All photos by the author
It's no secret that the San Francisco housing market is ludicrous. The average apartment in the city rents for $3,500 a month, and the median housing price just reached an all-time high of $1.2 million. To illustrate how laughably out-of-control this has become, someone is trying to sell this 765-square-foot dilapidated shack, located on the border of San Francisco and Daly City (technically within SF limits, but barely), for $350,000.
For comparison's sake, you could buy this 4,500-square-foot, six bedroom, 3.5-bathroom colonial mansion in Ohio for the same price. Walk across the street from the dilapidated shack, though, and you'll pay twice the price for a similar house—so I guess the shack is really a bargain. As the realtor told me, "It's the cheapest property in San Francisco, and it's a great buy!"
When we spoke over the phone, the realtor explained that the house is so trashed that no bank is willing to finance a mortgage. That means the offer must be made in full, and in cash. Just to reiterate: This collapsing structure, not even fit to film a budget porno in costs $350,000 in hard currency.
Of course, it's obviously the land that's worth those beaucoup bucks—though for some reason the realtor repeatedly advised against burning the whole thing down and building something else, saying instead that whoever buys it should just renovate and expand the existing structure.
I went out to the property to see it for myself, and noticed immediately that half of the house's foundation is cement; the other half is collapsing into rotted underground posts. The bathtub has clearly collapsed through the floor into the foundation. One potential buyer, who was touring the house with me, said he thought he could sink "a buck fifty" into the property after buying it and turn it into a cute little Airbnb. According to the realtor, two people have made offers already.
Below, you'll see what I saw on my tour of the property, and the startling reality of $350,000 gets you in San Francisco these days. And if it looks like the house for you, act fast! Final offers must be submitted by noon on Thursday.
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