San Diego Real Estate Broker Specializes In BACKYARD HOME Properties

San Diego Real Estate Broker




Granny flat? Backyard Home? Garage Apartment? Pool Cabana? Would you like to find a property that already has an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) aka GRANNY FLAT on it? Or are  you looking for a property you could build one on?


Well, look no further. There is now a San Diego based real estate broker that can peel back all the layers on the onion in one felt swoop. TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments, also a licensed General & Manufactured Home Contractor, Manufactured Home Dealer, Developer, Property Management and Investment company headquartered in Leucadia and Vista. TAG will provide you with a one stop, turnkey solution


Since the new State Laws were enacted in January, 2017 the BACKYARD HOME industry has gone from a cottage industry (pun intended) to a major growth industry. Property/homeowners, buyers, sellers, real estate professionals investors and myriad industry stakeholders are clamoring to find experienced professionals to deliver all the services needed to facilitate the purchase of a suitable property; Then be able to design, build and or install it. 


There are so many hoops to jump through it becomes a time consuming if not overwhelming, frustrating often very unpleasant experience for many folks
going down this path. Here's why. First you must:

  • Find an experienced Real Estate Professional to locate a suitable property that meets the necessary criteria for an ADU or JADU.
  • Or find a suitable property that already has a detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on it.
  • Or a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) already built out within the existing footprint of the primary residence.
  • Or add additional contiguous space onto the existing footprint of the primary residence. 
  • Or if an ADU or JADU already exists you need to determine if it was ever permitted and if not how many hoops you will have to jump through and how much it will cost to make it a legal, conforming and code compliant addition to your property.


  • Find a property/s that meets both your criteria and the required criteria to design and build your BACKYARD HOME.
  • Have a survey performed to assure not assume the property boundaries, setbacks, easements and encroachments.
  • Hire a soils engineer to determine geological suitability and site prep requirements.
  • Hire a civil engineer to determine design criteria.
  • Hire a structural engineer to calc out and verify design criteria.

OK, so now you've found and purchased the dirt. What's next? 

  • You need to commission an architect to design your BACKYARD HOME or
  • Hire a design/build contractor to design and build it. (Recommended) or
  • Choose a factory built solution and manufactured home dealer and contractor. (Highly recommended for a variety of reasons)


So now after several weeks if not months you've finally have a plan and are ready to proceed to the permit counter.


Here come the real challenges:

  • Selecting a properly licensed, bonded, insured and experienced BACKYARD HOME general contractor or
  • have already hired a design and build contractor to design, build and manage the entire project. 


Your design should include a

Full set plans & specifications including working drawings including

  1. Plot plan
  2. Plan view (below)

3. Elevations (below)


4. Details 

5. Shop drawings when required

6. Notes

7. Addendum

8. Change orders


Or have selected and submitted your plans for a factory built option that will allow you to have the entire home built in an environmentally controlled indoor facility with kiln dried lumber and state-of-the-art building materials, features, options and upgrades.


Finally comes the most important phase of the project. This is where it can get a bit challenging. Folks can become very surprised if not discouraged by not having all their ducks in a row. These are the hoops you will now need to jump threw and the costs that can make you a happy BACKYARD HOME owner or not and your contractor a success or failure.


  • Permits
  • Site preparation
  • Grading & excavation
  • Utilities
  • Retrofitting
  • Construction
  • Management
  • Payment


Most importantly be sure your contractor has had ample experience plunking down a new structure in the middle of a bunch of existing utilities that are connected to your existing



home and have to be trenched and connected to your BACKYARD HOME. Depending on the age of the property they could be old and/or in need of repair, replacement and/or upgrading

  • Sewer
  • water
  • gas
  • Power

These utilities, depending on the age of the existing utility grid, could be close to or if not in a state of disrepair and/or in need of a drastic retrofit and upgrading face lift. This can and has been a catastrophic experience for many property/homeowners as well as their contractors. It can, will and does make or brake a project.


Finally, you may even want to consider going:

  • Off grid design
  • Green & Leeds compliant


TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments can carry the ball every step of the way and make your experience a seamless and enjoyable adventure. We invite you to log onto CREST 'BACKYARD' HOMES and explore our space. Be sure to fill out the "Tell Us About Your Project" form at the bottom of every page and we will reply within 24 hours.


We also invite you to download our CREST 'BACKYARD' HOME GUIDE. This easy to read 8 step GUIDE will walk you through every step you need and could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in needless consulting and contractor fees. 



760 815-6977

Why To Choose Us?

John DL Arenden, Broker 

TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments

TAG (The Arendsen Group) Real Estate Sales & Investments is a full service, one-stop, turnkey, family owned and operated real estate brokerage, General Contractor, Manufactured Home Contractor, Developer, Investor, Property Manager, Interior Design, Engineering, architectural, Landscape design, Expert Witness, Consulting, Curative Title and Troubleshooting company with over 100 years of combined experience in the San Diego real estate sales, construction, design & development arena.





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Comment balloon 8 commentsJohn DL Arendsen • June 23 2019 12:16AM


I visited the home of a friend several days ago.  They had a great little granny dwelling in the back.  They were currently using it as a home office.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 1 year ago

Good morning John. The ADU issue is certainly growing in California. The rest of us are watching. Enjoy your day 

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 1 year ago

Lot's of folks are using them as an office Myrl Jeffcoat In fact I too am looking for a retail space where I could install a Manufactured ADU to use as a combination furniashed office and retail sales location.

Posted by John DL Arendsen, Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor (CREST BACKYARD HOMES, ON THE LEVEL GENERAL & FACTORY BUILT HOME CONTRACTOR, TAG REAL ESTATE SALES & INVESTMENTS) over 1 year ago

I haven't seen a growth spurt in the construction like this since the F&F boom started in '08 Wayne Martin 

Posted by John DL Arendsen, Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor (CREST BACKYARD HOMES, ON THE LEVEL GENERAL & FACTORY BUILT HOME CONTRACTOR, TAG REAL ESTATE SALES & INVESTMENTS) over 1 year ago

John DL Arendsen - Thank you for showing us how useful and fun a backyard home can be to the enjoyment of the owners. Your drawings are excellent and the concept can be as creative as people want! I am going to re-blog this post of yours, directing others to leave comments on your post, not mine, in hopes you get more exposure and hopeful an AR FEATURE too!

I'm delighted to see you are a part of ActiveRain! Welcome!

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) about 1 year ago

Good morning, John DL Arendsen I love that concept.... and, at some point, we will see that concept acceptable in our town.... and I'll own one a property that one of my children owns.... I'd love it and they could eventually use it as a cabana for the pool area....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired ) about 1 year ago

Hi Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP Sorry I'm late to the party on replying to your kind and generous comment. For some reason I just received this on Pinterest. Strange. Thank you so much for passing this along.


Hi Barbara Todaro I just received this on Pinterest and don't recall ever getting it on AR. I would have immediately replied. Hope all is well in your world and thanks for stopping by. Always great hearing from you.