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 Walk Through

Walk through with me and check out the progress happening at the Santee project. You can see the cool reclaimed wood look kitchen floor tile we picked out and some minor floorplan changes to make this house way more functional. We threw a little more money at this house than the average house flipper would here in San Diego, but the buyers are going to have a great house that they can enjoy for years to come!

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 Favorite Projects

Modern Bungalow ~ New Construction

Mid Century Modern ~ Remodel

Historic Victorian ~ Remodel

Craftsman Bungalow ~ Remodel

CA General Contractor Lic# 989348

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!

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

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.

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/

Modern Landscape Design

For this project I decided on a modern style landscape design to tie in with my modern architecture attribute. The clean lines and open spaces of my concrete work will create a contemporary outdoor space. I came up with a flowing design of terraced geometrical shapes, grid patterns in the concrete flat work, and the extensive use of unfinished cmu block to give an urban feel. I’m trying to create more of an extension from the house and outdoor living spaces rather than a traditional lawn and garden.

When constructing my modern privacy screens I continued the cmu block wall as a base and used galvanized Postmaster steel posts which then support the Cedar 1 x 8 boards. These posts are great, they are pre-drilled and will last for years. I kept the spacing at around 5 feet to keep the boards straight and I’ll stain them after they dry out in a few days.

The finishing touch will be all native, drought tolerant plants which I have carefully selected. Of course I ran sprinklers for very moderate watering  but the whole design will be almost maintenance free and save water.

Modern Concrete and Floor Redeux

What a difference a week makes. Our new hardwood floor refinishing guys came in and did an incredible job on the Modern Bungalow in South Park. Instead of the usual rag on, rag off method for applying the stain, these guys used a lambs wool applicator and drug the stain across the floor. Of course we did not water pop the wood first this time!

The stain came out perfect the second time around, no spots or blotchy areas and this application method actually left more color on the wood. After the stain dried they did 3 coats of semi-gloss clear, buffing in between coats. I’m really happy with the results, this is how Golden Pecan on Red Oak should look, it gives a modern loft feel.

Here is the finished product on the floors, finally I am back on track now. The cabinet finishers are coming in next to stain the uppers to match and paint the bases, island and bathroom vanities.

The weather finally cooperated enough to get most of our hardscape in this week. I poured about 20 yards of flat work. The modern design I created will lend itself well to my overall theme, the driveway area was so large, so by cutting it up I brought the space more into scale. Stay tuned for the finishing stretch after the holidays & Merry Christmas!

Rain Droppin’ & Water Poppin’

Imagine this picture after 3 days of rain. Yes folks, mud, mud and more mud.  It just wasn’t in my cards this week, after almost 2 weeks excavating for the driveway and setting forms, the rains came. Had I just finished a day earlier I would have avoided a 5-day set back due to the weather.  You can see I broke up the huge space by setting the forms in a more modern design for the concrete, it will do wonders for the scale of the driveway and also add an interesting modern touch. Inside the gaps between the slabs I can put river rock, decomposed granite or even a low grass. There wont be any sod in my landscape design, the whole yard will be xeriscaped and planted with drought tolerant native species. The unfinished cmu block retaining walls and large square concrete slabs for stepping blocks will give a real urban mod feel and be perfect for my modern bungalow.

The full custom, flat panel millworks package went in on Monday from Jed at Hollands Custom Kitchens in El Cajon. Full extension, soft close, dove tail, the whole 9 yards. Hollands is rad, great service, quality and they’ve been building cabinets for 35 years here in San Diego. They hand built everything specifically for the house including kitchen and bathrooms. Everything will get finished on site after the install. On the uppers I used grain matching “rift cut” Red Oak. We’ll stain them Golden Pecan to match the floors while the island and lower cabinets will all get painted a dark blueish grey. I’ll contrast the dark lowers by using arctic white quartz countertops with a square eased edge profile and waterfall on one side of the island. In fact the counters, appliances and even carpet upstairs are all waiting to go in as soon as the floors are done.

