Before & After: 1890 Castro Victorian Renovation

Sellers love to push the “r-words”: “renovate,” “refurbish,” “remodel.”

Sometimes this is a practical consideration: Certain homes really could do with a new look and more modern sensibilities.

Other times it’s simply a shrewd marketing move: People feel motivated to buy things that are new, and University of Western Ontario, Canada researchers find that one of the key elements of “newness” in psychology is “a sense that the product is pristine.”

How can you make a 100-year-old San Francisco home feel “pristine” enough to engender newness appeal? Remodel!

But often, a renovated home is a bit of a mystery: We can’t compare the old design to the new. Unless of course we’re lucky enough that a record still exists.

Case in point, consider 251 Hartford Street, a three-bed, three-bath circa 1890 Victorian in the Castro that just listed asking nearly $2.7 million–and sure enough, the ad promises that it was “recently reborn after an inspired renovation.”

Here’s what it looks like today:

And for those who fancy a quick jaunt down memory lane, here’s what it looked like back in 2011, as preserved by a still-extant ad for the now-long defunct listing:

That 2011 offering eventually sold for a little over $1.1 million–less than the $1.25 million asking price–and then sold again in 2017 for $2.5 million.

So what do we think of the new look? Or the old look? Does classic housing stock need to be brought into the 21st century, or should homeowners leave well enough alone? Tell us what you would do if it was your house (which of course it can be–if you have $2.7 million on hand that is).

As always, if you have any questions you can contact us directly, or throw them in the comments below. Make sure to subscribe to this blog, or follow us on social media @theFrontSteps too. And please do consider giving us a chance to earn your business and trust when it’s time to buy or sell Bay Area property. People like working with us, and we think you will too.

Leave a Reply