THE CENCAL HOUSE
We had just finished flipping our second property ever and had a bit of cash and we were researching online home auctions and watching them run to try to figure out how it all worked and if we might find opportunities for amazing deals. One Sunday afternoon we happened to see this amazing 3 acre property for auction. We had discovered Sunday auctions were the best because it is when the professionals and banks were not working, and therefore not challenging other bids. When we saw this particular property, it happened to be live with only an hour to go and no one had bid on it yet! The starting bid was low enough for us to afford at the time, and it was way undervalued for the neighborhood and size of land, so my wife and I decided to place the first bid. We thought there was no way we would win the auction at all. We had agreed
that we would not bid a second time as our money was tight
already. We just wanted to see how the whole house auction
Well, a nervous hour passed and not a single bid came through! The time was up! Once the auction ended, the banks still had and hour to reject our bid but because it was a Sunday, no one was there to do it. We had one week to back out of the deal (and loose a non-refundable $2000 bid payment). So we quickly drove out the the property, a bit worried that we just bought this big property site unseen! We knew that so long as the online information was relatively realistic, this was an amazing opportunity, but we were still very nervous. To the right is a photo of the main house on the property as we saw it that first day:
We met the neighbors (both friendly retired elderly
folks) so we committed, and quickly began dreaming up how we might approach this. The existing house was already a total of about 2000 sf. It had a detached garage off to the side. Ambitious, I thought it would be awesome to turn this place into an entertainers dream, by connecting the two structures (house and garage) with a large two story entryway. I drew up the plans, which included about 2000sf of additional house structure, including the new garage. Surprisingly, the plans were quickly approved through the county and I was able to hire a concrete crew to lay the footing and new foundation within two months of purchase. Below are pictures of the work process.
Over the course of nine months, I averaged about 12 hours per day, seven days per week. I only took one full day off during this nine month period, but with the help of several friends who came to help at various points, I was able to finish. The house was now ~3750sf with an oversized two car garage. Below are the finished results.