So you can see a lot was riding on the floor job coming out on time. After 2 days of sanding, the floor guys decided to apply the oil based stain when it was raining outside and 90% humidity. It might have actually worked even though you shouldn’t stain in higher than 60% humidity, but they tried an advanced technique called “water popping” in which you wipe the raw wood with water to raise the grain just prior to staining. This trick is normally reserved for trying to get wood floors to accept a very dark stain or hide scratch marks, in my case it wasn’t necessary since I’m going very light and Red Oak is the easiest material to work with. Soaking the floor with water combined with the high humidity trapped in the moisture under the oil based stain and it dried looking very blotchy. I’ve been doing beautiful Oak floors for years and we never popped the grain, I wouldn’t advise anyone to try it unless you are going very dark or have an absolute professional that has experience with popping the grain doing the work. Needless to say I hired a different company and we are sanding off all the stain and starting over. New 3/4″ Red Oak floors only have enough thickness to refinish about 6 times, its not the best scenario to re-sand new installs twice but they’ll look perfect when we are done and that’s what counts. More on water popping hardwood floors here.

It’s really frustrating to get slowed down at the end of a project, but its just part of the business and being able to react swiftly and find solutions will keep you moving forward. We’ll see if this week works out a little better. See you soon with concrete pics and a complete kitchen. Have a Merry Christmas and thanks for following our projects!

Holiday Delays but Still Pushing

We are still making progress on the Modern Bungalow trying to wrap this house up, but with the holidays its been hard to keep up the pace. Since my last update inside we got the central air conditioning installed, hot water heater, red oak stair treads and risers, and all the electrical trim and fixtures. The fire sprinkler guy came back and trimmed out too, installing all the sprinkler heads and bell box. There’s nothing left inside except for the tile setting while I wait for another week for the cabinets to arrive and get installed. The countertop fabricator is on standby to come right in after the cabinets, then its only hardwood floor refinishing and carpet in the 2 bedrooms. Garage door is also on order. I could have had it wrapped inside by now if I would have ordered cabinets before the drywall went up.

The new tile contractor I hired is done now with mud floating all the walls and getting into tile setting with his wife. This is the second husband and wife team we’ve had on this job, my exterior painters’ wife also was a painter. These ladies know what they are doing too, they are not just sweeping up! Instead of Hardi backer we opted for the mud float method where you do moisture barrier paper, metal lathe and then float out the walls with spec mix. The City comes and inspects paper and lath before you can start floating the walls. It gives a perfectly flat and plumb surface but definitely more work, he spent 4 days floating the walls when I could have put up backerboard in a few hours. The tile I went with in the master is a modern 12 x 24 light grey designer porcelain and I stacked it square to give a more clean minimalist and contemporary look. In the hall bath I went with the 3×6 ceramic but also opted not do do a subway pattern so it will be more of a clean look with a period material, working well with our home design. Both bathrooms got great niches in the wall for soap and shampoo bottles.

I thought by now I would have been done with the house but things always drag out at then end, time is on my side with Christmas and New Years coming up now so we’ll move in after the holidays.

The San Diego real estate market is still very hot. No signs of slowing even through the typically slow Fall season. With only a little over 2 months inventory it is a sellers market again and we are seeing bidding wars and multiple offers in all price tiers. I don’t see things changing through 2013 because interest rates will stay low and there’s no more huge waves of foreclosures coming as all the adjustable loans have reset already. Banks will continue to trickle out a few REO’s here and there, but even short sale volume is dropping fast. House flippers in San Diego will have a tough time competing with large, well funded buy and hold groups investing for appreciation. Some flippers are moving up the price range and flipping million dollar homes where there is less competition. There’s a lot of investor and first time buyer activity and prices are being affected by it, October was up 13% from last year and in some areas have reached 2005 peak home price levels again.