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  1. #1

    Default Renovating Duplexes into Single Family Residences

    Not long ago I started a thread about a house for sale on Lothrop Street because I found it an interesting listing; it was a renovation listed for $234,900 in not exactly a prime area. It has been sold; I don't know for how much.

    https://www.realestateone.com/homes/...troit-MI-48206

    It was a duplex renovated into a single family residence. I now see two other such listings. They are also in areas that most would consider not quite prime. One is at 2045 Clairmount and is listed for $234,000 and the other at 3112 Harrison in North Corktown, listed for a pricey $339,000.

    https://www.realestateone.com/homes/...troit-MI-48206

    https://www.realestateone.com/homes/...troit-MI-48216

    I am wondering if folks think flipping duplexes into single family residences might become a trend? I am surprised to be seeing it. On the other hand, so much of the existing stock lacks features that buyers seem to want, such as multiple and en-suite bathrooms, for example, and this is an approach that can address it. They end up being larger than most existing single family houses, but not so huge as a Boston-Edison or Indian Village place. And I am sure that there is an ample supply of vacant duplex properties around.
    Last edited by DetroiterOnTheWestCoast; September-29-18 at 09:34 PM.

  2. #2

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    Interesting find.

    Square footage seems to be the number one ingredient that the renovate and flip crowd is targeting along with location in Detroit. I have noticed that they are venturing a little farther out than they where last year.

    https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...-94739?view=qv

    The big question would be if builders are now moving into renovating duplexes into single family homes to achieve the house size the market is looking for, how long will it be until the same builders/developers start approaching the city for vacant lots that they own in hotter neighborhoods for new construction houses (spec or custom) that would qualify as infil in the neighborhoods?

  3. #3

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    A quarter of a million dollars are renovated home in a Detroit ghettohood? Good luck. Keep those homes secured from looters.

  4. #4

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    Flipping home in ghettohoods and spending that sort of cash to do so is stupid as hell. I won't be surprised if it looks like it's its former condition in a couple months to a year.

    So no one's tried to break into this place and strip it yet? It's coming, it's coming soon. Hope the shotgun is loaded.

    I know I might sound a bit snarky and condescending for making that past comment above, but I see nothing wrong and truthful about what I said. there's way too many homes in my current neighborhood in Detroit that started renovation just to stop Midway because they have a problem with people breaking in the middle of the night and stealing everything or just plain vandalizing a property for the hell of it. I was just know too many people in Detroit that own homes that have gone through nightmare such as this and warned many times to take my money elsewhere. With me being a future homeowner in the next few months my money is going to Atlanta not Detroit. I simply can't take the risk.

  5. #5

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    It’s cheaper to renovate into a single family verses duplex,instead of spending on two kitchens you can use the same funds to upgrade everything else.

    Detroit seems to be different with the large mix of multi family and single family neighborhoods.

    Where I am at they are eliminating the duplex’s in neighborhoods also but that is mostly because if you want to ruin a neighborhood,throw a few duplex’s in there.

    A young first home buyer,a duplex is really the way to start acquireing property,live in one side and the other pays the mortgage,a few years down the road buy another.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASilvaman View Post
    Flipping home in ghettohoods and spending that sort of cash to do so is stupid as hell. I won't be surprised if it looks like it's its former condition in a couple months to a year.

    So no one's tried to break into this place and strip it yet? It's coming, it's coming soon. Hope the shotgun is loaded.

    I know I might sound a bit snarky and condescending for making that past comment above, but I see nothing wrong and truthful about what I said. there's way too many homes in my current neighborhood in Detroit that started renovation just to stop Midway because they have a problem with people breaking in the middle of the night and stealing everything or just plain vandalizing a property for the hell of it. I was just know too many people in Detroit that own homes that have gone through nightmare such as this and warned many times to take my money elsewhere. With me being a future homeowner in the next few months my money is going to Atlanta not Detroit. I simply can't take the risk.
    It really does not matter where one moves,the metrics are the same.

