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New Clairemont Project!

Walk through and check out the New Clairemont project we are starting. We are very excited to be back in one of our favorite neighborhoods! Stay tuned for more house flipping fun by Green Button Homes, San Diego’s #1 Cash As-Is Homebuyer.

Santee Wrap-Up

This Santee project comes to a bittersweet end. It was 8 long weeks of renovation, we were hit with multiple rain delays, material mis-orders, and unexpected mishaps but we finally brought her over the finish line and it’s now active on the market and for sale, ready for a new family. $549,000 MLS#170009540. The previous owners sold this house direct to us As-Is and paid No Realtor Commissions or Closing Costs. We make it easy to Sell a San Diego House!

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This project got a new roof, stucco, windows, doors, complete paint, new kitchen, baths, flooring and landscaping.

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The kitchen came out really nice. We used the Grey Shaker cabinets again but this time with Oil Rubbed Bronze hardware. The Quartz countertops and zero-radius sink gave it a contemporary feel. My favorite is the reclaimed wood look kitchen floor tile.

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The high ceilings in the living room provide for a real refreshing feeling and the light cascades in from all angles with abundant windows bringing in the view to surrounding mountains.

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I continued the Grey Shaker cabinets into the bathroom as well. If you guys are painting your home in brown tones you are really behind the curve. Grey is the New Beige in Home Design and is really On Trend now.

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The Metamorphosis is Happening

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Big progress with the Santee project now that the rain stopped and finally seeing what this house will look like. We got the new windows and doors in, stucco patched, garage door and a fresh coat of my favorite new colors SW 7032 Warm Stone for the body and SW 6140 Moderate White for the trim. We re-textured the entire inside of the house because I just couldn’t live with it so this was an unforeseen budget overage.

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The cabinetry is almost all in, I went with Grey Shaker again and Quartz countertops. Its not a huge kitchen and there was no real way to open it up to the living room but I was able to get a large pantry in here and create an extra seating area since we couldn’t do an island this time. Cruising along pretty good now, probably 2-3 weeks left to finish this remodel. There is a lot to do still..interior paint, tile, trim, wood floors, and landscaping. San Diego house flipping, we buy houses!

 

Flipping Santee in the Rain!

We are a few weeks in to a new Santee remodel. It’s a great 4/2 on a culdesac lot. It had quite a lot of demo including turning the converted garage back to original and various sheds and patio cover additions that were rotten and needed to be removed. We filled up 2 dumpsters on this one the first week. Outside of some minor floorplan changes this is a pretty straight forward project although it did get a new roof as well. We are always looking for more projects, if you know anyone who wants to sell their fixer-upper San Diego house for cash and as-is, please let us know.

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Despite all the rain delays we still managed to get the roof on and all the termite damaged wood fixed. This is not an Ugly House, just needs mostly a new facelift to be beautiful again. Windows will go in this week and we can start putting the inside back together with complete new kitchen, baths, flooring and paint.

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We Buy Houses in San Diego and love fixer uppers! Green Button Homes is the #1 Trusted San Diego Cash Homebuyer! Sell Direct To Us and save Thousands in real estate agent fees!

Clairemont Remodel Sold in 2 days!

We love Clairemont and own several rental properties in this neighborhood. I’ve been buying houses in Clairemont since 2004 so we know the neighborhood well. These homes were built in the late 50’s for the troops coming home after the war and it was named after the builders wife, Claire.  This house we bought “As-Is” and completely remodeled it for resale. The white Shaker style kitchen cabinets and ceramic subway backsplash are timeless. We did grey quartz counters to break it up and matched the grout. It sold in the first weekend with multiple offers over asking price! If you want to Sell Your San Diego House in Clairemont please call us! We pay cash, pay all closing costs and escrow fees, and always buy As-Is! This seller saved $$24,000 by not hiring a Realtor and selling straight to me!

