Buy, apply elbow grease, sell: Celebrities house flip, too

Aug. 24, 2013 at 12:39 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Celebrities are not immune to the temptation of making a quick profit on the housing market, real estate agents in California said.

The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that actresses Diane Keaton, Jane Seymour and Amanda Pays, as well as actor Corbin Bernsen, who plays in "L.A. Law," have participated in so-called "house-flipping," which is the practice of buying a home and selling it quickly – normally within six months and often with some extensive renovations or just quick patchwork accomplished in the process.

Real estate research firm DataQuick said sales in the luxury market of homes valued at more than $1 million were considered flipped 3.4 percent of the time in the first six months of 2012 and 5.3 percent of the time in the first six months of 2013.

A home flip at the top end of the market could take as long as a year, said industry analyst Jan Brzeski of Arixa Capital Advisors told the Times.

The profit in luxury home flipping are generally in the 12 percent to 20 percent range, Brzeski said.

Among the actors turned real estate profiteers are Jeremy Renner and Kristoffer Winters, who have flipped about two dozen houses, including a recent property in Holmby Hills that sold for $24 million.

"As an actor starting out, you can have so much free time on your hands. I used to have the nicest apartments and people would say, 'Hey, can you help me out?'" said Winters, who acted with Renner in the movie "The Hurt Locker."

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