1358 31st Ave., San Francisco

1358 31st Ave., San Francisco


Site Conditions

  • Trustees had battled for years over the property
  • Patio needed a complete overhaul and there was an active leak
  • Many design plusses, but obscured by neglect and decay

Results of Our Work

  • 5 offers received
  • Sold for $1.37M, $371,000 over asking
  • 350% ROI on resurfacing budget ($17,463 resurfacing produced a $61,000 higher sale price)

    Warring Trustees, Abandoned Home, Hoarded Contents

    A drawn-out dispute between owners left the home abandoned, decayed and packed with three container-loads of papers, valuables and keepsakes.

    One party hired a lawyer, the other was assigned a professional fiduciary. Any plan we recommended would be intensely scrutinized, but Craig loves a challenge.

    During meetings at the lawyer’s office, both parties to the trust were heard and understood. In the end, practical solutions and profits drove the action.

    Even in its ragged state, Craig sensed the home’s underlying magnificence—from its Mediterranean stucco silhouette and open-beam ceiling to oversized front windows and skylights.

    The Proof team estimated $40,000 for resurfacing to achieve the maximum sale price. But the sellers allocated less than half, just $18,000 to spend on the damaged property.

    The biggest challenge? The elderly seller’s health was failing and she needed lots of consultation from us. Craig’s assistant hit it off with her and helped her feel comfortable with the process.

    An abandoned car, another common sticking point, sat in the middle of the garage blocking our path for removing tons of personal property and hoarded material. Luckily our proven formula for tackling it did the trick.

    Exterior (before) No budget for repainting the exterior, but it looked dirty and old.

    Exterior (after) We settled for scrubbing dirt and carbon deposits off the front façade and washing the staircase and windows. It was presentable and the savings went to interior work.

    Living Room (before) Advantages included the 14-foot open-beam, vaulted ceiling, wood-burning fireplace, built-in cabinetry, and parquet floors.

    Living Room (after) Painting, cleaning and staging brought these treasured features back to life.

    Kitchen (before) Normally we’d advise replacing flooring, appliances, countertops, sink and faucet, but the budget said no.

    Kitchen (after) We simply cleaned, revealing the vintage tile around the backsplash and countertop.

    Dining Room (before) The formal dining room was an odd combination of ornate and lifeless.

    Dining Room (after) Once we restored the fluorescent lights illuminating the recessed ceiling and freshened with crisp, white paint, the room woke up.

    Bedroom (before) The entire house was dark and dreary.

    Bedroom (after) The bedrooms benefitted most when we removed window coverings and opened them to natural light. Our stager brought in colorful textiles to add interest.

    Library/Lounge (before) The library downstairs required three men and an entire day to remove a 40-foot container-full of personal property.

    Library/Lounge (after) With no budget for flooring, we showed the vintage checkerboard vinyl tile peeking around the edges of a rug.

    Back Yard (before) Under three feet of overgrown grass and weeds, we found building materials, mangled furniture and other surprises.

    Back Yard (after) A bit bleak but a cleaner, blank canvas to provide buyers with a vision of potential.

    We believed in the dramatic architecture’s allure even as we debated whether buyers would see the potential. As our work continued, we became more confident.

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