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Green Button Homes Favorites

Modern Bungalow ~ New Construction

Mid Century Modern ~ Remodel

Historic Victorian ~ Remodel

Craftsman Bungalow ~ Remodel

CA General Contractor Lic# 989348

We Buy Houses With Code Violations

The City Of San Diego has a department called Neighborhood Code Compliance that will respond to complaints from the community and will visit your property and look for health, safety and building code violations. Once you have been targeted there is no way to get them off your back without bringing your home into compliance. They commonly show up for what they call substandard buildings which include illegal room additions, abandoned vehicles, unkept lawns, high grass and un-permitted construction work. As defined by California Health and Safety Code (H&SC), Section 17920.3, a substandard building is any building or portion thereof in which certain conditions exist to the extent that it endangers the health and safety of its occupants or the public

Once they determine the violations, you will receive a Civil Penalty Notice and Order. This notifies you that fines will be imposed if the violation is not corrected by a certain date. If these fines go unpaid they turn into Liens on the Property, which could eventually result in court order to pay from the City Attorney. If the fines plus admin fees are still not paid you will lose the property to foreclosure. You will not be able to refinance or sell without paying these liens. In addition, its hard to sell the property listing with Realtors if you have a Code Violation because buyers will typically try and get a loan for the house and the Code Violation shows up as a cloud on the Title Report and banks wont lend on it.

If you are in this situation and have received a Code Compliance Violation from the City of San Diego and cannot remedy the situation, please call us and we will buy the house. We pay cash from private investors so there is no problem when the code violation on the title report for us. Here is a house we bought this week in Imperial Beach that has 9 City violations that include an illegal room addition, un-permitted front porch enclosure, illegal use of garage as a dwelling unit, and a violation for disabled vehicles in the driveway. Once we close on the transaction we will remodel the house with permits and work together with the City to remove the violations.

If you have a house with a Code Violation or Code Compliance issue in San Diego that is turning into a headache, Contact Us and I will make you a hassle free offer. We use licensed 3rd party Escrow and Title companies to handle the transaction and can close in 10 days.

Sell Your San Diego House

We are still busy Buying Houses here in San Diego and helping homeowners find solutions to their Real Estate problems. It’s been a busy Summer but we are still looking to buy more houses!

Last month we bought this Paradise Hills house directly from the sellers who were retired veterans and had got a couple months behind on their mortgage payments. They didn’t want to work with realtors because most of their equity would have been spent on the realtor commissions. Their lender Green Tree, wouldn’t cooperate with a loan modification and refinancing of their VA loan was out of the question because there were major repairs that needed to be made to the property, namely an empty swimming pool in the backyard which needed to be filled in.

After visiting the house we made them a cash offer and immediately contacted their lender for a payoff amount so the harassing phone calls stopped. To help the elderly sellers we even advanced some funds before the sale closed so they could rent a suitable house. They will walk away with over $25,000 cash in their pocket and be saved of having a foreclosure on their credit. We love helping people and make sure its a win-win for both parties.

I bought this house in Clairemont this month after the seller, who is the executor of a family trust, contacted me and wanted to liquidate the asset so the beneficiaries could cash out. The challenging issue with this deal was that the home needed extensive repairs so a lender would likely not lend on it.

We made the sellers a cash offer and agreed to take the house in its As-Is condition, we never request anyone to make repairs. We closed escrow 12 days later and the heirs to the estate received their portion of the proceeds.  Another win-win situation for both parties, no other homebuyer in town would let the seller stay in the house for a year after receiving their funds!

Another purchase this month was this house on Dictionary Hill in Spring Valley. It’s a huge 3200 sf custom but needs an extensive remodel. The house had great bones, but years of deferred maintenance. The sellers had been busy with their careers and didn’t have the time to make repairs or keep up with this huge house. They didn’t want to list it with a realtor and have to clean, pay to fix everything, and then hassle with all the showings so they called us.

Out of their equity they would have also paid $15,000 in Realtor fees which was a big portion of their equity they needed to put down on their new house. Here is how fast we work; after getting the call on a Friday, I visited the home Saturday morning and made an offer. By Monday we agreed on a sale price and opened escrow.  5 days later the deal closed and they got their check! The sellers had accumulated a lot of little stuff in the house that would have been time consuming and costly to haul out, so they were happy that we didn’t require them to haul it off or clean anything on the way out.

If you want to Sell a San Diego House Fast, give us a call and we will work around your specific situation to try and structure a deal that works for both parties. More information about the homebuying process and how we arrive at an offer price can be found at the following link: http://tomtarrant.com/we-buy-houses-san-diego/

Contact me by clicking here or simply call (619) 438-0234 for a hassle free, no-obligation offer for your unwanted real estate. Your privacy is our main concern and we don’t share your information with anyone.

Mid Century Modern Renovation

My 1962 Leonard Drogin MCM is coming together.

