the longest flip ever
When I put in an offer for this house in 2007, my boyfriend and I had a plan of adding on a second rental unit, since the lot is zoned for up to three units. At the time I was working part time as a real estate agent, as well as running a shop on Colorado Blvd. called Regeneration. I had been working with a few buyers that were looking for a three bedroom/two bath in the area for under $500,000, and it just didn’t exist. Instead of a new unit, I thought a better idea would be to expand it as a single family – something cute, stylish and affordable. After butting heads with different visions, we dissolved the partnership but worked out a deal for him to help me build the addition for hire, and I went ahead on my own.
The addition ended up taking over a year and much more money than expected to complete, and the real estate market continued to tank the entire time. As the bubble burst and the mortgage crisis took hold, it was almost laughable how I picked perhaps the worst time in history to attempt my first flip. Damn that HGTV. The recession also killed my retail business, but I was lucky enough to be able to rent the house for the past four years and keep that mortgage paid. While I really loved living here (more than my sought after old neighborhood in Echo Park, as it’s much more peaceful), it’s much more space than a single girl needs. Ironically, the former size would have been just perfect for me! C’est la vie. I moved to Boston for a few years, played in the snow, and came back home.
Now that the housing market seems to be up and running again, it seems like a good time to sell. This house became a labor of love, and I hope what I built will become a home for the right people to enjoy for years to come. It’s been so hard to make design and improvement choices on the house, since it’s like trying to second guess what a complete stranger would decide. For instance, the previous owners had replaced a few but not all of the windows. After much debate on whether to match the windows they replaced, or put in all new wood framed windows in the front, I decided to leave the functioning original windows as they are and let the new owners decide. I’ve also deliberated on whether to replace the old white picket fence. While it was cute, I felt like I would use the front yard much more if it was just a little more private. A slightly higher fence also blocks out the cars parked on the street, and draws the eye up to the trees and views of the mountains in the distance.
I’ve been retired as a real estate agent for several years, but decided to sell this home on my own. I’m happy to pay a commission and work with buyer’s agents, just know that it may be a bit like like working with Aunt Clara from Bewitched, forgetting all of the real estate spells and forms.