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Modern Farmhouse Complete!

Our Farmhouse Style remodel is complete and on the market for sale $999,000! True and authentic Modern Farmhouse home design with exquisite attention to detail.  Nothing left to the imagination down to the Shed dormers, black grid windows, board and batten siding and black accent half-round gutters! We had over 200 people through the open house the first weekend on the market, someone is going to make this their very special home soon! MLS# 180056834

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Fully permitted open concept floor plan, 9′ Island kitchen, Undercabinet lighting, Walk-In food pantry, Open shelving, 36″ Italian commercial range, Board and Batten interior and exterior feature walls, Industrial lighting fixtures, Brushed Gold hardware, High variation French Oak hardwood flooring, and Farmhouse X design custom fabricated handrail.

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Bathrooms are incredible with White/Black/Gold theme, Black Hexagon tile, White Subway walls, Brushed Gold hardware and mirrors, and a custom black grid shower enclosure.

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Giant private master suite upstairs with tons of light, 10′ x 10′ walk-in closet and room for office/sitting area.

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90% Smooth Texture and Red Oak Hardwoods

Outside we are now into the second week of the siding  job while the drywall crew finished up on the inside of our Modern South Park Bungalow. I ended up going with a 90% smooth, hand-troweled texture on the entire house and garage. It took 165 sheets of drywall, a case of tape and 30 boxes of mud for the entire job on this 1850 s.f. house. My guys do an incredible flawless job so I’m happy once again.

Now that the drywall is done, we are going straight into laying the hardwood floors this week. These are the real deal, 2 1/4″ x 3/4″ Red Oak unfinished wood. Once the house is all done, one of the last things we’ll do is then sand and stain them. These are the best hardwood floors you could ask for, they’ll last 100 years and you can refinish them many times and always change the stain color. Laying unfinished Red Oak and then paying someone to refinish it, is a little more expensive than just laying a pre-finished engineered hardwood, but the quality is second to none. After the hardwoods go in, I’ll then trim out the house on top of them. What you see here is about half of what I bought, I am doing 1200 of the 1850 s.f., which is the whole house minus the two secondary bedrooms.

Siding and Mud

My new construction project is running very smoothly. After passing the inspection on my house wrap Monday, we were finally able to start putting the Hardi Siding up. I have really been anxious to see what the house will finally look like after all the rough work that gets buried and nobody will see. Now comes the fun part, which actually gives the house its personality. What’s inside the walls is just as good as you guys know, but this part is what I’ll look at every day.

First, I framed the windows with 1 x4″ Hardi Trim. The Hardi Lap Siding on the bottom goes up pretty fast in 12 foot lengths with a 7″ reveal, I went with the smooth version to look clean. The Hardishingle Staggered Edge style up top on the other hand, is quite labor intensive. The pieces are only 48″ wide and go up with a 6″ reveal, but really give the house some dimension and texture. I ran a 1×8″ dividing band board with a 1×2″ shelf on top to separate the styles and add even more detail. The siding comes in primer, but oddly enough the color is similar to what we will actually be using for paint. We are now on our second wall, I can see this siding project stretching out to several weeks as there is tons of detail work and not much room around the house for the scaffolding, but its looking great!

The second inspection we passed this week was on Thursday, for the drywall screw spacing. The mud crew was on standby to start taping and floating everything once the inspector signed off on the hanging  job. Once again, this is an extremely specialized crew. Different guys than the drywall hangers last week. We are putting one of the best drywall crews in San Diego on this project and after the whole house is taped and floated we’ll be doing 2 coats of a level 4 smooth hand-troweled texture.

In order to keep up my construction pace, I ordered all the pre-hung interior doors last week, bought the Red Oak unfinished hardwood flooring material this week, and am currently about ready to pull the trigger on the millworks package. It’s all about thinking 2 steps ahead to make sure you don’t run into a 3-week wait for a special order, which in my case is just about everything.

South Park Second Floor

We moved into second floor framing on my South Park new construction house this week, it was way faster than the first floor even though there are more walls. We are up pretty high now but still within the 30′ height limits from the City. It only took a day and a half to frame everything on the second story, although there is still a lot of pick up carpentry work to be done everywhere and we still need to do the stairs.