Since my last blog post we totally transformed the outside of our Atomic Ranch House/Mid Century Modern project. I built a modern horizontal wood fence for the first time, it was way more labor intensive because the boards were all custom cut and had to be pre-drilled and screwed rather than using a nail gun. I used 1″x8″ cedar for the fence boards and 2″x2″ ledgers on my posts to secure them. I didn’t use pressure treated posts because I wanted to stain them to match the boards so the ends had to be treated before we set them. When I set the posts I also kept the span under 7 feet so the span wasn’t too long which would let the boards warp out. I sprayed a Behr semi-transparent fence stain in Natural color to seal the wood. Its looks great, kind of a modern style privacy screen rather than a fence and because the yard isn’t that big it provides privacy while still not making you feel boxed in. The fence is classy and sleek, the horizontal lines totally compliment the architecture I feel. After building the fence I had the stucco guy come back and do the retaining wall along the driveway to match the house as it was sticking out like a sore thumb after everything else looked so great.

Out front I had to terrace the yard a little because of the challenging hill we had to deal with. My favorite look with modern house design is the river rock combo with the Horse Tail plants. These are the reed type that I planted along the front of the garage and house. I added just one obligatory Queen Palm on an island to give a tad of privacy between the street and the front door.  Here’s another sizzle feature, check out this cool satellite shower head I put in both bathrooms. The spacey design looks like it belongs in orbit with my other light fixtures and I felt totally goes well with the MCM design.

I’m down to this final punch list of items that actually fit on one page so we are getting there. I should be close to on track for a March 30 completion as we are in week 10 right now for this rehab. There are still more fun things I’m adding so stay tuned, a couple more weeks and you’ll see all the bells and whistles. See the final finished pictures here.

MCM Mechanicals

We are staying pretty much on track at the Mid Century Modern renovation, this week we updated and changed around the mechanicals of the house to fit our new design. After my old plumber didn’t show up, I moved on and hired a new guy which really handled business. To prep the exterior for the new stucco job we also had the house sand blasted. You cant put new stucco over paint. I always find it best to do this before you put your new windows in if possible so you don’t accidentally blast them too! Next up for this week is put the new windows and rear sliders in, patch all the drywall and then we’ll be ready for interior paint and tile. We’ve had several interested buyers already stopping by, just wait until they see the dramatic change that will soon take place!

Real First Week MCM

This was the real first week inside our MCM renovation now that the concrete guys are out of the way. The first thing I did was to get my roofer started, it turned out to be a little larger job than anticipated, 3 layers of tear off instead of what I thought was only 2. I put a GAF lifetime roof on and used a lighter color, Birchwood this time. Its going to go well with my grey tones on the exterior. While the roof was getting done we also finally did the demo inside.

During the week I also did some minor framing changes as previously discussed. An opening between the kitchen and living room was the most dramatic but from a functional standpoint the bathroom changes were probably more important. Both bath doors got enlarged and moved over to accommodate larger vanities and I ended up vaulting the hall bath lid to give a larger feel. The wall between the hall bath and the utility room also got moved over 6 inches to make enough room for the tub with the new door opening location. I also changed all the rotten sub floors in the wet locations. All this is stuff that you’ll never see but its really more important than the nice stuff that covers it up. The electrician and plumber also got started roughing in the new mechanical upgrades, a new 200 amp service and the water heater relocation to the garage to make more room for the kitchen cabinetry.

Primarily, to get the ceilings ready for my new stain I had my sandblasting guy, who normally does exteriors for stucco prep, come and blast the tongue and groove cedar and exposed beams. They came out killer now as you can see. I’m still pretty sure I’m going to go with a transparent green stain but I’ll do a test area and see how it looks. Its so clean now even just a clear coat would be cool but it might look too “rustic mountain cabin” for my taste..

Over in South Park we had the big time survey done by Mike Curren for the site plan. This survey measures your lot by satellites down to the fraction of the inch and he marks the property lines. He also established the benchmark for grade for use on the building plan elevations. This way there is no question when we go to submit plans to the City. After playing with several floorplan options this week it became apparent we have to go 2-story to get the square footage I need as well as a garage. We also got the necessary Soils Report performed this week. I had to have a hole dug 2’x3′ and 4′ deep. Then we hired Soiltesters to come out and do the test. I was worried that because of the canyon location and slope of the lot that we could have had fill in some areas which would cause us to use deeper footings, but as it turns out the fill is only 18″ deep. The soil report will call for the new footing to be at least 12″ into native soils, which are the sandstone that is redish in appearance. You can see in the hole I dug where the soil changes color about 18″ down. This guy looks like a soil tester doesn’t he? We are still working on the floorplan, I’ll share the preliminary version as soon as we get close. Finally we get to build a house for ourselves! Thanks for following!

