In a place where million dollar homes are the norm, a plot of land for $50,000 looks unbelievably affordable—especially in San Francisco's tony Lake District. Here's the catch: It's a block-long driveway with limited possibilities. The tract of land that runs behind houses on Lake and West Clay Streets and nearly spans the distance between 22nd and 24th Avenues is used as a driveway by residents, and local lore has it they went to court for the right back in the 1970s.
We've never seen anything quite like it and the listing agent, Fred Glick, admits he hasn't either. "I assumed that these sorts of things were owned by municipalities," he said. "But I was wrong." Glick says that he doesn't know much about the history of the property. "My client lives on the East Coast," he says. "He bought it several years ago at a tax sale, and he's never laid eyes on it."
When the agent started marketing the property, neighbors offered stories of its past. "This is all hearsay, but some neighbors told me that years ago, the owner of the property gave them a really hard time and hassled them. They ended up going to court to get a legal easement to use the driveway," Glick says. The agent thinks that happened sometime in the 1970s.
The legal definition of easement is the right to cross or otherwise use private property for a specified purpose. Since their right to use the land is protected, it seems that neighbors would have little motivation to buy the property. Most of the inquiries Glick has had are from outside parties. "People keep calling me asking if they can build there. I even had a call from a guy in Wisconsin wanting to do that," the agent says. "I keep telling them there's no room to build. The only possible expansion potential might be from the homes that are on the end of the lot. They might be able to expand the back of their homes a bit."
So who would buy it? "I think that maybe someone with an ego might want it, or someone who might want a San Francisco address," Glick says. In the listing, the agent writes: "Think of the possibilities!"
As it stands, it's the least expensive property on the market. The listing in the number two slot is a TIC in the Richmond District for $299K.
· Lake Street District Driveway [Redfin]
· Mapping the Increase of Million-Dollar Homes in San Francisco [Curbed SF]
· 309 29th Ave. [Redfin]