How does one measure happiness in the San Francisco metro area?

An evaluation of a real estate market is heavily based on statistics - average home prices, median sales rates and property foreclosures are just a few "hard" numbers that are scrutinized. But how does one summarize the more ethereal characteristics of a metro area, things like quality of life, overall livability and happiness of residents?

With regard to residential happiness, San Francisco is home to many citizens who enjoy the finer things in life. Recently, though, real estate experts have begun to question why locals really enjoy living in the homes for sale in the Bay Area. Read on to discover some of the reasons why potential homeowners flock to the West Coast and this picturesque city.

The Pacific Attitude
The Huffington Post reported that the Bay Area is being studied by a number of sociology and psychology experts who wish to compare living on the West Coast versus living on the East Coast. The two cities that were selected were San Francisco and Boston.

"Our ideas about who we are and how we should feel are shaped in quite dramatic ways by our local environment," said study researcher Victoria Plaut, a social and cultural psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley Law School, according to the news source. "If you examine the local world, you'll find that the East is more old and established, and the West is more new and free."

The two cities are actually quite alike on paper - both boast a high percentage of residents with college degrees, and both have a thriving employment market and great restaurants, nightlife options and recreational parks. However, the "Pacific attitude" is much different than that of the Atlantic.

San Francisco residents celebrate individualism and freedom of expression, while apparently Boston citizens tend to approach life with a more reserved attitude. So, if you are more of an activist, you might want to check out the houses for sale in the Bay Area.

The Great Outdoors
Perhaps another reason San Francisco residents are so happy lies in the extensive park system in the city. Many metro areas have "parks," but not every municipal organization maintains these with the excellence that San Francisco's caretakers do.

For example, Golden Gate Park is home to a museum, botanical gardens and all sorts of lush scenery. In Boston, the Commons and the Gardens are scenic, but they are fairly small compared to other attractions in the city. Golden Gate Park, on the other hand, takes up an enormous 1,017 acres of land.