Fast flip adds millions to margin in Marin

Developer Steve Akram bought Kentfield home for $5.8M in March, sold last week for $10M

A photo illustration of 304 Evergreen Drive in Kentfield (Compass)
A photo illustration of 304 Evergreen Drive in Kentfield (Compass)

A two-month reno combined to nearly double the value of a quickly flipped Marin County home that just fetched $10 million.

The Kentfield property at 304 Evergreen Drive was purchased for $5.25 million just weeks before the pandemic shut-down in February 2020––the unlikely beginning of a two-year shake-up to everyday life that boosted the market for luxury homes to new highs. The owners didn’t make any changes to the property, according to their listing agent, Tracy McLaughlin of The Agency.

The couple eventually decided to divorce and expressed interest in an off-market sale, McLaughlin said, so she brought in developer Steve Akram to take a look at the 1979 property. McLaughlin, who flips houses herself, has worked with Akram several times in the past and knew the house would be a good fit, she said.

“He gets in and out of houses very quickly,” she said, and rarely takes on projects that require “protracted approvals.”

Akram paid $5.8 million for the place, and then touched almost every surface in the 4,800-square-foot house over an eight-week period, adding new landscaping to the half-acre pool property. He put in hardwoods, painted, updated bathrooms and bridged a formerly two-story entry to create a fourth bedroom, McLaughlin said. He also created cohesion between the facade of the property’s main home and its one-bedroom, one-bath pool house.

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“He really tightened the whole thing up,” said McLaughlin, who couldn’t say how much the renovations cost.

McLaughlin listed the home for $8 million upon completion, and immediately her phone was “blowing up” with interested buyers, she said. The first couple who came through, also McLaughlin’s clients, put in an offer at $10 million in order to avoid a bidding war. The home went into contract two days after coming to market on April 29 and closed May 11.

“They paid the multiple-offer price upfront,” she said.

She couldn’t name the new owners but said that they already lived in Marin, loved that they could move right in and that the home “didn’t feel ostentatious.”

“It’s just a great thing for everybody,” McLaughlin said. “[The previous owners] made half a million doing nothing after two years. I made the commission and [the developer] made millions in eight weeks.”

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