San Francisco is one of the country's pricier places to live, and the Mission Dolores-area rents and home values tend to stay in the same range as those for the city as a whole. That being said, if your heart is set on Mission Dolores and your wallet has already adjusted to the San Francisco cost of living, here's what you need to know. Paris might be for lovers, but San Francisco is for renters. In this preciously petite neighborhood, just under 70% of the properties are occupied by renters, reflecting the greater trend of the city. With so much of the residential property being rental property, renters have more choices. Whether you're looking for a two-bedroom apartment for rent or three-bedroom houses for rent, chances are that you can find something to fit your style and budget. However, the small size of this neighborhood compounded by the city's low vacancy rates can make finding an available apartment rental in Mission Dolores something of a waiting game. When looking for a place to call home, remember that this area is famous as the birthplace of the city in 1776 and the majority of the housing reflects that, as just under half of the residential properties were built before the 1940's.
Mission Dolores maintains an eclectic mix of street cred and culture as San Francisco's oldest and most popular neighborhood. In other words, it's the Betty White of neighborhoods. Actually a sub-area within the larger Mission District neighborhood, it stretches across 20th Street from Church Street to Valencia Street and is bordered on the other end by Market Street and the Central Freeway. The Western border extends to a whopping four blocks at 18th Street, where the bounding street changes from Church Street to Sanchez Street.
This neighborhood is walkable and actually amenable to car-free living, which is a plus since parking spots can be rarer than a vacant rental property. Bike lanes and public transportation from MUNI and BART lines both access this neighborhood.
Dolores Park is one of the neighborhood's main attractions due to its sports fields, movies in the park and the sunbathers who spread out towels and slather sunscreen as if they were at the beach.
18th Street is the culinary highlight of the 'hood, with Bi-Rite, Delfina and Tartine. Due to the trendy factor and its location in the hipster hub of Mission District, there are actual record shops, indie bookstores and perhaps one of the last remaining movie rental stores in the country. The nightlife offers live music, comedy acts and even poetry performed in funky venues with clever names such as Elbo Room and Make-Out Room.