Not Your Typical Ocean-View Flip

By Dave Fratello | October 30th, 2013

We're starting to see quite a few homes bought and put up for resale within the year. It may not always be profiteering or a fix-and-flip situation, but quick resales are benefiting from the quick uptick in prices in MB.

Ordinarily, if you were to buy a property to remodel and resell, you'd need to get it close to, or under, market price, do the work and resell at such a price as to mark a solid profit. Indeed, some say the profit is all made in the acquisition price.

Then there's 309 18th St.

Not so long ago, this Spring, 309 18th drew multiple bidders, finding one who just cleared the field with a monster offer.

To wipe out the competition, the buyers paid $2.459M in March, against an asking price of $2.099M. That was an overbid of $360K (+17%).

And this was on a home that was not in such very different condition from when it traded twice in recent years: in 2004, for $1.775M, and again in 2009 for the same price, $1.775M. So this year's price was up 38% from those sales.

And now, after a goodly touch of refreshing, 309 18th (5br/3ba, 2715 sq. ft.) is back even higher: Asking $2.895M.

A sale at full price would be a bump of $436K (+18%) over the March 2013 price.

The net profit would be around $300K... for an 8-month hold. 

So the big questions are, what has really changed?

In the market, we know.

In the home, we gotta go see.

In our review in late February, we virtually sang about the off-the-beaten-path location and splendid ocean views.

We also noted that it was "a 1960s original built as a duplex, and added onto in front in the 1970s," where we found:

All of the bathrooms seem to have the original cabinetry, though with newer sinks and countertops. Only the kitchen seems to have had a more thorough remodel at some point, but it's not 21st-century, now, either...

On balance, this is a livable home in a terrific location, yet still one that awaits a full-scale modernization some day.

As we peruse the online photos for the new listing for 309 18th, we're not seeing much different other than a coat of paint. (Then again, did you see "What A Coat of Paint Can Do" for a Manahttan Village listing?)

So we'll reserve judgment for now, but the first evidence suggests this is a flip attempt based not on that "full-scale modernization" we thought this home needed, but mostly market timing.

And market timing that began, improbably, with a blow-them-away bidding war just a blink in time ago, back during baseball Spring Training. Now that the World Series is over, is this one worth another 18%?

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