(415) 730-3030 [email protected]

744 Coronado Lane, Foster City

Entry (before): Dramatic ceiling height, marred by a dated hanging light fixture in bronze finish. Also unfortunate orange entry doors and carpet, small floor tile with dark grout, outdated stair railings. Our contractor, designer and I came up with a plan.

Entry/living room (after): Two-tone paint theme highlighted the lofty ceiling and its unique slope. New flooring ran the width of the home, with complementary silver-gray carpeting on the stairs. Painted the wood and wrought iron railings to match door and baseboards. Hardware and fixtures updated to brushed nickel.

Living/dining area (before): Where is the light and the water view? This room faced a yard full of overgrowth, and our biggest challenge, the weathered pergola that blocked sightlines. Also, to what degree would buyers object to the popcorn ceiling?

Living/dining area (after): We continued the modern flooring and paint theme here. Removed window coverings to let in the sun. Our landscaper and carpenter took down the enormous wooden patio structure to reveal the waterway view, an eyecatcher from the moment a buyer entered the front door.

Living room/fireplace (before): Varying drape heights gave buyers the sense that the windows were not uniform. And the fireplace surround was a throwaway, dark and unkempt when it could have been a focal point.

Living room/fireplace (after): Freshness and design consistency helped buyers imagine a cohesive family home. Simply painting the fireplace revived it without expensive resurfacing with tile. Removed hanging kitchen cabinets, which separated the chef from the eat-in area, to create space and let in natural light.

Kitchen (before): The eat-in area off the kitchen was dismal and dated, with a light fixture that needed addressing. Here you see a better view of the hanging cabinets that obstruct light and isolate whoever’s cooking.

Kitchen (after): A more functional arrangement without the hanging cabinets. Also updated with flooring, light fixture and furniture for buyers who value entertainment ease and open spaces.

Kitchen/dining (before): Dark and closed off, the dining area faced hanging cabinets and old-fashioned floor to ceiling drapes.

Kitchen/dining (before): The new configuration—more open, light and clean. New appliances helped change the perception to an updated space. Buyers could imagine using the space and interacting easily with family and friends across the room.

Bathroom (before): Dated wallpaper, handicapped bars and blackening mirror edges. Luckily, our team knows how to update bathrooms affordably and effectively.

Bathroom (after): New flooring, wallpaper removal, paint and seamless mirrors brought this room a long way. We’re always balancing perception of the space with resurfacing costs.

Yard (before): The large pergola blocked sunlight, obstructed the view and had deteriorated beyond its useful life. The worst aspect was how the aging structure broke up the space.

Yard (after): With some landscaping, power washing and touch-up painting, buyers could envision enjoying this outdoor space as a haven for entertaining, boat watching and BBQs.

View: The view of the waterway was spectacular, exactly what the home was built to take advantage of. We prepped the home so buyers could imagine moving right in. Any additional upgrades they wanted to make could be scheduled without urgency. Our resurfacing plans restore the home to its highest and best use, with minimal investment and maximum return.

Site Conditions

  • Surfaces were tired, old and unappealing
  • Buyers would perceive property as needing to be gutted
  • Kitchen closed off from dining room
  • Unattractive and overgrown rear patio with a dominating wooden structure
  • Taxes and HOA dues 2 years in arrears, mortgage overdue by several months, foreclosure looming

The Numbers

  • Listed $1.599M
  • Sold $2.1M
  • Offers – POA (preemptive offer accepted) after 9 showing requests first day on market, buyer offered $2 million contingent-free, negotiated to $2.1M and seller accepted
  • Days on market – 1

Results of Our Work

  • Sourced financing to bring debts to current and make improvements possible
  • Made views of the waterway the visual focus
  • Installed new cool-hued floor covering, to draw eyes to dramatic ceiling contours and outside to water views
  • Restored rear yard for relaxing, family gathering and entertaining
  • Opened kitchen to dining area and view

Glistening water view promised a special lifestyle

Craig had sold several Foster City properties, but this treasure was right on the water. An attorney Craig had worked with introduced the client.

The home had old and mismatched flooring, hardware, lighting and trim. And an overgrown and dreary back yard. Our designer-contractor team kept it simple and let the glistening water view serve as the focal point and promise of a special lifestyle.

We found additional challenges—the finances. Homeowner’s dues had gone unpaid for several years, several utility bills were delinquent, and foreclosure was looming. Craig intervened with the bank.

744 Coronado Resurfacing Plan

TaskCostDescription
Interior Painting$12,400Includes patching and sanding, front entry railings, replacing some doors and window trim. Replace several closet doors with mirrored, frameless glass style. Designer chose colors and materials.
Flooring Replacement$9,800Remove existing floor coverings (including carpet, tack strips, padding, hard tile and vinyl tile. Replace with engineered wood hard surface flooring throughout both lower and upper levels.
Kitchen $7,200Replace kitchen appliances with new. Remove upper hanging cabinets to open sight line to dining room.
New Interior Lights$2,500Replace existing light fixtures with LED where possible, in a brushed nickel finish throughout the home. Material selections made by designer.
Resurface 3 Bathrooms$6,800Resurface base cabinets, add new light fixtures, paint interiors. Replace shower doors, faucets and hardware throughout. Replace toilets and seats with new. Install wall-mounted mirrors and LED brushed nickel light fixture (mounted over glass). Paint. All materials designer selected.
Kitchen Resurfacing$7,900New brushed nickel handles, resurfacing of existing countertop, undermount sink, single stem brushed nickel faucet, low profile stainless steel range hood, replace kitchen cabinet doors and paint in cool gray.
Exterior Landscaping$1,400Remove wooden overhang in rear yard, patch and paint to a commercial match where required at fascia and trim. Dump furniture and debris. Edge and weed planter areas. Install ground cover and new plants. Trim tree and hedge branches.
Professional Cleaning, Power Washing and Window Washing$1,800Power wash exterior surfaces around entry, walkways, rear patio surfaces and storage areas. Clean interior - all appliances, surfaces, bathroom, filter, and lights. Wash windows inside and out. 
Total$49,800All work completed in 9 business days. Advance planning of 1.5 weeks to line up all work, secure dates.

*Staging required one day and cost $9,050 

How we presented the home 

Learn More

Case Studies

Selling Grandma’s House

About Craig Ackerman