Albion Castle
As we wrote in January:

While the $10,592 throne is still in place and the listing continues to advertise “seller financing available,” the asking price for the Albion Castle (881 Innes Avenue) has been reduced another $200,000 to $1,599,000 (151 thrones).

Once again, the seller is a mortgage banker who purchased the property at auction for $2,090,000 in 2005, remodeled and renovated (enter said throne), and then returned the castle to the market in late 2009 asking $2,950,000.

Four days later the list price for the Albion Castle was reduced to $1,499,000. And on Friday, the list price for 881 Innes Avenue was reduced to $1,349,000, 54 percent under 2009 expectations but just 35 percent under its pre-renovated sale price in 2005.
∙ Listing: 881 Innes Avenue (4/2) – $1,349,000 [MLS]
Albion Castle (881 Innes) Cuts To 151 Thrones [SocketSite]
The Albion Castle’s $10,592 Throne [SocketSite]
Care To Get Your Castle On? A Restored Albion Castle Returns [SocketSite]
Albion Castle Cuts $550,000 (19%), Now About That Karma… [SocketSite]
Calling All Kings…Albion Castle Cuts Another $500,000 (21 percent) [SocketSite]
Another Cut For Albion Castle (881 Innes Avenue) [SocketSite]
Four Days Later And Another Nine Throne Cut For Albion Castle [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by El Bombero

    LOL @ $2.05 buy in 2005.
    LOL @ throwing money away on a renovation
    LOL @ $2.95 ask in 2009
    There seeme to be no lower bound for common sense in SF.

  2. Posted by EH

    bombero: the fact that this has not yet sold seems to color your assertion premature.

  3. Posted by eddy

    Headline FTW!

  4. Posted by rr

    what’s the rub on this one? That it’s in a relatively poor location that no one is willing to look at in a falling market? That it’s impractical as a house? That no one wants a castle?

  5. Posted by tipster

    “relatively poor location”
    I’m guessing you’re trying to sell a home nearby?

  6. Posted by Jane

    It’s a shame, really. I’ve been there and it is a neat, quirky place that the right person would just love, but not at this price.

  7. Posted by A.T.

    Yeah, this purchase was pure folly. Anyone have any idea what the water rights are worth – i.e. what $ could be earned from the water supply? This may make sense as a business (where one also can crash and host parties) at a far lower sale price.

  8. Posted by Lori

    IMO a big factor is that it just doesn’t show well. The kitchen is hideous, and the bedroom shown in the MLS listing looks like one you would find in solitary confinement, and the living room looks like a cigar lounge (in a bad way). Even the “right” person needs to be shown the potential.

  9. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    I am still in at $700k. I think it has potential as a bottled water / S&M dungeon business.

  10. Posted by wtf?

    It could be the right place for someone who likes having a tomb in his/her basement.

  11. Posted by Willow

    Gotta agree with tipster… I would not feel very safe living there. You are deep in the hood. It’s very isolated too. Also, I don’t see much of a renovation. Can someone explain?
    From a financial perspective this has to a prime example of one of the top 5 worst purchases during the SF RE Bubble.

  12. Posted by sf fantasy

    Wasn’t the Power Exchange looking for a new home a while back?
    That, combined with the water rights, and you might be able to make a buck on this thing. (And no, I didn’t check the zoning, so I have no idea what is possible.)

  13. Posted by SocketSite

    The listing for 881 Innes Avenue has been withdrawn from the MLS without a reported sale.

  14. Posted by El Bombero

    It’ good to see that in 2011 apparently no one is dumb enough to pay anywhere near $1.6 for this place. Here’s to hoping 881 Innes ultimately gets the 50%+ haircut from 2007 it deserves.

  15. Posted by Devils Advocate

    How can they call this a 4 bedroom house is totally beyond me, most of the so-called bedrooms are just platorms with up and down steep stairwells on each side.
    None, repeat none of the bedrooms have closets.
    The place leaks and smells like mold, the two roofs will require a complete tear off and replacement which could easily run $40 to 50 thousand dollars, heating is sporatic, the kitchen theme is Dutch, totally outbof character with the rest of the building.
    The electrical is totally inadequate, and getting permits for
    anything may be a bureaucratic nightmare.
    The neighborhood is about the most dangerous in the whole City of San Franciscodrug dealing and shooting occur regularly nearby, sirens and police pursuits are part of the ambience. Schools suck, and you would never let you children outside.
    Driving home in the dark might be a new chapter in Fear She Wrote.
    This is not a home for the squeemish.

  16. Posted by sfrenegade

    “The place leaks and smells like mold”
    I’m not surprised. Empty houses tend to grow mold quite easily if they aren’t well-ventilated. The fact that the heating doesn’t work is a bad sign too and could contribute to the problem. NPR had a story about this recently, actually:
    http://www.npr.org/2011/07/13/137629788/as-number-of-foreclosed-homes-grows-so-does-mold
    Albion Castle also has an obvious source of moisture — the spring underneath it. Are there any sumps or other features that are needed at this location? Have they been running?

  17. Posted by lol

    Had they been more realistic with their expectations they’d have sold to someone who’d have mitigated these issues.
    Now anyone who wants to move in will have a very steep upfront cost. Even in good condition, how much is a house in the Bayview near a polluted industrial area worth? Not much, even a unique property.

  18. Posted by 4h clubber

    “….schools suck”
    Perhaps, but on the bright side, this is almost certainly one of the lowest scoring census tracts, meaning that your child automatically gets first choice of any elementary school in the city.

  19. Posted by A.T.

    So this place finally sold at $820,000. 61% off the 2005 price and that does not include the remodel costs. Guy should have bought in 2005 in Stockton instead – would have lost a lot less.

  20. Posted by [anon.ed]

    That remodel probably cost all of 250 bucks.

  21. Posted by sfrenegade

    Hard to believe that people once thought this to be a $3M property. Still, I’d think it has promise as a commercial property, as the seller was thinking of re-creating. Hard to find a more deserving seller of such big losses, of course, since the seller dealt in mortgage “products”.

  22. Posted by R

    I don’t think people ever thought this was a $3M property. One delusional owner did, but that’s a person not people.

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