Eastside Property: Garvanza Craftsman pushes the price barrier

Photo from Redfin

It’s hard to find much wrong with this restored, 102-year-old Craftsman in Garvanza. The flippers who purchased the Highland Park-adjacent property in February for $251,000 have preserved and restored many of the home’s original features, including Douglas fir floors, a brick fireplace and built-in cabinets; and wood window and door moldings, according to the Redfin listing. There’s also plenty of modern amenities in the blue and gray clapboard home, from a new kitchen with stainless steep appliances and redwood decks outside. But perfection has its price.

In this case, the three-bedroom home on north Avenue 63 near Garvanza Avneue (up the street from the Tuesday night food truck feast in the Figueroa Produce parking lot) went on the market this week at $529,000. That’s high given recent home sales in the flats of Garvanza. In fact, a check on Redfin shows that there have been no $500,000+ home sales  in the flats of Garvanza north of York Boulevard in the past three years.  Will a Craftsman-loving buyer step in at this price?


  1. I know they did a great job because this is HPOZ, but this isn’t in the best pocket of Garvanza. But people are desperate to buy right now…it’ll sell. And REAL ESTATE HEAVEN is the dumbest name out there BTW. Just my opinion…

  2. Woah! I’ve been watching this place’s transformation for a while now. I’m totally impressed.

  3. The price per square foot isn’t that bad… 1500 sq ft is a good amount. But it’s still outta my price range.

  4. Ha! They might’ve given the exterior a lift, but they didn’t do much to the interior (paint on the walls, re-stained floor). Same kitchen as the previous sale, the write-up I find amusing since it appealed to the first-time buyer move-in ready but a flipper bought it.

  5. Thanks Cristi for telling us what’s really true. They didn’t do much and expect a huge profit. I am sick of flippers. Why don’t they go away?
    I’m a 36 year resident of Echo Park — the house across the street from me has been flipped four times in the last several years. The last people to buy it have been stuck in it since 2008 and it’s apparent how little they like living here. Please go away. And by the way, the house is tiny and has no garage since they had to make it into a bedroom. It’s disgusting.

    • I just love all of the crotchety old residents of these neighborhoods, “I’ve lived here since 1806!”. So amusing.

      • It’s just possible that this “crotchety” resident moved to Echo Park at age two, or was born there. But to a young newcomer, 36 probably seems ridiculously “old.” If you’re still here in five or ten years you might notice some changes you don’t like, either. Will you be just as amused when people start dismissing you as old, too? It will happen, probably sooner than you’d like.

        • Just saying that it’s being used as a way to legitimize statements but means actually very little. I’ve lived in Silverlake/Echo Park/Eagle Rock for 15 years now and enjoy the changing diversity of the area. I don’t feel my time living here gives me any more credibility than anyone else. Has Joan walked over and engaged her new neighbors? Had a cup of coffee with them? “Please go away” is such a sad remark.

        • Perfectly said.

          • That comment was directed at SBeal. Not eastsidearts.

            To eastsidearts: Flippers, are generally not known to coffee klatsch with their neighbors. They tend more toward the cut + run maneuver once the work is done and Joan’s point is a valid one.

          • epgirl, not speaking of the flipper, but the people who moved into the home.

  6. “In fact, a check on Redfin shows that no home has sold in Garvanza north of York Boulevard in the past three years.”

    Check your facts again. Also, isn’t all of Garvanza north of York, York being the southern border?

  7. If this sells within 100k of asking, you know they’ve managed to restart the bubble with the Fed’s demented low interest rates and free $ they’re shoveling to banks and begging them to shove out the door. Whee, zero carrying costs, slap a coat of paint on, money money! 529k they really must be joking.

  8. This house has all kinds of charm price seems a little high though. I’m really curious to see how much this sells for. Please repost when it sells.

  9. Since it is listed as a 2 bedroom, 1 bath home of the tax assessors rolls I assume the 3rd bedroom and 2nd bathroom are not permitted.

    What’s even more interesting is that this house was the subject of a crummy reality TV show last year that redid the kitchen in the house and left the rest of the poor quality ‘updates’ untouched.

    Should be interesting to see if this sells in the ‘heavens’ of real estate pricing.

    • I did find that interesting about the home show’s selective updates. With the old listing photos of the exterior, the show must’ve dodged exterior shots like the plague! Even though the kitchen is a nice modern motif, but compared with the fact that the restorers have painstakingly maintained period detail in the flooring and exterior, wood windows, and possibly siding (probably in accordance with HPOZ), the modern updates become a bit awkward.

