Eastside Property: Sellers fall short of restoring an Echo Park “stuccalow”

Photo from TheMLS/Redfin

A “stuccalow” is what an Eastside preservationist calls a wood-sided or shingled bungalow that has been smothered in a layer of stucco.  Some homeowners have begun to restore  stuccalows  by removing  the stucco, tar paper and chicken wire to reveal the original wood siding underneath. But that was not the case with a nearly century-0ld Echo Park bungalow on Mohawk Street that recently went up for sale.  The listing describes this “stylishly remodeled” two-bedroom home with hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances as ready to move in – if you want to pay $529,000 or about $150,000 more than what the house sold for a year ago, according to Redfin.  But the house flippers apparently did not think it was worth spending the extra time and money on a “de-stucco” t0 restore the bungalow’s exterior siding and historic charm.  Too bad.

Only a few houses away, the owners of another Echo Park stuccalow stripped the stucco off the exterior and repaired and replaced the clapboard for a head-turning restoration completed last year.


  1. Midnight DeStucco-ing?

    That’s just criminal. Or it should be. Good thing I’m not in charge.

  2. By removing the front posts/front porch area, they have essentially made the house look awkward without a window to the left of the door or an additional window to the left of the bank of windows on the right side of the house. I wouldn’t want to pay that steep increase for a house that was rehabbed to look even more awkward than it originally was.

    • It seems like they just enclosed the porch to add square footage to the listing. It looks awkward and only improves the house when looking at it’s price/square foot. None of the pictures in the listing show what’s inside of this ugly (from the outside) addition.

      It was weird before though too. The windows were covered with newspapers for years before the last sale. Hopefully it will attract new owners who are willing to put in some work to restore it. Probably not at this price though. too bad.

  3. I just puked all over my keyboard.

  4. That landscaping is awkward too. Looks like they tried to compensate for the lack of window with a lattice? Totally odd.

  5. I’m itching to say that this house was “flipped off” but the flippers probably weren’t the owners who stuccoed.

  6. prospective destuccoer

    Anyone know how much it would have cost to desctucco a bungalow like this? Am considering it for my own house.

    • Removing the stucco is cheap as it is very low skill labor. A house this size would probably cost less than $1000-$1500 to break away and haul. The unknown cost is what it will take to restore the clapboard back to a good appearance. If the boards are strait and no (major) patchwork is needed, it’s just a matter of patching the nail holes, prep and paint (a house this size around $2K or less). Of course if you are a DIYer you could knock it out in about 5 or 6 weekends!

      • The weight of the stucco and debris would be at least 7 tons…@ 60$ a ton is 420$
        Add to that the truck, gas and 3 day laborers ($120 each), for 3 days ($1080)just for removal.. that $1500.. most likely more like $2000-$2500.
        The cost of repairing the siding correctly..if it is in decent condition a minimum of $3000. Could go as high as $6000 and take weeks if you have to replace a bunch.
        In the process of removing the stucco much if not all the window trim could/will be damaged and need to be replaced.
        Then comes dry rot, termites etc… rarely are they not present in an old house once you open some holes in the walls.
        It seems the flippers did not think the risk was worth the reward…or did not have the “extra” $10 000 to do a nicer job.
        The interior looks nice in the photos… everything about the exterior..not just the stucco..shows signs of a 1st timer.

  7. Is that the “before” picture?

  8. @ Kevin – Flipped off, love that! I don’t think they were the original stucco-ers but the red was more appealing I think. This was the before the reno listing…

  9. A few improvements to the neighborhood, then a few missteps. I’m sorry. They just ruined this balcony with the traditional porch. Who is going to buy this?? We shall see. Nobody yet and it has been on the market for awhile. I wish flippers would do a tiny bit of research on architecture when taking on these houses. This house would probably be sold by now if they had removed the stucco. Also, they just built this nifty fence around it as well but it is a taggers delight waiting to happen since that is what the surrounding fences get in that area.

  10. Does anyone know if stucco was used to mitigate termite damage? What were the benefits of stucco which convinced so many people to cover their buildings with it? How much does it improve heating and cooling costs, for example? Anyone have a list of real and percieved benefits that have been proven/dis-proven?

  11. We put in an offer on this place last year but obviously the flippers beat us on this one. I had such dreams for this little house! They really missed the mark with the exterior.

  12. the before pictures look nicer than the after! Y’all are right…that exterior is awkward!


  13. Wow they royally f-ed this one up!!! I feel bad for you Susan….that would make me want to cry if I put an offer in and they sold it to some flipper that doesnt even do a good job at flipping it! The before was actually quite cute even with the stucco, I could have lived with it for a while thats for sure! I really want to punch these people in face for having such bad taste and ruining other peoples dreams!

  14. Before looks better than after.

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