Why is this house being bulldozed?

While it might seem wasteful to some to buy a house only to tear it down, it’s not an uncommon reality in classic neighborhoods with higher property values. Since vacant land is scarce in well established areas like East Sacramento and Land Park, some buyers will purchase a smaller outdated house, demolish it (sometimes the foundation or fireplace is kept intact) and then rebuild a much larger home.

Win a $5 Starbucks Card:  It’s obvious what’s happening in this photo, but put on your creative thinking cap and come up with an alternate reason why this house is being torn down. I’ll send a $5 Starbucks gift card to my favorite comment below.

House being torn down in East Sacramento - photo by Realtor Chris Little

Thank you to Chris Little, 2013 President of the Sacramento Association of Realtors, for letting me share this photo. He posted it on Facebook recently, and I thought it was perfect to share. Some pictures really help illustrate the market.

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Comments

  1. Keith Klassen says

    Ryan – It’s clear that there were squirrels in the attic. The owner use to lay in bed, night after night, thinking, “How can I destroy those pesky squirrels, they’re driving me nuts?!?!” Finally the answer came in a dream… he met a wise hermit in a cave who said in a shaky voice, “Son… hire a Aherm, Kobelco – that will take care of your problem.” The owner actually wrote down this strange name and Googled it immediately. Two hours later, the photo you posted, was taken and the rest is history. No more squirrels. The sad and strange thing was… the very next night, the home owner met the hermit in another dream. The hermit said, “My son, come close to me and listen… listen very closely… I don’t know how you got Aherm Kobelco from, ‘hire an exterminator co.’? Maybe it was the cricket lodged in my my throat from my dinner?”

  2. Erin Maclean says

    This is really pissing me off. It’s happening all over east Sac. What this lovely little cottage on 47th St will likely be replaced with is a big, fat, ugly house that overshadows the neighborhood. Did I mention the cheap ass quality that the others I have seen go up have? What happened to the Historical designation this area has? These new houses belong in the suburbs, not here. Ugh. I saw the new construction going on this lot today and it really depressed me.

    • says

      Erin, I really appreciate your perspective. I know you’re not alone either. I’d be curious to hear from anyone on any design standards in place. If new construction is going to happen in a classic area, the house should conform with the neighborhood as much as possible. I’m actually appraising a newer one in East Sac right now, and it certainly has it’s challenges to properly compare with the neighborhood. Finding comps is not easy when this particular house has little charm like the rest of the neighborhood.

      • Erin says

        I think there are design standards, which these houses meet. But the design standards are minimal and superficial. And interestingly enough, the design standards are very different for new construction in an old neighborhood than if you were remodeling. My neighbor was required to put in wood sashed windows when replacing the windows on her 1920 bungalow. As it should be in my opinion. However, the beautiful brick house across the street was recently purchased, demolished, and in it’s place a new huge monstrosity with metal windows. What’s that all about? Take a look at that awful house that someone is building at the corner of 39th and T Sts. Cheap metal windows, and a modicum of design features. The entire eastern exposure on the lower half has two tiny windows that look entirely out of place. By the way, they haven’t torn down anything for this house….they split a lot so this huge house takes up the entire lot. The house on the now next door lot will most likely come down, so they can put up another big ugly house. Hope someone jumps in and is able to save the large curved bay window with stained glass before it comes down.

        I know comps are difficult in these neighborhoods. Having bought and sold a few houses here, I feel your pain! It’s difficult to put a price on intangible things like charm and the wonderful next door neighbors that have been there for two generations.

        • says

          Thanks for the commentary Erin. It sounds like there is little neighbors can do other than watch. I have seen some new construction that did a nice job blending in with the neighborhood, though that obviously doesn’t happen across the board. When a house becomes overbuilt for the neighborhood it can be a real eyesore. Builders should be careful not to build something that will become a “landmark” in the negative sense where residents say, “I live next to THAT house.”

          You’re right about charm. In fact, I appraised another property in East Sac about 10 days ago. A house nearby had a ton of charm. On paper the price didn’t make sense compared to other sales and listings (and even the owner of the home I was appraising who said “it’s outdated”), but after digging deeper and talking with Realtors and the Listing Agent, the price was definitely understandable (maybe still a little high). The charm factor was off the charts, and buyers recognized it.

  3. says

    Thank you everyone for the comments. There were also a dozen or so on my Facebook page. I appreciate everyone taking the time to pitch in an alternative reason why the house is being demolished. Thank you for your time and creativity. After much thought, the award goes to Mr. Keith Klassen. Well done, Sir. I’ll send out the gift card today.

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