Is This Flip Flopping? Cute Sparkman Club Estates Home Goes 127 Days Without Buyer

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3544 Ainsworth AOur smokin’ real estate market has inspired many people to buy dumpy houses, make them beautiful, and sell them for a tidy profit to buyers eager for move-in properties with all the bells and whistles.

Many of these renovations are beautifully executed—take our Thursday Three Hundred, a cottage in Northwest Dallas’ Sparkman Club Estates. As you’ll see from the “before” photos later in this post, this place was the pits.

3544 Ainsworth bNow, the home at 3544 Ainsworth Dr. feel spacious and modern with an open floorplan, refinished hardwoods, refaced stone fireplace, luxe kitchen, and a big master bedroom with a spa-like ensuite bathroom. It’s a 4-3 with 2,061 square feet, built in 1956, located near Royal and Marsh lanes in a desired neighborhood.

So why has this house been sitting on the market for 127 days? Is this flip flopping? Let’s take a look!

3544 Ainsworth A BEFORE3544 Ainsworth e BEFORE3544 Ainsworth d BEFORE3544 Ainsworth c BEFORE3544 Ainsworth g BEFORE3544 Ainsworth h BEFOREThe “before” photos above are what the house looked like when it sold Sept. 10, 2015, for $269,000: dark, closed-off interior spaces; outdated kitchen; cramped bathrooms; and an overgrown backyard with an dilapidated fence. What charms the house did have, like original hardwoods, were obscured by terrible MLS photos with “date stamps” on each one. Not appealing.

The new owners took this hot mess and spent 56 days turning it into the home you see today. It was originally listed Nov. 4 for $399,000. After four price reductions, it is currently listed by Donna Gordon with VIP Realty for $382,000, or $185 per square foot.

Is that on the high end for the neighborhood? Yes. Nine recent comps range from $125 to $204 per square foot (median: $162; mean: $158), so this home is ambitiously priced, even with the reductions.

But it’s a turnkey property with amenities like new windows, granite counters, double ovens, stainless steel gas cooktop, split bedrooms, new electrical system, and new recessed lights. The look is cohesive and the home is staged in all areas except three bedrooms.

Take a look at these photos, or attend the open house this Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. , and tell us why you think this home hasn’t found a buyer yet. We’re not sure why!
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Leah Shafer

Leah Shafer is a content and social media specialist, as well as a Dallas native, who lives in Richardson with her family. In her sixth-grade yearbook, Leah listed "interior designer" as her future profession. Now she writes about them, as well as all things real estate, for

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  1. LonestarBabs says

    My guess is that the price is too high, even with the reductions. I don’t know what’s nearby, but that could also be impacting marketability. I remember a house on Princess Lane once owned by a co-worker, and while her house was as cute as a button some of the others in the neighborhood weren’t quite so tidy. Don’t know what the neighborhood character/vibe/demographics are lately.

  2. Flippers Ruined my life says

    That area used to sell for about $125,000 before a renovation. The area always has major foundation problems.nit we all Marsh land hence the name Marsh Lane. It is now populated by a large Hispanic immigrant population that isn’t going anywhere. Look for cars are both sides of the street. Dead giveaway. It IS In the middle of everything and 10-20 minutes from everything good. It’s too high. Nice kitchens and some hardwoods.

    This reeks of a certain flipper who burned us. Wonder if they pulled permits and did anything to code? I’d like to see those permits. Wonder if they but that garage over the weekend so no inspector would see it? Um humm. Get a structural engineer report.

  3. Dallas Flipper says

    Sparkman is a beautiful, tight knit community with a great little clubhouse for a country club atmosphere without the cost. Many families who live there grew up in the neighborhood and loved it so much they have moved back to raise their children there. We’ve had several projects in Sparkman and the foundation issues are no more prevelant than anywhere else in Dallas. There are several busy thru streets contained within Sparkman, so that may be an issue. It also appears that the layout is a bit off. The dining area overlaps the fireplace, which can’t be enjoyed in a living space the way it’s currently staged. Additionally, the kitchen isn’t open to the living area and an open concept is usually is the number one request from homebuyers. The finish out was poorly executed and although new, is still dated for what buyers expect for $400k in Dallas. You can easily see where corners were cut from the pictures (terrible plastic vanity, kitchen cabinets simply had the doors changed out, cheap doors and hardware, ceiling fans in every room and low grade plumbing fixtures). This project looks like a “first flip” where there is no design or space planning consultation and speed is the main focus. Nothing wrong with that, necessarily, from the sellers standpoint, but if it’s not selling, it’s certainly a concern. Finally, a 0% commission real estate firm has neither the resources or the network that a seasoned realtor with a strong brokerage behind them has.

    Overall, it’s seemingly a great house for a first time home buyer, but seasoned homebuyers, especially in the 25-35 range want to see at least a couple designer touches to remind them of their Pinterest boards. Why would someone want to pay top dollar for someone else’s poorly executed upgrades? Anyone can go to Lowe’s and buy these same ceiling fans, faucets, and the like, but not everyone can have the vision for a great space plan and key design selections that won’t break the bank, but make all the difference to buyers. With flippers, this is generally learned over time with experience, and I wish them luck in getting it sold!

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