So I’m out here in San Diego taking a week or so off as a post-graduation celebration. I’m flipping through iPhoto looking at photos from the past year and realize I how much that I haven’t shared in my blog. This is a fun one…

Late last fall I discovered an unfinished contemporary house near Camelback Mountain near Paradise Valley. I was immediately curious about the home. Based on the weathered construction materials, the house’s exterior looked as if it hadn’t been touched in about a year.

After doing some research, I discovered that the home was in foreclosure and would go up for public auction late in the winter.  It appears as though the property was purchased at the top of the Real Estate bubble and the new owner decided to do an elaborate reconstruction to convert the traditional ranch home into a modern house. My guess is that he got discouraged with each month—he was pouring out tons of money during construction, all the while the housing market was crashing down around him. So he stopped making his payments and walked away. He left behind his half-finished dream. A dream that few people could understand.

Could this be my next house? I explored the property and made note of what was left to be finished. After running the numbers, I knew what price-point I’d have to get the house to make it a sound investment.

What it could become? I imagined a two-story extension (left) to balance out the imposing volume of the 3-car garage (right)

I was discouraged the week leading up to the auction when the bank released a very high starting bid for the property. It didn’t make sense for me to go to the auction if the bank was convinced it needed to make that much to make up for their loss.  I expected the home to go up on the block and not get any bids. Then a month later, the bank would adjust the price down and put it up for auction again. Maybe then I could pick it up?

Long story short: someone paid top-dollar for the home. I have no idea how the new owners could possibly finish the project as a strong investment. I wish them the best. Honestly, shortly after the first auction I got caught up in the business of graduate school and other investments. Although the dream never materialized, it was still a lot of fun.