Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, June 10, 2016

Three keys to building the perfect home in an established neighborhood

Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga

Chris Mabee

Many in the Chattanooga area believe that location is among the most important, if not, the most important characteristic of a home. Conveniently located homes – especially new homes with modern amenities – continue to be in high demand, as countless consumers dream of living in the ideal locale where they’d benefit from quick commutes, excellent schools, and accessible shopping.

As the amount of developable land in urban areas around Chattanooga becomes more difficult to find, some consumers are considering the option of buying older homes in desirable neighborhoods with the intent to tear them down and replace them with brand new construction.

Nationwide, an estimated 55,000 single-family homes were built in 2015 on properties where a previous structure once stood, according to NAHB. Here in our region of the country, this “tear-down” construction accounted for approximately 7 percent of all single-family starts (of 28,600) in the South.

If you’re seeking the amenities of a new home, but are drawn to the charm of an older and more established neighborhood, a tear-down project could be an exciting and rewarding proposal. But once you’ve found that special property, there are some important aspects to consider.

To help ensure your new home enhances the character of the community, take into account the following tips:

Be mindful of the architecture: Maintain an open dialogue with your builder and the architect. Discuss which elements of the surrounding community you like the most, and together, look for opportunities to integrate those features into the home’s design, while also maximizing its livability.

Be neighborly: Meet your future neighbors before work begins. You don’t want their

first impression of you to be the (unavoidable) noises associated with demolition and construction. Introduce yourself and show them you are someone who is genuinely invested – emotionally and financially – in the community. Even sending them a brief, hand-written letter in the mail will go a long way to building

positive relations from the beginning.

Be charitable: Before demolition starts on the original home, have it inspected and save anything that can be re-purposed in your new home to add to its character. Better yet, donate anything that might be of use to others. Non-profit donation centers accept all kinds of new or gently used furniture, appliances, housewares, and building materials. Proceeds help families in your community, and you even get a tax credit for the donation while also cutting down on refuse. 

The key to a successful tear-down project is to acknowledge the community’s homes, its history and – most of all – the people that make it great. Contact the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at 423-624-9992 or info@HBAGB.com to learn more about home building opportunities in Chattanooga and surrounding areas. v