Former San Francisco 'drug house' sells for $2 million

- A notorious former drug house that was badly damaged by fire earlier this year has sold for double the original asking price, another sign that the Bay Area real estate market doesn’t seem to be cooling off anytime soon.

The colorful Victorian-era duplex on Sanchez Street in the city’s Castro District sold for $2 million in late June, several months after a fire damaged the back of the home and blew out windows. The house was vacant at the time and no one was injured. 

In early May, the 3,000-square-foot home went on the market for $995,000 but two weeks later, the price was upped to $2.1 million. 

The property has had problems dating back to at least 2010 when the city began issuing multiple notices of violations for missing exterior staircases, lack of heat and other code violations. The city said the property soon earned a reputation among neighbors as a "drug house" for police raids and allegations of drug use and the sale of narcotics, including methamphetamines and heroin.

In November, 2015, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera successfully sued the property owner over the violations and a judge ordered the property owner to fix the housing code violations, as well as pay the city and county nearly $1.7 million in fines and fees, according to SF Gate.

The property owner later filed for bankruptcy, and the city is pursuing a judgment for repayment, the site reported.

The recent sale comes just months after several other fire-ravaged properties fetched big bucks after multiple cash offers. 

“(The market) is still hot,’’ said Cheryl Rivera Smith with Coldwall Banker Residential Mortgage in Palo Alto. “I’ve sold several properties near the Google campus for ridiculous prices.”

A few months ago, Rivera Smith sold a home in Mountain View that was a charred shell following a fire three years ago. After multiple all cash offers, the burned out home sold for more than $1.6 million, she said.

A San Jose home that was destroyed in a 2016 fire and the surrounding property sold for $100,000 over its asking price in April after six cash offers were received.

But even outside the tech-rich Silicon Valley, real estate is being snapped up for unprecedented prices. 
A condemned home in Fremont with holes in the roof and mildew in the pipes sold for $1.23 million in March. That was $230,000 over the asking price.

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