Movie Talk

Jeremy Renner’s Secret Side Gig: Flipping Houses

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Jeremy Renner * Steve Granitz/Wireimage.com

Jeremy Renner * Steve Granitz/Wireimage.com

Jeremy Renner might be best known for playing brooding tough guys and charming

anti-heroes, but there's one part he plays that few know about: house

flipper.

Before he was nominated for Oscars for "The Hurt Locker" and "The

Town," Renner and his business partner, actor Kristoffer Winters (who had a small

role in "Locker," plus last year's "Fair Game") were fixing up and flipping old

houses in Hollywood and Studio City, according to the new issue of The Hollywood

Reporter (on newsstands now).

PHOTOS: Lost homes of Hollywood

In 2002, the two bought a nondescript three-bedroom 1962 home in Nichols Canyon for $659,000 and sold it less than

a year later for $900,000. According to Keller Williams' Bobbe Mitchell, the

sales agent on many of their projects, Renner and Winters had a shoestring

budget but transformed the house into a cozy, private abode, adding a patio and

new landscaping. During those lean days, the two staged it with flat-screen TVs

that had a 30-day return policy, hoping they'd sell the house before the

expiration date.

Fresh off their first flip, they re-invested in a $915,000 Spanish-style 1940 house off Laurel Canyon that required more work. They gutted it, and Renner lived in the guesthouse during renovations. "He lived in

squalor," Mitchell says. "He was in there with a gun and would shoot the rats"

that would invade during a winter of heavy rainfall. The house sold for nearly

$2.4 million.

PHOTOS: Hot Hollywood

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The Fryman Canyon House Michael Mccreary

The Fryman Canyon House Michael Mccreary

Music supervisor Mark Wike ("NCIS: Los Angeles") bought their next project, a four-bedroom 1938 Cape Cod near Fryman Canyon. "My wife is an avid cook, and the

kitchen made it really appealing," Wike says. "They opened it up, and we could have 25 people in there at a party." The flip? Bought for $1.36 million, sold for $2.09 million.

The pair have recently gotten more ambitious, and it

has paid off. In 2008, they bought the Hemingway House, a 1924 Greek Revival estate in Hollywood, for $1.55 million. A year later,they grossed $2.45 million, selling it for more than $4 million. "Renner does

beautiful work and does what he needs to without breaking the bank on

construction costs," says John Bersci, a luxury flipper ($15 million-$20 million

range) familiar with the properties.

With Renner slated to appear in the

tentpoles "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" and "The

Avengers," will he continue his home-buying habit? Neither he nor Winters would

comment.

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Selma Avenue House Michael Mccreary

Selma Avenue House Michael Mccreary

FIVE FLIPS BY RENNER
1. Laurel Terrace Drive
Renner and Winters bought a two-bedroom in

Studio City for $915,000 in 2004.

It sold for $2.39 million in 2005. Gross profit: $1.48 million.
2. Fryman Place
In 2006, they flipped a Cape Cod in

Studio City, bought at $1.36

million and sold at $2.09 million. Gross profit: $725,000.
3. La Cuesta Drive
Renner and Winters took on their first project in 2002: a $659,000 house in Nichols Canyon; it sold for $900,000 a year later. Gross profit: $241,000.
4. Selma Avenue
After renovating a 1924 Greek Revival estate in Hollywood (purchased for $1.55 million in

2008), they sold it two years ago for $4 million. Gross profit: $2.45 million.
5. Franklin Avenue
The business partners are currently rehabbing a nearly 6,000-square-foot house in Hollywood acquired in 2009 for $1.35 million.

Renner isn't the only star to turn a tidy profit from a side interest in real estate.  Courteney Cox, Diane Keaton, Vincent Gallo and ex-TV bandleader

Max Weinberg are among the most famous for flipping. Cox's most famous flip was

a 1979 John Lautner-designed modern residence on Carbon Beach, bought in 2001

for about $10 million and sold in 2007 to now-divorcing Dodgers owner Frank and

Jamie McCourt for a clean $27.5 million. Meanwhile, Keaton bought a Ralph

Flewelling-designed hacienda in Beverly

Hills for $8.1 million in 2007 and sold it to "Glee"'s Ryan

Murphy last year for $10 million.

Watch Jeremy Renner in his Oscar-nominated performance from "The Town":

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