In every town you will find those who are both for and against teardowns. Those that support teardowns look at the value of the new property added to the town. That new property will generate higher taxes not only for that new house, but for the older homes in the area as well. Newer and more expensive properties will attract home buyers who have higher incomes and who will probably spend more money in the town. The actual teardown and building of a new structure will support jobs in the area and those workers will be spending money in the area.
For the owner, a teardown is an opportunity to build a new home, customized to the owner’s needs and wants, in an existing community. An existing community already has utilities, streets, and sidewalks installed so there will be no surprise tax levy for these items.
For the citizens who are living near the teardown it is another story. Beginning with the actual teardown, dust and chemicals are released into the air and settle on the surrounding property to be tracked into homes by pets and children. A teardown brings its own type of annoying noise, from the pounding of trucks to the crash of walls caving in to the incessant beeping of back-up horns. Living near a teardown is nerve-racking; living next door to one is pure torture.
After the mess of the teardown is carted away, then the horde of construction workers descends upon the neighborhood. No established city can have sufficient parking for this influx, so construction workers block driveways, park in no-parking zones, park on private property, and make it almost impossible for the residents to safely get in and out of their own homes. The offense to private property does not end with the parking. Construction debris is left on neighboring property, workers trample plants, and the mess spreads onto the sidewalk and streets.
After the new construction is finished, the new building may block the light or the view from other properties. Most common is the building called a McMansion, which is the tallest and widest home that can be put on one lot. It makes neighboring homes look like shacks. Additionally, having this brand-new, super-expensive mansion on the block will probably cause the tax base in the area to rise, translating into higher property taxes for the neighbors. If that weren’t enough, the destruction that the construction trucks leave behind usually includes damaged streets, sidewalks, and curbs, the repair of which will be charged to the residents who have had to endure this
Important things to check if you
are planning to do a teardown
• Local laws including fees, permits, fencing, signage, hours of operation, blocking of streets and sidewalks, delivery of heavy equipment, use of local police to direct traffic, how violations of rules are handled.
• Requirements on the hauling away of materials. What must be recycled. What can go in a land fill. Where material can be dumped and the cost of dumping.
• Any EPA requirements on carcinogens like asbestos released in the air (especially with older structures). Possible asbestos removal team required prior to teardown.
• County and state laws concerning teardowns, including fees and permits required by county and state.
• In regards to the construction company doing the work, the type of license required, safety measures required, and the
insurance it carries regarding injuries and property damage.