The address says 543 Foerster St. Visible at that address are trees, a red fence and, towards the back corner of the property, the hint of a vintage cottage. The entrance, however, is around the corner on Mangels Street.
It is difficult to determine the age of the whimsical cottage at 543 Foerster. The Multiple Listing Service says it was built in 1900, but it says that about plenty of houses whose age it doesn’t know.
Water service came to the address in 1910, but former owner Patricia Morrigan, a glass artist, claims that prior to 1910, water came from a well on the property. The vertical beadboard on the kitchen walls and ceiling suggest that perhaps at least part of the house was once an earthquake shack, which would put its age at 102.
Quibbling over age is unimportant, however. What is more notable is the uniqueness of the property.
“Amazingly, this is only a 25-by-100 lot,” said listing agent Wendy Storch of Paragon.
It is amazing because in that space the lot somehow contains the cottage, multi-level decking, two-car parking and large gardens. The overall effect is as if someone took the home and lot from Fairfax and placed it in San Francisco.
Morrigan, who volunteers at the Sharon Art Studio in Golden Gate Park, lived in the home for 17 years. Though she sold in 2005, she left an impact on the home by creating and installing several detailed stained-glass windows. Each of the windows features wildlife Morrigan spotted on the property.
The home’s present owners left their mark as well. A caterer and a wine-industry executive, they upgraded the kitchen, adding professional-grade appliances and granite counters to the home’s otherwise rustic quality.
Upstairs are two bedrooms, one with a view patio. Both are filled with light and make very inventive use of limited space. Like the entire cottage, they remind us what can be done with a little imagination and creativity.
19 CLAIRVIEW COURT
Where: San Francisco
Asking Price: $749,000
Property Tax: $9,737*
The Property: Approximately 1,600 square feet of living area, with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and family room; 2-car garage.
Notable: Views of ocean, Twin Peaks, hills; home is on the market for the first time since 1958.
Agent: Robert E. Merriman, Blanche Streeter, McGuire Real Estate, (415) 929-1500.
304 LOUIS LANE
Where: Redwood City
Asking Price: $725,000
Property Tax: $9,425*
The Property: 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom townhouse built in 1999; family room, parking, $250 per month association fee.
Notable: Located near Redwood City downtown and Oracle.
Agents: Blaise Lin, Acel Realty, (650) 307-1010.
460 OUTER ZAYANTE ROAD
Where: Santa Cruz
Asking Price: $689,000
Property Tax: $8,957*
The Property: Los Gatos mountains cottage near Lexington Reservoir with updated kitchen; 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,430 square feet.
Notable: 65,000 square-foot lot with redwoods, seasonal creek, multiple decks.
Agents: Nancy Cole, Coldwell Banker, (408) 355-1515. www.nancycole.com.