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!

Chula Vista project done!

Our new Chula Vista project in done! We finished and sold it over the holidays. I am really happy with the way it came out, we did a complete cosmetic rehab and opened the floorplan up. The original hardwood floors were refinished instead of putting down laminate like most guys do. This project got a new kitchen, 2 new baths, paint in and out, new windows and some landscaping. The seller contacted us after inheriting the property, it was a great family home with lots of memories.  I paid Cash for this house and of course we always buy them As-Is. We closed on their optimal date after giving them time to do an Estate Sale, it was a win-win for everyone. It is a great house in the popular Chula Vista neighborhood, just was very outdated and in need of a remodel. I really like the way it came out with the island kitchen and open floorplan. We Buy Houses in San Diego County if you are thinking of selling!


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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 Favorite Projects

Modern Bungalow ~ New Construction

Mid Century Modern ~ Remodel

Historic Victorian ~ Remodel

Craftsman Bungalow ~ Remodel

CA General Contractor Lic# 989348

New GBH HQ

Green Button Homes and SD Housebuyers moved into a new headquarters last month! With the new location we’ve gone into full marketing and aquisition mode buying everything we can get where the numbers make sense. I’ve created several strategic partnerships with millions of dollars to invest in San Diego real estate so I’ve transitioned from managing the job sites to heading up the aquisition department where we are currently buying 2-3 properties per month.

Here’s a great little SFR  that we picked up last week in Oceanside near the back gate of Camp Pendleton. Its hitting MLS soon!

We just put this Valencia Park property in escrow Monday and its closing tomorrow, the seller is retiring and this was an inherited property that has been a rental. They really didn’t want to work with a listing agent and go through all the showings, inspections, appraisals, requests for repairs and lengthy escrow so they called us for a no hassle 5-Day close. If you have a San Diego house that you inherited or that you want to sell in less than 7 days, Contact the #1 local, family owned homebuyer! (619) 438-0234

What Inventory Problem?

I bought so many houses this summer I’m now losing track. There’s a real shortage in San Diego of fixer uppers on the market but since we’ve had our feelers out now for a few years and everybody knows we buy houses, we keep getting leads. This is the second off market property I picked up this year in my old stomping grounds Clairemont. This property has a tenant who hasn’t been keeping up with the rent and the owner just decided to cash out.We structured a win-win for both parties. The seller is happy because he gets cash next week without paying any realtor fees or closing costs and can move on and not worry about the problem tenant anymore,  I’m happy because we’ll have enough room to renovate the house and sell it for a profit. It needs a complete kitchen, new bathrooms, flooring, windows, paint in and out, the whole 9 yards. Have a problem rental house in San Diego you need to sell fast? CLICK HERE!

Carlsbad Design Update

Making some headway with the Carlsbad Lagoon project. I’m still dialing in materials and colors but we are making progress. The building site continues to be quite challenging so the house design has changed several times. It’s currently a 4,051 sf 4/3 including an attached 678 sf 2-car garage. The City of Carlsbad has some restrictive building height requirements for the Coastal zone. Flat roofs have a height restriction of 24′ and pitched roofs with minimum 3 and 12 pitch are allowed 32′ heights. Of course I originally wanted all flat roofs, but in order to get the second story and still have 11 foot ceilings on the first level, we had to go with a pitched roof up top because of the existing slope creates a big crawlspace under the front. The height is measured from the lowest, or most restrictive, between proposed and existing grade.

The materials used will be stucco, wood and metal, there is a great overhang that wraps 2 sides of the living room, which will have an underlit wood soffit. Generous use of windows on the front will bring in an ample amount of light while the 5′ overhang will filter the harshest mid day Southern exposure from direct light. The large living room is connected to the outdoor deck with fire feature via a set of aluminum La Cantina accordian doors.

You can see here how much civil engineering work has been done just to get the structure to work on the lot. The correct driveway orientation can be seen here. I’m real happy with how the grading plan worked out, the rear 1/3 of the house and half of the garage is cut into the hill and will be slab on grade while the front of the house will change to raised stem wall foundation. There is a new sidewalk, curb and gutter public improvement for the entire lot frontage, as well as a Bio Rentention system engineered into the landscape plan that filters all driveway and roof run off before hitting the public street. The retaining wall elevations worked out pretty nice with the lot topography and the civil engineer did a great job designing it to minimize grading. On the high side of the driveway its only 3 feet tall.  The driveway comes up pretty steep off the street at 20%, then levels off to 10% as you get up near the house. We left enough room at the top of the driveway to turn a car around so nobody has to back down onto the street. In total we have 220 cubic yards of cut, 900 CY of fill and about 700 CY of export so we should qualify for a minimum grading permit. The City basically wants to see your house design stuck into the hill and minimal impact to the rest of the lot.

