By Jeffery Marino
Starting in 2008, in the teeth of the Great Recession, buy-to-sell real estate investment – also known as house flipping – took off in Northeast Los Angeles. Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Glassell Park, Mount Washington and Atwater Village were all transformed by real estate investors snapping up properties at the bottom of the market, making some trendy improvements and then selling them for a healthy profit.
As housing prices soared in the past decade, opportunities to buy low and sell high have become harder to come by, but investors – flippers – have remained an important presence in the market.
These days, the pandemic is giving investors a leg up. Here’s why: The economic problems brought on by the pandemic have made many would-be home sellers reluctant to put their homes up for sale. That reluctance has led to a record low inventory of homes for sale. At the same time, demand for homes has remained strong. Low supply coupled with high demand equals higher prices – a plus for investors with houses to flip.
The following three properties are among the highest dollar flips in NELA in August 2020. All three were purchased, rehabbed and sold within a relatively short period of time (less than a year in the case of the first two). All three sold for about double the original purchase price.
Address: 4840 Malta St
Neighborhood: Highland Park
Sale Price: $1,225,000
Previous Sale Price: $620,000
Sold By: Ryan H. Sarkissian of eXp Realty of California, Inc.
Complete with the now ubiquitous horizontal slat fence, this Highland Park bungalow – 4 beds, 3 baths – is recognizable as a flip from the curb. Say what you will about home flippers, the investors involved in this project clearly added a ton of value to the property and it’s clear to see why it sold for a million-plus.
Prior to its August 2020 sale for $1.225 million, the home was previously sold in October 2019 (yes, just a year ago) for $620,000. At the time, it was listed as a fixer and that’s exactly how it was treated.
One reason why it may have sold for such a significant premium is that the upgrades include a conversion of the property’s stand-along garage to an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). The ADU can be rented for rental income or used as a home office, which has become a necessity for many people in this era where working from home is the new normal.
2353 Fair Park Ave.
Neighborhood: Eagle Rock
Sale Price: $1,183,000
Previous Sale Price: $565,000
Sold By: Kirk Hawkins of Beverly and Company, Inc.
This rehabbed property – 3 beds, 2 baths – sold for almost twice the previous purchase price, and did so within one year. In addition to many high-end upgrades, including Carrara quartz countertops, custom-built cabinets, and brand new copper plumbing and HVAC, this home’s location also likely added to the high selling price. It is walking distance to grocery shopping and restaurants on Eagle Rock Boulevard and right down the street from the highly-rated Eagle Rock Elementary.
424 Mavis Dr.
Neighborhood: Mt. Washington
Previous Sale Price: $725,100
Sold By: Tracy Do of Compass
This home – 3 beds, 3 baths – was sold as “the ideal rehab opportunity” in November 2017. It clearly took a while to get it into shape, but when all was said and done, the home sold for nearly double what the investors paid for it and 21% over the asking price just two weeks after it was listed for sale.
For a Listing of all single-family home sales recently reported for NELA click here.