Melissa Sesma and her fiancé Cory Feldman had no idea what a Monolithic Dome was until they came across one listed for sale. The two had wanted to buy a house as an investment and originally looked near downtown San Diego, California. That area proved to be too expensive and they decided to look further outside the city.
That’s when they came across what is locally called “The Hobbit Hole,” a 25’ tall Monolithic Dome home located in a community known as the San Diego Country Estates near Ramona, California. The property had been on the market for eight months when they came across it and put in an offer, but did not get it. They were told a cash buyer was going to buy it, but when that fell through they bought it. “We ended up getting a good deal on it,” Sesma said.
They purchased the house in January. “We bought the house as-in and took it at face value,” Sesma said. “We understood that there was a lot to fix and work on it.” The family they bought it from had lived there for 20 years, and they bought it from the builder, making Melissa and Cory the third owners.
The property is on a 0.7 acre lot. The house has 2,300 square feet with 2.5 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms. The grounds include a pool with jacuzzi and a view of the nearby mountains. The rest the lot is on a slope and the driveway is uphill.
When they moved in, they knew there was some work to do and were alright with a unique home. “We thought it was very weird and different, but we’re very weird and different people,” Sesma stated. “It clicks with us.” One thing that needs to be fixed is a fountain inside around which the staircase is based. Plaster on the walls is peeling because of the humidity. They will fix and paint the walls. The home had some built-in benches which have already been removed by the couple due to pet urine of the previous owners.
Outside, the jacuzzi wasn’t working, which was added to the to-do list. The dome itself also has some sun blisters, where moisture has gotten underneath the stucco and the foam is sticking out. They are looking at different options for fixing, including metal cladding.
“There’s a lot of little things that we still need to work on,” Sesma said. Most of them, she reported, are minor cosmetic fixes. All of this is looking to the future of the couple and the house.
At first they thought of fixing it up and flipping the house pretty quickly. They changed their minds after they moved in. “We found we really like it,” Sesma said. They now plan to stay for awhile, around five or six years. Melissa has put the property on Airbnb, which may be complicated because the home is their primary residence, but will put it up for rent while they are on vacation. This will allow others to enjoy the home as they have.