A mansion built into the side of a San Francisco sea cliff with stunning views of the Bay Area would likely not typically struggle to be sold.
Source: The San Francisco Chronicle
But this one did, The pink seven-bedroom home in the Sea Cliff neighborhood to the northwest of the city was listed on the market for $19.6 million in 2016. And after not finding a buyer, the listing was removed shortly after.
There's a good reason for the struggling sale, though — unique circumstances have plagued the property.
The mansion was once owned by notorious art scammer and real estate mogul Luke 'Lucky Luke' Brugnara who stashed hordes of stolen art worth a collective $11 million in the home in 2014.
Source: SF Gate
In 2015, he was sentenced to a seven-year jail term for fraud, but a series of liens placed on the home lingered, presenting problems for the sale of the property.
Source: SF Gate
In October 2019, however, it cropped back up on the market as a bankruptcy sale, and clear of liens, for $15 million. That's just part of the investment that the mansion would need to make it a home, according to listing agent Anne Herrera.
The home is a "fixer-upper," Herrera says. There are no photos home's interior in the listing — the floors need to be redone and the roof leaks.
It's not dangerous, however. Herrera said the owners, who purchased the home 29 years ago, lived in the home until recently. It just needs some TLC.
"This property is for someone who has the money to begin with to buy the property and then either wants to do minimal work to it and kind of clean it up and keep the same floor plan or really completely gut it," Herrera said.
The home's future owners have a good starting point though.
"They face the water, they have unobstructed views of the bridge and the Marin Headlands, Baker Beach, the Pacific Ocean," Herrera said.
The mansion also has a pathway that winds down the cliff to a secluded ocean cove.
Herrera said she's not sure when it was built and if it was legally constructed with permits, but it's a unique feature of the home.
Buying a home in the Sea Cliff neighborhood is a rare feat in and of itself as well.
Herrera said there are maybe only 18 to 25 high-end properties like this that are actually on the cliffside.
"There aren't many that actually come on the market," Herrera said. There was one that sold "very quickly" in July for $18 million.
Sea Cliff is coveted for good reason. Herrera said it's a desirable place to be, with its quiet, peaceful, and scenic environment.
"It has become a place for those that have the means to do so to buy a house and still be in the city, but still be very connected to nature and all the beauty of the views of the bridge and the beach," Herrera said.