This is the upstairs shared bathroom front corner of the house. You can see below the 3 small windows facing the street, this is one of the neat and unique features on this house, we framed a second 2×4 wall inside the 2×6 exterior wall for the windows to facilitate the window recess as seen in the architectural rendering.

The roof trusses come on Tuesday from Ramona Lumber Company, we’ve slowed down a bit because I was told it would only take 3 days to get the trusses from the date ordered but it ended up taking 6. Its key to remeasure the actual second floor before you order trusses as things can change by a few inches and the trusses have to rest perfectly on these second floor walls. My goal is to put the roof on this weekend, we’ll see. Mechanicals can start now, I always do plumbing first then HVAC and electrical. The fire sprinklers will be the last to go in before rough inspection. Windows are arriving around the 28th.

South Park Plan Revisions

We just went through some major building plan revisions for the South Park Modern/Craftsman house that we are building this summer here in San Diego. I could have already had building permits and started construction but after sitting with the City and having to compromise I just wasn’t going to be happy with the end product, so I opted to go back to the drawing board and with the help of my great designer we came up with something we both felt is way better. There’s so much to learn on new construction and what the City of San Diego will and will not allow, I’m chalking this one up to builder school and moving on. It only takes 8 business days to get your plans routed through Developmental Services downtown, then they give you a list of changes for your plans, luckily they are now hiring more staff after years of cut backs and lay offs.

The newly revised design, now close to 1900 s.f., is larger than neighborhood standards. Downstairs the kitchen, living and dining rooms are linked to create an open and continuous public space where guests can roam freely and have easy access to bathroom facilities under the staircase and enjoy fluid movement between indoor and outdoor living spaces via the bi-folding rear patio doors. This new design also makes more room for outdoor living space with 13′ of yard before the cantilever deck on the canyon. Light and vertical space make any room feel larger so with the 10′ ceilings downstairs and abundance of morning and afternoon light, the space should feel very comfortable. The facade is a sophisticated blend of traditional Craftsman style with a Modern influence. The bubble framing for the staircase windows on the driveway side creates a fun and whimsical touch for this hip and eclectic neighborhood.

The 2-car garage is now over-sized and attached to the house with an adjoining mud room/utility room with full size connections and the HVAC closet. I pulled it 4′ off the side property line to give the City required side set back since its an attached garage now, detached garages can sit right on the property line in my area believe it or not.  All private spaces are nicely separated upstairs with an open gallery at the top of the staircase, 2 secondary gracious sized bedrooms and shared hall bath. The large master suite above the garage has a bonus sitting area and secondary set of stacked washer/dryer connections and then steps down into the bedroom to allow higher vaulted bedroom ceilings.  Our East-facing master retreat will get great morning light and has a walk-in closet and really cool master bath with dual vanities, water closet and a wet room feature which includes the stand-up shower and spa tub not separated by a divider wall, behind frame-less glass doors and with casement windows looking down into the canyon. The wet room design is really en vogue right now in bathroom design and works great in small spaces.

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South Park Modern Craftsman Plans

Here are the plans for the custom house we’re building for ourselves in South Park. It’s a Clean Modern Craftsman 2-story design, 3 bedroom, 2.5 baths with a detached 2 car garage at around 1900 s.f. For the bungalow feel we did nice 2×8 barge rafters at the gable ends with an a-typical edge detail and bold yet simple 4×4 brackets over 6″ corner trim. Porch columns front and rear will be 8×8 in smooth Cedar, just sealed. You can see the first floor is wide open and expansive with 10′ ceilings, the entry leads you into the dining area that opens right across to the kitchen. In the island kitchen we have a walk in pantry and a peninsula for casual eating. There is a powder room under the stairs and then the whole back of the house is the great room also off the kitchen for entertaining with direct access to the back yard complete with covered porch and decking on the canyon. Indoor utility room is also just inside the rear door.

All the bedrooms are upstairs, gracious closet spaces, full master suite with sit down spa tub as well as stand up shower. Dual vanities in both upstairs bathrooms. Normally we try and put the master suite downstairs but we dont mind stairs so it worked better putting all bedrooms up. I’m doing exposed galvanized metal roofing on the open porch framing and aluminum Milgard casement windows as well to give the urban mod feel. The back porch also provides a perfect breezeway to the detached 2 car garage. Check out the balloon framing in action on the side elevation/staircase windows, this is definitely some out of the box home design that’s going to make a huge impact in South Park. Estimated completion December 2012. Thanks Morgan for the help!

