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Renovated Berkeley storybook house returns asking $2.04 million

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Seller hopes new chapter will pay off with happy ending

A storybook-style Tudor home in Berkeley. Courtesy Jenny Wang, McGuire

It’s not just San Francisco playing the renovate and resell game these days, although the case of 2818 Webster in Berkeley took a little longer at it than the more mercenary quick one- to two-year flips more common in the city.

This four-bed, three-bath house in the Elmwood neighborhood last sold in 2014, coming to market for $1.59 million and eventually working out a $1.94 million payday.

Since then it’s been “renovated from top to bottom” with the likes of soapstone counters, raised ceilings, and in-ceiling sound system, while hanging onto the original maple floors, front windows, and curved moldings, at least according to the ad by realtor Jenny Wang.

(For the record, Wang also handled the property three years ago and so is presumably in a position to recognize what work was done.)

The new offer bumps the list price up over $2.04 million on account of the extra additions. Calling it “a rare find,” Wang identifies 2818 Webster as a Tudor, but the extreme peaks of its overlapping gables also seems to play with the vaguely defined “storybook” style that caught on in California in the early 20th century.

(Storybook homes went big in the 1920s, making this 1930 spread a bit of a late edition.)

Even Arrol Gellner, author of the 2001 book Storybook Style, admits that there is no particular storybook style, writing that the trend “owes more to inventiveness than authenticity.”

In short, if it looks whimsical enough to a potential buyer, then it’s the real deal—or as close to real as it gets.