New rebuild in San Jose

31 Replies

Greetings my fellow BPers.

Inspired by all the cool diaries here, I'm gonna try starting my own.  This flip actually started a while back in late 2013, but I just joined BP.  So I have to do some of the catch up.

- First of all, the project is current and won't be finish any time soon (maybe 2-3 months), so I won't be able to share all the detail numbers till I got them straighten out at the end.

- Second, since this is a "catch up" thread, I will be breaking down into mini posts to keep it short(er).

Ok let's get started:


+ Market Overview: 

  • Age of neighborhood: ~25 years
  • Average house size: 2500-2900 sqft, 2 stories, 4bed/2.5bath - 4/3, tile roof, stucco siding, most houses are still original, but clean
  • Comps for the last 3-6 months: original/no remodel: average $310/sqft
  • Current listings for sale (original as well): $372/sqft

+ Project Overview:

  • Existing house got torn down completely, all foundation and EVERYTHING goes 100%.  All left is bare dirt.  So other than the demolition, this is pretty much a spec house new build.
  • Purchase price: $365k, which includes:
    • all building permits and school fees
    • demolition cost
    • foundation only (raised floor setup), garage concrete floor & driveway are not done
  • Lot size: 7400 sqft
  • New house size: 2854 sqft + 475 sqft garage
  • Budget in a nutshell: 
    • Land & soft cost: $365k
    • Rest of the cost (construction, holding costs, commission, etc...): $435k - $535K
    • Sale @ $350-$400/sqft ==> $1.15M - $1.15M
    • Profit: $100k - $215k

+ Time line Overview:

  • 9/13: purchase
  • 10/13 - 12/13: finish foundation piers
  • 1/14 - 5/14: Underfloor plumbing, subfloor
  • 6/14 - current: Framing, Rough of all trades

+ Notes:

  • Big gap in times dues to lack of funding, and interferences with clients' projects
  • All plans are final, no adjustment/modification
  • Inspections are all done.  Ready to insulate & roofing next week.
  • Most of in-progress photos taken are lost due to iPhone 6 transitions :) ==> my fault, not Apple.
  • Budget estimates are based on a couple of crucial points: 
    • Conservative on construction cost since I build it myself.   
    • If market holds or improves +- 5-10% till the time of listing: sale price would be at least this or more :)

Photos will be loaded in the next thread.

Thanks everyone.

Here's some of the photos.

  • Demolition done by others
  • Next: trench & foundation (later today) :)

@Nhi Nguyen - Thanks for taking the time to document a new build. This looks like its going to be an exciting thread to follow, thanks!

@Nhi Nguyen  Welcome to BP! Can't wait to watch your project as it's being built. You refer to your deal as a flip, but in reality it is a new build. San Jose is probably appreciating nicely, so you should do pretty good! 

So you are hoping to make max $200K in two plus years with what is essentially a full time job? Or am I missing something? Considering the risk and time you are committing the returns seem very low.

thanks everyone. 

Johnson: thanks for the interest. Hope to see you at other meet ups. 

Karen: I enjoy very much the quality and designs of your spec homes. That's what I want to do more and more: higher end build. This project is nothing compared to those :). Hopefully  I can get my hands on similar projects sooner rather than later. Also, not sure what's the terminology is, but it's an burned down house, got demo'ed for a new build.

Anish: thanks for the concerns. There's a bit of story behind it: client hired me to build but wanted to sell & get out sooner. So I bought it back. Price was appreciating so it's actually working in my favor. If I can finish it and list in Jan or so, it should sell fairly quickly since the floor plan and design is very very nice compared to the rest of the neighborhood. And, as I said, I won't be able to show much details in term of project costs just yet. But hopefully I'll get a little more, if everything goes as plan :).  On the other hand, if I can get $200k out of it, plus some profit buffered in my building contract from my own construction company (I'm building it myself), I'm ok already. Plus, it's not a full time job. Reasons for delays mostly because I'm working on 3 other major flips for investor clients, and a huge remodel for another client. :). 

Thanks again. 

Foundation excavation.

Left front corner:

The guys hate rental toilet (smells bad, nasty splash, etc...) so we built a quick enclosure for a full functional rest room.  Look from right front corner:

Second floor framing 80% finish.  Jobsite before clean up:

@Karen Margrave   I have checked out the spec homes you built. Very beautiful.