We had a pretty favorable Biology report, the absence of California Gnat Catcher birds during the site survey by the biologist really alleviated one of my big concerns with the parcel. There is however Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub that is all over this hill and its on the endangered list. In order to remove some scrub brush (mitigate), you have 3 options;  dedicate the rest permanently with an open space easement that will eventually get recorded to the title, pay mitigation fees, or mitigate off site. To mitigate CSS it would cost roughly $30,000 per acre so this mitigating on site with the easement is a a great solution. Because we are only developing 25% of our 1.3 acre lot, dedicating the rest permanently will prevent future homeowners from developing the hill. It’s steep anyway so there’s really not much you could do with it so its not much of a downside in my opinion. The open space will provide a nice buffer between us and the neighbors and continue to be a valuable wildlife habitat. You’ll notice the blue dots where the biologist found the Orange-throated Whiptail lizard. While on the endangered list, its not as critical as the Gnat Catcher Bird would have been. The only stipulation is that we have to perform scrubbing and grading activities to the site in the breeding off season between February 15 and August 31. The whole project is being reviewed by the City now, if we get a favorable response we’ll move forward to the Coastal Development Permit then Grading Plan and construction plans with the structural engineer.

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.

It’s a Family Tradition ~ Green Button Homes

The Tarrant boys like to build. 77 years later and here I am following in my grandfathers footsteps, developing real estate and building spec houses. Here’s a fun picture of my Grandfather R.W. “Poppy” Tarrant’s custom home that he built for his family in the late 1930’s.  The house was on Overbrook Lane in the upscale area of Houston, Texas known today as River Oaks. This house was torn down in the early 2000’s.

After selling the first house to a local attorney, he then drew up his own plans and specs and built this home in the 3600 block of Wickersham Lane in River Oaks. In 1943 this house only cost $15,000 to build. In today’s inflation adjusted dollars that equals $202, 460.00.

Here is Poppy, my dad Tom Tarrant Sr. and uncle Bobby Tarrant outside the Wickersham house

Carlsbad Plans

Here’s a glimpse at the front elevation of the modern Carlsbad new construction house we have in the works. It’s a 4/3 at roughly 4000 total square feet. I’m real happy with the design.. its got clean lines, big horizontal planes and heavy overhangs. More design detail to come as well as some 3D modeling so you can get a feel for the floorplan. The Carlsbad permitting process wont be a quick process, we are now only working towards Coastal Development Approval and then we get to submit the detailed house plans. Completion date in 2014.

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.

Happy Independence Day!

Flipping San Diego

It looks like A&E finally green lighted the announcement of a new Flip This House team for 2013. It’s our friend Chief Denney here in San Diego with a new show called Flipping San Diego. Chief does really nice work, has a lot of integrity when it comes to renovating houses and furthermore is a graduate of New School of Architecture here in San Diego.  What you guys are in store for this upcoming season on Flip This House from the San Diego team will be unlike any other season in the past so its a must see for house flipping fans. Sorry but there wont be any painting over rotten wood, shoddy lipstick rehabs, faked arguments with contractors or staged open house sales. I’m looking forward to the spotlight on the hot San Diego house flipping scene, and happy to see that it will involve someone ethical with good design sense and doing quality rehabs to show the nation how California does it! Tune into the new Flip This House season debuting July 20th on A&E.

Over the years we’ve been approached by 3 different production companies to do realty shows but never found the right “fit”, you might remember this old post http://tomtarrant.com/another-real-estate-reality-show-offer/

New Carlsbad Lagoon Lot

I picked up this 1.3 acre parcel in Old Carlsbad on Aqua Hedionda Lagoon last week and am getting started on plans for a 3500+ s.f. contemporary custom home. You can see its very close to Carlsbad Lagoon where there are fun summer activities like wakeboarding, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding although the beach is still only 1 mile away. I’ve got about 30 hours of due diligence in with The City already and feel pretty good about the parcel although its never had a house on it after a sub division lot split in 1980. There are a lot of challenges with this lot but neighboring parcels have all been developed or received approval. This lot is also in the Coastal Commission area which requires Coastal Development Approval before any grading, public improvement or building plans can be approved.

Home values in this area of Carlsbad are very strong with values in the $1M range. It’s going to be a long permitting process this summer though before we can break ground, I’ve already hired a civil engineer to do a new Topography Survey from which we can do a Preliminary Site Plan with elevations, drainage and grading. Additionally, we are required to submit a Geo Report for the soils and a Bio Report that documents endangered plant and wildlife on the lot, namely Coastal Scrub Brush and the infamous Gnat Catcher bird. Once we can get all this in to the City we’ll be considered for a Coastal Development Permit after a 30-day wait, and then we can start actually working on the house plans. This whole process could easily take 6 months from what I’m told so don’t expect to see me start grading next weekend. This is going to be a really fun project, we are really excited to also be doing something in North County and leaning more modern with this home design.  I’ll share some of the prelim info as we get into this and start playing with conceptual designs and eventually work towards another 3D model of the house and site.