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Modern Bungalow Sold $765,000

The San Diego real estate market is on fire right now, home prices in my area are up 20% over last year and in nearby neighborhoods like North Park 92104 there is only 1 month of inventory at the current sales pace!  It’s putting a real damper on the local house flippers as they are having trouble finding properties to rehab. 3 guys I personally know are going to Phoenix, Las Vegas and Palm Springs to find projects.

Strategically, I put it on the market on a Tuesday to give everyone time to react before an MLS advertised double-open house weekend. The strategy worked out perfectly, by the open house we already had 3 offers to work with. In this market its common to have 10-15 offers within the first few days, but this is generally true for entry level houses or high demand markets in the suburbs. By leaving the house on the market a whole 8 days, I felt it gave adequate market exposure yet didn’t irritate any of the first buyers by waiting too long and playing the game.

We had a specialty product for a very special buyer, in an inner city neighborhood where median sold home prices are in the low 500’s. To illustrate the market appreciation this year, when I bought this vacant lot I calculated a house built there would have sold for $629,000 based on comps. Half way through the build there were 2 comps at $685,000. By the time I was done we had sales comps in the low 700’s for remodels, not new construction, so I put a value on the home of $750,000. Not having a back yard was a definite negative so I had to price this in. You know that the seller does not set the sales price, the market does. A house will sell for whatever a buyer is willing to pay. Furthermore, houses are not sold, they are bought, so listing agents don’t “sell” houses in my opinion.

I used value range pricing and listed the house at $749,000 – $799,000. The first offer came in at $710,000. The second at $749,000 and a third at $750,000. When the smoke cleared, and after everyone had a shot to go higher, we countered the strongest buyer of the 3 offers and they came up to $765,000, or $413.50/s.f.

Listing this house and getting it under contract was the easy part, getting SDG&E to install the gas meter so we could close would prove to be the hard part and took almost 8 weeks! Our wonderful buyer hung in there so we finally closed today, congratulations to the new owner and we hope you enjoy the home as much as we did building it.

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  1. 19 Comment(s)

  2. By Bilgefisher on Apr 10, 2013 | Reply

    Congrats Tom. Looks like you found a low competition way to make great homes in existing neighborhoods.


  3. By Tom on Apr 10, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks Jason, this project was really satisfying, just grateful to be given the opportunity.

  4. By JayTheRealtor Wannabe on Apr 11, 2013 | Reply

    Congrats Tom! Glad to hear you have another project in the works…can’t wait to hear more about it.

  5. By Tom on Apr 11, 2013 | Reply

    Hey JtrW nothing under contract but I’m real close on some deals that have been brewing for a long time. You never know which one is happening first but either way they are both huge projects with a lot of new wood! Thanks for the congrats!

  6. By Jakob on Apr 11, 2013 | Reply

    WOW, awesome! I’ve really enjoyed following this entire project. Thanks for sharing so much detail on the journey and letting us be a part of it!

  7. By Tom on Apr 11, 2013 | Reply

    glad you enjoyed Jakob and thank you for taking the pictures!

  8. By dtadpole on Apr 11, 2013 | Reply

    Another great one!  Great job Tom!

  9. By Stacy M on Apr 11, 2013 | Reply

    Wow!! Love the house, you did a phenomenal job!

  10. By MsSassyMT on Apr 11, 2013 | Reply

    Awesome work!

  11. By Morgn Penix on Apr 11, 2013 | Reply

    Woo hoo!!

  12. By Daniel Courtney on Apr 11, 2013 | Reply

    From concept to finish, amazing project Tom. Night shots of the house are rad. Great use of different materials. I got a lotta love for the garage door and interior doors. Definitely going into my idea book.

  13. By Tom on Apr 11, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks Daniel. I feel so lucky to be given the opportunity to build this and learn along the way. Cant wait to build another one.

  14. By Wes on Apr 12, 2013 | Reply

    Love watching the entire process. You couldn’t have finished at a better time. The market is crazy

  15. By Robin on Apr 13, 2013 | Reply

    I love your work!

  16. By Gottaknowbetterful on Apr 13, 2013 | Reply

    Another amazing project, Tom! Each one is different, and I enjoy the way that your style has grown over the years.

    I also noticed you used a lot of new ways of doing things on this one. Like the floorplan changes and way the foundation was excavated instead of pilings being used. Do California laws that require that a deep foundation or was it the location? I look forward to seeing the next one!

  17. By Aslam on Apr 13, 2013 | Reply

    Congrats on the sale Tom! I’m sure the new owner will be very pleased.

    I love these vids!

  18. By Tom on Apr 13, 2013 | Reply

    @ Gottaknow Yes, this is a California raised foundation commonly referred to as stem wall. All the floor joists sit right on top of the wall. The footing Code for California is 15″ deep for one story or 18″ deep for a 2 story house. These footings went 3-6 feet deep to reach native soil.

    Normally with a stem wall here, guys still use piers and posts in the middle of the house to support the span. I came up with my own design that has an additional spine stem wall down the middle, that way there are no posts or beams.

    Looking back, those Texas pier and beam additions I was doing were a walk in the park. Thanks for following!

  19. By July on Apr 14, 2013 | Reply

    Awesome work!Tom!

  20. By Raymond on Oct 8, 2013 | Reply


    We love how the modern design can fit right into many neighborhoods. Wish this listing was available when we were looking last year, would of bid for this one. We bought our first home west of 4S ranch in the new community Del Sur. But it is my goal to make a home similar to this one. Any similar listings, or plans for one in the north county, or central San Diego area? We’d love to get in touch. Thanks

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