San Francisco’s housing crisis is so dire that one of the cheapest homes in the city is a ‘fixer’ that sold for $600,000. Take a look inside

It may not look like much, but the home and its $600,000 asking price was actually a bargain by San Francisco's standards.

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It may not look like much, but the home and its $600,000 asking price was actually a bargain by San Francisco’s standards.
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Open Homes Photography

  • A 480-square-foot home in San Francisco was sold in December for $600,000, making it one of the cheapest homes listed in the city’s overheated real estate market.
  • The home at 66 Bishop St. is nothing glamorous. It was advertised as a “fixer,” inviting developers and contractors to swoop in for an opportunity to renovate.
  • Still, in a region whose housing market is bursting at the seams in part from Silicon Valley’s ever-growing tech bubble, it sold quickly after just a couple of months on the market.

The pink 480-square-foot home at 66 Bishop St. in San Francisco is one of the smallest in the city. It’s also one of the cheapest with its whopping $600,000 price tag, as reported by SF Gate.

The home sold in late December 2018 after two months on the market and a $50,000 price cut. It was advertised as a “fixer,” meaning whoever bought it basically paid over half a million dollars for the listing’s location and space – it sits on a 2,500-square-foot lot with plans to potentially expand to 3,500 square feet of living space.

However, in one of the most competitive real estate markets in the country, which has been stoked by Silicon Valley’s ever-growing tech sphere, house hunters can’t afford to be picky.

Take a look at what $600,000 bought its new owners.


San Francisco and the surrounding Silicon Valley region is swarming with big tech companies.

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


Tech workers from around the world flock to the Bay Area for jobs in the industry.

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


The influx of tech recruits has only exacerbated the city’s housing crisis.

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Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


Home prices have skyrocketed in recent years as demand has outweighed supply.

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


Even properties in less-than-perfect condition come with high price tags …

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

… like a home in San Jose, just south of the city, that was pillaged by a fire and will need to be demolished — and still sold for almost $1 million.

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Google Street View

Source: Business Insider


The pink dwelling at 66 Bishop St., though not ravaged by a fire, is far from being in tip-top condition — and yet, it just sold for $600,000.

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Open Homes Photography

Source: Zillow


The 480-square-foot home is situated in Visitacion Valley, an area of town known for its affordability.

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Google Maps; Business Insider

Source: SF Gate


The median real estate value in the neighborhood is $802,200, much more than the pink dwelling’s asking price.

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Orin Zebest/Flickr

Source: Zillow


However, a few blocks away sits a 1,605-square-foot shanty for $1 million, which is currently off the market, so the area isn’t exempt from million-dollar homes.

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Google Street View; Business Insider

Source: Zillow


For comparison, the median real estate value in San Francisco overall is $1,381,700.

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Source: Zillow


Linda Ngo, the property’s realtor, told Business Insider that the Visitacion Valley neighborhood is getting more attention these days.

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Visitacion Valley sits at the southeastern edge of San Francisco.
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Wikimedia Commons

“There’s a shift of buyers looking into Visitacion Valley and Excelsior,” Ngo said, the latter being an adjacent neighborhood.

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Visitacion Valley.
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Wikimedia Commons

The pink home was previously sold in June 2018 for $400,000. It was re-listed in October for $650,000, then for $589,900 10 days later. The listing was removed in November and officially sold in late December for $600,000.

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Open Homes Photography

Source: Realtor, Zillow


It’s situated toward the bottom of a hill along Bishop Street.

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Google Street View

Just from the street in front of the house, the views are nice.

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Google Street View

The bottom part of the home is the garage.

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Google Street View

A staircase leads up to the front door.

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Open Homes Photography

There’s a small patio before the entrance.

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Open Homes Photography

And through the front door …

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Open Homes Photography

… is a spacious living room and kitchen.

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Open Homes Photography

A grey wall accents the living room.

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Open Homes Photography

Source: Realtor


And a window provides some natural light in the space.

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Open Homes Photography

The home is almost 100 years old — it was built in 1922.

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Open Homes Photography

Source: Zillow


But you’d never guess that from the modern kitchen appliances and crisp white fixings.

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Open Homes Photography

Ngo said just in a three-day span after the home was listed on the market in October 2018, she had had “quite a few calls” from prospective buyers.

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Open Homes Photography

Source: Zillow


On average, homes listed in Visitacion Valley spend 51 days on the market.

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Open Homes Photography

Source: Realtor


Right off the living room is the bedroom.

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Open Homes Photography

The room is outfitted with two windows, so natural light is in no short supply.

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Open Homes Photography

And there’s closet space in the corner.

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Open Homes Photography

Its walls are also partially grey, though of course the home’s new owners could do away with any of these features.

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Open Homes Photography

A small bathroom is just outside the bedroom off of the kitchen.

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Open Homes Photography

The second story, however, is the only livable space currently.

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Open Homes Photography

Per pending building plans, the property could be built out into a three-story home of up to 3,500 square feet.

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Open Homes Photography

Source: Linda Ngo


According to the listing, it could “easily expand into a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom” house.

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Open Homes Photography

Source: Linda Ngo


Another interesting aspect of the property is that the house only takes up a third of the lot.

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Open Homes Photography

Source: SF Gate


Much of the 2,500-square-foot lot stretches out behind the 480-square-foot home.

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Open Homes Photography

Ngo said that 75% of the lot can be built out, per a conversation with the city’s planning department.

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Open Homes Photography

That’s still a fairly large blank canvas to construct a custom home, especially by San Francisco standards.

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Open Homes Photography

And the price was a rarity — Ngo said only a few homes on the market are listed at this price or less.

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Open Homes Photography

Not every home in the city comes with a view like this, either.

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Open Homes Photography

You can see over the rooftops of houses to the rolling hills in the area.

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Open Homes Photography

However, the property is still a major fixer-upper, and renovations could cost multiple times the asking price.

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Open Homes Photography

“You would have to find a buyer that is savvy with construction or knows someone who is,” Ngo said in October, two months before the home was sold.

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Open Homes Photography

Even with the prospect of extensive renovation, however, the listing sold quickly.

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Open Homes Photography