|JIM WOODS DREAMT of own-ing a large country property that also came with an ocean view. Easier imagined than procured, especially during the last de-cade's go-go, boom years of real estate.
The president of L.H. Woods & Sons (a general engineering contract company) was ready to move from Fallbrook back in 2000.
"But that was back during the boom, when every listing was gobbled up in seven days," says Woods.
He found a 1.4-acre plot of land for sale above Cardiff. It was a pile of dirt, but when he stood atop it he could see white water in the Pacific.
He made an offer, but was too late. Nearly half a year later, though, he noticed that the tech executive who'd beaten him to the punch was changing job locations. Woods put in another bid, and this time he (literally) hit pay dirt.
For a variety of reasons, construction on the home didn't start until 2008. Woods finally moved in on February 4, 2011, a date he remembers distinctly because it's his birthday.
"The ultimate goal was to have a country home unique to the area," says Woods. "We're a close drive to Cardiff. And I didn't want to be cramped, so I have the ability to store a lot of things. It's a relatively large home, but it doesn't feel large when you live here."
The total project is 12,000 square feet under roof. The home is divided into different quadrants. The main living area is 7,800 square feet. There's also a 1,200-square-foot structure that can house an RV and lots of other mechanical, big-boy toys; a garage (1,000 square feet); and a 750-square-foot guesthouse.
Woods made the decision not to cut any corners during the build out. He hired architect Paul Olson. "He's extremely talented, but his designs are not cost effective," says Woods. "They're artistic designs; he does all his architectural drawings by hand."