San Francisco house on sale for just $488,000 – but there’s a big catch

  • A house in San Francisco has been listed for sale for just $488,000 
  • The ‘as-is sale’ includes a current tenant renting the property 
  • Whoever buys the property may not be able to move in until 2053

Published on Jun 25, 2024 at 2:30 AM (UTC+4)
by Claire Reid

Last updated on Jun 26, 2024 at 3:52 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

A spacious three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in San Francisco has gone on the market for just $488,000. However, it does come with a catch: the new owner wouldn’t be allowed to move in until 2053. 

The Edwardian-style property, situated in a cul-de-sac in North View Court, Russian Hill, comes complete with a living room, family room, kitchen, and dining room. 

It also comes complete with a sitting tenant who does not have to vacate the property until 2053. This means whoever buys the property will become a landlord to a tenant who is paying $417 a month, an amount that will remain unchanged for the duration of the tenancy. 

READ MORE! Man returns to land he bought in 1991 for home to find a $1.5m house already on it

Tell me more about that catch

“This is an excellent investment opportunity for just the right buyer,” a listing on Zillow reads

“Current tenant claims SF City- tenant protection class- status,” it continues. “Tenant’s current lease appears to grant tenants strong long-term rent rate amount restrictions, unconventional method of rental payment, and possible occupancy rights until 2053.”

The listing does not disclose what the ‘unconventional method of rental payment’ entails. So we’ll let your minds wander there. 

Although it’s an unusual set-up for a house sale, the property is a bit of a bargain, all things considered. 

It’s still a good price for a house in San Francisco

According to, the median asking price for a home in San Francisco in May this year was $1.2 million, while the median sale price was $1.1 million.

Data from Zillow for the same month shows that the median rental price for a San Francisco house was $3,250 per month. A lot less than what the current tenant pays.

And it seems that locals know a good deal when they see one. One neighbor told ABC7 the house attracted a ‘line’ of potential buyers who were happy to queue up in the street. 

“My husband came in and said, ‘You’ve got to look out the window. There’s a line from the house all the way to the middle of the block right here,’” said neighbor Ilia Smith. “I don’t know what to make of it.”

Her husband Tim Smith told the outlet the potential sale had come as a ‘big surprise’ to residents on the street. 

“The new owner would have to buy the house subject to a very long rental lease that is currently being offered to an individual,” he added. 

But it’s still a decent buy for someone with a long-term mindset. 

And if the seller still struggles to find a buyer, they could always try what this UK seller did and park a $4.2 million Ferrari in the living room to lure in potential buyers. Smart. 

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Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist who hails from the UK but is now living in New Zealand. She began her career after graduating with a degree in Journalism from Liverpool John Moore’s University and has more than a decade of experience, writing for both local newspapers and national news sites. Across her career she's covered a wide variety of topics, including celebrity, cryptocurrency, politics, true crime and just about everything in between.