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Friday, October 31, 2014

Here’s why so many real estate investors are flipping over Highland Park

Photo from TheMLS.com

Want to flip a house? Forget the Hollywood Hills and head to Highland Park. A “Flip Analysis” produced by Land Advisors, a broker that specializes in land sales, shows that homes that were bought and sold  by investors in Highland Park – a flipper hot spot – sold on average for 73% more than what the investor paid, according to a survey of some properties. In contrast, a Hollywood Hills flip sold for 41% more on average (click on the link below for a chart).  The survey is far from comprehensive and it does not reveal how much a flipper made on the property after expenses. But the analysis provides an idea of the large increases that take place in the wake of a house flip and the potential financial rewards attracting investors. While Highland Park flippers saw prices soar, investors also posted impressive price increases  in Glassell Park, where the average post-flip sales price rose 69%, and Silver Lake,  with a post-flip increase of 62% , according to Land Advisors.

A word of advice to flippers who simply slap a coat of sage green paint on the walls and spread wood chips across the front yard. According the Flip Analysis, homes that underwent with minimal improvements, such as new grass and paint, may have seen a 10% to 20% increase in value. In contrast, homes that were completely gutted and remodeled homes reported increases of 50%  to 100% and “more than double in value in some instances.”

 

Neighborhood # of
Flips Surveyed
Pre-Flip Average Sales Price Post-Flip Average Sales Price % Change
Highland Park 21 $249,405 $432,312 73%
Glassell Park 25 $256,463 $433,479 69%
Silver Lake 29 $370,098 $602,171 62%
Southeast Hollywood 14 $385,833 $585,415 51%
Mid-City 19 $458,998 $656,532 43%
Hollywood Hills 19 $779,995 $1,104,921 41%
Source: Land Advisors


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21 comments

  1. Gahhhhhhh the windows in the photo above make my brain hurt.

  2. What’s all the buzz about windows? If they open, close and insulate your home, then they do the job! Ok they also have to look nice but come on!

    • I’m sorry, I’m totally a window snob. I’ll stop, I swear!

      • I don’t get it either. What is your specific opinion of these windows? ie; what’s wrong and how would you change them? Sorry .. I just don’t see the problem.

        • The original wood windows that would have been on a house like this better suit the style of the home. The newer aluminum windows look out of place.

          Plus, there are debates about what types of windows last longer. The wood windows are usually better crafted and built to last (the ones on my house have lasted 115 years). Some people prefer the older glass in original windows, too.

          So, the window debate is partially aesthetics, partially quality and it varies from house to house. Personally, I think it’s unfortunate when the original windows are removed from an older house. I acknowledge that some people don’t have a preference, but I would never buy a house that has replacement windows. You’re just going to have to replace them again in several years.

  3. Without knowing the cost to renovate, the stats are a bit useless. I have heard about the flips that are not even close to breaking even on the investment and would imagine that there are plenty of these floating around.

    • If the survey was done properly, then those less-than-lucrative-flips would be reflected in the stats. Unfortunately, it appears as though it wasn’t done properly. As alluded to in the other comments, sales price versus purchase price does not tell the whole story. We need statistics that include carrying costs and renovation expenses. Otherwise, stats are useless.

  4. Another key factor involved in maximizing investors’ profit margin is staging the flip once the renovations are complete. If you tour any of these Sunday Open Houses you’ll see that the best flips are always staged in a vintage-modern-industrial style to appeal to the unique Eastside buyer pool. Word to the wise house flipper: get it staged by a professional.

    • ” staged in a vintage-modern-industrial style to appeal to the unique Eastside buyer pool. ”

      I am pretty sure the unique eastside buyer pool knows you have no idea what you are talking about

      • Staging is key to getting top dollar for your “flip”. It’s similar to having a model home at a new development. You want potential buyers to walk in and imagine living there. It’s a little tough to do if they walk into a vacant property. If you are going to “flip” be sure to budget for home staging.

  5. “The survey is far from comprehensive and it does not reveal how much a flipper made on the property after expenses.”

    That’s the key, as others have mentioned. Also not usually taken into consideration are the carrying costs (mortgage, tax, insur., and broker/agent commissions, etc.), as many just look at the flip renovation costs, not the totality of the expenses.

  6. Remember the 115 year old wood windows were milled from 500-1000 year old trees – durable nice looking wood but now awfully stumpy forests…

  7. I hope, but doubt, that these flippers are using LEAD SAFE demolition and remodeling practices.

    Lead is extremely toxic, even in small amounts… and children are at exceptional risk because lead retards brain development, as well as motor skills. The lead stays in your body forever, unless treated.

    Lead is found in paint pre-1978.. which virtually all of these flipped homes were built prior. Paint stripping, sandblasting, wall demo, etc.. create dust which has lead in it. The dust goes into neighbor’s houses, yards, etc.. into the dirt which gets blown around later with leaf blowers, etc.

    Spread the knowledge.

  8. Is HLP going to see a second dip in home prices after real estate investors stop flipping homes? The only homes I see selling for top dollar are newly flipped, not the existing homes without remodels.

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