The owners of a distinctive Palo Alto, CA, home are moving on after just three years. Though their tenure was short, they undertook a massive, thoughtful restoration of this Queen Anne Victorian from 1900. The 4,500-square-foot home is now on the market for $5,488,000.
“The owner did a great job keeping the home in [the] Queen Anne style,” says listing agent Michael Repka of DeLeon Realty, who notes that they added “features people are looking for in a modern home.
“She has an incredible sense of design. She fell in love with it the moment she saw it,” Repka says of the owner.
Queen Anne style rose to popularity from 1880 to 1910, during the Victorian era. Key elements of the style are a wraparound porch, bay windows, carved woodwork on the staircase, doorplates, stained-glass windows, coved and coffered ceilings, embossed wall coverings, and arched and wide doorways.
Such historic homes are rare in the affluent city, Repka says. “Land in Palo Alto is so valuable. Over the years a home tends to get remodeled or rebuilt.” This means vintage architecture like this is hard to find.
Repka and his team are using an unconventional strategy to market the home. They produced a video with guests (surprise: it’s them!) in period costume and period-style music, complete with a “Downton Abbey” vibe.
“We really wanted to play up the style,” says Repka. “A couple of years ago, we hired a creative director to look at the houses and showcase their best features.”
The video also highlights updates to the home, including new light fixtures, updated baths, and restored wall treatments and wood flooring. The renovated kitchen also stands out with its luxury range, ivory and ebony cabinets with gold hardware, apron sink with gold faucet, built-in window seating, and island.
Two bedrooms were combined into a bonus suite on the top floor; it comes with a bath, bar, kitchen, and sitting area.
“The homes of this age often have very small bedrooms,” says Repka, noting the need to create larger bedroom spaces for today’s buyers.
When the owner acquired the property in 2017 for $4.1 million, Repka says, “it was pretty rough. There were a lot of problems with the foundation. In addition to the aesthetics she fixed, they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the foundation.”
Located on Forest Avenue in Crescent Park, the home is close to downtown’s University Avenue, which is lined with shops, bars, and restaurants.
“This is the most desirable part of Crescent Park. People like Forest Avenue because there’s a median in the middle about 30 feet wide that gives a neighborhood feel,” says Repka. “You have more architectural variety. You get more of the feeling of a luxury suburb than an urban neighborhood.”
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