How Can You Tell A Knockdown Home Versus A Renovation Project?

By | April 17, 2017
luxury living in New York's Hamptons

Source: The New York Times/Peter Murdock

For prospective home buyers, gauging whether a potential home represents a knockdown and rebuild or a renovation project can often be an extremely personal decision!

In other words, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!’

For some an existing home is ‘livable’ as-is by making some minor improvements such as new carpet and paint. For others that same home might need to be completely renovated before moving in and therefore cheaper to tear-down and start over from the ground up.

Walking the dogs around the neighborhood I live in, my wife and I will often pass a house and wonder which one of the above scenarios it might fall under if and when it is sold.

Typically a complete teardown will (should) be priced right around the value of the land that it sits on. When a home languishes on the market for a long time, it will likely be that the sellers are not being realistic about the fact that their home falls into this category.

And Then There’s Long Island’s Hamptons!

A second home destination for many of the wealthiest individuals and families living in and around New York City, the definition of what constitutes a teardown in ordinary neighborhoods is apparently getting turned on its head in the wealthiest enclaves of the Hamptons!

In-other-words when vacant land is scarce and money is no object…

…To make room for the 11,600-square-foot house that James Michael Howard, a developer and interior designer, finished earlier this month in Bridgehampton, he first had to tear down the four-bedroom, three-bath 1980 house on its 1.1-acre lot. Mr. Howard paid $3.7 million for the shingle-style house, formerly owned by the “Manchester by the Sea” director Kenneth Lonergan and his wife, J. Smith-Cameron, and built the larger home on speculation…

Read more about this subject in the article from The New York Times…

Razing the Hamptons‘ By Marcelle Sussman Fischler

New development in the Hamptons used to conjure up images of lavish houses popping up in the middle of potato fields. But as more farms and vacant land are being preserved as open space, ever fewer lots are available to build new homes. And with soaring land values, coveted beachfront locations already built on and surging demand for new and bigger houses with copious amenities, teardowns in the area have become more pervasive than ever.

But what qualifies as a teardown on the South Fork might raise eyebrows elsewhere.

To make room for the 11,600-square-foot house that James Michael Howard, a developer and interior designer, finished earlier this month in Bridgehampton, he first had to tear down the four-bedroom, three-bath 1980 house on its 1.1-acre lot. Mr. Howard paid $3.7 million for the shingle-style house, formerly owned by the “Manchester by the Sea” director Kenneth Lonergan and his wife, J. Smith-Cameron, and built the larger home on speculation.

The fanciful new seven-bedroom, nine-bath house that Mr. Howard designed, in collaboration with the architects Bobby McAlpine and Greg Tankersley, has 30-foot ceilings with exposed beams, a breakfast nook that seats 10, a 16-seat lower-level theater, a heated in-ground pool and a pool house. Art-filled and fully furnished — down to the candlesticks in the dining room and the books on the cocktail tables — it is on the market for $11,950,000.

Older houses “don’t have the atmosphere people are looking for today and don’t have the light,” Mr. Howard said. “Ceilings are low; windows are small.” The newer Hamptons houses have more air, more light, more space and more volume, he added, with “quick and easy access to the outside and a lot of seating areas inside and outside.”

Gary DePersia, an associate broker with the Corcoran Group, who counts Mr. Howard’s house as one of nine among his 27 new construction listings built on the sites of teardowns, said, “With the towns buying up open space, that diminishes further the available vacant lots, making teardowns even more viable and important for those who want to build a house.”

Builders of these so-called spec houses “tear down a relatively nice house — that in some parts of the country is a beautiful house — to build their masterpiece house,” said Cody Vichinsky, co-founder of Bespoke Real Estate, an agency based in Water Mill that deals exclusively in $10 million-plus properties.

Some multimillion-dollar homes constructed as recently as 2006 now face the wrecking ball. “Waterfront or oceanfront or Triple-A big plots of land — people pay premiums to have a select piece of dirt,” Mr. Vichinsky said, “because it is the canvas for their vision.”

Read the rest of the article here.

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