Inside the derelict, ramshackle fixer-upper homes in San Francisco that still sell for millions of dollars in the city’s inflated housing market

  • Fixer-uppers selling for at least $1 million in San Francisco regularly make headlines.
  • In a city where housing demand outweighs supply, the value of homes and land is sky-high, meaning even dilapidated single-family homes throughout the city are worth a pretty penny.
  • But the purchase of the property is only the first step in taking on a fixer-upper project — renovations typically mean shelling out millions more.
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The glamour of flipping a “fixer-upper” has in part been fetishized by home-renovation TV shows on channels like HGTV. One of the most recent and high-profile ones that come to mind is of course Chip and Joanna Gaines’ “Fixer Upper,” where homeowners paid on average $173,221 for their fixers upfront in the Texas town of Waco before the famous couple gave it their signature touch.

It’s common to not only watch on TV but read about how old, decaying structures are reborn into the homes of families’ American dreams.

In San Francisco, though, the concept of a piece in the city’s tight housing market being a “fixer-upper” has a wholly different connotation. The city’s limited housing stock and subsequent housing shortage and crisis translate to even these dilapidated houses selling for north of $1 million.

Business Insider has reported on a portion of the city’s “fixer-upper” homes in recent years, including a recent sale of one of the city’s famed Painted Ladies purchased by a tech founder for $3.55 million (in cash, mind you.) 

Here’s how San Francisco’s fixer-uppers have fared on the market, why new owners can’t simply demolish their new fixer-upper even if they want to, what their listing agents had to say about them, and what some of them are like inside.

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