San Francisco’s cheapest single-family home will sell for over $500,000 — and it reveals how bad the housing crisis has become

A house at 44 Wilde Avenue in San Francisco will sell for over $520,000.

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A house at 44 Wilde Avenue in San Francisco will sell for over $520,000.
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MLS

San Francisco ranks as the most unaffordable city in the United States. The median price for a one-bedroom home is around $820,000.

By comparison, the half-million asking price of the city’s least-expensive single-family home on the market is a steal – or as Rick Smith, the real estate agent behind the listing calls it, “a joke.”

The decrepit house is a classic example of San Francisco’s housing crisis, which has accelerated in the last few years.

He has received 12 offers over $520,000 for the home, which was awarded to one lucky bidder on Wednesday.


The home (which resembles more of a shed than a house) sits in Visitacion Valley, an outer neighborhood of San Francisco. Here’s the view from the backyard:

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MLS

In total, Smith received 23 offers, but only 12 were over $520,000. The bidders are all house-flippers, investors, or contractors who may want to capitalize on San Francisco’s hot housing market.

“When you have a property that’s below a million [dollars in San Francisco], it’s a steal,” Smith told Business Insider. “If it’s close to $500,000, it’s a joke.”


The inside is not as pretty.

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MLS

The former owner died in 2017. The heirs paid $2,500 in trash removal before the home went on the market.

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MLS

None of the appliances work and the plumbing is not functional, Smith said.

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MLS

Mold speckles the ceiling.

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MLS

And for some reason, there are a bunch of mattresses in the kitchen.

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MLS

The home’s listing calls it a “developer, contractor, or flipper property,” since lenders have designated it as “inhabitable” (i.e. they won’t provide a mortgage loan until the new owner makes repairs).

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MLS

According to the listing, the house spans 1,085 square feet, though Smith said it’s actually smaller than that.

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MLS

Several prospective buyers have done their own measurements.


Smith doesn’t think that the winning bidder will bulldoze the house, since there are properties inches beside it. He predicts that they will rehab the interior and build a second story — renovations that will be subject to city code.

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MLS

In the neighborhood, there are a few homes going for at least $1 million. Smith said he recently sold a similarly sized house two blocks away (from the same estate) for over $800,000. That one was in good shape.

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A street in Visitacion Valley, San Francisco, California.
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Wikipedia Commons

For perspective, the nation’s median home price is $335,400 as of December 2017, according to the US Census Bureau.


The $500,000 house, spotted by The San Francisco Chronicle, is a poster child for San Francisco’s housing crisis.

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Flickr / (matt)

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle


In the past decade, the city’s housing stock has struggled to keep up with demand, causing home prices to skyrocket.

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A street in San Francisco, California.
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Richard Heyes/Flickr

Smith, who has worked as a broker in northern California for 33 years, is not surprised that the home will close for at least $520,000. “This is ‘affordable housing’ in San Francisco,” he said. “It’s not for the faint-of-heart or the faint-of-pocketbook.”

A house at 44 Wilde Avenue in San Francisco will sell for over $520,000.

source
MLS