Gena Riede, Real Estate Pro in Elk Grove, CA

What is the difference between a tear down and fixer in Manhattan Beach?

Asked by Gena Riede, Elk Grove, CA Thu May 17, 2007

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Kaye Thomas’ answer
That's a great question. Truthfully there may not be any difference between them in Manhattan Beach or nearby Beach Cities. As the area is completely built out most new homes can only be built on properties where an existing home must be torn down. In these situations it is the land that has all the value not the structure. Often the home that is torn down is small and may be in good condition needing only some minor repairs. However the land is so valuable that builders often out bid first time buyers who are looking for a fixer.
Sellers like selling to builders as they can sell the properties "as is" and make no repairs or warranties about condition.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 18, 2007
Kaye Thomas, Real Estate Pro in Manhattan Beach, CA
I think the answer is whether the current "bones" are good or if there would need to be so many changes to the home to bring it up to today's standards that it would be more cost effective to tear it down. Another factor is whether the current home is "pre-ZORP", which was a building planning code that means some houses are larger or higher than can be built right now -- these houses might be worth extensive remodeling so that the height and the associated views could be maintained. It also depends on the location -- my own home in the Manhattan Beach Hill Section is large and remodeled, but still might be a teardown because the demand is so high for land in my part of town to build homes even larger than mine. One of the services I offer my clients is that my husband, Garth Sheriff, AIA, who is an architect, can come with us during a pre purchase visit and help clients understand how much a remodel would cost (and what could be done) and how much new construction would be and what could be done within the current zoning laws. Our combined extensive experience with homes in the area can really help you to make this decision.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 22, 2013
I would define it as the difference between whether or not the property merits putting more money into it, or if its highest and best use is as new construction? Assuming one could afford to build new.
The dividing line in MB is unlike many communities as the land is so valuable. Many properties that would be fixed up elsewhere are torn down here, as is evidenced by the many new homes built in all areas of the city in the past 10 years and the ongoing (though somewhat slowing) rash of residential construction.
For detailed info on all things real estate related in MB, as well as a guide to life in the city, please check out and good luck!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 11, 2009
Good Question..Finances I would think. Property near the beach is not easy to come by and some buyer's want things they cannot have in the property they have purchased. It's not uncommon for buyers to start all over and build the house the way they want it!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 24, 2009
A tear down is simply a house that's too far gone on a lot that's much more valuable than the house. A fixer can be any house that when fixed up will add enough value to be at or above market price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 23, 2009
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