Older homes that served our grandparents and parents well may appear poorly planned for today’s families. They tend to be smaller with narrow lots, closed-off kitchens, and fewer bathrooms and bedrooms. On the other hand, older homes tend to offer character and quality craftsmanship that is unmatched today. So, should you tear down an older home or remodel it?
First, choose the neighborhood. You’re buying the location, so it should meet as many of your household’s needs as possible – schools, transportation, entertainment and enrichment, medical care and shopping. It should have plenty of homes similar to the one you have in mind, including remodels and scrapped homes replaced by new construction.
Homes offered at “lot value” means that the structure offers no further value. This is a great candidate for a total remodel or teardown. If the lot is large enough, it can hold added square footage or a complete new home. But if the home has plaster moldings, stained-glass windows, all-wood stairs, and other artisan features, know that those things can’t be easily replaced today. You may want to preserve those unique elements and consider remodeling to complement the home’s original design.
Take your general contractor with you to see what needs to be brought up to date and if it’s more practical to remodel or rebuild. Like homes in like neighborhoods help determine and improve value, so don’t over-build or over-improve without similar comparable homes nearby to support your home’s value.