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A Newly Renovated House Doubled Its Resale Value In Just 18 Months! What Did The Former Owner Do?



|Last Updated: 26 Jul 2022

A successful resell deal is great but earning much more than what you've invested for is one different story.

A newly renovated house has recently caught our attention. It’s been the talk of the town not because of its extraordinary design or the person who owns it, it’s the house itself that made us all curious.

This property was originally bought for $880,000 last November 2018, surprisingly, it was recently sold for a whopping $1.64 million—almost doubling its price in only a matter of months! What did the former homeowner do to increase the property’s value so much?

To satisfy our curiosity, we’ve gathered some photos, and reviewed related maps and other data to deduce what the former owner has done—compiling the following highlights. What we’re about to share are our conclusions based on the information we’ve found.


Backtracking the property’s transaction history

First, let's look at the transaction history of the property on Redfin:

So the house was bought for $880,000 in Nov 2018, and sold for $1.6375 million in Apr 2020! It only took 18 and a half months (technically 17 months plus more than a month’s trading period) before it doubled its price! Let’s not forget about the time it was sold, between April and May—it means the trading took place amid lockdown. What does this imply? Is it too good to be true? Has the property unexpectedly increased in value amid the crisis?

Probably not.

Take note, its price was reasonably high in November 2018. So, what did the former owner do to convince the latter buyers to pay double?

Uncovering the ingenious renovation strategies

1. Analysis of Data before and after the renovation.

First, we searched the web to find the property’s original floor area and the number of its bedrooms and bathrooms.  Then, we grabbed the present info data on Redfin (post-renovation).

Take a look at the comparison below:

                               BEFORE             AFTER















  980 sq. ft.


1,534 sq. ft.


The house was originally a 980 sq. ft. 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom property. After the renovation, an additional 554 sq ft area and a bathroom have been included. We’ve been thinking, small expansion and a bathroom add-on wouldn’t make much of a boost to the house’s super expensive resale value. The owner must’ve made a few other changes to make this possible. This leads me to my next point.


2. Maps, photos, and virtual tour comparisons

This is the original roof plan cut from Google Maps: 


This is the current roof plan: 


From the comparison, we can see that an addition near the front door is protruding partly towards the street; a large part is added to the whole building in the backyard. This can be seen based on the apparent changes to the roof, a thin line that lies between the new roof and the existing roof could be indicating that there is a visible height difference. By comparing the photos on Redfin versus the virtual tour, we can assume which part has been expanded and what rooms were placed.

This is what is supposed to look like from above:


Expanded master bedroom + master bathroom + family room. 
Widen living room and a newly-built porch. Modified roof.

3. Based on the roof plan and photos of the same small family house nearby, we can assume that the original floor plan was as follows:

With a careful study of the photos and the virtual tour on Redfin, we can now conclude that the appearance of the floor plan is as follows.


According to the aforementioned data, the property’s current plan should appear like this: 


Summary of changes:


With these changes, the originally small and dark family house has transformed into a light and extravagant little mansion in seconds!


Comparisons of before and after changes

Living Room

There’s no available photo of the former house. So, we’ve searched for living room photos of the same single-type family house nearby. The house’s dim lights and low ceilings make the ambiance look gloomy and bland.


Is this really the same room? Unbelievable! The newly installed windows created a happy, home-feel vibe! Vaulted ceiling and tall triangular-shaped windows liven up the space dispelling all the unnecessary dreariness.


Dining Kitchen

Because we have no original photos ready, we still make use of the images we’ve seen online just to see the changes made after renovation.


Aren’t you impressed?

The kitchen area may not be that spacious still, much has been improved. The former door to the side yard along with the small windows has been taken out to make way for the new large window. A skylight has also been added to the kitchen while a new window has been placed in the dining room. These new fixtures are bringing in more natural light and air to the area.


Other new additions (interior): Master Bedroom + Family room + House Deck

The Family Room connects the Master Bedroom and house’s Deck—a private area where families usually spend quality time. 


Exterior - Facade



The transformation of this part is outstanding. The sloped roof molding, windows, and colors all make the renovated house look superior.


Exterior - Backyard

A typical dilapidated single-type family house in the Bay Area: grimy walls, bare, unkempt grass, and missing backyard door. The backyard itself looks like an isolated island - far away from the house.


Doesn't it feel like it's a whole new world? The family room + outdoor deck of the master bedroom area is now connected to the newly reformed backyard! 


Adorned with a simple landscape, this new backyard now exudes a fresh overall look of the entire property. To sum it up, the whole expansion, the improved layout, the newly-added vaulted ceilings are now displaying a new aesthetic exterior—stripping off of its previously-flawed appearance and turning it into a beautiful house facade.

More after photos: 

The house’s driveway: 


The new driveway is now made with concrete materials decked with pebble gaps—stylish and flexible. The spacing approach is subtle that even when concrete pieces start to crack, it’ll still look composed and complete.

Back view of the house:


The public bathrooms’ aren’t made with high-end materials but the area still looks clean and fresh.


Master bedroom: The barn door leads to the bathroom and the walk-in closet of the master bedroom.


Summary of the renovation:

- There’s a 554 sq. ft.expansion, a newly-added master suite, family room, and a bathroom. A practical layout is apparent, with the extra family room serving various functionalities. It resolves the needed spaces for work-from-home arrangements amid the pandemic. The master suite and family room group is directly connected to the backyard where a deck is built right outside the door. If you feel exhausted from work, you can go and rest outside, overlooking the garden while sipping a cup of joe. The master bedroom suite and the family room is newly built, vaulted with a sloping roof and a higher ceiling, making the space appear open.

- The added area of the living room expands the entire area. The improved room is coupled with a nice facade, making a good overall image of the interior. The reconstruction also included newly installed vaulted ceilings and tall windows to make the area look more open and elevated.

- The transformed kitchen has become one of the top priorities of the reconsctuction., its two-tone kitchen cabinets look sleek and elegant.

- The materials and colors of the partial walls, kitchen cabinets, floors, bathroom vanity, tiles, and laundry room cabinets are consistent, coherent, and uniform altogether.

*All images used are from the internet.

Note: this article is originally published on WeChat blog 硅谷筑家 (ID: guiguzhujia); author: Q老板. Eano reprinted this article with the author's authorization.

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