Rice-A-Roni might say that they’re ‘The San Francisco Treat’ but I think it’s actually real estate! San Francisco is a city that historically has always had very high rental and real estate prices. Today is no different. Accordingly to wikipedia, Silicon Valley “Is home to many of the world’s largest technology corporations, as well as thousands of small start-up companies” – This means that people both want and need to live there. Check out: 147 Bronte Street, San Francisco, CA 94110.
This is the listing on zillow: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/147-Bronte-St-San-Francisco-CA-94110/15163081_zpid/ It’s 950 square feet with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom listed at $799,000 BUT Zillow has the zestimate at almost $1.1million with surrounding comps that support that number. The house has a lot going for it… It’s on an oversized lot, huge yard, nice curb appeal, offers a garage, and best of all, it’s got great views of the bay! The biggest thing that needs to be flipped with this home is the listing! It goes from exterior pics to local attractions… It’s great to know that there is a Lowes nearby… I guess, but it’s not as important as showing the interior space. Most buyers see one or two photos that don’t interest them and move on… This one has eight of them! I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be part of the listing, but I am saying that they should be at the end and the interior shots should come before them. When I encountered this listing myself, I was convinced that the inside must be horrible and that’s why they were distracting viewers with other photos (I’m sure other viewers are thinking the same thing)… But in fact, the interior isn’t that bad.
If I was going to flip this house, I would focus a lot of the rehab funds on the exterior by doing new backyard landscaping and improving the existing covered patio. People love outdoors spaces, especially in the city… This view will absolutely sell the house, but it will be even more appealing if it can be seen from a space that’s beautiful as well. Planting low growing trees, flowering shrubs, would add dolor and texture. I’d also design a gravel path to a patio set strategically placed in the back of the yard surrounded by no-mow grass (super low maintenance) which would create an additional “space” for people to escape and enjoy. I would also change out the railing of the porch and do a pergola instead of the corrugated plastic. This would add charm, character and bring more natural light into the house.
Inside… If you only have one bathroom to offer, make that bathroom count! From the photos it actually seems like a pretty decent size space, but there is nothing special about what’s in it. Since it’s the only bathroom, I’d recommend keeping the bathtub but doing new tile from the tub all the way up to the ceiling. So often people stop the tile before the ceiling (including myself sometimes) but it makes such a great visual impact when you take it all the way up and really makes the space feel larger. After the new tile is installed, a cheap upgrade is making it a rain shower by using an extension pipe… You don’t change the plumbing at all, but it adds a sense of luxury and beauty. On the opposite side of the bathroom I’d paint the existing cabinet and add to it by extending 12″ deep open shelves to the right of it going all the way under the window. Bathroom storage is vital and shelves this size would still give enough room in front of the toilet, but would also be perfect for towels, soaps, and bathroom products. Above these shelves and over the existing vanity I’d add a new marble countertop (guitar shape) to maximize the counter-space. I would also remove the existing mirror and add a designer mirror that’s the same size as the window. I’d swap out the light fixture and have three vertical sconces added instead (one to the left of the mirror, one centered between the mirror and the window, and the third on the other side of the window (equally spaced). This would create a very elegant look and make the window feel like it was part of the intended design and create the sense that the vanity is large enough for two people to use. Finally, the letter “B” is not enough artwork for that space… I’d recommend finding an A, T, and H if you want to use letters otherwise a simple piece of colorful and vertical artwork would look great.
Finally… Moving on to the most important room of the house when selling – The kitchen. This space has a lot of original charm which is great, but nobody wants their stove off by itself with no counter-space around it. The first thing I’d do is carefully remove the cabinet to the right of the kitchen sink and add a dishwasher… Anyone spending a million dollars is going to need one. Then since it’s a gas stove, I’d extend it out from the wall and create a large kitchen peninsula attached to the wall. This would allow you to move the stove more into the center of the room with a cool ceiling mounted stainless steel exhaust hood above it. As a result of this design change, it would create a more functional cooking space and it would literally double the counter-space. Counters which need to be replaced regardless… It seems like the current owners decided to keep half tile and half laminate – That’s not okay. I’d remove both and install new granite countertops on both the existing cabinets and the new kitchen peninsula. Not only that, but I’d get rid of the little bistro set and simply extend the stone countertops further out to create counter seating. Four or five stools later and this kitchen is a place that people will want to gather!