Ready for Blast Off!

Here’s the house design I came up with for my new Mid-Century Modern project. As you can see I’m breathing some modern life into the great house while leaving the original lines untouched. All these materials I’m adding really play well with the space-age architecture of the 1960’s and should hit a young, hip & sophisticated buyer perfectly. I love this style house, American culture was obsessed with space travel in the 1960’s and it showed through in a lot of house and furniture design. Some of the interior fixtures like the Sputnik Light I’m considering look like something out of George Jetson’s house. My big change to the facade is the tongue and groove Cedar siding that I’m strategically placing in the center, the stained Cedar warms up the stark white modern stucco and sterile aluminum windows and garage door, while still following the horizontal planes of the original architecture. I’m going frosted glass on the front door with a little more matching wood on the frame to tie it in. The house numbers and front porch lights will also be brushed aluminum to add a nice finishing modern touch.

I did a walk through video also to show the scope of work. Evidently we’ve started to develop a little bit of a following here in San Diego for our home remodeling, 2 interested parties have already emerged and showed interest in buying this home when its completed. As we get in the home stretch anyone is welcome to come see it before it hits the market. Demo started today on the garage floor and driveway, stay tuned and follow along as we get into some Mid-Century Modern fun for 2012. Happy New Year!

Got Trim!

My special order interior doors from Home Depot came in so I jumped right into trim carpentry all week so I could get one step closer to painting the inside of the house. As you saw last week, my hardwood floors went in first, after protecting them with rosin paper I then trimmed out the entire house on top of the floors (baseboards, doors and door casings). That way you don’t have to notch the floors around door jambs and casings or undercut everything and you actually get the wood floors under the baseboards for a better finished product. I am using the same style door as on the Target House called “Riverside” from the Masonite Anniversary Collection. They are a 5-panel raised profile that look good with historic homes. These hollow core MDF doors are cool and are fit within my budget at $80.00 each for the complete pre-hung door with jamb. I also bought matching door slabs for the bedroom closet sliders so everything is consistent. You get to choose the finish on your hinges so I ordered chrome again so I can use brushed nickel knobs and still match modern chrome bathroom and kitchen hardware. They come pre-primed so after everything is installed, caulked and holes filled I will spray them along with all baseboards, window trims and closet shelving in place then lastly, apply the wall color with brush and roller.

For those of you do-it-your-selfers out there, here’s a good trick for ya. Install one side of the door casing with the door on the ground, then tip the pre-hung unit into place and secure it with the finish nailer. Afterwards go to the other side and install the door casing. This is way faster and easier than hassling with shims and battling it for an hour to get it straight. This is how the pro’s do it so give it a try next time you’re hanging doors and you’ll never use shims again. For my door casings I used square profile MDF in a 1 x 4″ to match the original period mouldings that would have been in the home.

I had to go with the huge 1 x 8″ baseboards on this house, I’ve used them before but with the giant room sizes and high ceilings it was a clear choice, not to mention its close to the size that were originally there. After asking all around town I finally found out where everybody gets their trims and its not Home Depot. Builders Moulding Supply in El Cajon has just about any style and size moulding you could want, that’s all they sell and you get it in bulk 16 footers right on spot from their warehouse at a price 30% less than the big box stores. I spent about $1,000 for everything I needed for my trim job minus the closet build-outs which I’ll use pine for because it seems more durable and holds more weight then the MDF. I was pretty happy to see that they also come pre-primed because my old supplier used to only offer them raw. After everything is painted I’ll peel up the paper on the floor and lastly nail in the shoe moulding on the bottom of the baseboards to complete the historic look I’m going for. We’re getting alot of attention at the house now, several interested parties stopped by this week asking when it was going to be done. I’m pushing for late September but its going to be tight especially because I’m doing an equity grab and not paying out a bunch of labor costs in the final stretch. I figured either way it wont be prime selling season so I might as well save the money. The good thing about the timing is that If I get into the next project soon I can stay busy this winter and hit the Spring selling season perfectly. There are so many things about this project that I write off to warming up in San Diego, I’m ready now to dial in my system on the next house. It’s been 100 degrees for months in Texas, it’s been nice to finally be home and we’re having fun!

