Selling Your San Diego House in the Middle of a Renovation

by | Sep 9, 2016

Working in the home industry, there is at least one thing I know for a fact: no one has ever bought a home and said “I’m never going to change anything.” Every homeowner has a list of renovations they’d like to make… one day.

But renovations don’t always get done until people are ready to sell, because they think it is a good way to improve the value of your house and provide a solid return on investment. If you are thinking about selling in the booming San Diego market, where average home prices are among the highest in the country, you may be tempted to do some renovations first. An old bathroom could need some fixing up, and maybe the kitchen can use new cabinets and appliances to really appeal to the modern buyer. It’s tempting, and a lot of people feel that if they do it themselves, they’ll save money.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work out. Costs can overrun and eat up your budget, leaving a job half-finished. In San Diego, many people are deployed in the middle of a renovation and find themselves unable to sell due to the partial nature of the house. After all, while people like fixer-uppers, very few people like the idea of buying a house that someone else has started fixing and then stopped. For homeowners looking to sell, this can be a nightmare situation.

When your home is half done, and the money has run out, or you yourself have to leave in a hurry, it can turn into a spiral of debt. You are unable to sell the house before renovations are finished, but are unable to finish renovating, and so you are sitting on a house that you don’t want or need, and can no longer afford.

Luckily, if this is happening to you, you can sell your house direct, to a reputable buyer who will give you a fair price, and get you out quickly. This has happened to many people. If it happens to you, help is on the way.

Why Renovations Get Bogged Down

There are a lot of reasons why people in the middle of renovations suddenly realize they can’t finish. Even aside from deployment, we’ve seen people who were fixing up their homes to sell when they ran into some serious problems, such as:

• Costs went way overboard.

A kitchen renovation can cost $20,000 dollars to do the whole thing. A bathroom can run up to $10,000 (a luxury modern master bathroom? You might be looking at five times that). Even smaller-scale renovations with great ROI, like getting a new front or garage door, can be in the thousands of dollars. That’s right on a lot of wallets, but if you are already working on a budget, it can be incredibly tight.

Budgeting your renovation is extremely important, but costs can always skyrocket. Parts can get into short supply, and go up in price. You might not have planned for ripple effects, like how suddenly the old bathtub looks bad in a new bathroom, which can add costs. Heck, you might even mess something up and have to spend the time and money to fix it.

• Loss of a job.

The economy has been improving, but not across all sectors, and it is still a touch-and-go for a lot of people. San Diego, in particular, has an economy that is heavily dependent on logistics and shipping, so if a major shipper has a slight downturn, jobs could be lost, or drastically cut back, with little notice and less support.

If that happens in the middle of a renovation, you may not have the income to finish what you started, especially if you didn’t buy all the materials in advance (which is tough to do when working on a budget). If that is the case, you might be stuck with a house you can neither afford nor sell.

• Running out of time.

If you know you have to sell—say, for a movie or a job transfer—and want to renovate to increase the value, you have to finish in time to put the house on the market. Many people underestimate how long it will take them to finish a job, and then they have to be in another house or another city but are now left with a home that is unsellable. The timetable for the job might have been too optimistic, or their own personal timetable got pushed forward through no fault of their own. We’ve seen it both ways.

If any of this happens, you may have to sell quickly. It’s what happened to John, a SEAL stationed at Amphibious Base at Coronado.

Renovating When Deployment Comes Calling

Half of the house was just studs and no drywall—electrical, plumbing, trying to add a kitchen to a back unit, bathroom remodel. Made a mess of the electrical system.” -SYHD report on John’s home

SYHD renovation 4 SYHD renovation 5

John was doing a big renovation on his house in San Diego. It was a nice house, but when we first saw it, it looked like it was in a lot of trouble. The windows were boarded up—not because of crime or weather, but because they were part of the renovation work. The insides were all torn up. Drywall was gone, wires were running everywhere, and floorboards were missing. It was neither a “before” nor “after” home. It was clear that John knew what he was doing, but he simply ran out of time.

SYHD renovation 6He got deployment papers and needed to sell his house, but there was no way to finish the work in time. He would have liked to have stayed, having put over $30,000 into it, but that was impossible. And there was no way to sell, either. Most buyers would drive on by after seeing the boarded-up windows alone. Even if they stopped in, there was no way the house would have warranted serious consideration. It would have been very tough for John to recoup the costs, and he would have had to try to sell while overseas in a combat situation. It’s just about the only thing that could make selling an unwanted house even worse.

So John turned to us. It was a great lot, with great access, and John knew that he deserved a fair price for it, regardless of its current condition. He needed to find a buyer. He found the right one in Sell Your House Direct. In John’s words:

“SYHD has been one of the most professional and easiest to work with. When I first got the orders, I was looking to do a traditional sale and with that, it became a longer and drawn-out process. Marcel from SYHD contacted me and made the process extremely easy.


Marcel was probably the most courteous and professional person I’ve dealt with in the process and the offer that he gave me on my home was the best one that was presented to me because I had such a short timeline before I had to transfer overseas.


SYHD made the process extremely easy. Marcel was in constant contact and answered any questions I had and actually took a big load off my shoulders and made the process of moving a lot easier.”

SYHD renovation afterWhen you’re renovating, and get in over your head, or lose your source of income, or you suddenly have to leave, you might think there are no good options. A short sale that doesn’t come close to recouping your losses or the worth of your home. Struggling to finish while holding onto a property you already can’t afford. Sticking it out and hoping for good luck.

But with Sell Your House Direct you can, like John, get a fair price and have the weight of the world lifted off your shoulders. You may not have been able to renovate your home. But you can still change your life. Reach out to us today to find out how.

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