Flipping for Rosecrans?

By Dave Fratello | March 26th, 2009
It wasn't long ago that you could buy a run-down place, redo the kitchen and baths, maybe floors and greenery, and turn a nice profit.

All those old-fashioned calculations about how you could supposedly recover just 70% of the cost of a kitchen remodel, or 50% of a bathroom remodel – there are lots of formulas out there – became irrelevant for a while. Home values were rocketing upward, and a freshly remodeled flip would get preferential treatment in the market.

Can you say multiple offers? Above asking?

There's a new listing at 3619 Poinsettia (click address for more pics & details via Redfin), at the corner with Rosecrans, that, by profile, looks a bit like one of those old-time flips.

The 1950s cottage (3br/3ba, 1350 sq. ft.) was purchased during the Spring Rally of 2007 for the surprisingly low price of $925k.

The Trees below $1m? In 2007? Well, the home was dated and had that Rosecrans liability.

It actually spent 300+ days on market before the sale in May 2007. The listing had launched in June 2006 at $1.145m.

Start price this week: $1.149m.

There's been a big remodel since 2007. From the listing:
This home is practically brand new and beautiful! All the details of this home are quality.
The 2 related questions are what the market value of a spiffy little cottage on Rosecrans is today, and whether the sellers can recover their investment – or profit – if they get out. (That start price is +$224k/+24% over acquisition.)

Buyers looking in the same general vicinity have these options (click any address for more pics & details via Redfin):
  • 3600 Elm (3br/2ba, 1350 sq. ft.) at $1.095m;
  • 2404 Elm (3br/2ba, 1200 sq. ft.) with some bonus square footage, priced at $1.199m;
  • 2613 Oak (4br/2ba, 1775 sq. ft.), now at $1.269m.
Every one of these, including 3619 Poinsettia, could go for about 10% more than $1m. Or, perhaps, none.

Of the listings referenced here, 3 of the 5 will be open this weekend, so we'll make a point of steering readers toward them for some comparisons.

We know that there are plenty of families who would like to grab hold of a respectable house in the 90266 (WOS) for a good price, but the action, even at this lower price point, has been limited recently. And that is the challenge for homes, no matter how sharp, with location issues. How well will 3619 Poinsettia and some of these other, longer-term listings weather the storm?

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