Hola y bienvenido! Whoa it felt like I was gone for an eternity. Vacations are great but I’m so happy to be back with you and bringin you today’s FFF on Alcatraz. How many prison puns do you think I’ll make in this post?
Before we get too deep into this flip, I should tell you that Alcatraz looks an awful lot like the last FFF that was on Harbor View — both inside and out. But I assure you they are different houses. The reason I love this house (which has nothing to do with the house itself as you’ll see shortly from the report card) is that it’s further proof that I was right when I said that the gray/white exterior paint combo is coming to an end and we’re entering the white house/black window era. Mark my words: we will be seeing more white/black houses in the coming months.
Details: before & after specs
Alcatraz is a fairly busy street on the Oakland/Berkeley border but because it has a Berkeley address it will easily sell for over a $1 mil. This is in contrast to the houses with Oakland address that are only a few blocks away that will sell for a few hundred thousand less.
“Why” you ask. Well, it’s largely because of the schools IMHO. In Berkeley, the school district is divided into quadrants. Kids are randomly assigned to one of a few schools in their quadrant. This means that no one neighborhood/school gets all the affluent families moving into it, leaving the rest of the City’s school to fend for itself with the less affluent families. In Berkeley, the wealthy families are spread around, which means that all schools do better…a rising tide lifts all boats…
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot about Berkeley I find really annoying. First on that list are the signs at the city limits proclaiming Berkeley a “Nuclear Free Zone”. *eye roll* I mean, honestly, why does anyone care!?#$@#% And hippies, definitely, hippies. But I must say that Berkeley deserves a lot of credit for their forward thinking approach to public education, which has increased home values that then increases tax revenue and brings more money for better schools. So begrudgingly “Berkeley, I salute you”.
The immediate neighborhood around Alcatraz is largely residential and there’s not much within walking distance but since many people pride themselves on their “low carbon footprint” (*eye roll*) and use bikes as their main mode of transport, everything is just a short bike ride away.
A young family or married couple. Duh.
How did Alcatraz do?
In a nutshell, there are a lot of ideas here I like but if you look closely there are a few that weren’t done that well (I’m looking at you wine fridge compartment, tiny back deck and XXX). And the staging, oh my. There are a couple “touches” that are so bad you’re left scratching your head and with the impression that the staging is bad. When in fact the overall staging isn’t that bad…”a few bad apples can spoil the bunch” and all. [Goodness, I’m feeling really pun-ie today. #headhunglow]
The front was pretty blah and those awnings had to go, but I really like the partially enclosed porch.
A lot of things were removed and it was all almost for the best.
I do wish they’d saved the enclosed porch area but I suspect it was beyond repair and had to go. For the record, Mr. Man (and I’m sure others), disagree.
Here you’ll see the one design choice that is pure genius. Doorways were opened up but walls kept, giving the impression of open concept whilst still maintain the feeling of separation. Plus, by doing this they created a proper entry, separate from the living room.
Living Room: after
Dining Room: after
Here we have another all white kitchen but unlike the kitchen at Harbor View it doesn’t feel too white. I think this is largely due to the floating wood shelves.
Okay, here’s the next problem.
With a whole wall of cabinets on the way towards the back door, I get that they had space to play with. And I appreciate the idea of a wine ‘fridge (assuming it will keep my 12-pack of Le Croix perfectly chilled) but that gap kills me.
Upstairs landing: after
Boss move here: upstairs laundry room. This relatively new trend I do get.
This is the only picture of any of the bathrooms. The. Only. One.
While this shower is tight, it is very disappointing that this is the only picture. Makes me wonder if there are some real issues with these bathrooms.
Well there you go, another FFF. What’d you think of it?
Pun Score Sheet
Prison puns: 0
Terrible non-prison puns: 5