It is not uncommon for someone in this area to buy a house not so much for the house, but for the location. Some lots are even lower priced because there is a house on the lot. I’ve worked on a lot of projects where the owner’s unnecessarily demolished a house to make room for their grand vision and projects where owners really should have started from scratch but were determined to keep as much of the original as possible. The tricky question is, how do you know when you should keep the structure, and when you should start over?
The simplest way to answer is, do you want to be constrained by the original builder’s decisions? If you want ten-foot ceilings or sweeping glass walls or an open floor plan and these features aren’t already part of the house, tear it down. If you want to re-do the electrics, maybe this is one best left to an electrician. But you see where I was going with this. As someone who has done a lot of renovations for clients with big ideas and small budgets paid for by places like this website, never ask a structure to do something it can’t, you will not save money. Also don’t save a house for original details. Depending on what the details you want to keep are, they are often salvageable separate from the structure (if a bit ungenuine) and could be placed into the new structure that’s more to your desires. If the structure is in very poor shape, a lot of rot and water damage, foundation settlement, dangerously cracked or bowed beams, etc. you’re probably better off to remove it as fixing many of these issues in place is expensive and time-consuming.
Renovating a structure is often difficult and usually more expensive than new construction, however, there is a tipping point where the costs of demolition and disposal overwhelm the cost savings of new construction. Finding that point is best done by an experienced contractor who understands the costs of construction and the costs of demolition. However, if you’re adamant that your home needs to be demolished and rebuilt, you might want to consider taking some inspiration from these two storey home designs as this specific house design seems to be one of the most popular on the market. It is always advised to get a professional’s advice before completely demolishing your home, just in case there are any structures that can be remain and be improved. Other, non-economical reasons to keep a structure include an ecological desire not to throw away perfectly good structure or maintaining a non-conforming structure (something that does not meet the current zoning code, there are many projects where certain portions of the structure are maintained because they are too close to the property line or other issue and if removed, would have to comply with the new code). There can also be historical reasons not to demolish, some buildings have a value to an area and have to be restored as close to original as possible in certain ways. If that’s the case, make sure you investigate any tax credits that may be available and be certain you follow the proper procedures with your local historical authority.
To sum up, look at your home inspection (always get one of these before purchasing a house, unless you’re absolutely sure it’s coming down) and see what sort of problems you might have. There are other things to consider too, such as finding the best electricity and energy plan for your home. Keeping your home powered can be surprisingly affordable if you shop around and compare your options. For example, comparing Gexa Energy plans with some of the other options out there could help you to make an informed decision that is best suited to your needs and budget. As for problems with your property though, if they’re generally cosmetic and you like what you’ve got with a few tweaks, leave it and save the money by renovating and adding on. If the problems are more structural and fundamental and you want to make major changes, it’s entirely possible you’re better off starting over. You’ll most likely fall between those extremes, and of course, a professional architect is an awfully useful guide in helping to make that decision.