coolness?

  • thefrontsteps

    June 25, 2009 at 2:39 pm


    You are right. I tried to capture some of that in my “update”. I am by no means a graph/chart/Adobe expert, but I gave it a go. See the original post, or check this out

  • Dede

    June 25, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Found this one that looked good:

  • 40YearOldRenter

    June 25, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Marina is hot. And 230 Cervantes just sold for $300000 over asking to $2.2 million. Alex, can u give us some details? Looked like a fixer.

  • ER

    June 29, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Can you do one for Berkeley and Oakland…pleeeeeez?

  • softimage

    July 7, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    The updated picture is better, but I would definitely change the straight line across twin peaks and make it more of a squiggle — with a bulge going out at Portola drive. There is a “mini Alemany Gap” that basically follows Portola drive . . . which explains why there’s generally fog to the end of Portola Drive (where it meets Market) and a couple of blocks in either direction, but it can be sunny at, say, the Safeway part of Diamond Heights as well as the Market Street corridor to the west of Market Street.

  • softimage

    July 7, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Sorry for the typo in my above comment — I meant Market Street to the EAST of Twin Peaks, not to the west of Twin Peaks.


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