Fire-Ravaged San Francisco Home Listed for Sale for $800,000

Housing Crisis

For the past few years, the San Francisco Bay area has been considered one of the most expensive real estate markets not only in the United States, but in the entire world. The Bay Area routinely ranks above other major cities like New York and London in terms of housing costs, and one of the primary drivers behind the extreme real estate prices is the fact that San Francisco is currently in the midst of a massive housing shortage.

In a sign of just how bad the Bay Area’s current housing crisis has become, a house that was completely gutted by a fire last year was recently listed on the market for an astonishing $800,000. The house is being marketed as a ‘fixer-upper,’ although this description possibly fails to convey the total extent of the fire damage. Looking at the pictures on the Coldwell Banker listing, one can see that virtually the entire interior of the home was burned beyond repair. The images show blackened walls, charred appliances and light streaming through the roof and walls.

Located in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood at 121 Gates Street, the 600-square foot house features only one bedroom and one bathroom. Nonetheless, the listing states that the home, which was originally constructed in 1907, is situated on a 1,746-square-foot lot and also boasts outstanding views over the San Francisco Bay.

For those unfamiliar with the San Francisco housing market, $800,000 might seem like a lot to pay for a 110-year old, one-bedroom house that will need to be completely gutted and basically rebuilt almost from scratch. Nonetheless, there are many Bay Area residents that might consider the home to be a steal considering just how exorbitant housing prices have become over the past few years.

In fact, the real estate agent in charge of the listing, Coldwell Banker’s Jim Laufenberg, actually says that the listing price of $799,000—or a mere $1,331 per square foot—is actually below its market value. Apparently, the owner is desperate to get rid of the property and decided to list it for a lower price in order to generate more interest and hopefully conclude a quick sale.

If this home were listed in most any other city in the world, it is likely that potential buyers would immediately balk at the charred home’s $800,000 price tag. Nonetheless, in San Francisco—a city where the skyrocketing demand for housing has far outpaced the available supply—the property somehow seems like a steal for any potential buyers willing to put in the work needed to restore the home to its former glory.