It's unusual to see a home on the market for nearly $5 million without accompanying interior photos, but that's the case with the house at 819 Francisco St. Real estate agent Joseph Gartland Moore has gone to great pains to have the home's stunning water and bridge views photographed, but he says he has no intention of recording the inside of the 2,040-square-foot house. Why? "The interiors are insignificant," he says. "The value of this property is in the incredible site and it's potential. "A lot of San Franciscians dream of living on the 800 block of Francisco Street, and this is a rare chance." But looking at it, you have to wonder what is going on behind the front door. Moore says the place was built in 1974, and looks it. "The man who lived here was said to have wonderful taste and style," he says. "But without his pieces, it looks like any other typical 1970s-era interior." In other words, it's likely very, very dated.
The former owner was also reportedly a talented and passionate gardener, and the aerials show the comparatively small house (the neighboring houses are said be 8,000 and 9,000 square feet) set in the front of a 115-foot-deep lot backed by a Japanese-influenced garden with winding paths.
Moore said that an inspection found the house to be well-built and sound, but it's likely that it is a remodel waiting to happen. And, as the agent points out, given what large homes in this area are worth, you could conceivably spend the money to buy the land and built a new house on it (by either remodeling or removing what is there) and the value would still be supported.
But still, doesn't a price tag just under $5 million seem a bit steep for fixer? "I've sold more expensive fixers before this," Moore says. "I sold a home in Presidio Heights that needed a lot of work for $11 million to a family that will make it their dream house." Time, and the market, will tell.
· 819 Francisco St. [Redfin]