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Monday, December 22, 2014

Eastside Property: Lincoln Heights Craftsman selling for under $400,000

Photo: Redfin.com

If you are searching for a Craftsman dream home in move-in condition, get ready to pay top dollar. Even low-priced Craftsman fixer uppers are getting hard to find, with home buyers competing against flippers and contractors.  At $380,000, this 102-year-old Craftsman-style cottage in the flats of Lincoln Heights is not cheap. But while it appears that three-bedroom house at 2814 Darwin will need some work, the shingled home has managed to avoid being “stuccoed” as have many of the neighboring properties. Inside, there are original paneled doors, wood trim, built-in cabinets, columns and, under the teal green carpet, hardwood flooring, according to the Redfin listing. The sellers are playing up the home’s potential and location:

Close to school, transportation and USC Medical Center. This is perfect for a potential buyer who is creative and likes to get their personal touch.



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11 comments

  1. All that place needs is a paint job inside and out, window bars removed and carpet torn out. It’s a really nice house with good bones and woodwork intact!!

    • It probably needs an electrical upgrade as well, and if the pipes are galvanized, then it most likely needs a repipe. The foundation also might need attention; some homes from that era had brick foundations. (When I began working in real estate in 2003, my first listing, in Lincoln Heights, had a brick foundation.) Add a simple kitchen remodel to that, and the total fix-up amount could run to $30,000+, and if the foundation needs replacing, add another $30,000 to that.

      • Most of which doesn’t have to be done right away.

        • The way I see it, if the work needs to be done, it needs to be done – either now or later. The electrical system may be fine as-is, but if the water supply lines are galvanized, the water flow may be pretty weak – and the pipes may be leaky (not to mention the condition of the drain line). Foundation work can wait, but if the house is sitting on bricks, how long would you want to postpone dealing with it?

          I’m not trying to discourage anyone from buying an old house, but it pays to go in with one’s eyes open. I’ve bought and remodeled two old houses, and they can be a lot of work. If the buyer pays $365,000 (price has been reduced) and spends another $35,000 to fix it up, can the owners justify spending $400,000 for a house in that area? I like Lincoln Heights; lots of old, historic homes, wide streets, and very centrally-located and close to the Gold Line, but there’s still gang activity there. I wouldn’t recommend it to my clients at that price.

  2. $35k is a huge underestimation. If you’re flipping old homes for $35k then nothing is being done well.

    • I’m underestimating in order to give the sellers the benefit of the doubt. I know that remodeling costs a lot; I bought a small house three years ago, and to date, I’ve spent around $85,000-$90,000 on it, though if I were interested in flipping it, I probably would have spent less. That said, if the foundation is okay, the buyers might be able to get away with just repiping the plumbing and rewiring the electrical, and I don’t think that would run more than $35,000.

  3. If you’re flipping old homes for $35k then nothing is being done well.

    Buyers who are willing to purchase a historic home really want unmolested properties. Cheap flips actually scare away many historic home buyers. If you are going to flip a historic home spend the extra money and do it right, buyers are willing to pay a premium for historic homes done well.

    A rewire, and new plumbing means nothing if the kitchen and bathrooms have not been remodeled. If a new owner still has to update the kitchen then the wiring will still need to be modified, same goes with the plumbing in the bathrooms. A $35K would probably do that property more harm than good.

    • You seem fixated on the word “flip;” I never mentioned flipping anything in my original response. Simply put, I don’t think someone is going to buy that house in Lincoln Heights for $365,000 and sink $100,000+ into it, bringing up the total to close to $500,000. It’s not Angeleno Heights, where a dual-income professional couple might be willing to spend $650,000 on a fixer and pour another $150,000 into a period-correct restoration, and it’s not Boyle Heights, where someone can buy a historical home for $260,000 and do the same thing. My guess is that they’ll end up reducing the price again to $349,000 and it will sell for $345,000 to a middle-class Latino or Asian family that will be more concerned with having a nice place to live than with maintaining all of its historical touches. Time will tell.

  4. It has ghetto bars on the windows for a reason…

    • Hey, buyers, meet your new neighbors, just three streets to the east and four streets to the north (across Broadway).

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNf_n6I_lC0

      • That video is almost comical. Thanks for sharing. I suppose if I were short with little brainpower or future, with more fat than muscle, I’d carry a weapon and surround myself with other dudes too. That type of person is outdated. The human race is moving on, and these types will head the way of the dinosaur.

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