Home Buying in San Francisco>Question Details

Bongster, Renter in 94110

Looking for advice on buying a vacant land (RH1 zoned) in San Francisco

Asked by Bongster, 94110 Sun Jun 24, 2012

Hi All,

We have a "vacant" plot in mind to buy, but would like to get advice on how to go about
buidling on the property.

- This property DOES have a street address (in San Francisco)
- The parcel IS zoned for residential use (RH1)
- But the street currently does NOT run all the way to the house. What is involved in getting the street extended (by about 300-500 ft)?
- Where does one start to get advice on buying a vacant plot and building a house on it?
Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Help the community by answering this question:


Commercial Real Estate Brokers specialize in Raw Land and you would do well, to work with a Commercial Realtor on this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 3, 2012
You should definitely find a local agent experienced with land and building permits! Also get down to the building department or go online to research the permit process and the cost of fees. I'm up in Sonoma County, and with the price of homes being rock bottom right now, it is far more reasonable to buy a fixer and remodel, and have the benefit of the utilities already in. I would think starting from scratch in SF is a job for experienced builders who have the deep pockets to build "Mr. Blandings dream house"! I would suggest looking into several options, both building from scratch or doing a remodel and compare the costs, the time frame, and the costs of permits, and see which is more practical and cost effective, and then at least if you still want a big project, you will be a little more educated about what you're facing. Best, Terry Bell, Realtor, Santa Rosa, CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
Hi: Please feel free to contact me with the street address.

Helen Yuen, Realtor Associate, Land & Property Investments, Inc (415) 469-0577

Builders & Developers, please contact me with specific questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 24, 2012
Your agent should be able to help you, but the first thing you should do is talk with the planning dept in the City.

Since the street doesn't extend to the lot, I already know the answer to my question regarding plans permits, there aren't any.

If you can't get the answers from the planning dept, and don't have any experience, it might be best to pass. If you don't know what you are doing, it can be an extremely expensive education.

Maybe you partner with someone who knows what he/she is doing?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 24, 2012
That's a wonderful problem to have. As you know, San Francisco is complicated – you have competing interests in the Planning and Building Departments at play as well as neighbors and neighborhood associations as well as historic preservation issues. Depending on which neighborhood you are in, these factors may be even more exacerbated. That said, another important thing to note is that the agent you hire should have a good connection and pipeline to developers.

That said, I have knowledge of who to contact with in the industry, city government and legal fields to assist you as well as the connections to the developer community with whom you can coordinate a joint investment or sale. Give me a call and let's talk.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 24, 2012
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