A Million-Dollar Shack?! $1.38M 'Earthquake Shack' in San Francisco

If you want to buy a house in pricey San Francisco, prepare to pony up. This 1906 " earthquake shack" in Cole Valley is going for $1.38 million. By our calculations, with a cozy 640 square feet of living space, that's over $2,000 per square foot. Again, we must remind you -- this is a shack built in 1906.

While this one's in great shape, as we've previously reported, even shabby shacks in this city don't come cheap.

And yes, the listing price is insane, but the property actually looks pretty cute.

"It's like a little cabin," listing agent Lewis Canyon says. "It's a wonderful location. It's a bit of San Francisco history." The little home is move-in ready, as long as you're prepared to be a minimalist.

The tiny pad does offer a great address. It's just down the hill from Golden Gate Park, along with the famed Haight-Ashbury area and the conveniences of Cole Street, which offers a vibrant selection of restaurants, shopping, and cafes.

However, you leave the outside world behind when you enter this charmer, which is nestled among trees and mature plants on a lot that is large enough to possibly build another structure. Follow the walkway, composed of cobblestones that were collected from the city's old streets by a mason who once owned the place.

The most recent owner obviously saw the merits of the place -- a Swiss baker (that's baker, not banker) who snapped up the property in 1973 for $37,000, and saw no reason to ever leave. He's since died, and the home is being offered as a probate sale.

Over the years, the owner added a lower level to house a wine cellar (his collection evident from the wine crates and labels in the space), as well as an open room that could be a guest area, and includes space for a washer and dryer.

Otherwise, the original home includes a sitting room, kitchen, dining room, a bedroom, and maybe one of the coolest bathrooms ever, including a claw-foot tub that looks to be original. Views of Cole Valley and the Golden Gate Bridge area are a bonus -- as is the detached garage.

Some of these shacks, recognizable from their distinct design, still dot the landscape of San Francisco. The massive 1906 quake left 250,000 homeless, and they wound up in temporary tents in the Presidio.

As people found housing, they began to clear out. However, with winter on the way in 1906, and thousands still living in park land, the decision was made to quickly build some 5,200 wood cottages.

Tenants were charged $2 a month on the $50 structures, but there was a catch: Once the home was paid for, owners had to get them out of the Presidio. Which is how this shack made its way to Cole Street, where it's now a million-dollar reminder of housing prices gone bananas.