By Allen Martin

LARKSPUR (KPIX 5) – The quiet town of Larkspur is the epitome of quaint, the kind of place you might think about settling down, if you can afford it. But with an average sale price of $1.4 million, you might have to go bargain hunting. That’s where the ‘honeymoon cottage’ comes in.

Listed at $355,000, 143 Madrone Ave.  comes with a catch or two, as you soon discover after you sign the waiver required to enter the listing.

There’s nothing plumb or level in the 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 876 square feet of living space, which you must enter through the back door because the front steps are too dangerous. The bank owns the property now. The previous owner went into foreclosure after buying the place for $600,000 in 2007.

Despite the drawbacks, there was a bit of a feeding frenzy as interested people showed up to the open house Sunday.

“Well the front stairs are something to look at. It’s pretty obviously a tear-down to me, but it’s the location, location, location you know,” said Rick Cattel, who was not interested in buying the place.

But the city has a say as to whether the cottage could even be torn down, because the structure dates back to 1905.

“It’s a great example of that early, early period,” said Richard Cunningham of the Larkspur Historical Society. “It’s got some really sweet architectural features.”

Potential buyer Jon Owyang has flipped a few houses and says the difficulty of this property on a scale of 1 to 10 is a 12. But it will still fetch a buyer.

“We drove 40 minutes to see the property. We know it’s priced to sell,” said Owyang.

If you’re interested, just make sure you get a packet of information from the city about what you can and can’t do with the building.

The next most affordable single family home in town is a three bedroom two bath house right across the street from the cottage. It’s listed for $950,000.



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