10 Most Affordable San Francisco Suburbs to Live In

Cable cars, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, and colorful Victorian homes are just a slice of what makes San Francisco, CA a truly unique experience. With roughly 873k residents, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that “the Golden City” has a median home sale price of $1.49 million. If you’re looking to live in the city by the bay and you’re looking for a more affordable home, don’t worry.

We’ve collected 10 of the best affordable San Francisco suburbs that are within driving distance of the city that’s worth considering buying a home in. That way you can still visit many of San Francisco’s attractions like Coit Tower, picnicking at Golden Gate Park, or exploring The Palace Of Fine Arts without paying the price of a home in the city. 

aerial view of san francisco city center

#1: Emeryville, CA

Median home price: $525,000 
Driving distance from San Francisco: 20 minutes
Emeryville, CA homes for sale

With a population of just about 12,900, Emeryville comes in at number one on our list of most affordable San Francisco suburbs. The median sale price of a home in Emeryville is almost a third of the price of a home in San Francisco and less than 30 minutes away from downtown without traffic. Living in Emeryville, you’ll be close to the Emeryville Marina Park and nearby East Bay cities, Oakland and Berkeley.

#2: Richmond, CA

Median home price: $702,500 
Driving distance from San Francisco: 30 minutes
Richmond, CA homes for sale

Richmond comes in as the second most affordable suburb in San Francisco. Home to picturesque nature spots like Point Isabel Regional Shoreline and Rosie the Riveter National Historical Park, Richmond has plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. When living in this suburb of roughly 116,500 people, you can also spend time exploring the Point Pinole Regional Shoreline and taking in the views of the San Francisco Bay.

#3: Oakland, CA

Median home price: $845,000 
Driving distance from San Francisco: 25 minutes
Oakland, CA homes for sale

Driving 25 minutes east from San Francisco will land you in none other than Oakland. With a population of nearly 440,600, you’ll be in a smaller city while being able to explore San Francisco in your free time. If you find yourself moving to the third most affordable suburb, make sure to visit Jack London Square, cheer on the Oakland A’s, and spend an afternoon observing all the exotic animals at the Oakland Zoo.

#4: San Leandro, CA

Median home price: $881,500 
Driving distance from San Francisco: 30 minutes
San Leandro, CA homes for sale

San Leandro, another East Bay city, takes the fourth spot on our list of affordable San Francisco suburbs. With a population of just under 100K, you’ll find that there are far fewer residents than both San Francisco and Oakland, but you’ll still have great views of the Bay. San Leandro has plenty of waterfront parks to check out such as Marina Park and Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline or check out Chabot Park for lakefront views. Located near Oakland International Airport you’re just minutes away from your next adventure or a quick drive into San Francisco.

houses in a san francisco suburb that looks like a row house

#5: San Bruno, CA

Median home price: $975,000 
Driving distance from San Francisco: 20 minutes
San Bruno, CA homes for sale

Only 20 minutes away from the city center, consider moving to San Bruno. About 43,900 people live in this affordable suburban town, but you’ll be surrounded by plenty of areas to explore in your free time. Fun activities to do in San Bruno include exploring San Bruno City Park and Sneath Lane Trail. For history-buffs, make a stop at the National Archives at San Francisco, where you can explore federal records dating back to the 1850s and learn about the region’s history.

#6: El Cerrito, CA

Median home price: $1,146,000
Driving distance from San Francisco: 25 minutes
El Cerrito, CA homes for sale

Situated in the East Bay and only minutes away from plenty of natural areas is El Cerrito. With home prices about 300K less than San Francisco, you’ll be saving on the costs associated with living the city life. Make sure to take a hike at Hillside Natural Area for views of the surrounding East Bay cities or head over to Berkeley’s Tilden Nature Area to check out the many farms and picnic areas. 

#7: Daly City, CA

Median home price: $1,167,000
Driving distance from San Francisco: 15 minutes
Daly City, CA homes for sale

Seventh on our list of affordable San Francisco suburbs is Daly City, which is about 15 minutes away from the heart of the city. With a population of close to 104,900, moving to Daly City, aka the “Gateway to the Peninsula,” will give you the feel of a smaller city with a quick drive into downtown San Francisco. If you’re going to call this affordable suburb home, plan time to explore Thornton State Beach and the Mussel Rock Park. 

victorian style painted ladies in san francisco

#8: Pacifica, CA

Median home price: $1,305,000
Driving distance from San Francisco: 30 minutes
Pacifica, CA homes for sale

About $100K less expensive than San Francisco, Pacifica is a great area to consider moving to. With roughly 38,600 residents in this relatively affordable San Francisco suburb, you can enjoy Pacifica State Beach without having to head north into the city. Don’t miss out on hiking along Sweeney Ridge Trail and watching the Pacific Ocean’s waves from Mori Point.

#9: South San Francisco, CA

Median home price: $1,325,000 
Driving distance from San Francisco: 20 minutes
South San Francisco, CA homes for sale

Another well-known suburb of San Francisco is South San Francisco, where the home prices are about $175K less than in San Francisco. South San Francisco has about 66,100 residents and is a great suburb to consider moving to if you’re looking to stay close to the city. From Oyster Point Park to Sign Hill Park, there are many activities to do and see in South San Francisco as well as easy access to San Francisco International Airport for all your travels.

#10: Alameda, CA

Median home price: $1,335,000 
Driving distance from San Francisco: 25 minutes
Alameda, CA homes for sale

If you’ve been living in San Francisco for some time, you probably know someone who lives in Alameda. This more affordable suburb is home to nearly 78,300 residents, so you’ll have a fraction of San Francisco’s population while staying close to the Bay Bridge. Add the USS Hornet – Sea, Air and Space Museum, Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach, and Pacific Pinball Museum to your list of must-sees once you’re living in Alameda. 

 

Methodology: 

Affordability based on whether a suburb is less than the median sale price of San Francisco and under a 30 minute drive from downtown San Francisco. 

Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during March 2022

Population data sourced from United States Census Bureau

The post 10 Most Affordable San Francisco Suburbs to Live In appeared first on Redfin | Real Estate Tips for Home Buying, Selling & More.