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May 9, 2014

What You Can Buy: Vacant Two-Unit Buildings

The vacant two-unit building is one of the holy grails of San Francisco real estate. Two different owners can partner and pursue condo conversion, or a buyer looking to live in one unit and rent out the other can also benefit.

There are three such properties on the market right now, in transit-rich locations with plenty of restaurants, cafes and retail in walking distance. Let’s take a look at what’s out there.

159-161 Belvedere
Cole Valley

Two 2BR/1BAs
Parking included
List Price: $1.6M
159-161 Belvedere is one of those buildings that’s been in the same family for a long time. As such, it needs some heavy updating but is in a location (and has the square footage) that warrant the investment. There’s additional space in each unit that’s been used as a third bedroom, and there is also very nice preserved period detail that hopefully the next owner will maintain. The garage is huge and can accommodate three or more cars if parked in tandem. Excellent neighborhood location that’s near in heart of Cole Valley and also a block from Haight Street.

156-158 Valley
Noe Valley

One 2BR/1BA
One studio
Parking included
List Price: $1,295,000
156-158 Valley is a different proposition: It’s best suited to one owner who will either use the second unit for guests or a rental. First off, this is essentially a house with a studio in the garage. (Though it is a legal two-unit building, the units aren’t equal in size and it’s unlikely two buyers will team up for the purchase.) The mid-century property could use some updating, and it’s in a good Upper Noe location a block from the J Church and plenty of retail. You may also occasionally see me walking past with my two Cairn Terriers, as 156-158 Valley is on my dog-walking route.

1529-1529A Golden Gate
Alamo Square

Two 2BR/1-1.5BAs
Parking included
List Price: $1,480,000
Well-appointed with classic Victorian detail, 1529-1529A Golden Gate has two move-in condition units and a two-car garage with space to park outside. There’s also a lovely yard. One block to Alamo Square Park, and proximity to the retail area along Divisadero’s NoPa stretch.

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