    You can say that you are moving to Atlanta but like for like neighborhoods are the same across the country and the same things happen.

    If you move from a persey bad neighborhood in Detroit to a better neighborhood in Atlanta you are doing the same thing you can do in Detroit,your just changing neighborhoods or upgrading.

    The more expensive it becomes to live elsewhere,real estate wise the more people will be inclined to move to Detroit.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASilvaman View Post
    Flipping home in ghettohoods and spending that sort of cash to do so is stupid as hell. I won't be surprised if it looks like it's its former condition in a couple months to a year.

    So no one's tried to break into this place and strip it yet? It's coming, it's coming soon. Hope the shotgun is loaded.

    I know I might sound a bit snarky and condescending for making that past comment above, but I see nothing wrong and truthful about what I said. there's way too many homes in my current neighborhood in Detroit that started renovation just to stop Midway because they have a problem with people breaking in the middle of the night and stealing everything or just plain vandalizing a property for the hell of it. I was just know too many people in Detroit that own homes that have gone through nightmare such as this and warned many times to take my money elsewhere. With me being a future homeowner in the next few months my money is going to Atlanta not Detroit. I simply can't take the risk.
    This is always a opinion against people who assume risk in order to turn a profit.

    “That sort of cash is stupid as hell” is also exactly why there is money to be made in any venture. If everyone thought it was ‘brilliant’ or ‘low risk with high reward’ the field would be crowded and the margins would not exist. Of course the old adage of ‘Location, Location, Location’ has been stated repeatedly for a reason.

    Enjoy Atlanta. Great things have certainly happened there and many more will be happening in the future. Michigan and Detroit both could greatly benefit by looking at what Georgia and Atlanta are doing right and bring some of those things here.

    The pride that a large majority of Georginions have for the City of Atlanta is vastly different than how the average Michigander feels about Detroit. A positive self image is a tad helpful to economic success.

    A adversarial political environment and regional hatred is a proven way to get your ass kicked economically by states that don’t have it. To see the proof just look at Michigan over the last several decades.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASilvaman View Post
    Flipping home in ghettohoods and spending that sort of cash to do so is stupid as hell. I won't be surprised if it looks like it's its former condition in a couple months to a year.

    So no one's tried to break into this place and strip it yet? It's coming, it's coming soon. Hope the shotgun is loaded.

    I know I might sound a bit snarky and condescending for making that past comment above, but I see nothing wrong and truthful about what I said. there's way too many homes in my current neighborhood in Detroit that started renovation just to stop Midway because they have a problem with people breaking in the middle of the night and stealing everything or just plain vandalizing a property for the hell of it. I was just know too many people in Detroit that own homes that have gone through nightmare such as this and warned many times to take my money elsewhere. With me being a future homeowner in the next few months my money is going to Atlanta not Detroit. I simply can't take the risk.
    I agree with you to a point but then I looked at the map. If they were doing that in Brightmoor, sure, but gentrification will be there in no time. Meantime, who knows, maybe they do have somebody sleeping there with a shotgun (I would - and that doesn't look like a cheap renovation, so maybe they do too).

    When I lived in the Cass Corridor I would have never, ever thought it would become what it is today. People started building lofts and got scoffed at. Crazy like a fox, maybe.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by poobert View Post

    When I lived in the Cass Corridor I would have never, ever thought it would become what it is today.
    Cass Corridor, today, is much less urban and vibrant than it was 20-30 years ago. It's much more expensive, of course, and much safer, and not grungy with hookers and vagrants, but not particularly urban.

    And much of the land price increases is due to speculation, with Wayne expanding from the north and PizzaPizza from the south. Cass has been a very good bet, but not for reasons germane to this conversation (ie, it isn't like it's developing an upscale residential character).
    Last edited by Bham1982; October-02-18 at 09:57 AM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    Cass Corridor, today, is much less urban and vibrant than it was 20-30 years ago. It's much more expensive, of course, and much safer, and not grungy with hookers and vagrants, but not particularly urban.