    • I checked zimas.lacity.org. Looks like all the work including the addition was done with permits. The permits have been finaled by DB&S.

  10. Sometimes the tax rolls are just wrong. My house shows as a 1 bedroom but it is obvious it has always been a 3 bedroom — all the rooms are of similar size on the original foundation and have extensive original trim and original flooring that is continuous from other rooms and family I bought it from told me that was case as long as they owned it — which was not long after it was built. I had another house that had 2 bathrooms on title but only had 1. The house had never been remodeled and the original owners said it had always had 1 bathroom.

    Given the history of this particular property though, I wouldn’t be surprised if those extra rooms were unpermitted though. That kitchen is hideous (new doesn’t always equal better) and for all their talk about it being a Craftsman, that exterior paint scheme is inappropriate for that house and just kind of depressing. It doesn’t cost more money to pick appropriate money colors, you just have to do a little research and have a little taste. A nice tri-color scheme in “Craftsman” colors would make that house sing…maybe not to the tune of 529k but close.

    • yea good call on the exterior its really bad the right colors really would make this a little honey.

    • Don’t the HPOZ folks require color selection approval?

      Regarding your bedrooms though Suzanne, do all have closets built into the room? That is a defining feature the assessor uses in determining it’s a bedroom.

      • actually that’s not true Cristi, there’s nothing in the codes that says there has to be a closet to be considered a bedroom. That’s a realtor thing. In the olden days, maybe some of the posters remember this, people had armoires in the bedrooms and not closets.

        • Really? I remember my realtor saying the same thing. Good info! Thanks!

        • Fair enough. So what exactly does constitute a bedroom code-wise? I’m curious.

          • Sometimes they are called “sleeping rooms” and have to be of a minimum size, have windows large enough for emergency exit/entrance. One wall must be an outer wall, doorway cannot open into garage, things like that. I believe a heat source must be present. There are different codes also depending on when the house was built. Some window sizes are grandfathered in for example.

          • If anyone knows for certain on the ‘what makes a bedroom’ criteria, I’m curious to hear it.

            Windows may be grandfathered in as long as you don’t want to change them. When you do, you resort to revisions per code. I had to opt for casement on two windows to accommodate the fireman code. When I upgraded the windows, the GC though looked at the room and mentioned the closet=bedroom, so that is where I’m puzzled in all this.

          • I think the window part depends on the city the house is in, as far and grandfathering goes. The rest of the info is accurate IMO.

          • My bedroom opens into a small room that I use an an office/library. It has windows on 3 sides, and looks out on my backyard. No closet, and you couldn’t possibly fit anything other than a twin bed in there. I love it, but I would never call it a second bedroom! However, on the tax roles, my house is listed as a 2-bedroom. I am always amused at that.

      • A few years ago, the HPOZ was saying they didn’t handle approvals of paint color because the HPOZ was too large. Then I heard they were requiring their approval. Who knows what the deal is now. It would be rather sad if they had actually put their stamp of approval on this house’s exterior color.

        My bedrooms all have closets that appear original due to their placement, construction, size (tiny!), flooring, extensive levels of trim that match the original trim/doors throughout the house. I think someone just made a mistake in paperwork about a hundred years ago, and it never got fixed.

  11. I’m not sure that qualifies as a true craftsman. It’s definitely a bungalow, although many might think I’m splitting hairs but there’s a difference. Both were built during the same time period but bungalows have much less detail than a craftsman. For me if the house doesn’t have multiple built ins, pilasters, box beam ceilings, decorative knee braces and oak floors it’s a bungalow. That house is a bungalow.

  12. HP is way over priced. Especially this pocket.

    • Actually it may not be. A home in move in condition, updated and with landscaping is worth a lot of $$$. Doing those kinds of renovations cost a lot of money and time. What would you pay for this house? Do you know what doing this kind of work costs?

      • do you know how much this kind of “work” costs? obviously you don’t with your snide comments. this kind of “work” does NOT cost north of 270k nor is 6-7 months a long time for redoing a home, but possibly as a flipper you may think it’s wasting your time as you’d like to get the house on market asap. this house is not worth it’s price tag.
        maybe, just MAYBE they spent 50k but it’s doubtful. the profit on a flipped house like this is enormous and we see flippers doing this all over town. the kitchen is done with cheap cabinets + the bathrooms are simple with basic fixtures. and i must’ve missed the pricey landscaping because i just see some simple grass + a few plans here + there. definitely not something someone plunked a ton of money in. sure, it’s pretty + they did a nice job but that doesn’t warrant the price tag. especially in this neighborhood.
        your response makes you sound like you have a personal investment in this property…which kudos if you do. but that still doesn’t make it worth the price tag.

