New and (Very) Improved:  2712 Joppa
in St. Louis Park’s Fern Hill Neighborhood

In the, umm . . .  spirit of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, I offer up 2712 Joppa, a teardown-in-progress in St. Louis Park’s Fern Hill neighborhood just west of Cedar Lake (runner-up title:  ‘A Tale of Two Properties’).

This is what the front of the home looked like when it came on the market last June:

What did the interior look like?

I couldn’t get in — and neither could anyone else.

As I recall, there was no lockbox.

Nor were there any photos; the exterior shot (above) was it.

No matter:  the home was destined to be a tear-down, and would-be Buyers didn’t care.

Multiple Offers

Boy, didn’t they care!

What happened next was an all-out feeding frenzy.

That’s what happens when the bank-owner of a foreclosure lists a home for $90,000 when the tax assessed value of just the land is $146,900.

Surprise, surprise, when the dust settled, the home — make that the land — fetched $155,000 (Note:  I actually projected an even higher sales price; see, “Tear-Down Economics, Circa 2012“). 

Next:  Bye, Bye House

Equally unsurprising is what happened after the sale closed in August:  the bulldozer(s) showed up.

In fact, when I drove the lot last week, all the debris had been removed, and the only thing that was left was the backhoe.

Which cleared the way — literally — for step #3:  putting up new construction, and marketing it on MLS.

According to the new MLS listing, which came on last week, the new home (pictured below) will have five bedrooms, four Baths, and over 3,300 finished square feet.

Asking price:  $675,000.


As a Realtor active in the area, what’s significant to me is the relatively low price point for new construction; the location (much further west of Cedar Lake than previous tear-downs); and the relatively small .17 acre lot.

The combination of those factors bodes well for this already-high demand neighborhood.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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