More Real-Estate Insanity: Owner Asking $800,000 For Burned-Out San Francisco Home

Tyler Durden's picture

A ‘fixer upper’ is a charitable term for what this is.

In a story that exposes just how obscenely overvalued San Francisco’s housing market has become, Business Insider reports that one motivated real estate agent in San Francisco is seeking a buyer for a home in the tony Bernal Heights neighborhood that was completely gutted in a fire last year, and needs to be demolished and completely rebuilt – a project that would likely run into the millions of dollars.

The asking price? A not-unreasonable $800,000. And that’s a bargain, according to real estate agent Jim Laufenberger, who is seeking a buyer for the home at 121 Grant Street, because in all likelihood, the paucity of new housing stock in the city means it will likely sell for more – not less – than the ask.

121 Grant Street, a one-bedroom, one-bathroom house in the desirable Bernal Heights neighborhood, hit the market in late October. The home was "completely gutted" in a fire in 2016, and the new owners will need to demolish what's left, according to realtor Jim Laufenberg.


"I suspect it will sell for more than what I'm asking," Laufenberg told Business Insider, adding that the seller listed the property below market value to incite interest in the first few weeks.


The price tag attached to the 1,700-square-foot lot shows the extent of the housing bubble in San Francisco, where tech workers create demand faster than the city can build new housing.

While rebuilding the home would be a massive hassle, Laufenberger suggested that 121 Grant Street's location just north of Cortland Street — a main drag populated by small markets, cafes, restaurants, and nail salons — would make it worth the effort.

Bernal Heights, like the rest of San Francisco, has seen housing prices soar to unprecedented heights driven by demand from well-compensated tech employees.

As we’ve reported previously, the lack of affordable housing is affecting the local economy in profound ways. Data from California’s Employment Development Department show the Bay Area lost nearly 5,000 jobs in September – its worst month for employment since 2010, and the second straight month that jobs disappeared from a region that was formerly an engine of labor market growth.

"It's the location, it's the land, it's the opportunity to build," Laufenberg said.

As Axios noted, jobs are disappearing not for want of work, but because employers are finding it hard to fill positions due to limited housing and sky-high prices. Housing prices in the city are so out of whack, that a couple earning nearly $140,000 a year (more than double the median income for American families) qualifies for affordable housing.

“The economy in the Bay Area has pushed up against the physical limits of a lack of housing and a lack of places for workers to live,” Jeffrey Michael, director of the Stockton-based Center for Business and Policy Research at University of the Pacific, told the San Jose Mercury News.

Workers who can't find or afford housing close to their offices are pushed out of the area, and many of them don't want to bother with long commutes. "Housing is the chain on the dog that is chasing a squirrel," economist Christopher Thornberg told the Merc. "Once that chain runs out, it yanks the dog back."

Elon Musk, who recently laid off some 700 employees at Tesla’s Fremont factory in hopes of replacing them with cheaper contract labor, won’t be happy to hear this.   

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Troll Magnet's picture

Do fags come with the property? They can glamorize the hell out of it and flip it for $5 million to some corrupt Chicom who’s looking to launder his money.

Life of Illusion's picture



tmosley's picture

It's called a "tear-down" Tyler.

Lots of people buy homes with the intent of demolishing them and building something new on the land.

813kml's picture

The real value is mineral rights, lots of BTC deposits deep in SF soil.

cheka's picture

indeed.  few people realize that it's all about the dirt.  bricks and sticks no importa

as mexico migrates to commiefornia, expect the dirt to climb.....until critical mass is reached.  then it will be a question of if fbny fcks all of us to prop the hellhole up

why house burn?  i heard a rumor that a tube of lube exploded onto a stack of antifa/blm/la raza moped stickers

zhandax's picture

"why house burn?"

Well it sure as fuck wasn't because it was on Grant St north of Courtland since that doesn't exist..  Maybe weekend tyler means Gates St?

trippy64's picture

The BI story has it at Gates street. Why do the Tylers not quote stories instead of rewriting, since they don't get the facts straight.

newdoobie's picture

There are not properties with mineral rights still attached in CA

Bunker Boy's picture

Enjoy the working with the California environmental protection agency for disposing of this hazmat site, dumbass. 

Blue Vervain's picture

Quoted from the article - the house will need to be " completely rebuilt – a project that would likely run into the millions of dollars."

Since when did rebuild costs for what is basically a single-storey shed come to millions of dollars? If build costs were that high all properties would be worth tens of millions.

Is the author factoring in the long-awaited hyperinflation? Aaaahhhhh!

momololo's picture

Since when did rebuild costs for what is basically a single-story shed come to millions of dollars? If build costs were that high all properties would be worth tens of millions.


Made me laugh. You are right.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

He's not selling a 'burned out home', he's selling the lot under it.

Troll Magnet's picture

But that lot isn’t his. The lot belongs to the county. #propertytax

Juggernaut x2's picture

Ok- $850K- buy only if they throw in that Mexican's shitty crew cab pickup truck.

Vlad the Inhaler's picture

Meh, the real question is how do you think the fire started?

813kml's picture

The methhead owner's iPhone X exploded while he was cooking up a batch.

