Timing’s Everything: eye on re

I love looking at real estate, which is a good thing because when you’re flipping, you need to be in tune with the tiniest nuances of the market.  I start big.  What’s happening in China?  The election?  Luxury properties in New York and Miami.  Who’s hiring, who’s laying off?  State Street – Golman. Where are interest rates going.?  As a professional and skilled worrier I can cover a lot of ground.  One might ask what the heck any of that has to do with real estate prices in Boston’s South End.  The answer is of course, perhaps everything…perhaps nothing.  I could talk to you about global unrest and perception impacting the markets.  I could discuss the implications of increased regulation on banking and the end of an era of gross bonuses, corruption, and excess.  I could walk you through my logic regarding luxury properties in other major cities and the trickle down effect to my little neighborhood.  I could, but when even the best and the brightest only get it right a fraction of the time, it seems pointless that I would try.  My worrying is very personal you see.


Boston’s South End

Once I’ve run through global points of concern, I bring it down to a local level.  Plenty to be concerned about here too, but also much to get excited about.  I love stats, and there are some good ones being developed in this spring market.  Last week’s home’s sold in the neighborhood included:

  • 20 sold
  • 8 over $1M
  • 5 over $1000. a foot
  • The highest at $1218.58 a foot (a brownstone)

This is good news.  I bought at over $1000. a foot.  at $1008.75  Very high, very risky.  Now if I planned to hold for a long time, that would decrease the risk, but a flipper can’t be hanging onto properties.  It’s contrary to the objective…which if you’ve forgotten, is to retire some day.

94 Wal 4

The Unit in my Building . Staged for Sale

Now none of those properties are on my street, but the unit above mine sold a few weeks ago.  I had the opportunity to visit it before it was cleaned and staged.  Here are the stats:

  • 2 bed (both small)
  • In unit washer and dryer
  • small rear deck
  • marble working wood fireplace
  • lovely architectural detail
  • 815SF
  • Listed at $725,000.
  • Sold at $817,000.
  • $92,000. over asking price.

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This is very good news for me.  This unit, to my estimation needed between $75,000. – $150,000. worth of work.  The kitchen and bath both need to be gutted.  Floors and baseboards need to be replaced, doors and hardware need to be replaced, bedrooms retrofitted with closets, rear deck needs to be replaced, windows in this unit replaced in the front.

mine 2

My Unit – Coming Along.

What my unit needs is air conditioning – nothing else.  What it doesn’t have is a second bedroom.  Which is a big selling point – even if the room is undersized, people will pay considerably more for a two bed.  Still, I’m not sure I can resist the frenzy.  It may need to go on the market in the fall.  Timing is everything in this life.

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