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‘Completely gutted’ Bernal Heights teardown asks $799K

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Blaze destroyed home in 2016

A fire damaged house in Bernal Heights Courtesy James Laufenberg, Coldwell Banker

In 2016, a two-alarm fire in Bernal Heights ravaged the interiors of 121 Gates, a one-bed, one-bath, 600-square-foot home dating back to 1907.

The photos leave little to the imagination, showing the charred remains of the previous resident’s furniture and possessions among the aftermath of the fire, with the exteriors blackened from that burn nearly a year and a half ago.

For perspective, the median price of a California home is just over $555,400, according to the California Association of Realtors. And the average single-family home in the Bay Area goes for slightly over $852,000. This Bernal Heights shell could easily reach that with a bit of buyer interest.

And buyer interest may percolate in spite of the home’s conditions. In early 2016, for example, an “extensively damaged, uninhabitable” Sunset house listed for less than $600,000, but sold for over $950,000. And in August of this year, a similarly fire damaged and “uninhabitable” Oceanview house asked $1.4 million; the ad now lists a sale as pending.

In short, it doesn’t appear to matter what condition a San Francisco house is in these days. So long as the property rests squarely within the city boundaries, the potential value of the mere dirt under the foundations will drive buyer interest.

At the time, Bernalwood reported that the fire, which reportedly injured no one, burned for an estimated three hours. And that was the last anyone heard of this unfortunate abode that, until last Friday, listed as “completely gutted due to fire.”

Asking is $799,000.