This ‘Shack’ Could Be Yours for $1 Million

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At 640 square feet, it's not much of a house, but the property boasts historic value and a great location -- and this is the marked-down price.

How much would you pay for a tiny cottage that doubles as a piece of history at the edge of San Francisco’s famed Haight-Ashbury district?

The owners (and listing agents) of this historic 1906 “earthquake shack” are hoping you answered $995,000 – that’s the asking price for the 640-square-foot house located on San Francisco’s Ashbury Heights. It’s a bargain price, at least when you consider it was originally listed for $1.38 million last month.

The one-bedroom, one-bath, wood-sided cottage is described by Bay Property Group as “one of the last historic earthquake shacks.” The city, the U.S. Army and relief organizations built just over 5,000 similar “shacks” to house San Francisco residents left homeless by a devastating earthquake in 1906, MarketWatch reports.

The home originally cost $50 ($1,300 in today’s dollars). It last sold in 1973 for $37,000.

“It’s like a little cabin,” listing agent Lewis Canyon told “It’s a wonderful location. It’s a bit of San Francisco history.”

San Francisco is known for having one of the most expensive real estate markets in the United States, but at nearly $1 million, is the price tag on this earthquake shack too high, even if it comes with a wine cellar?

Brian Tran, a realtor with Climb Real Estate in San Francisco, told MarketWatch that while the asking price on the tiny house may seem ridiculously high, many buyers are still paying premium prices to snatch up a piece of San Francisco real estate.

“People say [the San Francisco real estate market is] slowing down, but I don’t see it,” Tran says. “If people are willing to buy at those prices, then we’re still going to see these listings.”

Another earthquake shack sold for $408,000 last fall, and it wasn’t in good condition. The Ashbury Heights earthquake shack, which is located at 1537 Cole St., looks to be in good shape. It’s been updated and added on to over the years.

It features a cobblestone path made up of stones from the city’s old streets, a beautiful mature garden, an old-fashioned brass doorbell, a clawfoot tub in a sky-lit bathroom and the wine cellar mentioned above.

Still, at the current listing price, this earthquake shack comes at a premium price of $1,554 per square foot. Yikes.

Do you think this property delivers $1 million worth of value? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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