This Historic Home Doubled in Value After a Subtle Renovation

It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.

There’s something remarkable about an original Craftsman house—especially in a city like Portland, OR, where the old houses are as treasured as the beautiful landscape. The neighborhood of Irvington, in northeastern Portland, is actually home to the largest collection of historical homes in the state, including this massive five-bedroom, three-bathroom Craftsman built in 1912.

Through the decades, the owners had maintained many historical architectural touches, but the property was desperately in need of updating in 2013, when it was sold for $762,000. Luckily, the buyers knew exactly how to modernize it while honoring its past. And when it came time to sell, their hard work paid off.

They listed it for $1,395,000 in July 2020—during the COVID-19 pandemic, no less—and sold it less than a month later for $1,600,000. That’s right! Not only did the home sell for more than $200,000 over listing price, but the sellers also doubled the value of the home.

So how did they make this magic happen? And how can you re-create that success in your own space? Below, our experts shed light on the fruitful design moves that were made to this home.


The exterior of this home received such a huge overhaul that it’s barely recognizable, and our experts all said this was a good thing.

“The black and white color scheme is a huge improvement. It makes me want to walk in, whereas the brown and orange made me want to run away,” says Denver-based interior designer Sari Mina Ross

Continue Reading