        • Hey Truth, I have no horse in this race, just asking questions. So do you really think they only spent $50k to do this whole project? Fencing, irrigation, plants, kitchen & bath fixtures etc. It all adds up. Was the electrical system updated? Central heat and air? I don’t know, but if all that went in it was over $50K. So what do you think the house is worth?

          • “NEW 2 bedroom addition + RED WOOD deck. Exterior upgrades include NEW foundation, roof, electrical, Plumbing, sprinkler system, tank less water heater, wood fencing, Patio cement slab with custom built canopy and easy to maintain landscaping.”

          • yes i really believe they only plopped down 50k. these aren’t top of the line items and it’s a flip – they go cheap.

          • The kitchen was already “updated” when they bought it, so no money was spent there. I think its overpriced. I wouldn’t pay half a mil to live in Highland Park. I could just move to Escondido and get twice the square footage for half the price if I loved that environment so much.

  13. Craftsman. The main (exterior) difference between the link you posted and the previous homes is that your photo is of a house with a larger porch surrounded by decorative pillars, the eves are deep and have decorative braces. The house in the article feel more like a transition home to me it has Victorian and bungalow features (note the roof eves and fireplace) while the one shared by Cristi has nice interior pieces the exterior doesn’t have the deep eves, knee braces are large porch that your photo does. Let me just state that this is just my opinion and I might be bias because I own a Craftsman and I use it as my standard to what constitutes a bungalow, craftsman and ultimate craftsman.

    • Woah! Your home is gorgeous! Thanks for your input. That was my house I posted.

    • Yeah, what she said! All the stained wood trim on the interior makes my heart go pitter patter. Nice job! I was going to buy a Montgomery Ward (another mail order scheme mfg) “Craftsman” in Hollywood but had to bail out on the short sale. I would’ve loved to take a crack at that restoration.

      • It’s a lot of work I’m 4 years into it an not quite at the half way mark. Boyle Heights has lots of un-restored treasures for cheap, I got my nearly 2000ft place for about 250k.

        • As much as I love architecture, I’m overly picky about where I live. The post-Hollywood short sale purchase turned out to be perfect – a lot less money and work technically required to go into it…although you wouldn’t know based on how many times contractors go in and out. I suffer from a constant state of ‘I could do this….?’ disease. I’m trying to reel in the costs on the necessary vs. unnecessary and be more DIY when I can.

  14. former Higland Parker

    I used to live off Fig and Ave 57 and would get chased by gang kids with lead pipes when walking home from the bus stop after work. Just because the house got a little paint doesn’t mean the neighbors have improved. Lipstick on a pig as they say…

  15. Garvanza Resident

    I don’t know what they spent of course, but they did extensive work to the foundation of this house – I think they may have put in an entirely new foundation – they had the house jacked up from what I could tell – and as far as the 411 no house sold in Garvanza north of York in 3 years is totally incorrect – there have been numerous homes sold between York and Church Street from Ave. 63 west. In fact, the mansion kiddy corner from this house, behind Rite Aid just sold in the last 6 months. They don’t list homes here very often, I’ve lived here for 20 years, but boy, when they do, they go fast! Check your facts again! And kudos to anyone who purchases one of these historic gems and saves it from dilapidation!

  16. Your facts are incorrect. I bought my home in Garvanza north of York in March of this year… Nowhere near that price though!

  17. Sorry. I forgot to say that no home in the flats of Garvanza north of York Boulevard has sold for more than $500,00o in the past three years. Story has been updated with that info.

  18. Interesting to note that the price has just gone down $30K. Glad to know that the HP real estate market (though crazy) is not completely insane.


  19. House just sold today at $499K

  20. I actually walked through this residence and worked with the flipper on a side issue. Yes you have to get exterior paint colors approve via the HPOZ Review Board. This Reno was not a high standard renovation but much of the work was worthy and well done.

    The contractor did a decent job with this House considering the existing hodge-podge construction that he had to deal with. The 1980 additions in the back were not to code and he had to redo them and reapply for permits. The foundation had to be done as well as the roof. He basically had to go over all plumbing,, electrical and structural details I side and out. The driveway had a stoop to a side entrance that was blocking it the proposed side driveway. The flow was reconfigured and ensuite bathrooms were added along with bigger closets and more bedroom space. There were original built-ins that were restored as well as original moldings and window & door massings were kept intact. This is a bungalow and it contributes to the HPOZ. It is a very comfortable and updated home that can be enjoyed by its new owners.

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