Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Buying Fixer-Uppers in San Francisco

fixer upper

A homeowner's dreams of restoring to life a minuscule fixer-upper in San Francisco - one of the nation's most expensive housing markets collapsed over the weekend—literally.

The decaying wood of Bill Zhou's azure Victorian in San Francisco's Sunnyside vicinity crumbled into the foundation Sunday afternoon, damaging a neighbor's house in the process.

Zhou and his wife acquired the fixer upper at 149 Mangels Avenue for $525,000 -- a deal in San Francisco where the median home price hit $755,000 in April 2007. Homeowners planned to restore the one-bedroom, 870-square-foot cottage themselves, including reconstruction the hillside home's 1910 foundation and adding a second bedroom.

When the house caved in, thunderously collapsing into a pile of rubble, inhabitants of the quiet district on the San Francisco 's south side said it sounded like a jumbo jet breaching the sound barrier. No one was injured, but a corner of the Victorian house slammed into the house next door, breaking a window and cracking walls.

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