New South Park Project

Great news this week, we are going New Construction in South Park and building a killer brand new Craftsman Bungalow for ourselves on a canyon lot. I dug this deal up straight ninja style, no MLS listing, no For Sale sign in the yard, just some driving for dollars, looking up the owner on the tax rolls, a cash offer and we closed 5 days later. A build-able vacant lot, with utilities, in popular South Park is virtually unheard of. You’ve seen us do some Major bungalow transformations such as The Hat Trick House, The Neighbors House and The Target House but stay tuned and see what we’ll build given the opportunity to start from scratch and build one for ourselves! Plans are in the works, I’ll show you guys soon our design ideas. Stay tuned, 2012 is off to a great start!

Exploring San Diego Bungalows

Here’s a great 1920’s bungalow project. It’s a bank owned REO in a highly sought after neighborhood. I missed this deal yesterday literally by hours. By the time we went to submit an offer they had just accepted another one. There’s another great investing tip back story with this house, I’ll share it after I know it’s gone for sure.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween and let’s celebrate! The sale on the Craftsman Bungalow closed today! Yea! This was a really fun project for us; we were able to explore some different avenues through the use of materials and colors that were outside of our normal selections. It was quite enjoyable working with an older historic house for a change, but there was a real balance to be achieved with trying to preserve the original character but still use our creativity on the design elements. We were really pleased with the end product and already looking forward to the next house with more cool ideas.

Craftsman Bungalow Sold

We already bought our next project as well. I decided to call it the “Hat Trick House” since it’s the third one in a row in this same neighborhood for us. It’s another cool 1925 Craftsman Bungalow in Mahncke Park and only one block over from the 2 we sold this Summer. We have a really good feel for the area now and actually just set our own comp. After hearing all the feedback we feel we know what the market is looking for and have some ideas on how to capitalize from this knowledge. The rehab will start November 15 so stay tuned for more flipping fun this Winter!

Craftsman Bungalow, Under Contract!

After a slow couple of weeks from the credit meltdown and stock market crash things really picked up. The 7th Annual Mahncke Park Home Tour was a huge success, click here to read the full story.

Within 3 days last week we had 4 showings on our house and 2 offers resulting in a sale. The buyers are looking for a quick close on Halloween, which is great news for us. The offer that we accepted included financing via a FHA loan. There is an anti-flipping rule that FHA has where they recommend title seasoning for 6 months. Furthermore – for investors who are selling their property to a retail buyer within 12 months of purchasing it, and the selling price is greater than your purchase price, the FHA might ask you to substantiate the improvements you did to the property with receipts, before and after photos etc. Under some circumstances only a 90-day seasoning might suffice. Make sure and talk to the buyers’ lender to find out exactly what their requirements are before getting tied up in a contract which could result in an extra 30 days before you can close escrow.

Craftsman Bungalow - Under Contract

There are many buyers in Texas using FHA loans these days because they can get good interest rates and only put 3-5% down. We purchased this house in late April, did a 3-month rehab and it’s been on the market for 70 days so we just luckily will have the closing date 3 days after a 6 month seasoning period. This rule was put into place to protect homebuyers from mortgage fraud and predatory actions. With the current housing market situation though you would think our Government and the Lenders would make it easier on private investors who in turn are getting families into some of these vacant foreclosures, getting loans off the books and simultaneously bringing back property tax revenue.

Second Offer on Craftsman Bungalow

We got our second offer on the The Craftsman Bungalow. It was $10k higher than the first offer. This is not bad but additionally they asked for over $6000.00 in closing costs so the deal didn’t fly after we countered.

Also this week we were chosen to take part in the Mahncke Park Home Tour by MPNA that takes place yearly, and is coming up on October 19, 2008. Tickets are 10 bucks and it’s open to the public. The local newspaper also covers the event and showcases some of the homes in their Sunday Edition so we hope to make the cut. Hundreds of people will come through on that Sunday and the neighborhood as a whole will get tons of media exposure so we’re excited. My wife and I went ahead and staged the house this week. We pulled extra furniture and accessories from our home and bought a few new items as well. It’s now been on the market 44 days so we thought we would step it up a bit, stage it for the Mahncke Park Home Tour and with the furniture it looks really good. Bungalow#2 closes tomorrow, yeah!

