Intro continued

Intro continued

We slowly managed to remodel the unit that we were living in – kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. I soon learned how important hands-on training would be in the career of a contractor. Experience is everything. Not everything goes as planned, and it’s never as easy as the books lead you to believe. After that unit was brought up to par, we were ready to move onto our next challenge: rehabbing an entire single family house. We then purchased a run-down property in La Mesa and went to town. Everything was ripped down and rebuilt: kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, lighting, exterior siding and stucco, landscaping, plumbing and electrical. Thanks to the coaching from my in-laws, my knowledge of construction trades increased dramatically and my thirst for knowledge of codes and construction techniques grew by the day. After a long 10 months, we had finished our first whole house remodel. We had done nearly all of the work ourselves; the only subcontractor used was for the granite countertops. It makes me laugh now to think how long that took; We Build recently finished a whole-house remodel of a house nearly twice that size in 4 months. After that, I teamed up with my in-laws and built a single story addition. That was such a great experience that we did another one. The only trade that we subcontracted was stucco; all other work was self performed.  At that point I was hooked. I knew that I had to branch off on my own to pursue a career in building. I had attained enough knowledge and experience to take the state contractor’s license exam. In...
Welcome to We Build San Diego

Welcome to We Build San Diego

Let’s start at the beginning When the Navy brought me to San Diego, I knew that I had to purchase property in one of the best real estate markets in the country. At that time, I knew nothing about building, rehabbing, or even painting. My wife and I purchased a three unit complex in City Heights in hopes that we could live in one unit and rent the other two to supplement the mortgage. The triplex that we picked seemed to bring in considerably higher rents per square foot in the listing reports than the other properties that we looked at. We toured the structure with our accepted offer and noticed that it was in need of some serious remodeling and pest control (roaches, yuck!) We knew that we were going to have to remodel each unit as tenants turned over. Even with no experience, I thought “how hard could it be?” Luckily, I have a father-in-law and brother-in-law who both had years of experience in the construction industry. With a little bit of ambition and a down payment, we purchased the property and moved in. Little did we know that the complex was previously run by a “slum lord” and the rents that were reported on the listing documents were overinflated and inconsistent. ROOMS were rented out instead of entire units (like an illegal hotel) and no leases existed. We learned a lot that year living in those units. We went through two eviction cases with San Diego Superior Court (and won due to nonpayment of rent) and witnessed a Sheriff’s lockout. That was not fun, and probably...