Best place to retire: Downtown/SoMa
Pros: The view and that northern California je ne sais quoi.
Cons: Painfully expensive.
Real estate: You'll be lucky to get a condo for under $500,000 even in the grittier parts of Union Square and SoMa.If you're looking for a distinctive neighborhood to call home in San Francisco, you have plenty of choices. Each has its own flavor; agent Janet Krahling says San Francisco "is like a bunch of little villages in the city."
But Krahling sees many retirees moving downtown, especially around Market Street. The north side of Market is more "downtown," and south of Market, or SoMa, is more bohemian and unpredictable. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the California Historical Society, and lots of bookstores are nearby.
When Market Street ends at the bay, you've got the Embarcadero, with its farmers' market and gourmet shops.
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