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Burnt-out Castro Victorian asks $995K

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Actual fire sale

What does it take for a Victorian in the Castro to ask less than a million dollars these days? At least a two-alarm fire, judging from the case of 519 Sanchez Street, which listed earlier this month asking $995,000.

Fire broke out on the second floor of the bright blue circa 1905 Vic a block from Dolores Park in February. Nobody was hurt and there’s little damage visible from the street, but at the time SF Weekly described the building as “gutted.”

Hoodline notes that the fire was just the latest unfortunate 519 Sanchez expedition into the news, calling the home an “alleged drug house” and citing numerous neighborhood complaints and frequent police visits.

Indeed, the San Francisco Assessor-Recorder’s office notes a voluminous list of liens placed on the property going back to 2010, more than 50 in all.

A typical Department of Building Inspection complaint about conditions on the property from 2013 reads in part:

Broken windows in the bedroom, dining room and kitchen. No heat in the house. No lock at the back of the house. No access to a garbage dispose area. The front door has no hand set. No handrail in the front of the house. Work being done without permits and past 5 p.m. No egress on second floor. Tenant door was made of a old cabinet door.

The city accused the landlord of doing work on the classic home without permits many times over the past five years.

In fact, the situation got so bad that in 2015 the City Attorney’s office sued owner Joel Elliot, alleging that, “Not only has the owner failed to comply with numerous orders to fix code violations at the property, he has harbored illegal drug activity there for years.”

Obviously that’s all of little bearing on the present listing, which of course advertises the offering as an “opportunity to restore this amazing [...] Victorian” and warns prospective buyers about fire damage and the “sold as-is” nature of the deal.

The designation “Hot Home” on Redfin is perhaps unfortunate in this context, but that just means the site’s algorithm expects it to sell fast.

City records say 519 Sanchez last sold in 1995 for $440,000, about $733,000 after inflation.