(415) 730-3030 [email protected]

115 Bella Vista Way, San Francisco

Exterior (before): Landscaping looking a bit ragged, palm tree blocking the garage door.

Exterior (after): Tidied up the front yard, planted new plants where needed, trimmed trees to show the level of care.

Living room (before): The plusses—dramatic ceilings, crown molding, parquet floors, oversized front window and great fireplace. But yellow, taupe and brown colors were too dated. Wanted to match the design level of the sellers’ wonderful hall bathroom renovation.

Living room (after): Cooler tones registered as attractive, modern and approachable. My recently discovered flooring specialist can restain a variety of flooring materials to a contemporary grayish hue. He works wonders for us, even on inexpensive engineered wood in lower price point properties.

Dining room (before): This room suffered from a dated yellow/orange look. The open air patio (right, through the window door) should be the main focal point, but the bright flooring called attention to itself.

Dining room (after): Our designer chose the right wall color to heighten synergy with the new lighter, neutral parquet flooring. Grayer and bleached out, it parallels Restoration Hardware and other fine contemporary design.

Bedroom (before): A single change can affect perception of the entire home so we make strategic choices, stay on budget and strive for the highest ROI. The color needed to be more neutral and the room restored to its use as a bedroom.

Bedroom (after): Removed carpet runner on stairs and stained floors neutral gray, which made the bannister color wrong. Since the floor stain wouldn’t absorb on bannister wood so we chose a crisp white.

Downstairs flooring (before): Engineered wood on the lower levels was in poor shape and I was not optimistic that we could achieve the higher-end look we wanted on our budget.

Downstairs flooring (after): The floor took to the stain fabulously and made all three levels in the home consistent, clean and cohesive.

Decks (before): The generous outdoor space was a big draw–the promise of BBQs and family living with expansive views. But none of our design team was okay with the disturbing red color of the rubberized decking.

Decks 1 (after): We painted the stairs and decks with a specialized paint in a cool, neutral color. It was chosen to complement, not compete with, the existing wood elements we didn’t have a budget for resurfacing.

Decks 2 (after): Refreshed with paint and staged, this space is inviting and very usable.

Master bathroom (before): Clean, but not modern.

Master bathroom (after): Sellers had remodeled this bathroom earlier and chose a sleek, open floor plan and contemporary fixtures and finishes. My challenge was to present the rest of the house at a matching high level of design.

4th bedroom (before): The starting point, a blank slate with a glaring orange floor.

4th bedroom (after): Mission accomplished—a soothing, contemporary haven that buyers could imagine coming home to.

Living room (after): The charming living room, updated and staged to create a sense of space and relaxation.

Site Conditions

  • A mishmash of flooring types—oak, parquet and engineered/laminate—looked disjointed and old
  • Two lower levels had engineered flooring with unsightly gaps
  • Yellow-orange wood floors made everything seem outdated and uninviting
  • Changing flooring colors would create a clash with the banister and stair colors, rug runners down the staircases were dingy

Results of Our Work

  • Handled project for sellers after they moved out of state
  • Brought in inspectors and remediated deficiencies
  • Surfaces, including wood floors, refinished in cool, modern gray tones

The Numbers

  • Listed $1.999M
  • Sold $2.3M
  • Offers – 3
  • Days on market- 14

Sellers Left the Details to Us

My favorite aspect of this project? The sellers moved out of state and trusted most details to my team, including generating a big return on their resurfacing investment.

I looked carefully for spots buyers might see as weak points. The sellers agreed with my recommendations to improve those areas. It was essential to catch up the rest of the home to the wonderful bathroom renovation the sellers had already done.

We devoted nearly 2 weeks to inspections and remediating nearly every imaginable issue a buyer could raise. A slight leak in the radiant heat plumbing, maintenance on the sewage pump tank, transfer of roof warranty, roof repairs, and a list of other items.

Focusing on finishes and detail, we envisioned how to make components (such as orange-ish wood bannisters) work with the newly refinished cool gray floors.

We marketed the home for a targeted 12 days, followed by a bid date to aggregate demand and let buyers compete. The top offer was cash, with no inspections or contingencies. Extra prep work had paid off, with a bid date just 9 days after San Francisco began sheltering in place.

920 Powell Street Resurfacing Plan

Exterior Work$4,300Gentle washing of exterior surfaces. Install ground cover, trim tree branches and shape vegetation. Paint exterior decking (from red to gray).
Interior Painting$3,000Remove stair runner. Prime and paint staircase banister to satin white finish. Designer color choice.
Hardwood Flooring$7,500Sand and stain varying wood floors to a rich, cohesive gray for a more contemporary finish throughout the home's levels. Apply finish.
Professional Cleaning, Power Washing$1,300Power wash exterior surfaces, staircase, walkways and terraces. Clean all appliances, surfaces, bathroom, filters and lights. Wash windows inside and out. 
Total$16,100Work completed in 7 business days. Advanced planning of 1 week to line up all work, secure dates.

* Professional staging $9,200

See how we presented the property

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About Craig Ackerman