@Nhi Nguyen    Keep up the good work. So I see that you are a contractor correct?

Do you do any regular fixer upper work? As in General contractor, if house needs carpet and paint etc?

Thanks @Gagan Johal  .  I'm a GC but I'm starting to focus on my own deals, or partner with clients to flip if deals are good enough. 

We just had inspections yesterday.  Yes SJ is catching up with backlog so they work Saturday too.

We got rough plumbing, electrical, gas line, HVAC, and shear passed.  Big thumb up for all the hard work the guys have been through.

This week we gonna work on a couple of items:

- Paper for roofing

- Insulation

- Inspection for insulation

Windows and doors are delayed big time.  So stucco lathing has to wait. 

In the meantime, we plan to get insulation inspected, then go ahead and hang sheetrock, work on the roof to buy time for windows & doors.  

Some choices to be made on roofing: The whole neighborhood has tile roof.  I was jumping back & forth between dimensional shingle & tile.  

Here are some photos in the meantime.  Next up would be floor plan & elevation.  I just got them back from my architect.  


Not very clear view of the frame since the fence & truck are blocking:  :)

From street taking picture of the right side:

Here are the floor plans & elevation.  I got some 3D renderings back from my architect today too. 

First floor:

Second floor:

Front elevation:

Rear elevation:

Left elevation:

Right elevation:

We gonna have to work really hard to get close to this.  :)

I stopped by on Wednesday to check this property out!  @Nhi Nguyen  is doing a great job!

@Nhi Nguyen   I LOVE that house!! For me personally, that's my favorite style of home. When I was little; and raised as a Catholic, I used to go to church and catechism at Mission San Jose, loved the architecture of that place. (I was actually born in San Jose)   I considered doing that style on the house we are doing in Capistrano Beach, but since we are incorporating a rooftop deck, it wouldn't work. 

I think your house is on par with what we are doing. I can't wait to watch it get finished.  

wow @Karen Margrave  , that's pretty cool. 

This architect has very nice designs. I asked him to work on my current house too. We have a big lot and plan to add a second custom house in the back to make it 2 houses on one lot. That project is at least a year out though. I'm still looking for a good enough design idea for now :).

Again, thanks for the good words. 

Wow awesome thread to read @Nhi Nguyen  it is a beautiful house. What a large project it appears to be. Well I guess for me it looks like it would be. I will be anxious to watch for the next pictures.

Thanks @Terri Lewis  , it sure is lots of work.  One thing is that it's more straight forward in a sense that you just build everything from ground up, following the blue print.  

We've done some of the rebuilds where parts of the house still intact, such as portion of the foundation; or trying to save the first floor walls while adding a second floor addition; shore the whole house to beef up the foundation, etc ...  Not so much fun :)

Choices choices choices.

I'm debating between tile roof (which is what's the whole neighborhood has) and 50 years TL shingles.  We can do tile roof ourselves, but it'll take much longer, materials are more expensive too.

Tile roof all the way.  Buyers do notice those details.  Good job on your flips, I would love to drop by and check it out.

thanks @David C.    

Right now I'm about at least 80% leaning towards tile roof. 

I'm getting quotes from a couple vendors and should make a final decision next week. 

Oh boy, we didn't get very far this past week because of a couple of distractions, and hiccups.

- We got the insulation in.  I over-calculated ceiling insulation, so ended up buying too much.  

- Some special size windows & doors cost too much so I'm working hard to find alternatives.  Just for feeling: 2 slide door to the back cost $6000!!!!  These are not even high end brand.

- This week I have to pause construction because windows & doors issue still pending.  The whole team now work on a customer's mancave. 

- Tomorrow I'll have the final quality for roof quotes.  Hopefully we can roof it the week after next.  I'll have to make decision on the windows & doors tomorrow as well.  Need to be brave about it, hoping the sale price would make it up.  Hahaha.  Fingers crossed! 

Next up: photos and/or video of the inside, maybe tomorrow or Friday.

Thanks for documenting this!  What a great example for us newbies!

@Nhi Nguyen   I was just posting on a forum, and it brought you to mind. I wanted to check in and see how the house came out. I see you haven't posted for some time, and was curious if you finished the house, and got it sold, etc. Hope all is well. 

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