The Tear Down Rebuild (#TDRB) – Is It A Good Option For You?

The Tear Down Rebuild (#TDRB) – Is It A Good Option For You?

We all know land is becoming a very expensive commodity to buy in Vancouver lately, let alone finding a bare lot to build a new home on, which has now prompted many experts to boast Vancouver as being one of the most fervent Tear Down markets in the country.

When considering a TDRB as an option, it comes with a larger price tag – as explained in our previous post “What Does It Cost To Tear Down and Rebuild A Home In Vancouver”. So it’s important to know the most key criteria when considering if it truly is the right option for you.

The first option to consider when buying a Tear Down, is that your ‘primary lifestyle criteria’ are met. Finding a property in a neighborhood that offers the key features you want.  Good schools or childcare, a well-developed sense of community, commuting a shorter distance to work, and close proximity to entertainment or cultural options to name the most primary concerns.

But teardowns can be complicated – involving zoning and permitting, demolition and abatement challenges, some neighbourhoods in Vancouver also require historic preservation. These are items that buyers of homes in newly developed subdivisions never encounter. We’ve put together a guide to help you answer the core question — is a Teardown and Rebuild a good option for me?

How do I recognize a house that is a good teardown candidate?

Almost always – potential tear downs are houses that aren’t quite up to current standards in a more desirable, ‘attractive’ neighborhood. In many cases they also don’t meet today’s building code requirements and need a major overhaul just to make the home function as required. They may be smaller-than-average in square footage, have outdated exterior and interior design elements such as outdated kitchens and bathrooms, and are huge energy guzzlers.

They also may have serious structural issues that make them difficult to sell because of the cost of repairs. As such, they tend to be priced below the prevailing average for their street or neighborhood and often sit unsold longer than others, unless their sellers are actively marketing them as prospective teardowns.

If you’re seeking an investment for the speculative market, buying a functionally obsolete but well-located house, could determine whether it makes a good candidate. Often these homes are priced slightly below the prevailing average for their street or neighborhood and are snatched up quickly by investors or even builders or real estate agents.

Do I want to knock down the entire house?

Most quality builders in Vancouver will tell you the answer is a resounding yes. Why? Because they know that these houses often have serious structural issues (and eventual warranty issues) that make them difficult to remodel or renovate without costing a not-so-small fortune. Which in turn doesn’t make sense to spend all that dough on tying in new construction materials, with old or limiting construction materials or outdated building code applications. It doesn’t mean there aren’t any exceptions. In fact, in some cases, the city will encourage substantial renovations over demolitions by making the permitting easier and faster. You might, for instance, be able to retain the existing foundation or add to it. You might be able to retain a portion of an existing wall or incorporate part of the old structure into your new design – especially if you have a home that has been deemed to hold character merit. This is something we will discuss further in an upcoming post. In the meantime, you can check out this link to the City Of Vancouver’s website it will provide you with all the info you need initially to determine whether your home qualifies as having character merit.

Where do I find an experienced TDRB professional to help me identify and acquire a teardown property?

Easy. You call us. We ARE the TDRB experts! We’ve made it our business to provide our clients considering a TDRB in Vancouver with the best possible options and advice for doing a TDRB project. Once you’ve decided on the neighborhood where you want to buy, we can connect you with several real estate brokerages that are most active in the area. We ensure that the firm’s agents either specialize in or have extensive experience in teardowns or substantial renovations. And the best part is we can provide you with this information absolutely at no cost to you. We truly believe in helping our clients achieve their dreams, and have a proven track record of literally hundreds of successful TDRB projects!

Please free free to contact us direct at or Call Us at 604-670-7668. We’d love to hear from you!

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