The Biggest Loser -- San Diego's Largest Foreclosure

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The Vivienda Estate, built for over $11 Million dollars in 2006, was foreclosed upon. There were no bidders for the 17 bedroom, 9 bath, 16,330 square foot home at the $2.275 asking price. This home is currently the largest San Diego foreclosure. HouseRebate.com anticipates this home to be available for sale in the coming weeks.

Vivienda Estate

Olivenhain is certainly no stranger to mini-mansions with currently over 16 homes offered for sale for over $2 million dollars. This 16,330 square foot home would be a bargain for the right homeowner with a large family.

When the opening bid of $2.275 million was announced on at the San Diego foreclosure auction on Friday, February 13, 2009, it was a fair bet that someone enterprising millionaire would snatch up the "Vivienda Estate" but HouseRebate.com has learned through Surf Foreclosures that there were no takers. The 17 bedroom, 9 bath, 16,330 square foot home at 3225 Fortuna Ranch in Encinitas, CA 92024 might have been a vacation retreat, residence for a family of 14 or more or a corporate getaway; instead it went down in the record books as one of San Diego's largest foreclosures and San Diego's biggest loser.

Originally constructed to be a healing and detox center finished in March 2006, Vivienda's previous real estate agent says that Suzy Brown and other investors sunk more than $11 million into construction and finishes.

The property faced anger from neighbors throughout the permitting process despite its energy efficient profile. Local residents complained that it ruined the rural feel of Olivenhain (part of Encinitas) and formed a nonprofit to sue Brown and her co-investors. Zoning issues were bandied back and forth over what was called "the monster house" as the investors tried to generate income from weddings and business retreats--the home's commercial kitchen and beautiful pool made it an ideal spot.

The "spirit of the neighborhood" was called into question and Brown's original plans for the facility went the way of most detox efforts. Vivienda never opened as a rehab center due to zoning restrictions and failed to raise enough revenue from events causing the owners to default on their mortgage in late 2007. According to Brian Yui, CEO of HouseRebate.com and San Diego's foreclosure expert, "Olivenhain is certainly no stranger to mini-mansions with currently over 16 homes offered for sale for over $2 million dollars. This 16,330 square foot home would be a bargain for the right homeowner with a large family."

Still, the mansion at 3225 Fortuna Ranch that had been the source of such great hope and so many hotly contested arguments was on the auction block. HouseRebate.com predicts that it may take several weeks before the bank markets it for sale.

Suzy Brown, her co-investors and lender are yet more victims of San Diego's turbulent real estate market, just on a larger scale. After all, there are countless homes in San Diego in foreclosure, from one bedroom condos to the "monster house." If you're in the market for something grand, keep an eye out to see when the bank lists Vivienda for sale. For foreclosures of any size or price, check the San Diego foreclosure home list, which serves as San Diego's premiere source of foreclosures. With an expert staff, HouseRebate.com lists foreclosures big and small and stands ready to help buyers take advantage of the market flooded with San Diego bank owned properties.

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Tracy Stevens

Brian Yui
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