Home Buying in San Diego>Question Details

Fred Posner, Home Buyer in San Diego, CA

Building/Constructing a Home in San Diego

Asked by Fred Posner, San Diego, CA Tue Feb 3, 2009

Hello everyone. I am not sure if this is the appropriate forum to address my question, but I would greatly appreciate any answers or guidance. My uncle recently passed away and willed me a piece of residential land in San Diego (near Ocean Beach). It has a pretty good view of the water, and I was thinking about possibly building on it. However, I am obviously at the early stages of this thought process, as I just recently found out about this piece of land. Essentially, I'm curious to know how much it would cost to build (price per square foot). I recognize it entirely depends on the materials, etc, but would very much appreciate any rough estimates or guidance on what the going rate is in San Diego. I believe commodity prices have been falling lately w/ the economy, so I'm hoping this drop will benefit me if I were to build.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Fred,

Let me know when you are ready to talk. You can contact me via e-mail through this site.

Take care,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
As of October 2008 the cost to build in San Diego County is approximately $220-$350 per square foot for a quality custom home. My information from many Rancho Bernardo homeowners I know personally in my area who lost their homes in the 2007 WitchCreek Fire and also from RB United. Don't forget to include additional costs for a potential specialized architect if the lot is on a slope, hill etc.. There may also be height and view restrictions on building you will want to consider. Good luck, it will be an adventure!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009
Hi David,

On the contrary, the person I recommended to Fred is affordable, cares and has integrity. I have known him for over 10 years and have the experience to speak from as I have represented him in multiple purchases, builds and rebuilds.

While we all have bad experiences in life, I feel the purpose of them is to learn from them and move forward. I appreciate your concerns and your skepticism.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009
Mark, you got a lot of hidden "What If's" in there.... but I would agree with you in theory that if you had a great builder that can make it worthwhile. Unfortunately, ussually those "Great Builders" charge a "Premium" for being so "Great" as you say and charge agregious amounts. Hmm like over $350 a sq ft to build or more...

So Yes! If you can afford to pay for the "Best" you should expect the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009
Hi David,

I do understand where you are coming from. Most people's experience is based on the builder they use, how well the builder manages the budget and making sure the expectations are real from the beginning. A project that comes in on time, on budget and is what you set out to accomplish is rewarding. A great builder makes it a great experience. I have gone through the process as well and completely enjoyed it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009
Mark, I have been thru the building process before and on more than one occasion. What is so "Great" about building today?

Im just curious to hear your response
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009
Thanks, Mark. He actually sounds like an ideal person to speak with. Let me gather more informal information (i.e., posting on Trulia, speaking w/ friends, etc), and then when I'm further along in my thinking, I will let you know. Thanks again. Fred.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009
Just sell it instead. You will maintain your sanity for alot longer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009
Dear Fred,

Our company represents an independent builder in San Diego who has a 22 year back ground in Real Estate development. He was the President of the Builder Industry of America (BIA) in San Diego in 2005. He has built over 5,000 homes in California during his career. If you are interested in talking with someone who is a consummate expert in the home building industry, we would be glad to send you his information.

He is knowledgeable, affordable and is a true professional. He has vast experience in zoning, etc. He can also assist you with finding construction financing as there are two banks who handle his business.

Let us know if we can connect the two of you,

Mark and Kari Shea
San Diego Real Estate Professionals
REO, Investment, Buying and Selling Real Estate
Web Reference: http://shea-realestate.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009
The first order of things is researching with the city zoning and building requirements. Then move on by contacting a local architect and or builder, explain your concepts and requirements. They will be able to tell you more specifically what kind of cost you can expect based on the design, materials, time frames, etc... You also need to contact your lender to ascertain how to finance the construction of the property. Check with a local real estate professional valuation in the vicinity as you would not want to overbuild with regards to the surroundings. It would be quite exciting if you considered green architecture for whatever you decide to build. It will not only allow you to enjoy the environmental and cost benefits which this design approach entails but will also create added value and uniqueness to your property. Check out any incentives available for green design and building.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 3, 2009
Sorry I meant to say Ocean Beach!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 3, 2009
Dear Fred,

Good luck on finding a builder still in business, but with that said if you do there are plenty of subs looking for work. Pacific Beach is kinda a funky area of San Diego, and may have multi-family zoning, so you should check on that status. You are correct in costs depending on what level and complexity of construction, but I would imagine you could get something around $150 - $200 per square feet in real basic construction.

Be careful not to overbuild for the neighborhood.

Best regards, Jeff
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 3, 2009
Advice: talk to someone who has built. It is an intensive process that you will have to be committed to. Very stressful, but very rewarding if done right. You can expect to be in the range of $225-$250/ sq ft, though you are right, it can vary greatly depending on the materials you use.
Web Reference: http://www.nuvilla.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 3, 2009
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