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

The Dread Pirate Roberts lived there when he had only gotten as far as asking questions on StackOverflow about how to build a site on the QT.  </sarc>

Megaton Jim's picture

They REALLY, REALLY need a 9.5+ earthquake in all of SoCal from Frisco on down!

just the tip's picture

given the magnitude differentials of a logrithmic scale i would say, 9.987.

ironmace's picture

Until the next tech bubble bursts, then they all default, and none of it is worth a fiddler's fuck.

Iskiab's picture

Real estate in cities is about buying the land, there just happens to be a house on top of it.

It’s probably a good investment, with interest rates going nowhere in the foreseeable future if it’s a good location it’s a good buy. The condition of the house is irrelevant if you’re planning on tearing it down.

new game's picture

the home is a liability. a depreciating asset. simple shit maynard.

minimal maint. homes are the best bet. now if the yard would mow itself.

i need a cleaning homie.


rootvg's picture

We live in the SF burbs and all the talk is about the coming bust.  We hear it daily.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

It does have a tree

Albertarocks's picture

Read the small print... "tree not included".

sessinpo's picture

Fuck.  Ima gonna cut dat sum bich down

BeansMcGreens's picture

Please for heavens sake, before you do please give it a good shake to wake up the six homeless people living in it.

yogibear's picture

LOL, they'll probably get more than $800,000 in this Federal Reserve created bubblized housing market.

Cabreado's picture

Let the fools spend their money. 

We have a real estate crash to get to, ya know, and we're wasting time.

Eahudimac's picture

And for an extra $200,000, they'll let that vintage san francisco pick-up truck go along with the house. But hurry because at these prices, it'll be gone tomorrow. Jerry Garcia once took a piss on the rear driver's side tire.

Maximeme Q's picture

What's so unreasonable about this? It's close to cafes and nail solons ffs!!!

Golden Showers's picture

Kind of makes me miss the San Fran earthquake that burned the city down.

Just looking forward to the next big one. Here's a list of earthquakes for you Califoria fucks.

Die, motherfuckers!

Go leave the Republic and shove your bear up your ass.

Silver Savior's picture

Ummmm I am in California. lol. Felt an earthquake the other day but nothing fell on my head. I was in Home Depot.

just the tip's picture

so which part needs explaning to you.  the dying, fucking your mother, or the part about the bear?

Yen Cross's picture

   I'll see your "800K of usury" and raise you one TOZ of AU.

   When I was younger, the offer would have been much less generous  )-:

pigpen's picture

Make SF affordable again and destroy the digital adtech frauds of Google and Facebook.

Use brave browser on any device and operating system and run your social media apps including YouTube out of brave browser. Blocks all advertising, tracking and malware by DEFAULT.

Render digital advertising model useless, no ads served, watched and tracked.

I can assure you SF real estate is much lower with Facebook and Google valued at 1/10 current price.

Make this a political movement and revalue your attention. You should get $ watching advertising yet the digital advertising monopolies don't share that $ with you.

Get your friends and family to immediately switch to brave browser. We can control these companies and make SF more affordable.



Disgruntled Goat's picture

Brave is great.... cant even think about using something else now.

"Always go with The Goat"

Silver Savior's picture

I can't stand real estate agents and it annoys me as fuck when they have a shit property and try to smooth it over by saying something stupid like it's by a bus stop or some shit.  I hate them!!!!!!!!!!

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

There's more fucking nail salons than Starbucks in SF. 

Almost makes you think that might be fronts for some other -- NAH, no -- couldn't be.

Anarchyteez's picture

Hell no!

Debt slave idiots.

herkomilchen's picture

What's funny is it's totally unnecessary. First, zoning laws prohibit developers from creating tons more supply of housing by building taller buildings.

Second, and even worse, 10 miles south of that house there are hundreds of square miles of unused land adding no value to anyone.  A land area twice the size of San Francisco.  Land forced to remain fallow by government as "Open Space Preserve."

To government, preserving open space for random squirrels and birds is more important than people.  And having that land not in the middle of nowhere mind you but immediately inside one of the most populated urban areas in the country.

I can only imagine the painful and costly personal sacrifices millions of people in the Bay Area make in their health care, education, and quality of life daily to afford housing prices grossly inflated by government whim artificially constraining supply.

Yen Cross's picture

  I really like your sarchasms.

   San Francisco is a bunch of fun. You can blow through several thousand fiats per hour. [thankfully I'm not gay]

   Can't I just get some return on my 401-k-pension fund-passive oil-utes growth fund?

cheka's picture


exactly why texas RE will never do this -- there's always ALWAYS more land to expand

H H Henry P P P Paulson's picture

The Government reserved that land for the bums.

SPQR 70AD's picture

fuck the people in san fran I aint no commie tree hugger but would rather see birds more then seeing faggots niggers chinks spics and indians fuck them all

Bunga Bunga's picture

SF real estate got too hot, again.

Consuelo's picture



'Tech employee'...


I wonder what the title 'tech employee' actually designates today with regard to the type of 'tech' the Bay Area produces for export and domestic consumption.

Would it be something like writing a program which enables me to send you an instant pic of the $50 steak dinner I had tonight - and the steaming brown coil sitting proudly inside the porcelain throne a few hours later...?

That sort of talent must be worth at least $250k/year...



Disgruntled Goat's picture

"The Founding of San Francisco"

Hey, see all these really steep hills and mountains next to the water? Lets build a city there, that way we get to walk up and down these steep slopes all the time.