Friday!!!! Yay! The weekend is fast approaching and man do I need an end to this week. This has been a really long week for me so this Friday’s Featured Flip is bearing the brunt of that frustration.
I’m sorry to say that you’ve just seen the best of the Mandana Flip. This house had so much promise and these flippers just didn’t capitalize on that. I suspect they had to deal with some serious structural issues because they made some choices that suggest they have better taste than the overall end result suggests.
The staging is not one of the good choices these flippers made. Again, we’re going to see how bad staging can make a house worse. I’m convinced that when flipping a home you have to budget enough money to stage a house properly. Staging for the sake of staging isn’t worth it. The staging has to be good and that costs money. When Mr. Man and I sold our last house we had sticker shock over the staging ($5,000) but now that I’ve seen so many examples of bad staging I think that was money well spent.
As you see this house is no longer for sale. Just yesterday they took it off the market. I suspect we’ll be seeing it soon. Hopefully, they’ll stage it better.
The Mandana flip is in one of the best neighborhoods in this city. It has a good balance of urban and suburban. It’s close to a great shopping area with quaint shops and good restaurants, and the local elementary school is one of the most coveted in the district. And yet the immediate area is very residential. The only downside is Mandana is a heavily used thoroughfare for people getting in and out of the neighborhood. I’m not sure how much this would have affected the sale price because the street and sidewalk are pretty wide and the houses are set back far from the street. This means you won’t hear the traffic but you may not want to let your young kids play out front if they’re prone to dart out in the street without looking.
I don’t think that would have affected the buyers of this house too much because I suspect they’d have older kids, having outgrown their starter home in large part because of their growing kids. The buyers will be professionals, looking for a home with quality features and probably hoping that they’d get a magazine worthy house for less given the busy street. As such, I think these flippers, unfortunately, chose finishes that are not going to appeal to these buyers.
It seems like they tried to make this house modern but since it was probably built-in the 1920s that was never going to work on a flipper’s budget. Plus, these buyers could have bought a newer home in the suburbs if that’s what they wanted. Instead, who ever buys this house is making a decision to remain in a fairly urban area with older homes. These type of people want higher design using original details.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not a preservationist freak that thinks every last,ugly detail of a home should be kept just because its original to the home but I do think you should try your best to keep original casings, mouldings, wood floor, built-ins and solid wood doors. I think it’s a sound thing to do aesthetically and fiscally. If you don’t replace it, then you don’t have to buy something to replace it.
The Front: Before
In the After, you see they changed the stair railing and added railings to the porch. My guess is that these changes were done in order to comply with building codes. I personally prefer the before without the railings but I understand that you have to do what you have to do to make the Man happy.
They also didn’t do much with the landscaping — in fact I don’t think they did anything. The bushes are pretty old-fashioned but very low maintenance. The buyers probably won’t appreciate this initially but after living in the house for a while they just might like not having to think about the front lawn.
Living Room: Before
Living Room: After
While I don’t hate the fireplace they put in, the buyers around here would have appreciated the original tile around the fireplace. This is one of the many examples of how it would have been better to keep something original and save some money.
Dinning Room: Before
Dining Room: After
Disclaimer: I’m not the biggest fan of open concept living. (I know, I know. I’m a freak.). So I guess it’s no surprise that I don’t love how they opened up the dining and living rooms to each other. (These by the way are the only pictures showing the opening. Another lesson: invest in good pictures for the online posting.) This is also where I started unleashing my feelings about the finishes…
Stairway: Before & After
Bedroom#1: Before & After
Bedroom #3: Before & After
You’ll see in the After I tried undoing some bad staging. I think it looks better but I’ll let you be the judge…
Master Bedroom: Before & After
Master Bathroom: After
The Mandana flippers added a bathroom and I wasn’t able to figure out which one was new. My guess given the age of this house they added this on-suite. Not sure how they did that except maybe that explains changing out the door I highlighted above. Again, here we see bad finishes. I’ll let you see if you can spot them (You’ll see what I think of one of the finishes in the last bathroom picture.)
Bathroom#2: Before & After
Bathroom #3: Before & After
Outside: Before & After
Well there you have the Mandana Flip. I’ll keep you posted when and if it makes its way back on the market.
***Update: it went back on the market the next day.