    And much of the land price increases is due to speculation, with Wayne expanding from the north and PizzaPizza from the south. Cass has been a very good bet, but not for reasons germane to this conversation (ie, it isn't like it's developing an upscale residential character).
    Having lived there, I disagree with everything you just said.

    Urban - not sure what your criteria are for that, and I'm not sure what the population density is but I would venture a guess that it is comparable with other medium-density urban areas. I lived in a 20 unit apartment building. I get the argument that most of Detroit is not urban in terms of density, but Cass and Forest is not Grand River and Southfield. It doesn't have the density of Manhattan, but is certainly more dense than probably anywhere in the state, except for Hamtramck.

    Vibrant - how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? I guess the clientele has changed but there seem to be more or less about the same number of people around - probably more.

    (ie, it isn't like it's developing an upscale residential character):
    https://www.zillow.com/homes/recentl...76_rect/14_zm/
    You have two bedroom condos now selling for $700K and above.

    I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are thinking more about the lower corridor, and I'm thinking about the upper corridor/the entire place known as Midtown"

  11. #11

    Default

    from an investor/flipping viewpoint it all comes down to profit margins and price/SF. the duplexes were likely far cheaper to buy and relatively easy to convert to single family (less details, less built ins) but the profit margins can be higher on SF/dollar basis cause you get the square footage, bedroom and bathroom counts that are desirable to buyers today.

    there's also a shortage of move-in ready properties in general. hgtv makes buyers crave the granite and stainless and it's hard to pass up a move-in ready place for a white-collar professional couple looking to buy.

    original purchase: $7/SF
    recent sale: $88/SF

    2225 lothrop (2622 SF) example below:
    Oct 13, 2017 Sold (MLS) (Sold)
    REALCOMP #217080746

    $18,000
    Sep 7, 2018 Sold (MLS) (Sold)

    REALCOMP #218060351
    $231,000

    source

    even with a $100K reno budget this sale still nets $100k in profits. pretty awesome investment for under 1 year. this sale also sets a new comp to track against while flipping/investing in the immediate area.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridy View Post
    from an investor/flipping viewpoint it all comes down to profit margins and price/SF. the duplexes were likely far cheaper to buy and relatively easy to convert to single family (less details, less built ins) but the profit margins can be higher on SF/dollar basis cause you get the square footage, bedroom and bathroom counts that are desirable to buyers today.

    there's also a shortage of move-in ready properties in general. hgtv makes buyers crave the granite and stainless and it's hard to pass up a move-in ready place for a white-collar professional couple looking to buy.

    original purchase: $7/SF
    recent sale: $88/SF

    2225 lothrop (2622 SF) example below:
    Oct 13, 2017 Sold (MLS) (Sold)
    REALCOMP #217080746

    $18,000
    Sep 7, 2018 Sold (MLS) (Sold)

    REALCOMP #218060351
    $231,000

    source

    even with a $100K reno budget this sale still nets $100k in profits. pretty awesome investment for under 1 year. this sale also sets a new comp to track against while flipping/investing in the immediate area.
    Interesting that the Lothrop house sold so close to asking; I guess there really is a market for these. And now it looks like another such project just a few doors away is in the works.

    https://www.realestateone.com/homes/...troit-MI-48206

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by DetroiterOnTheWestCoast View Post
    Interesting that the Lothrop house sold so close to asking; I guess there really is a market for these. And now it looks like another such project just a few doors away is in the works.
    https://www.realestateone.com/home-f...219028124_MIRC

    This duplex-to-single family is now for sale. Its at the other end of the same block of Lothrop as the first listing, just off of LaSalle. I hope this trend continues, since there seems to be an ample supply of this type of vacant housing.
    Last edited by DetroiterOnTheWestCoast; April-07-19 at 01:15 PM.

  14. #14

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    How come summer taxes are $1302 winter $117 ?

    I see other stuff listed listed and it is $5000 and up yearly taxes.

  15. #15

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    It sold for $18,000 in 2017, so I assume the taxes are based on that price.

