March 29, 2016

Comparing Cost Per Sq Ft: Galesburg IL Versus San Francisco, CA

 North Prairie St, Galesburg IL
A 3,190 square foot restored Queen Anne Victorian in Galesburg IL, built in 1886. Last sold for $68K in 2008. According to the Knox County Assessor's Office the 2015 market value is $80K ($25.08 per sq ft). Compare that to a similar house in San Francisco below.

709 Scott St, Alamo Square is a 3,170 square foot 5 bedroom 4 bath Queen Anne Victorian built in 1898. Ideally located across the street from Alamo Square Park and a block away from the Painted Ladies on Steiner. This home last sold for $630K in 1989.

For the 2015-2016 tax year, The county of San Francisco gives this house a ridiculously low assessed value of $964,397. This is because the assessor's office is notoriously known for being years behind in reassessing homes. Even so, compared to the Galesburg house, $964K ($304 per square foot) is mind-numbing. Now let's talk about what this house is really worth in the context of San Francisco's perpetually overheated real estate market. Current estimates value this house at about $3.25 million which is $1,027 per square foot. I would also add that this property has some provenance due to it's proximity to the Painted Ladies and to Alamo Square Park, so maybe it's worth even more. I also have no idea what the interiors look like which, of course, could increase or decrease the value.

What's to be learned from all this? I think the answer is quite simply that there is a premium to be paid for the privilege of living in a world class city like San Francisco. Undeniably, a beautiful place to live, but be reminded of the fact that San Francisco is not without a plethora of problems including homelessness, lack of affordable housing, and a crumbling infrastructure just to name a few.

Galesburg IL photo graciously provided by Instagrammer Schlemazeltov