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Small Homes + Big Projects = Gigantic Prices?

Two homes, both in desperate need of a contractor, hit the market with healthy asks

It's almost a San Francisco tradition: Sellers list a decrepit home in a desirable neighborhood for somewhere between $600,000–$800,000 (maybe a little more, but generally under $1 million); offers come pouring in (most of them way over ask, a few all cash); we write about it. Case in point, a Bernal Heights property that recently listed for $549,000 and, 18 offers later, sold for $920,000 cash.

A couple of sellers have apparently not read the playbook. We spotted two homes that have entered the market in inarguably fixer condition at arguably high prices. One is on Bernal Hill and the tipster who brought it to our attention jokingly wondered if buyers were being punk'd.

↑ This house at 50 Bradford Street is described at having "potential" and being "ready for someone with vision." To be honest, potential is the only thing the two-bedroom home (no square footage listed) has at the moment, as it appears uninhabitable. However, while the kitchen may not be functional and the floors are rough and peeling in places, it does have nice views. The listing price is $1.295 million.

Looking at the exterior, which shows it sitting side-by-side with a large, very modern house, it's possible that even someone without much vision could see what it could be—but the neighboring house has the benefit of a corner lot.

↑ The second house that caught our eye is the home at 151 Bernard Street on Nob Hill that measures a mere 900 square feet and is asking for $1.999 million. To be fair, it comes (as the listing says) "shovel ready." Meaning, it has approved plans for a 2,214-square-foot home with three bedrooms, three baths, and two (?) roof terraces. There are also a second set of plans (not approved) that include a garage. Approved plans are worth something, but to spell it out, this property is asking for nearly $2 million to enter a huge construction project that might result in a home with no garage.

Of course, one person's punk'd is another's grand opportunity. You just have to find the right buyer.