Thursday, April 30, 2009

A successful flip?

What defines a successful flip?

A reader made this comment on one of the earlier posts:

"I was poking around in NE this weekend and found a couple interesting recent high end flips that appeared to have worked.

1928 NE 26th. Paid $375K on 4/25/2008. Pending sale at $765K.

2028 NE Alameda. Paid $875K on 2/14/2007. Pending at $1,495,000.

3117 NE 32nd. Paid $270,000 on 4/2/2007 and closed for $785K on 2/19/2009.

These do seem to be the exception rather than the rule though. They are all well located (no busy streets, etc.) and the rehabs appear to be well done."
The house on 32nd was especially interesting. Take a look at the before photo:

And then the after photo:

Yes it's the same house, but it looks like 80% of it is new. They added up as well as out. Unfortunately I don't know who did the work.

On the surface it loks like a nice remodel, but something about the details stuck me as odd.

The kitchen is nice, if a little generic. I guess for 3/4 of a million I would expect a bit more.

But then I saw this room (I assume it's the dining room). The room just strikes me as odd. Personally one of my favorite features of old craftsman homes are these cabinets and columns that seperate the living and dining rooms. But seriously, what were the "architects" thinking here? Did someone screw up?

First off, why are the cabinets so small? They're perfect for showing off your fine china to your toddler. And the built in's in the back of the dining room? Not really built in, they look like generic home depot cabinets smacked on a wall. But the kicker is the columns. They don't reach the ceiling! That looks like a major goof to me, and I'm pretty sure the base cabinets were supposed to be a little bit bigger. Oops.

All in all, I'd expect a lot more for $785k. For the builder I think it was a successful flip, if not a slam dunk after all their costs. But for the buyer? I'd take the house at 3311 Tillamook over this one, and pocket the $200k difference. At least you're getting a real vintage craftsman foursquare with more pleasing proportions, old growth wood trim, a bigger house and a bigger lot.

These are real built-ins.

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Anonymous said...

I'm not sure everyone has the same penchant as you for old and authentic over new.

In this market I think successful is one that is sold and closed.

Happy Sideline Renter said...

Is the poster listing those "successful" flips the same one who was also listing flips last Fall bragging about their property speculation and their muni-bond portfolio? Come on... Admit it. It's you isn't it? ROFL.

Anonymous said...

Anon again here...

I went through this house a couple months ago. It was actually quite nice. If I remember right I thought I would be quite satisfied living here if it had more garage space.

The kitchen, in person, wasn't that plain and had character and quality. The floor-plan and features were pretty well thought out. The photo of the living room really makes the column/cabinet thing look bad (plus the photo makes the scale of the room look off) but with the staging furniture it looked pretty decent.

insomnibus said...

There was some speculation on the portland housing blog as to whether or not this was a 'less than arms length' transaction. I don't know but at $700k+ I would suspect as much.

I could be wrong but I can't figure out how someone would spend close to $800k on that, especially considering all the other options on the market below that price point. Even if money is no object or a non-issue, how would someone come to the conclusion that this was the best thing out there?

Anonymous said...

The new owner is DRESCHER SARAH K-5/6 &
KARIA,ANIL S-1/6. The mortgage amount is $260,000.

The previous one was listed at Rhett and Cynthia on the listing.

Christian Mannhood said...

Hey, WRT to the cabinets, Spinal Tap comes to mind, where they mix up inches and feet in the specifications of Stonehenge...

Willjongill said...

personally, that seems like a lot for that house, but if indeed it was a legit deal, good for them. The house certainly is a lot better off than per rebuild.

Anonymous said...

I live in a 1950's mid-century house in Eugene and we bought it from the original owners. We rehabed the lighting fixtures and kept all of the giant beautiful Crane sinks and whatever else we could. You can't get stuff that well designed and well made anymore and you pay 100's or more for junk made in China when it comes to housewares. None of that stuff is going to last 25yrs. Some people don't have the time to remodel a house slowly and thoughtfully. But the ones who do will always make out better than the ones who buy a house that has been gutted and thrown together by a contractor. Authentic and old are better because the quality of materials was so much better and the craftsmenship was also often much better than what you can get today.

Anonymous said...


I disagree. The quality CAN be better but companies like Chicago Faucets, Rejuvenation, etc. make very high quality stuff. A 60 year old quality fixture is not better than a new fixture of the same quality.