Siding and Insulation

We finally passed all rough-in inspections and have now hung all the insulation. It took 2 tries with   my hvac sub contractor, he forgot to strap down the furnace and didn’t run hard pipe gas line through the unit so we had to call for a second inspection after having him come fix the two issues. These are small details which he should have caught but nonetheless we got all the signatures now on our inspection card and the City inspector is starting to warm up to me a bit now that he sees we know what we are doing. Right after passing I scheduled the insulation to be hung the next day and its called in for an inspection for tomorrow. I insulated the exterior walls and complete sub floor.  This is over and above what my permit called for but having all the walls opens provides such an obvious opportunity to save energy and provide someone with a product we can be proud of. I’m sure the new homeowner will unknowingly be thanking me every month when they pay their electric bill. With all the walls open I also ran Cat-6 and cable wires to all the bedrooms. We are in a heat wave right now in San Diego, I wouldn’t have wanted to be the guy under the house all day itching and scratching trying to hang this stuff. I jumped outside and started trimming out the exterior also, I re-framed the front porch and used 1×3 tongue and groove for the decking that’s historically correct. It’s a little more than I could have spent on another material but its details like this that will pay off in the end and especially since its on the front of the house which is always the most important to focus on.

I also got some of my windows installed and I’m telling you they are so neat. TM Cobb makes a mighty fine wooden double hung window for historic homes. I’m totally happy and cant wait for the missing 2 to arrive with the Victorian front door so I can install them too.

Here’s the bank of 4 windows on the study or optional 5th bedroom. This room is going to be killer with all the light that’s coming in. There was a lot of missing trim on the corners of the house that was probably removed when the metal siding went on. This stuff is easy to replace so we’ve been working our way around the house getting everything back to how it should be.

For the rear master suite room addition I purchased 10″ cedar beveled channel siding from La Mesa Lumber at $2.50/foot. This is the first time I’ve used it and boy is it nice. It comes pre-primed and its very straight, unlike the T117 siding I’ve frequently used on the Craftsman bungalows. We wrapped the room addition with Tyvek first of course and are now putting the 773 siding up. It’s great to use all the correct materials, in this case its costing me about $1400.00 for this siding but its going to be worth it. The historical review board here in San Diego wouldn’t even have let me use Hardi Siding if I wanted to. My colors were also approved this week so once the exterior trim and siding is all complete I’m going to have 2 crews in simultaneously painting the exterior of the house and hanging the drywall on the inside. Once the drywall is hung we have to get a nailing inspection where they verify spacing on the screws before we tape and float over it. Stay tuned, we’re going to see some dramatic changes soon. Also, Get on over to Biggerpockets.com and check out the video interview I did with Josh. I break down our business model and explain what kind of projects we look for.

Painted Lady has a New Hat

This is the craziest roof I’ve ever done and it didn’t help that my roofer only saw it necessary to bring one helper. The pitch is a very steep 12′ on 10′ so it makes walking on it humanly impossible. Not to mention that there were 3 layers including the original wood cedar shake shingle that needed to be removed before we could even install the new roof decking made this an all consuming  job. It was slow going all week due to the steep pitch, they even had to hand carry the individual shingles up the 32′ ladder as we couldn’t load the bundles anywhere on the roof. It’s always good to pick your roof color to go with what exterior paint colors you’ve got planned, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen rehabbers make this crucial mistake, like a brown roof with a green house. I usually use the Owens Corning 30-Year Estate Grey but this time I went with something new its the Lifetime GAF shingle in the color called Slate. It’s mostly grey but with a hint of blueish green to make it look like slate on an old house. I think its going to tie in nicely with my paint color scheme. The roof on this house is real important to get right because its so visible. I took this opportunity to remake the historic scalloped decorative facia board also on the mini front gable and it came out sweet.

I also picked up my new wood historic style double-hung sashed windows by TM Cobb this week. These windows are so cool I wish I could replace all of them but the budget just doesn’t permit it. I’m putting in 8 new ones that are either unsavable or someone had already replaced with aluminum and refurbishing the rest of the original windows per the historic board guidelines. I cant put them in until I pass framing inspection. The electrician finished up this week so I’m now finally ready to call for rough-in inspections on framing, electrical, plumbing and hvac all at once. I think I’ve got 7 killer historic colors nailed down for the exterior, they are from the Sherman Williams Victorian House color collection. If the Historic Board approves it, I’ll be using a lighter green body, dark green trim, burnt orange accent on the sunburst, plum windows, medium orange for some accents, and light blue for the porch ceiling. There will also be a grey wood front porch to keep it period correct. These are some heavy colors but I think the Lady will hold them well as long as I use the accents sparingly and in the right places.