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JG Howard House Returns as One of City's Most Expensive at $7.7 Million

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Now comes with permits to make it even more extravagant

What do you do when you’ve bought one of San Francisco’s most expensive homes? Make it even more expensive, of course.

The circa 1912 house at 864 Francisco Street sold for $6.3 million in 2013. Although that was well more than a million less than its original list, at the time it was still the 16th most expensive home in the entire city. The John Galen Howard designed Russian Hill pad had been off the market for nearly 40 years.

Now it’s back on the block again, but with renderings in place of photos and a rather odd "ready to build" tag attached. The house has stood for 104 years, what’s to build after all that time?

"It’s not getting demolished," selling agent Debbie Menaged says, who notes that the house’s historic value means that such an idea would never be approved anyway. Instead, it’s gone through a nearly three year entitlement process to get permission to build a 1,400 square foot addition onto the rear.

The present owner is of the opinion that the house in its present form never took full advantage of its Russian Hill views, and the expansion is designed to provide a more picturesque lookout space in the form of several modernistic tiers building up to a glass-enclosed roof deck.

Whether because three years of city planning can really wear you out or because of a desire to hit the market at its peak, the house is up now rather than after the expansion is finished. Of course, it would probably manage the $1.4 million flip even without the extra permits, the way things are going up on the hill these days.

864 Francisco is presently the 30th most expensive house on Redfin, which is pretty pricey, but wouldn't make our 25 Most Expensive Homes list again. But nobody can say it didn’t go the extra mile.