Spanish Tile Tony

Spanish Sal.jpgWith an oversized one-car garage, plenty of mature trees and a gracefully curved stairway that your movers are gonna hate, this Grand Lake District beauty would probably set you back about a million or more. Like the festive feel? The current owners will throw in the Christmas lights for free.

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Piedmont Pete

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Pete has been lovingly maintained by his upper-middle class family for decades. With subtle castle-like curb appeal and an aesthetically appealing arrangement of windows, rooflines and overhangs, he stands out among his neighbors. While there may be shag carpeting lurking within his plaster walls and perhaps an olive green electric stovetop in his kitchen, most of the leftovers from the 1968 remodel can be quickly erased by an ambitious new owner and a trusty contractor. Bidding starts at 1.25 million. Depending on the fiscal success of your start up, you may want to go ahead and get comfortable with the things you don’t like—there’s a good chance you’ll be living with them for a while.

Bernal Ben

Bernal Ben.jpgBen hasn’t been gentrified yet—even as the Design Within Reach crowd ambushes his fellow, wood-framed neighbors. His eaves are dirty, his first floor siding tagged by teenagers and his porch smells of urine. Although never divided into apartments, this two story Bernal Heights home hasn’t had the maintenance it deserved over the years. Considering his square footage and proximity to “authentic” Mexican food, I’d imagine the starting bid for Ben would be at least two million. And if one of Zuckerberg’s buddies is in the bidding war, the foggy San Francisco sky is the limit.

Stucco Sam

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Delightfully plain, this Piedmont home is perched on a corner lot and surrounded by trees and stray children. My guess is that it was purchased six years ago for $425K and it’s latest tax evaluation was in the one-and-a-half million range (an absolute steal when you consider the school districts!). The rooms are small, the electrical is outdated and the family that lives there has already set their sites on something bigger and newer just a little further up the hill. After all, there’s no space for two new Audis in a single-car garage.

Rustic Roger

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A fixer-upper in any other part of the world, this hillside retreat comes with a secure entrance, two-car garage and enough dry rot to keep your preferred San Francisco contractor busy for at least a year.* Spend your evening watching the fog roll over Twin Peaks and your mornings trying to figure out how to get another home improvement loan. My estimated pre-bidding-war starting price is $1.8 million. Rent the whole house for $6250—with a 13-thousand dollar deposit to cover any damage. Small cats considered.

* I have no idea if this house has any dry rot issues.

Vera of Vermont Street

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Originally a single-family home, this Oakland retreat offers so much vintage charm it had to be split between two spacious apartments. There’s also a really cute girl living in one of the units and she always says hi when we walk by. This increases my value estimate exponentially. If you wanted to buy the entire building, I’d bring at least a million. Just looking to rent an apartment? I’m guessing $2850 a month, not including utilities.

San Francisco Steve

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A four-unit beauty nestled in San Francisco’s desirable Bernal Heights neighborhood, each bay window alone has a market value of $800K. Each garage space is worth an additional $500K. The small plants are yours for free. My estimated purchase price in this insane market is so high I lost track of the zeros. However, my rent estimate for each apartment is $5,250 a month—with an additional $550 per month for a garage space.