Thursday, June 21, 2007

Stage 30, Forest Knolls (4d)

Forest Knolls is so unbelievably different from any other area in the city, it just blows us away. Homes don't appear to have been built before 1950, there are duplexes, multi-unit, single family, town homes, and condos. They are very "boxy" and have that mid-century look without the mid-century charm like we saw in Diamond Heights.

Views can be had from just about any street, Crestmont to the north, Christopher to the south, and a lot of the homes are held up by long skinny concrete columns.

If you have a fear of earthquakes, we would advise you not buy a home on the north, or north-west slope of Crestmont Hill. At the very least call in all the qualified experts that can set your mind at ease. These homes are literally clinging to the mountain. But...big risk affords big reward in the way of stellar views. Take this view from around 400 Crestmont for example:

The homes on the north slope are the ones you see if you are down in the 9th & Irving area, or in the park and you look toward Sutro Tower. You'd think the home-owners need climbing gear to get to their front door, but there is actually a road. A road that would take you to this listing at 465-467 Crestmont, a two unit building asking $1,530,000. And here's what the back of these buildings looks like from close up:

There is UCSF housing on the North East slope (Johnston Drive) tucked amongst towering eucalyptus, pine, and redwood trees,

and there is even a little development that is so out of character for San Francisco, you wonder what the heck the developer was thinking...that would be Galewood Circle Town homes.

One of the most desirable Elementary Schools, Clarendon, is located in this district (don't think you have a shoe-in by moving here though), and there is even a street named after Mr. Adolfo Sutro. Oh...and we almost forgot the unobstructed views of Sutro Tower from most of the homes in this area.

Homes don't tend to sell as briskly in this part of town, especially if priced wrong (high). They require a very specific buyer, and those buyers aren't out there in droves. Charm is not really a part of this area, but there is tons of nature, trees, views, and nice people. It is very windy, and can be unbearably foggy, but so can other areas of the city, so don't let that stop you. The hills are steep, and the roads are narrow and a bit winding in places. If you're looking for that mid-century home to remodel, keep your eye on this area, you might find one...we think there is opportunity on that home at 465 Crestmont, so if that is your thing, you know who to call.

There was/is a big development planned for the north slope called the Crestmont Hills Family Homes Development, but it appears to have been derailed. Judging by this sign we saw in 9 out of 10 of the windows in the area, the neighbors put up a good fight.

Why not throw in one more photo for good measure. These are the homes on the hillside between Oak Park and Crestmont.

We'd have to think that is a fair bit of information to help you decide about whether you like Forest Knolls. We focused a lot on the north end of the hill, but the south should not be forgotten. We leave that to you to discover. Happy hunting!

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