When Kyle and Kati found out about us, it wasn’t like most of our transactions. They were in the process of selling their current home and had found a beautiful horse property in Bonsall that they desperately wanted. Kati had grown up nearby and had always dreamed of raising her family in the same surroundings she had been raised.
This home was owned by a couple who were getting divorced and had left the house a few years ago letting it fall into disrepair. When we had been contacted by Kyle and Kati, the house was about 30 days from being sold at auction. The bank had agreed to a set price on a short sale, but it was very unique and had no buyers. Kyle and Kati knew that the house wouldn’t qualify for VA financing and even if it could, they would never get a VA Loan completed before the house went to a foreclosure sale. It was an impossible situation.
They called us not knowing if we could help. We stepped in and took a look at the property and decided we would be able to help. We did several inspections to see what the home would need and to make sure the James’ weren’t getting into something that would end up being a nightmare.
The home’s condition had definitely been deteriorating. It needed extensive termite repairs; the subfloor had rotted out in major portions of the home, and parts of the master bathroom floor were being propped up by unsecured two X four pieces of wood!
The single-story 3 bedroom 2.5 bathroom 2476 sq foot home sits on top of a hill and lies on almost four sprawling acres, as you can see. The winding driveway leads up to overlook the 4 horse stables on the property along with a tack house, hay sheds, and trotting corrals. Behind the home is a custom hard-scaped pool, that when we cleaned it up looks beautiful!
The house had so much potential, and Kyle and Kati knew it was exactly what they wanted. In other circumstances, if they wanted a home like this they would likely be priced out of the market. Similar properties in the area were selling for around 750,000. This was their one opportunity to get their dream house, but they didn’t have a way of making this happen. Their standard VA Benefit wouldn’t do it and they didn’t have over 540,000 in cash to buy the home outright.
Initially, when we did the walkthrough on the property, we created a complete rehab budget, going through from top to bottom to make the house new. When we presented that budget to Kyle and Kati though, they were concerned. Keeping the final payment as low as possible was extremely important for Kyle and Kati. Kyle had a background in home building and home improvement and is a real “do it yourself” kind of guy! They decided on a more moderate set of upgrades – make the home nice, but allowing for them to continue upgrading the home on their own over time.
We purchased the home for cash on September 27th from the bank. Closing the home on time was a challenge even when paying cash. Several times there were surprises, like a second mortgage that the first mortgage refused to pay off, difficulty getting the sellers to sign documents, and trouble in dealing with the bank. We purchased the home just THREE days before the home was to go to auction! Had we not purchased it on that Friday for cash, it would have gone to sale the following Monday.
The home received new carpet in the bedrooms, a complete master bathroom remodel including new sub-flooring, termite repairs throughout the house and an extensive cleanup of the overgrown landscaping and pool area. Some major systems of the house needed to be brought up to working order as well. The main gas line from the propane tank and the septic system needed a new lid and a pump and certification. When we began the bathroom remodel, the roman tub removal turned out to be a nightmare and the person who had built the tub didn’t waterproof it causing extensive damage to the joists and subfloor.
We completed the renovations and got the appraisal scheduled for Friday before Thanksgiving in November. November and December are difficult months to get loans closed because of all the holiday time, so we had a lot of urgency to get this done as fast as possible. Since buying the home, Kyle and Kati had closed on the sale of their previous home and were now living in Bonsall with Kati’s mom until their new house could be ready. The home was appraised at $595,500, $6,000 above the purchase price, which was exciting for Kyle and Kati.
This was the most stressful transaction SoCalVAhomes has had yet! But we live for this stuff! Helping Veterans like Kyle James (Marine reserves) and his family literally…into their dream home is why we exist.
Kyle sent us this nice email:
December 17, 2013
I just wanted to drop you a line and say thank you for the Concessions check, it was a little more than we had discussed and that will come in handy this time of year. We had a children’s Christmas party at the house on Saturday, with about 30 people there total and it was a hit. Everyone loved the house even with the loose ends I still need to tend to, in fact, people are still telling Kati how much they loved the house. I know there were a lot of stresses on both sides of the transaction but it was definitely worth it on our end and I hope you and your team feel the same.
Thanks again, and Happy Holidays.