Profile picture for Jerzey Shore

Is it better to leave an older home on valuable property or remove it and sell as empty lot?

Our 60-year old house is assessed a 70K and the property at 1.3M, in an area where such older homes are typically sold as tear-downs.  We are wondering if it would be easier to move the property if we demolished the house and cleared the land of the half-dozen trees  that are on it, or if it doesn't really matter.  
  • September 15 2011 - Brigantine
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Answers (12)

Profile picture for TopNJAgent

I would amplify the advice received to talk to local agents about the advantages of keeping the structure in place so the Buyer has the option to work with it or tear it down.

  • October 21 2011
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Profile picture for Billy Jalbert
I'm late to the party, but I concur with those who said that you ought to speak to local agents.  A few things to know.  1.  The may be specific issues with respect to demolition due to lead-based paint and other toxic materials used when the home was originally built.  2.  There may be issues with footprint, setbacks etc. if the area has more stringent rules than used to be in place when the home was built.  3.  As many mentioned, there may be some value to a prospective buyer from a financing contingency or as mentioned directly above from a footprint standpoint.  Good luck!
  • September 29 2011
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We live in an age where it's hard for people to see past what's put in front of them.   That's why we stage homes... that's why we have Rooms to Go.... no muss, no fuss... people can see just how that sofa goes with that armchair and coffee table.  My philosophy is you can tell them all day long they can knock down the house, but ask yourself it the lot would look better showing off its natural beauty without the house.  The cost for demo should be pretty reasonable. 
  • September 26 2011
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It is really hard to say without knowing the town and neighborhood your talking about first. Like the others have said contact a local agent to find the best course of action. But speaking just generally I wouldn't tear down anything.
  • September 26 2011
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If you demolish the house my friend you will removed an option that a potential buyer may have wanted and at the same time you will have to foot the bill for the demo work etc, so I'd suggest you make an appointment with 2/3 local Realtors® and move forward from there. All the best, Chris
  • September 20 2011
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There may be financial value to the new owners in having a "remodel" to work on vs. new construction based on permit issues (even if they just leave one small wall up).

Talk to a local broker, but most likely, leave it there.
  • September 20 2011
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Do not tear down the house!! Why go to the expense? But the real issue is it will be much harder to finance an empty lot than a house, even if it is a tear down. Many developers may try to get a purchase loan and it will e a lot easier to get a home loan than a vacant lot loan (if they even exist today!). 
  • September 20 2011
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
Your house has some value. Why spend money to tear it down and remove that value? If a developer wants the land they would pay what they must for the lot house price included. You might find someone who wants that old house on that lot.
  • September 15 2011
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Before you do anything I would call a couple of full time Realtors who specialize in your neighborhood.  Ask friends/family for referrals.  Best of luck!
  • September 15 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
If you knock down the house, remember that mature trees can add considerable value.
  • September 15 2011
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A lot of times the the property is marketed as is @ market value and the house is listed as a tear-down with no value in the sale. Would you get more money if you demo'd and cleared the brush? Or would you get the same amount a just be out of pocket with these costs?  I would market as is at the market rate and work out something with the buyer to go towards the demo and brush work (if needed). This way you won't be out of pocket upfront. Get in contact with a local realtor who sold property surrounding you.

  • September 15 2011
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I would suggest interviewing and asking 3 Realtors to do CMAs on it both ways, maybe follow it up with an appraisal or 2.
  • September 15 2011
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