After yesterday's post on the Soriano house for sale, our property guru give us the scoop on the state of the Lipetz house, its price, and its strange, illegal guesthouse:
You are correct in assuming that the use of Shulman photos is more than just clever marketing (although it is, in part, clever marketing). The lack of current photos hide four things: A huge amount of deferred maintenance and work that needs to be done on the home (from cottage cheese ceilings to a 1950s lava rock wall façade), some minor and later changes to the structure itself (demolition of the original one car garage, replaced with a car port; pushing the kitchen out to add a breakfast nook, the addition of a guest house), the fact that the house used to be the only home on that ridge and is now surrounded by (for Silver Lake) kind of gross big houses. Troubling, no? But all is not lost: "There is – however – huge potential here. " After the jump, our property guru weighs in on long-term value.
The great/music room is stunning, with all the built-ins still intact (rare) and only cottage cheese ceilings and a cheap later sliding door to remove, the casemement windows frame 180 degree views of Valley Lights and a curved concrete patio designed for dancing hugs the wall. Private spaces are less inviting. The master and master bath and guest bath and guest bedroom all open onto the front hall, the dining room is cramped, the kitchen small. The program here and flow is not ideal. Re-working internal walls for privacy seems required. Fixtures are a mix of styles and tastes collected and added ad hoc over the last 50 years. Everything must go. The larger issue (for most) is long-term value. The neighborhood is in "transition." Its not the street or area the same broker's Schindler was on. The surrounding houses are not great, the area not gentrified totally. Why does that matter so much? At 1.2 million, you would still need to put $300K in the house to "make it right." And that includes removing the guest house (illegal). At $1.5 million, you're hard pressed to comp it out, even with the architectural premium. Looking at recent comps, $1.5 million for a similar-sized totally done Walker, $1.2 million for the semi-done Walker above it (both on Cove), $1.8 million for the bigger Schindler in a better hood. I'd put the house at $1.3 million to $1.4 million totally done in a softening market – no profit.
Leaving the one successful strategy as the same one the prior owners took – create a world-famous house and live in it famously for 40 years!
Soriano For Sale: Lipetz House on the Market Again [Previously on Curbed LA]