Vraftsman Bungalow Living Room Staging

First Offer

After 19 days on the market and 15 showings we finally received our first offer on The Craftsman Bungalow. We are getting great feedback and have had tons of showings personally to buyers driving around without an agent. This offer was from a lovely young couple who are first time homebuyers and not represented by an agent, thus saving us 3%. They still came in about 10% below our asking price, not a bad offer if we were your typical homeowner sitting here with years of equity but since this is an investment property for us, that 10% would represent a nice chunk of our potential profit. We countered their offer over the weekend so we’ll see if they are able to come up a bit. I have a feeling they were stretching already but we’ll see.

In other great news we closed on our next house last week as well. It’s actually on the same street as the other house but larger at about 1550 sf. As I worked everyday on the Craftsman Bungalow I noticed there was another vacant house 4 doors down. I asked the neighbors what the story was, all of them telling me that the owner lives out of state but would never sell. One neighbor actually firmly instructed me not to contact him because it would be a waste of time because even if he did decide to sell he had promised the house to this guy’s daughter. Did I listen to the neighbors? Of course not. I made contact and ended up closing the deal at 51% ARV. The day we closed I put it in MLS wholetail at 70% ARV and we’ve had about 8 showings already on this “Bungalow #2.” We figured we would throw it out there for a few weeks and see if we get any bites and if not our plans are to rehab this as our next project.

Bungalow 2

Its Done!

It’s Done! Last week was crazy, tons of small items to finish and 14-hour days but I finally arrived at completion last night. It’s been a fun 3 months and it’s quite rewarding to look at the before and after pics and remember what we started with. You can also watch the full video here if you care to see a more in depth look at the rehab steps we went through.  We’ll keep you posted on this project throughout the offer and sale process. We’ve priced it at the top of the market so this should be interesting. Stay tuned…

Craftsman Bungalow Mahncke Park

Getting Close

Monday started off great this week, we got another house under contract and opened escrow. (More on that later.) We’ve been getting a lot of sign calls on this house though and thought we were getting an offer but the lady who had been coming by during the rehab backed out because she bought something else. This week I put all the Frigidaire appliances in that I bought at Lowe’s. I used a stainless steel high-end digital dishwasher with the buttons on top, a 6-burner gas stove, professional series microwave/convection oven and side-by-side fridge with water and ice in the door. I also put on all the cabinet handles and installed the lazy susans in the corner base cabinets. The kitchen looks killer and is now complete! Additionally, we passed the electrical final inspection on Tuesday. All I am missing is the final on the HVAC, which should happen this week.

Craftsman Bungalow Kitchen Staging

I also put down a pallet and a half of sod in the front yard and laid out the flowerbeds, using white limestone chop rock as a border. The front porch was concrete and very cracked and uneven as you could see from previous pictures. The area by the front door is what I concentrate on the most when it comes to attention to detail. Buyers make up their mind if they like the house as they stand there while the agent fumbles with the lockbox trying to get in. I always make sure that as you look around while standing there, you can’t see any flaws. This is why I decided to build a wood front porch cap over the existing concrete slab porch. I shot down some treated studs and laid long leaf pine tongue and groove, which is historically correct for this house. After a light sanding I used oil based stain and then came back with Cabot’s satin Spar oil base varnish in 2 coats. The finished hardwood porch looks incredible and once I add the final touch by hanging the swing our curb appeal will be done.

My wife and I worked on the bathroom all day Saturday. We hung the mirror, towel bar, tp holder, did some touch up painting and installed the tub faucet and a cool rain showerhead. The bathroom is almost finished as well now, just a few punch list items left.

The rear of the house is almost done minus some general lawn clean up which I’ll do this week. I stained the deck today with a Redwood Tone oil base to protect it from the elements. I usually take Sunday off but since we are in the home stretch I decided to knock off one big item from our to-do list this morning but don’t worry, I still made it home in time to barbeque some hot wings and go for a swim in the pool. My self-imposed deadline is Friday to have the house done and get it in MLS for the weekend. I still have a big punch list of small stuff but should be able to get it all done this week.