The "housing bubble" in California has caused a lot of trouble for unknowledgeable buyers and sellers. Because of the desirability of homes in the Bay area, prices generally stay consistently high. Many people will tell you that housing prices in San Francisco will continue to go up, and even more will tell you that they're about to go down. Some people will even tell you its about to crash. Buy a house you love and educate yourself on the risk of home ownership (dailypundit.com/sfrealblog/, www.sanfrancisco.com/realestate/) especially in such a possibly volatile market like California's. Tulia gives the latest averages for listings in an easy to read map.
Prices in San Francisco continue to climb while much of the United States is suffering from an economic recession. House prices have a wide margin between top and bottom prices, but the current average in the Bay Area is somewhere between $656,700 to $711,000 for a 2 bedroom home.
Real estate laws and contracts can be complex and it is recommended that you consult a real estate agent and lawyer before buying property. Advertisements for these agents can be found practically everywhere (Citysearch, Yahoo.com) but is important to retain people you can trust as they will be handling a huge financial investment.
It is also a good idea to research homes on your own to see what you like and don't like, as well as get a better understanding of what different neighborhoods and housing have to offer. Some websites that will help acquaint you with a variety of homes are: