Trying To Fix A Mess…Creating A Bigger One

Just from the title, you should understand the point I’m trying to make when it comes to homes and real estate in general. In the latest article we discussed bringing up the value of a house by doing some work to it and then just flipping it for something else. In this article, I will talk about the dilemma we put ourselves in, when it comes to homes and residencies in general. That is deciding to either try and re-construct a messy home with a lot of damage done to it (like mold, water damage, holes in the wall etc) or destroying it and building it from scratch.

Basically let’s be honest with ourselves. The only dilemma is the the financial one: you aren’t sure if just renovating the place will be a good/wise decision versus demolishing it and building it up from scratch. Basically your main fear is that the new concrete and asbestos won’t stick to the building in the long run. Well turns out that according to the partner of a residential demolition company, demolishing something (like a residency) and building it up from scratch can turn out to be cheaper in the long run. The argument according to people like him, is that the kind of repairs you will need to do a renovated building within the next 10 years, will more than cover the expenses of demolition. Also, according to this “expert” demolition costs have gone down significantly compared to twenty years ago and it is actually more affordable nowadays.

Since I have spent my time in construction and this whole industry, let me give you my take on this. Obviously the demolition company will tell you to demolish the place, even if it’s new with no reason for a demolition. That is because they have great profit margins from this. I mean if you are a painter, won’t you suggest everyone re-paints their homes this year? It only makes sense if you want to stay in business. But all kidding aside, some times it actually is cheaper to demolish a building (or even do partial demolition to it) than trying to save the messy situation and build something new on top. It’s like trying to build on mud: it will last for some time, but sooner or later it will collapse down to its muddy foundation. It is only a matter of time. Now of course, I am not suggesting that your home will collapse necessarily. But if once in every few years you need to go in and support the foundations, then I don’t know that, that is a great alternative to deconstruction.

If you are going to do something do it right some people will suggest (and I agree.) But also don’t get hysterical: if it’s just an older building that can probably get re-painted and filled in, then absolutely do that. Keep in mind a couple of expenses you got with a demolition:

  1. The cost of demolition
  2. The cost to re-build

It’s not like you tear down the home and everything is fine. You will need to deal with new contractors, more expenses and whatever building a new home would cost you. So I mean you really need to make sure you are serious about it. Keep in mind there can be set backs and delays too, increasing your expenses. So you need to weigh all these factors in to make a decision. Basically the general rule of thumb is: if your building is so old that it almost needs a push to fall over, then you are in need of demolition. But if it will take a lot more damage to qualify it as good for demolition, then try just working out the current issues on the walls, the plumbing of it etc.

Was this helpful, please tells us! And as always, make sure you check for more informative posts that will help you in your real estate dealings.