When a massive historic home outside the city costs less than a small unit in San Francisco, suddenly our city's infamously high real estate prices seem even more staggering. Such is the case with Eureka's famous Pink Lady, a grand Victorian priced at $1.29 million.

For the same price, you can pick up a one-bedroom condo in San Francisco.


The Pink Lady is one of California's so-called Redwood Castles.

It was built in 1889 by lumber baron William Carson as a wedding gift for his son. Carson's own house, the Carson Mansion, is lauded as one of the nation's most stunning examples of American Queen Anne-style architecture; some critics have called it the "most grand Victorian home in America." This mansion is now a private club.

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The Carson Mansion is quite close to the Pink Lady. In fact, it is the impressive and imperial home you see from many of the Pink Lady's windows, so father and son could have looked into each other's homes.

Inside the Pink Lady

A sprawling home of many rooms, the official listing for 202 M Street shows four bedrooms and three bathrooms within 4,560 square feet.

Considering her age, this lady is looking well cared for. Many original details are still here: stained glass, the carved wood paneled walls and pocket doors, the fireplace, not to mention the elaborate Queen Anne facade.

There are also an attic (unfinished) and a basement (finished).

The property

The Pink Lady sits on a corner lot of .3 acre, encompassing a quarter-block. Its professionally landscaped grounds include gardens and wide lawns, all of it fenced.

The location affords a gorgeous view of Arcata Bay, which is a short walk from the property.

Also part of the deal, a carriage house that has been split into two levels for commercial use.

In fact, the whole of the Pink Lady could be commercial, though it is now being used residentially, as zoning allows for both.

Back in San Francisco...

For the price, San Francisco has nothing comparable. Yet since comparing is the point of this article, let's look:

There's a one-bedroom, one-bathroom 880-square-foot condo on Main St. coming to market later this month, priced at $1.25 million.

Or, a one-bedroom, two-bathroom loft on Minna, offering 1,948 square feet with a price tag of $1.495 million.

Or this one, in a Victorian (but only a two-bedroom, one-bathroom portion of that Victorian) in Noe, with 1,174 square feet, asking $1.295 million.

So which would you say is the better buy, readers?

See the complete listing here, and tour the gallery above for pictures of both the Eureka and San Francisco properties.

Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert.