New Houses Are Now "Buy One Get One Free" In San Diego

Michael Crews Development has a proposition for you. If you buy one of his $1.6 million-and-up, 2-acre estate homes in the San Pasqual Valley, he’ll toss in a four-bedroom row home for free!

The San Diego Union Tribune asked the company what they were thinking:

“We want to reduce our inventory,” Connal says. “We’re prepared to bite the bullet. … Right now, every builder I know is selling houses at less than it costs to build them.”

Connal insists the sales prices are legitimate. The first few row homes sold for about $540,000. The market subsequently went south, and the price dropped to $400,000. Several of the 2-acre estate homes closed escrow for between $1.6 million and $1.8 million.

Apparently, they’ve only gotten one offer — but instead of a BOGO, the buyer wants to trade his current house toward one of Michael Crews’. They’re thinking it over.

Buy $1.6 million estate, get a row home for free [SDUT]
Buy One Get One Free [Austen Real Estate Blog]
Michael Crews


Edit Your Comment

  1. That expensive house is like an architectural and landscaping trainwreck. No wonder.

  2. Angryrider says:

    If I had the cash, I’d jump on the deal. And rent out the house to a middle to lower income family, ruining the upscale neighborhood in the process.

  3. Truvill says:

    *sigh* too bad I plan to move up north instead. While I can go for this (barely though), I simply do not have family down here as much as I do in the Bay Area.

  4. Tylas says:

    From the looks of the pictures, I would rather live in the row home anyway. That house is fugly! And the lawn looks like astroturf.

  5. fordpickup says:

    The early 80’s called, it wants its fug house back.

  6. my gf’s parents have been talking about pursuing this… I don’t think it’s really worth it considering one can by 3 houses, if they aren’t too picky, in the OC/IE areas for the money of the oft-described, fugly house

  7. bjarmson says:

    Checked the websites listed, not much info. Promo ended 5/31, so don’t get too excited. The McMansion is in a gated community and has a swimming pool (which will probably be legislated into a concrete hole in the ground, if water problems crop up) and an RV garage (I though RVs have been on the downturn for 10+ years now). From the picture the McMansion is the standard eclectic ugly place developers have been pushing on the upper middle class for years now (8000 sq. ft., loft ceilings, bedrooms the size of most peoples houses, etc, etc). Let’s hope a lot of these clueless, tasteless developers bit the dust during the downturn.

  8. Nytmare says:

    You could name your large, main house Earnest and your small, auxiliary house Zippy.

  9. dmolavi says:

    those aren’t real rowhomes. real rowhomes are in south philly :)

  10. Lokisince89 says:

    Could you do this, live in the “free” house and default on the expensive one?

  11. sir_eccles says:

    @Lokisince89: Interesting idea.

    I’m guessing there is something tricky in the small print that somehow links the two titles. I’m no lawyer, but I would guess that the second house isn’t strictly free as there would have to be some consideration on exchange of contract. You would need to make sure it was a totally separate transaction from the McMansion transaction otherwise the bank would be able to choose what to reposses.

  12. Gann says:

    “Buy on get one free” = “You don’t want or need this”

  13. spinachdip says:

    @Angryrider: That’s what urban homeowners do already, sort of. They’d buy a multi-family brownstone or rowhouse, live in one unit and rent out the others. If you had the money (and actually wanted to live in those ugly ass houses), that’s what you would do, obviously, but I wonder if there’s some stupid neighborhood association that restricts the sort of people they’d let in.

  14. Tmoney02 says:

    “those aren’t real rowhomes. real rowhomes are in south philly :)”

    Don’t Forget DC!

  15. amightywind says:


    the real rowhouses are in south, west and east baltimore

  16. Elvisisdead says:

    @dmolavi: Say mid-Atlantic and call it done. Covers Philly to DC. Murland counts, too. Fear da tur-doe.

  17. If you can’t stand in the middle of your rowhome and touch both of the side walls, then chances are pretty good it’s not a “real” rowhome. This looks like a townhome to me.

  18. mudge says:

    Other than the fugly designs of these houses or maybe because of the design this kind of house has an icy aura. I particularly like the usual f-me tubs they have in the master bedroom suite. You know the ones with the huge picture window coming down to the tub rim. What a view, particularly since the people who can afford these McMansions are usually old. What a treat (barf) next door–it would be enough to put you off your food. I’d take the small one anytime.

  19. Wow, that house is fugly. Good luck selling those, even with your whole BOGO thing.

  20. pixiegirl1 says:

    Awww if I only had 1.6 mil laying around I’d buy. . . just think of all the opportunities you can have like paying twice as many taxes, having twice as many utilities to pay for, and the list goes on! I’m so tired of having only 1 of everything.

    I think the second home is a “California style” row home, lol.

  21. stinerman says:


    Hells yes. I’ve thought of doing that once I’ve saved enough for a down payment.

    I don’t care what my house looks like. It’s not an ATM, nor is it any sort of investment. It’s a place to keep my junk and me shielded from the elements.

    You can usually rent out a unit for what the mortgage payment is. To me, that’s a no brainer. And if the tenants are noisy … evict them.

  22. robkonz1 says:

    Rowhomes are in Northeast Philly too. Those houses in the pictures arent even connected.

  23. TangDrinker says:

    I’ve seen this deal with KIAs before. Didn’t think the buy one wind up crappy car get one free deal would translate into real estate, but I guess anything goes…

  24. petrarch1608 says:

    we are not in a recession, why is consumerist always trying to make us feel bad?

  25. Dakine says:

    REAL row homes are in San Francisco.

  26. u1itn0w2day says:

    Double Trouble:2 tax bills,2 insurance policies and 2 houses to maintain.

    But you can rent or sell the second house.Basically you should consider what is the total price for you.Would you really make that much renting or selling if the 2 for 1 is still at the high end of your price range.Wether you get one or two houses there are still obligations like the MORTGAGE.

    If you pay 500K for a house that’s worth 400K and the comps are even lower do you really’d have to fire sale the 2nd house to really make out.

    I’d look at this 2 for 1 just like any other 2 for 1,which you frequently see at the supermarket where it’s NOT 50% off it’s just 30% off.2 for 1 every assumes 50% off.

  27. ems97219 says:

    Oh, geeze!

    Only a good idea if: 1) you were really, realy willing to be a landlord- and boy, what fun that could be! The marketing, the upkeep, the taxes and insurance! Yay! Of course, you would have to plan to do this for at least ten years, if not more. Not so yay!
    2) If you were a part a well to do extended family. If you have say about 4-5 adults making $350K a year this could be a way for the family to have two homes and plenty of space. From my Carribean family and friends, this would be great. Unfortunately, I don’t that even ten of us make more $500K a year!

  28. TheConsumer says:

    I think an “invest in a 5-sided cardboard box, get a trash can free” would go over better in a homeless community.

    People don’t need two houses. That’s like saying “Honey, let’s move! We can rent out our current house, buy this overpriced ugly one and take out a second mortgage on that AND _HONEY_ listen to this! Rent out the FREE ONE!”

    *engaging aneurysm mechanism*

    People already have enough on their minds.

  29. iguanoid says:

    I think I would say, “No thanks, how about you just chop off $400,000 off the $1.2M house. Duh”

  30. civicmon says:

    That area is BARELY San Diego.. it’s on the northern fringe of the county on the traffic-choked I-15.

    Have fun with those houses.