  16. #16

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    When I was little I grew up in one of these duplexes over on Medbury (near the incinerator, but before it was built). I hope the renovator has good luck in selling this... but these 1910s housing style (with hip roof and 3rd floor attic) certainly do lack curb appeal. Being right next to your neighbor on a 40 ft. lot is a bit too urban for my taste. Alley's provide little safety. But again, if this sells for that price, more power to 'em....

    I grew up most of my younger life near Balduck Park... a gem of a neighborhood... at one time... but at least the neighborhood is still intact.
    Last edited by Gistok; April-08-19 at 03:33 AM.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ABetterDetroit View Post
    Interesting find.

    Square footage seems to be the number one ingredient that the renovate and flip crowd is targeting along with location in Detroit. I have noticed that they are venturing a little farther out than they where last year.

    https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...-94739?view=qv

    The big question would be if builders are now moving into renovating duplexes into single family homes to achieve the house size the market is looking for, how long will it be until the same builders/developers start approaching the city for vacant lots that they own in hotter neighborhoods for new construction houses (spec or custom) that would qualify as infil in the neighborhoods?
    That house sold for over 300k, and there are now 4 other homes on that block getting renovated

  18. #18

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    I was looking at 6000 sqft fixer upper houses 8 years ago,$22k,the same house sold for $600k rehabbed.

    8 years,in contrast it took 30 years for the same increases in Orlando and Minneapolis,in Tampa fixer uppers that I bought for $8k 8 years ago are now worth $90k.

    I should have sucked it up and bought in Detroit.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke09 View Post
    That house sold for over 300k, and there are now 4 other homes on that block getting renovated
    The way that the porte cochere is supported on this house just looks so incredibly jarring to me that it would be a dealbreaker. Is there not room enough for a column to match the others? That being said, I am glad that the house was rehabbed and saved.

    The facade of this house actually is quite similar to that of the duplex we were talking about.

    Name:  LaSalle.jpg
Views: 375
Size:  127.9 KB

    Nice to hear that four other homes on that block are being renovated. From what I saw on street view, that short block was kind of rough for La Salle, with a number of vacant homes. I hope there will be some synergy between La Salle and the adjoining streets with houses on both getting fixed up.
    Last edited by DetroiterOnTheWestCoast; April-09-19 at 04:11 PM.

  20. #20

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    I looked in google maps history. It looks like those supports have been there for a very long time - they were old in 2009.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by DetroiterOnTheWestCoast View Post
    The way that the porte cochere is supported on this house just looks so incredibly jarring to me that it would be a dealbreaker. Is there not room enough for a column to match the others? That being said, I am glad that the house was rehabbed and saved.

    The facade of this house actually is quite similar to that of the duplex we were talking about.

    Name:  LaSalle.jpg
Views: 375
Size:  127.9 KB

    Nice to hear that four other homes on that block are being renovated. From what I saw on street view, that short block was kind of rough for La Salle, with a number of vacant homes. I hope there will be some synergy between La Salle and the adjoining streets with houses on both getting fixed up.

    I agree it looks like an afterthought,I would have removed it all and colonized it with a front porch roof above the white band with colums and 6 pane top windows,it looks like if you park a car under the carport it would be tough to get out and then you still have to walk all the way around to go up the steps.

  22. #22

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    Ive noticed A LOT of people doing this same thing to the 2 family flats around 6 Mile between Livernois and Wyoming. I've seen them go for between 180,000 and 200,000

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke09 View Post
    That house sold for over 300k, and there are now 4 other homes on that block getting renovated
    Here is one of those homes now up for sale: https://www.redfin.com/MI/Detroit/89.../home/61102903

    I now see about 6 or 7 other homes on La Salle being renovated

  24. #24

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    I like this one better, without the standard hip roof and 3 pane attic window.

  25. #25

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    What a beautiful neighborhood beset by such sad historical circumstances. So happy so many houses remain and people are investing in these renovations. In my mind it marks an important turning point in Detroit's recovery, some half century later. None too soon, but isn't it great?

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