203 Tiburon Blvd., San Rafael

203 Tiburon Blvd., San Rafael

Site Conditions

  • 3-bedroom home in a neglected state

  • Old, drab finishes throughout the home

  • Yard was uninviting and unusable

Results of Our Work

  • Required 2 to 3 weeks for upgrades
  • ROI on $33,000 investment: 400% to 500%
  • Signed listing agreement at $1.199M
  • Marketed home at $1.399M after strategic resurfacing

The Numbers​​​​​​​

  • Listed: $1.399M
  • Sold: $1.455M
  • Offers: 3
  • Days on market: 14

After Resurfacing, a 17% Higher Listing Price

This home looked so good after the resurfacing projects, Craig advocated for the rare step of boosting the listing price by $200,000. This was nearly 17% more than agreed at signing of the listing agreement.

Part of the higher value was converting the dark, barren hillside in front of the home to a coveted flat lawn for children to play, creating a lovely green view outside the living and dining rooms. The lawn was especially important for new families and younger couples, the buyers we were targeting.

The seller was very helpful and did a lot of the work himself. Yet he realized it was in his interest to leave the design, color and accessory decisions to the pros. It certainly paid off.

Front Yard (before) No flat, grassy area for children to play. All that brown dirt and bark was a turn-off. Our idea—create a large flat lawn for little cost and no required permits.

Front Yard (after) Added a railing and flattened soil to create an attractive lawn for about $7,000. A perfect cover shot for the listing. Six large windows brought the outside in and gave parents a nice vantage point to watch children playing outside. No permits and our team transformed the spot in 3 days.

Kitchen (before) Tiled counters, wooden edges, missing cabinet doors, old enamel appliances and brown everywhere. Today’s buyers prefer cooler hues like steel gray and ice blue. Market for homes perceived as needing lots of work is limited and this one looked the part.

Kitchen (after) Bright, symmetrical and inviting, with cool hues buyers loved. Resurfaced rather than replaced countertops. New recessed LED lights, flooring and stainless appliances. We discovered the missing cabinet doors in the crawl space and updated from gold to brushed nickel hardware. Transformation, ~$11,000.

Hall Bathroom (before) The seller was proud of the remodeled bathroom but I was concerned. Glass surfaces and lack of counter space wouldn’t appeal to the family buyers we were targeting. The dark, older base cabinet with an Asian silhouette registered as fussy.

​​​​​​​Hall Bathroom (after) New, neutral-toned base cabinet and stone top yielded much more counter space and a simplified appeal, ~$4,000.

Living Room (before) Older shag carpet, darkness, heaviness and view of the drab yard were depressing.

Living Room (after) ​​​​​​​Although the wood under the carpet was of varying types, we had the entire floor sanded and finished in a single rich stain. The view of the refurbished yard became an asset. $6,100 for floor refinishing.

Master Bathroom (before)​​​​​​​ We all remember when this peachy-colored wood was everywhere. In this application, it did nothing for the room. 

Master Bathroom (after) ​​​​​​​LED lighting, new drawer pulls, new faucets and paint made the existing granite tiled counter come to life. $1,550

Bathroom Faucets All fixture and faucet upgrades were selected by our stager. Our photo shoots for the property website capture the home’s best attributes, including details that show the home as fresh, modern and move-in ready.

203 Tiburon Blvd., Resurfacing Plan

Exterior Landscaping $7,000 Install new retaining wall at downslope edge and flatten elevated landscape to create a flat base for grass. Sod lawn, edge planter areas, install ground cover, trim tree branches and shape vegetation.
Interior Painting $3,400 Includes patching, sanding and painting walls and kitchen cabinets. No ceilings. Designer’s color choice.
Hardwood Flooring $6,100 Remove existing carpet, sand and stain varying wood to a single, rich color. Apply finish.
New Vinyl Flooring $1,200 Replace entire kitchen flooring in a color chosen by designer.
New Interior Lights $2,100 Install LED recessed cans and track lighting in brushed nickel finish. Cost includes materials and installation.
Bathroom $4,000 Install new base cabinet, stone counter, undermount sink and new faucet. Install new wall-mounted mirror and LED brushed nickel light fixture (mounted over glass). Remove existing glass shelves. Paint room.
Kitchen Resurfacing $7,900 Includes new 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 cool gray.
Professional Cleaning, Power Washing $1,300 Interior cleaning of all appliances, surfaces, bathroom, filters and lights. Windows washed inside and out. Power washing of exterior brick staircase, around mildew areas, etc.
Total$33,00015 business days required to complete all work. Advance planning of 3 weeks to line up vendors, secure dates.

 * Professional staging $7,800

Recent Blog Posts

Stay up to date on the latest real estate trends.

58 Martha Ave., San Francisco

October 19, 2023

The Sputtering Real Estate Market: We targeted buyers who would be willing to compete for the home-expanding families. They'd love the neighborhood and the home's many… Read more

388 Madison St., San Francisco

February 13, 2023

The Thanksgiving Offering: Around Thanksgiving, Craig met two sisters who had inherited their 1950s-era family home. The 5-bedroom, 2-bath house, adjacent to McLaren P… Read more

1441 Nye St., San Rafael

February 9, 2023

No Need to Wait for Spring: The sellers had two adorable, very active small children. So no surprise, the home looked lived-in damaged hardwood floors, loud child-them… Read more

68 Broadmoor, San Anselmo

February 9, 2023

Out-of-State Sellers Face Damaged Rental Property: The owners, an out-of-state elderly couple, planned to sell this rented property in a 1031 exchange. But the tenants… Read more

2431 24th St., San Francisco

January 21, 2023

The Realtor to Friend Crossover: In 2011, Craig represented these clients when they bought the duplex, in poor condition with a difficult layout. But add imagination a… Read more

775 Congo St., San Francisco

January 21, 2023

Upgraded Property for Half of Budget Other Agents Advised: To sell this four-floor Glen Park home, we targeted families with children, work-from-home couples and dog l… Read more

246 Alta Loma, Daly City

July 22, 2022

Out-Of-State Sellers Take The Harder Route: This Daly City family home had been converted to a rental and went untouched for years. The owners, living in the Midwest, … Read more

556 Stone Dr., Novato

July 21, 2022

A Neighborhood Record Sale Price: The out-of-the-area owners had rented out this home for many years. They were surprised at how tattered the property was once the ten… Read more

2979 23rd St., San Francisco

July 8, 2022

Time to Sell and Buy Outside the City: Craig had sold this lower-level condo in the Mission District to the same couple almost 10 years ago. Now they wanted to move ou… Read more

Let’s Talk

By phone, Zoom, or in person. We’ll get your questions answered.