There are three key factors you need to consider before you decide to remodel, teardown and/or build from scratch a Single-Family Residence. These three factors are: Time, Money and Desires.
Remodel or teardown a house? This question is often asked, by many people, including some novice developers. Every time I am asked this very important question, I have a couple short, but simple answers to this question. If you want to do it cheaper the answer is: remodel. Now if you want to do it right then tear it down and rebuild it new to today’s current code.
To help the potential buyer with this dilemma, I have a few questions. One of course is how much time do they have to achieve their goal? This question is very critical to understand. Since here in Los Angeles the approval process moves like molasses. Hence, this point needs to be considered. In my opinion everyone needs to consider” Time” as the most important determiner as to what route to take. The approval process for a remodel is a great deal shorter than the approval process to start from scratch. Now, not wanting to add hillside into the mix that will extend the time even longer.
One also needs to have realistic expectation of the costs that are involved to “remodel” or “build from scratch”. The simple answer is remodeling is a great deal less costly than to build from scratch.
Now the most intangible aspect is one’s “desire”, this of course you will need to consider. Do you want a finished brand-new home that is to current code and has all the bells and whistles? Is there enough time allocated for this to happen? Is there enough money for this to be achieved? If the answer is yes to all these concerns then it is easy, Build a new home from scratch.
On the other hand, if Time and Money are more important than one needs to sacrifice and give up on all the “bells and whistles” and let your desires take a back seat.
Not wanting to discourage you, I have seen some great homes that looked brand new but they were remodels. How is that possible? The answer is simple: the home owner used a good architect and made the home look brand new but maintained the structure of the original home including the foundation.
I have also seen where developers took shortcuts and called it a “remodel” for building approval purposes. Now if you look at my illustration photos you will see my point. Is this a hybrid? Or is this taking advantage of the loopholes with the building department?
The above three factors will determine if you should Remodel or Teardown a House. Hope this helps. Now if you are considering buying a fixer or teardown in the greater Los Angeles area, please reach out to me directly.
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