San Francisco life can be an uphill climb

When people start to look at homes in San Francisco, they don’t always think about how many stairs they might have to climb just to get to the front door. Stairs aren’t that big a deal, you say? Tell that to me when you’re struggling to take out big bags of garbage, schlep groceries into the house from the car – or move heavy pieces of furniture in or out.

Condos are a good example, particularly Victorian flats. On our regular Tuesday tour, sometimes I see as many as 20 a day. This week, just for fun, I started counting the number of stairs, curbside to the actual living space.

Here’s the typical breakdown: With condo flats, you usually have to walk up seven or eight steps to get to the front door, and then up a winder to get to your flat. If it’s a top-floor flat it can be a long journey, so if you’re thinking of taking the dog for a walk, you might want to make it a single long one rather than several short ones.

I recently saw a beautiful Victorian condo flat and counted 43 stairs from the sidewalk. The next one I went was a little easier at 33 stairs including one from the threshold into the home. The third was a straight shot from the sidewalk into the house, but it’s built on a downslope on four levels. It’s 35 steps from the living room all the way down to the backyard. What a drag it is to do a barbecue or any outdoor entertaining – don’t drink too much beer or you’ll be dragging up to the bathroom far too often.

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Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email