San Francisco real estate agents reveal most requested features tech workers ask for in buying their multi-million dollar homes

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  • San Francisco is home to tech millionaires and billionaires, and they want high-end homes to go with their high-paying jobs.
  • Real estate agents who work with these luxury clients say that San Francisco neighborhoods like Pacific Heights and Russian Hill are in demand.
  • Most buyers looking in these areas want move-in ready homes with modern amenities and private space.
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With a high-paying job and stock options, odds are you’re looking to buy a house.

The San Francisco housing market is one of the most expensive in the country, and most high-end buyers share certain demands for the money they’re shelling out.

According to Deniz Kahramaner, founder of a newly founded data-focused real estate brokerage called Atlasa, tech millionaires tend to favor the Noe Valley/Mission Dolores area, or the Presidio Heights/Russian Hill area.

So far in 2019, senior executives from Google, JUUL Labs, Postmates, and other firms have purchased homes in the Pacific Heights and Russian Hill areas. Executives at DoorDash, Lyft, Instagram, and more have bought homes in Mission Dolores, Noe Valley, and Eureka Valley, according to Kahramaner.

Kahramaner explained that tech millionaires are drawn to properties with historic charm, like Edwardian and Victorian-style homes, but with modern upgrades. They often buy homes with access to prestigious private schools as well.

Here are the main things San Francisco tech millionaires look for in a home.


Few wealthy tech buyers have the time to put into a fixer-upper. Instead, they usually buy homes that have already been updated.

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Clean, modern finishes are popular.

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Realtor Mary Pope-Handy has worked with tech buyers in Silicon Valley for over 20 years. She said that tech millionaires usually look for “expansive and luxurious kitchens” with lots of light.

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New appliances in the kitchen are a common request because buyers don’t have time to deal with replacements.

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Updated bathrooms are also a must-have.

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Pope-Handy says that buyers look for homes with plenty of light.

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New hardware and updated finishes make homes move-in ready.

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Tech buyers like high ceilings, with room for pets and kids.

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Most buyers are looking for houses, and condos make up only a small percentage of homes owned by tech millionaires, according to Kahramaner.

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Pope-Handy says that hardwood floors are popular.

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She says buyers often want open floor plans, with space for entertaining.

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Having a private outdoor space is difficult when homes are packed close together in a city.

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Tech buyers with money to spend also like outdoor space and privacy is key, especially if they’re a well-known figure, according to Pope-Handy.

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A fenced-in seating area can be the perfect solution.

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Roof decks also check all the privacy boxes.

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And beautiful views don’t hurt.

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Plus, they can also be another place to entertain guests.

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Modern updates are popular, but Silicon Valley millionaires also want the charm of historic Edwardian and Victorian homes.

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Pope-Handy said that buyers like privacy and private entrances, without windows or shared entryways.

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Luxury real estate agent Albert Garibaldi noted that house flippers tend to buy old, historic Silicon Valley homes, renovate them, and sell them to tech millionaires who don’t have the time to take on a project themselves.

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The Mission Dolores area has convenient access to downtown, where tech offices are located, but most millionaire buyers look at properties in the prestigious north end of San Francisco.

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