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January 26, 2011

“Flipping” Makes a Comeback in San Francisco


It used to be that most buyers weren’t interested in paying for someone else’s remodel. That obviously isn’t the case in 2011, because it looks like “flipping”–purchasing a fixer, renovating it and reselling at a profit–is alive and well again in the San Francisco market. 3719 Folsom Street in Bernal Heights.

Sold only a few months ago in September 2010 as a fixer in a cash sale for $590,000, the property is back on the market for $849,000 and fully renovated, ready to flip.

There are still three bedrooms and two baths, but the house no longer looks like this:

It’s all spruced up with “solid hardwood floors, recessed lighting, landscaping, & stunning new kitchen & bathrooms w/ Grohe fixtures…that together create an overall design that is fresh & modern.”  The master suite has a dual vanity and custom glass rainshower. There are also pano views from the rear, and one-car parking.

The location on Folsom is good; the sellers obviously made the right call taking a chance on a flip here, because you can’t go wrong with proximity to a popular retail corridor. 3719 Folsom is one block from Cortland, and around the block from Maggie Mudd ice cream.

Contrary to buyers’ traditional apathy toward ponying up for a seller’s renovations (and profit), there are apparently lots of people interested in assuming ownership of this home. The listing office has distributed 16 disclosure packages. That means there are reportedly at least 16 separate buyers who are interested in submitting an offer, and who are potentially qualified to purchase home that’s asking almost $1M.

My guess is that the seller will end up with around seven or eight offers. So whoever says that flips are flopping in the current economy is wrong. I think there are plenty of financially secure buyers out there who don’t have the time or interest to do renovations themselves. And if the renovated home is well within their means and they like the property, they’ll make an offer.

Something for contractors and developers to keep in mind as we move through 2011. Readers, what do you think? Is paying for someone else’s renovation something you’d do?

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