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What does $350,000 get you in America’s most expensive city? A 109-year-old 765-square-foot shack. And when I say shack, I’m being literal.

According to, the structure located at 16 De Long Street in San Francisco was originally built as a “refugee shack” to house victims of the devastating 1906 earthquake (and subsequent fires) which left hundreds of thousands homeless. Today, the makeshift “earthquake cottage” costs $116,000 more than the median price for existing homes in the U.S (July 2015).

The San Francisco Association of Realtors describes the two-bedroom, one-bathroom hovel as a “distinguished home in need of work” and a “contractor special.” From a marketing perspective, I suppose that sounds better than a “supercentenarian refugee hut that was built before the Cubs won their last World Series.”

Via Google Street View.

Via Google Street View.

According to, the home was last sold in 1980 for $51,500. So if the place sells for anywhere near the asking price, it will be quite a return on investment. However, if anyone is thinking about purchasing the property just for the land, be careful. Historic preservation efforts may hamper your scheme.

If San Francisco’s outrageous prices are above your budget, there’s always Cleveland. In 2014, ranked the Rust Belt city as the cheapest place in America to buy a home, with an average four-bedroom, two bathroom house going for $64,993. If that’s still too rich for your blood, there’s always Detroit. In 2013, you could snag a house in certain parts of the city for around $500. I doubt those price have increased by all that much.

(Source: The Daily Mail)