Lessons From Listings Photos: How This Boho Modern Starter Home Sold for $171K Over Asking Price


San Diego is a booming real estate market. It was named the third best place to live in California and the 12th best place to live in the country for quality of life by U.S. News & World Report.

“With low inventory, buyers are jumping at any chance they can to purchase, making San Diego one of the hottest markets to buy into,” says Kenny Simpson, a real estate investor based in San Diego.

The coastal city’s Clairemont Mesa East neighborhood is one of many spots with massive buyer appeal. Since 2019, the median home list price in this family-friendly area has gone up 35.2%, with the average sale netting about 5% over the asking price.

The previous owners of this single-family home on Blix Street clearly had the right idea when they purchased it for $855,000. Smart renovations turned this fixer-upper into a bright, California modern property that had potential buyers chomping at the bit to make an offer. Listed for $1,179,000, the home sold for $1,350,000!

Modernizing this outdated home while preserving original architectural features likely played a significant role in making a tidy profit.

Below, you can see the home before and after the renovation, along with insight from our experts who point out the changes and design choices that helped sell this charming property.

The front exterior

Gone is the far-from-sunshine yellow exterior and poorly maintained lawn. In its place is a beautifully groomed front yard with loads of curb appeal.

Gretchen Cupples, a real estate agent and design and staging specialist with Premier Properties in the Greater Boston area, points out that the change here is pretty low-maintenance but provides a big visual impact.

“First impressions are key, and painting everything from the exterior to the rock skirt was key in this home having massive curb appeal,” she says.

Front yard


Cupples also notes the tile on the front stairs, the new light fixture, and the house numbers, which all set the tone for the home’s modern yet inviting aesthetic.

The kitchen

The fluorescent lighting and beige countertop of the old kitchen look cold and clinical, but the renovated space brings a boho farmhouse sophistication.

Simpson points out that your eye is immediately drawn to the geometric floor, a beautiful focal point that’s an upgrade from old laminate.

Open shelving in the kitchen


Opting for bright white Shaker cabinets was a smart move in this small kitchen, as was adding open shelving.

“It keeps the small space light and airy while adding more storage space,” says Cupples.

Both Cupples and Simpson also point out the new stainless-steel appliances, which add tremendous value to the home.

The dining area

Nothing more than an empty space in limbo before, the new dining area now gives buyers a look at what life could be like in the home.

“Adding the perfect dining table and more fun lighting to this home was essential to show buyers there is ample room for family dining,” says Cupples.

Adding mirrors also help create the illusion of a larger room, she notes.

Other small touches make a difference, too, explains Simpson, who points out the new baseboard and upgraded flooring. The result is a clean look that has widespread appeal.

The living room

From the get-go, this room was filled with potential, thanks to the ample space, impressive wooden beams, and fireplace. The previous owners took full advantage of those elements by making simple cosmetic tweaks.

Painting the ceiling a dramatic black hue connects the space to the rest of the house and adds a touch of rustic elegance.

Living room


“I love the simplicity of the fireplace design and how it turned a heavy, outdated fireplace into a delicate work of art,” says Cupples. “Buyers will love the flow of this room and the contrast of the dark wood ceiling to the light walls. Consistency in design makes this small house flow with ease.”

Adding a fresh coat of paint on the walls and doing away with those clunky blinds brighten up the room, Simpson notes.

The backyard

The backyard gets a complete face-lift, going from a neglected courtyard to an entertaining oasis.

“The separation of the covered dining area as its own established outdoor entertaining space is a major plus for buyers,” says Cupples. She also observes that the previous owners saved a few bucks by cleaning up the patio bricks instead of replacing them.

The addition of turf makes the yard a good option for families with kids and pets. And the black and white color scheme elevates the space, Simpson points out.

“The light paint of the house with the dark trim is an amazing contrast that further adds to the luxurious, simple feel and flow of the house,” he says.



The post Lessons From Listings Photos: How This Boho Modern Starter Home Sold for $171K Over Asking Price appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

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