Empty Glen Park lot listed for $1.85 Million

Only in the Bay Area could you try to sell an empty plot of land for almost a couple million dollars.

Elsewhere, this amount of money buys you something like this in Newport, Rhode Island:

Photo by Linda McManus for The New York Times’ article “What You Get for $1.8 Million”


Or this 4-Bedroom, 4.5-Bathrooms renovated 1773 barn in Carversville, Pa for $1.795 Million:

Photo by Linda McManus for The New York Times’ article “What You Get for $1.8 Million”


Or this 1966 Tudor-style house in Portland, Ore., on the market for $1.75 million

Photo by Lumin Photography for The New York Times’ article “What You Get for $1.8 Million”


In San Francisco, home to giant tech innovators and disruptors, where median pay figures of the highly-skilled tech worker is in the 6 or 7-figure range, the housing market can go nuts. Per Business Insider,

The median price of a single family house in San Francisco in March soared by 25% year-over-year, or by $337,500, to $1,687,500. But that’s down a notch from February, both in magnitude and nuttiness, when the price had skyrocketed 31% year-over-year, or by $410,000, to the record of $1.7 million flat. Over the six years since March 2012, the median house price has ballooned by 143%


Recently, the sellers at 80 Thor Avenue listed an empty lot for sale at the nice, family-friendly neighborhood of Glen Park, for $1.85 million. That’s the asking price for the currently overgrown 2,657-square-foot parcel — roughly the size of a tennis court, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Image result for 80 Thor Ave sf
Photo of 80 Thor Avenue in San Francisco courtesy of Coldwell Banker Homes


Why would anybody buy a vacant land?

Well, it’s a clean slate. Yes, this vacant property wants anywhere from 1.23 to more than 483 times the price of a full home somewhere else. However, Compass realtor Pete Brannigan writes in the listing that the lot also comes with “approved plans for [an] exciting, detached, brand new 4,000-plus square foot four bed, 5.5 bed single family home.”

Image result for excited to build a homePhoto of a new home being built, courtesy of Andee Layne


According to the Department of Building Inspection, the city issued permits for the property in May 2018, green lighting a “three-story, single-family dwelling unit” at 80 Thor Avenue.

The city also projects construction costs at about $1.12 million. According to the San Francisco Planning Department records, the current owner, an anonymous LLC, had purchased the land for $950,000 in early 2016.

Image result for home construction glen park sfPhoto of construction work in the Glen Park neighborhood of San Francisco courtesy of Yelp


The full listing can be viewed here.

Curious buyers will do well to do their due diligence when buying a vacant land as there are many factors to consider from laying a foundation, easements, zoning restrictions, environmental tests, surveyor to identify boundaries, lender requirements for mortgage and construction loans, utilities, running water, to name a few.

“Seek land that will allow you to build the home you want,” according to US News, “but know your plot’s restrictions before finalizing the plans.”

“You can start with a conceptual idea of what you want to build with your architect, but to get real specific you’d almost need to identify what piece of land it is first,” chimes in Michelle Farber Ross, a real estate broker and managing partner of MMD Realty in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Sources: SF Gate, Curbed SF, Business Insider, US News

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