By Sid Lipsey
Jeremy Renner's "Avengers" movie character, Hawkeye, may not have any superpowers — but in the real estate market, Renner is Iron Man, Captain America and Thor rolled into one. His superpower: renovating houses for a Hulk-sized profit.
Renner's most recent conquest is the sale of his Old Hollywood home, once owned by legendary filmmaker Preston Sturges, for more than triple what he paid for it six years ago. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow with before-and-after pictures.) Renner lived there with Sonni Pacheco and their daughter, Ava, but the couple recently (and quite bitterly) split after less than a year of marriage.
The actor renovated the house in Los Angeles' Runyon Canyon along with his friend and business partner, Kristoffer Winters, with whom he has flipped about 20 houses and earned millions in profits. This lucrative side business provides Renner a nice bit of extra financial security and even helped keep him afloat during his lean years as a struggling actor.
The most recent project just sold for $4.3 million. They bought it for $1,350,000 in a court-ordered sale.
Their most famous flip, in 2013, was an even bigger payday: a mansion they bought for $7 million sold for $24 million.
He and Winters bought their first house — a 1962 three-bedroom in L.A.'s Nichols Canyon for $659,000 — in 2002, soon after Renner signed on to his first studio movie, the remake of the 1970s cop show "S.W.A.T."
"We’d lived together prior to 'S.W.A.T.' and kept talking about how paying rent was such a dumb thing because you can’t write it off on your taxes," Renner recently told Playboy. "It’s like throwing away money. We always wanted to invest in property. It became a situation where I could get a condo in the Valley and he could do the same, or since we already lived together, we could buy a house together. That’s what we did, and we fixed it up the way we wanted."
Less than a year later, they'd sold the home for $900,000, an appreciation of more than 35 percent (though that doesn't count the money they put into it). A flipper was born. The two then bought a $915,000 1940 house, fixed it up and sold it for nearly $2.4 million.
"It just kept growing and growing," he said in late 2009, according to TheWrap. "And now, 12 houses later, I make more money doing that than I do as an actor."
Of course, that was before Renner's career exploded. Since then, thanks to back-to-back Academy Award nominations for "The Hurt Locker" and "The Town," and his roles in "The Avengers" and "Mission: Impossible" franchises ("Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation" opens July 31), Renner's a firm member of the Hollywood A-list and doesn't need to flip houses for money anymore.
But with his recent sale, Renner confirms his dominance in the house-flipping game. If his movie career dries up, maybe he and his business partner can have their own house flipping reality show — something he says he and Kristoffer have discussed. "Property Brothers," look out; Hawkeye might have you in his sights!
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