Horizontal fencing. Stainless steel appliances. Dark wood cabinets. Pottery Barn-like decor. The two-bedroom home (pictured top left) that real estate investor Edward Solis recently put up for sales resembles many of the properties being flipped across Highland Park and Northeast L.A. But this house is no where near York Boulevard. Instead, this two bedroom home can be found a few miles away in City Terrace on Townsend Avenue. After renovating and flipping homes across Northeast L.A., Solis is now applying the same look and amenities – Carrera marble countertops and drought-tolerant landscaping – to homes in the less expensive and less gentrified hills of City Terrace and the flats of East L.A. In fact, Solis has a second East L.A. house flip (pictured top right) up for sale on Fraser Avenue near Whittier Boulevard. Both homes come with the same exterior color – a dark shade of peach – and asking price – $299,600.
“Our goal is to serve the first time buyer – whether if it’s a hipster, Asian, Hispanic,” said Solis, whose firm, VCH Acquisitions, is based in Highland Park. “We welcome any type of buyer.”
Solis, 48, has been buying, fixing and selling homes since the late 1980s. He and others have been busy flipping homes in East L.A. but he recently returned to City Terrace, where 1920s eras Spanish Colonial homes pack the hillsides to the east of Boyle Heights. You won’t find a coffeehouse-vegan scene in City Terrace. But Solis estimates the 1,100-square-foot City Terrace house he is currently trying to sell on Townsend Avenue would fetch at at least $50,000 more in Highland Park, maybe even a $100,000 more if it had a third-bedroom.
Many have villified house flippers for raising home prices and making neighborhoods unaffordable to low and middle income buyers. But Solis said his renovations improve neighborhoods. One family on Townsend Avenue, he said, thanked him for fixing up the property.
“Most of the homes we buy are are junk, boarded up,” he said. “We kept the charm of the house and yet we made it modern by putting all new items in.”
But Solis concedes that some home buyers might be turned off by a City Terrace address despite all the trapping of a hip Eastside flip.
“I think it’s an area that people are giving a second look,” Solid said. “Until you are there and get out of your car, you reailze that it’s not that bad.