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LOOSE ENDS 3: FLIP OR FLOP?

Sarah_house2

Remember that attempt to flip a house on Madison Avenue we told you about in June?

Well, the house remains unsold 18 months after an investor bought it, at the top of the market, for $475,000 $450,000. Sara Swanson, the New York woman who oversaw its renovation—and lived amid the disarray of construction—is moving on. And the investor who bankrolled the project has decided to keep the house for himself, we’re told.

The plan was to transform the 76-year-old, 3-bedroom, 2-bath house into a 4-bedroom, 3-bath, and have it back on the market by the start of 2006, six months after investor Robert Crayhon bought it from an estate.

It didn’t work out that way. The house was fully remodeled, with an attractive new kitchen among its many upgrades. But some missteps, including a decision not to hire an architect to draw plans for an addition, and a troubled engagement with a shoddy contractor, delayed completion of renovation work by months.

The house finally went on the market last August, priced at $699,000, far above the highest price—$585,000, in April, 2005—ever paid for a house on Madison. And by then, the market had taken an unmistakable southward turn.

We called Swanson earlier this week for an update, but she said she didn’t have time to talk. She also said Crayhon, whose permanent address we don’t know, was upset that we titled our initial story ‘Flip or Flop?’

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