Didja Know They're Still Flipping These Days?

By Dave Fratello | July 23rd, 2007
Buy it, fix it, flip it!

That was the formula for real estate riches, back when we were all younger, from about 2001-2005.

You thought flippers were gone, but no, you're wrong.

1717 Pacific was purchased Sept. 20, 2006, for a cool $1.2m. This past week, it's back for $1.479m (+$279k/23%), after an overhaul.

Not enough of an overhaul, for MBC's taste. The strangely boxy, shingle-and-brick face was preserved, though freshened up. (It used to be pink; eeeyaawch.) They had a chance to change the curb, but they didn't.

The façade doesn't evoke any particular style. Is this "colonial"? Or "traditional"? Is it a country/barn look? Oh, the listing helps:
Beautifully remodeled country french property with a yard area the kids will die for.
We're blaming the French for this look? Not fair.

Take a look around the back, and the house just looks like any other awkward, stapled-on remodel of a much older post-war house (1947 original const.).

This one is all of 1500 sq. ft., meaning we're priced at $1,000/sq. ft. here. The house should rank among the elite of all comparables to fetch that.

Maybe the fit and finish bring it there. (MBC hasn't been able to get by just yet.) The listing boasts that the "attention to detail must be seen to appreciate." OK, maybe.

Or maybe this is just a small, so-so house with a location challenge, old guts and awful curb "appeal" that was a bad candidate for a flip.

And here's a tip for listing agents. Looking at the second half of that quote from the listing, MBC is thinking it's best to avoid the phrase, "the kids will die" when pitching a house to families. It's a subtle deterrent.

Despite the many strikes, serendipitously, these flippers have entered a market nearly devoid of listings below $1.6m. They might just pull it off.

The math on this one is tough to figure. Selling at list price, the net is just over $200k (assuming < 6% commissions), but then you have the remodeling costs to cover.

This was no big jackpot, even if it sells quickly. And if it doesn't...

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