Party People! It’s Friday and I have a pretty decent flip to feature here…(did you see what I did there? I “flipped” the order of FFF?!) Okay after that little gem of a sentence, I’m sure you’re thinking I’m B.U.I. again. Alas, no such luck. This post is being written straight sober…unfortunately. (Curious what B.U.I means, go here.)
Bancroft did a fine job here and made many, many smart choices (e.g. crown moulding, refinished original floors, backyard fence, etc.) so there’s not much for me to criticize. It’s a good solid flip. Would I have liked to see more pizzazz? Yes. Does this house make me never want to see another gray with white trim exterior paint job? Yes. Will Bancroft make a sh*t load of money despite these things? Hell-to-the-yes.
This house is in Berkeley just a few blocks from Sacramento and University. Berkeley is weird for a lot of reason: privileged University kids living in trees to protest, signs that boast that its a “Nuclear” free city, and the N.I.M.B.Y. attitude. N.I.M.B.Y. stands for Not In My BackYard – you know like, “I think poor people deserve the right to live where ever they want however they want…er…but not near me.” But mostly it’s weird because the neighborhoods change drastically from block to block. There are some not so great parts of Berkeley but by and large those areas are quickly getting taken over, leaving only small pockets of rough here and there.
This house is next door to a boarded up liquor store but you can see from the backyard pictures there’s construction underway on that building. Other than that this looks like every other Berkeley residential block. I know that doesn’t mean much to most of you but that translates to roughly this: “modest-million-dollar-homes”
It’s a bit of a walk to get to any real places of interest so I think that’s why they’ve priced it low-ish.
The Bancroft buyer can really be anyone, though it’s probably not going to be someone who has to commute into the City because getting to BART is going to be a trek. (Really, getting anywhere in Berkeley is a nightmare since there aren’t any freeways you can take to get you from one end to the other.) Because it’s Berkeley, the buyer will most likely be a biker. No, I don’t mean Harley. I mean bicyclist. Like, that co-worker who bikes to work and spends the whole day with one of his pant legs rolled up and subjects you to his intense B.O.
I’m not sure why Bancroft didn’t list the square footage. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s because the attic space is finished but not counted in the final square footage. This attic space is going to attract families because it’ll be extra space to have kids
destroy play. Otherwise, most families of four with a million dollars to throw down on a house might not even bother looking at a 1300 sq. ft. house.
Now let’s get to it, shall we?
Living room: before
Living room: after
I think this living room is a good example of how ugly but neutral and light-colored furniture can do a decent job at staging. (I’m looking at you Hilgirt — who still hasn’t sold.) Don’t look to closely at the individual pieces though because once you do you won’t un-see the ugly. Trust me.
Kitchen & Dining Room: after
What do you think about this kitchen? Bancroft did a lot of advanced moves here, like no pendant lights over the peninsula, adding crown moulding, taking the cabinets all way to the top (which probably means custom) and using a leather finish on the stone countertops. But there’s something about the kitchen that feels cheap to me? Am I a crazy person or do you agree?
Warning: boring rooms are closer than they appear. This is not a jab at Bancroft. She did a fine job. It’s just that the transformation won’t “Wow” you.
Master Bedroom & Bath: before
Master Bedroom & Bathroom: after
Well, that’s it folks. What’d you think? Did she do a good job?
**P.S. For those of you old enough to remember the Graduate and Ann Bancroft, please know I really tried to come up with some “Graduate” references but in the end I couldn’t pull the trigger on any of them because they were too cheesy even for me. #headhanginglow