The San Francisco bay area is a very hard place to buy an apartment building these days. This has also been true ever since I have been in the business - some 22 years now! If you are considering a 1031 tax deferred exchange or a straight investment purchase, the $59 each way fare on Southwest to LAX may be beneficial.
I am currently tracking 4 buildings that are excellent opportunities in very strong rental markets in western Los Angeles.
Locations are in Hollywood, Beachwood Canyon and Koreatown. Price ranges for 9 units to 26 units range from $2,900,000 to $4,185,000 and cap rates on current rents are 4.7% to 5.2% at asking prices.
These are deliverable, managed and fully occupied buildings in strong demand areas - all with good rent upside due to older rents and rent control. Of course, with rent control, going to market rate rents is not possible - but realistically you get modest increases every year and vacancies are very beneficial as you can raise that unit's rent to market.
Better returns are also possible in secondary areas of LA too.