Remodel & Renovate in 94010>Question Details

Ssmith, Home Buyer in 94010

What are some things to consider if you are buying a small home with the intention of doing an addition at a later date?

Asked by Ssmith, 94010 Wed Oct 27, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


One consideration is lot size. Is the lot - taking into consideration all the zoning and setback regs for your particular city/county - large enough to add onto. Or, are you allowed to go up; adding another floor? Also, many lenders want a permitted, legal addition constructed by a licensed contractor. Are you intending to hire someone or do the work yourself? Cost. What is the cost to add on? Another consideration is whether or not the addition adds to the functionality of the home. If the only place to add on is thru the master BR that might not be the best route cutting down on the overall funciton of the house. Finally, what are you adding on? A second bath adds true value to the home. You shouldn't lose $$ when you sell. But enclosing a carport (I'm in AZ) to make more living space when covered parking is coveted due to the burning sun in June-July-August may not make sense. Anyway those are just some random thoughts for you to consider. Hope this helps!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Dear S.Smith buyer,
In addition to selling real estate in the 94010 neighborhoods, I also build, renovate and remodel....Some of the areas of concern for me today is what lender will consider doing a construction loan, unless you plan on using all cash, construction and line of credit against your home is considerably difficult in today's market...
The thing I look for when building, of course, what can I do with this property, and is it situated in the right school district, of course if you were building in Hillsborough, that would not be a concern, all schools are award winning, and community is amazing, in all markets buyers flock to this area. Burlingame, while very desirable, some neighborhoods don't share the same sizzle that others do. The Easton addition seems to be the number l location for most Burlingame buyers.. People love the neighborhood feel and the ability to walk to Broadway...not to mention Lincoln and Franklin elementary schools....This is an area where it would be difficult to overbuild, where as some of the other parts of Burlingame, still charming, one may not want to over invest....Check your comparable sales in the area for the home you plan on building and see if the numbers make sense...Is this your area of expertise or will you be hiring someone to do this work....
Good luck to you and if you need any further information, don't hesitate to call me, I have been building and selling for over 20 years in the 94010 area....

Go Giants....

Denise Laugesen
Cashin Company

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 28, 2010
Hi Ssmith,
1. Building codes. Have they changed since property was built? Some areas make you bring things up to code when you ope a wall etc.
2. Size of property, lot lines set backs etc.
3. HOA's restrictions
4. CC& R restrictions
5. Cost of labor and services in that area.
6. Difficulty in getting to the site such as a mountain etc.
7. Age of structure. too old and you will be doing more retrofitting / fixing than you can think of.
8. zoning restrictions.
9. If you can, avoid homes built 1977 and older. Reasons; Lead based paint, Worn insulation, if you go older than 1973 than you have chances of aluminum wiring, Fewer outlets and circuits in rooms, kitchens etc. also the galvanized plumbing. You might also be looking at asbestos - cottage cheese ceilings and duct work in attics, If you go into the 60's and before you will start to run into plaster walls instead of drywall and you will be chasing cracks what seems like the rest of your life. By the way, in California, if you work on any home with built 1977 and before, there are now EPA laws in effect about cutting into lead based paint.
I hope this helps the reality of buying to fix. Basically the older you go the cans of worms and the headaches outweigh the benefits.
On the newer homes find out how to find if you have that Chinese drywall. there is a way I saw online. by going into the attic and looking at the stamps on the wall board.

Some smart contractors will buy a piece of land with an existing structure on it and build a new structure on the lot or adjacent lot. Split the lot, and sell the existing structure later after they lived in it while building new house.

Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes Realty
(951) 821-8211
California Department of Real Estate License # 01312992
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 28, 2010
Another thing to take into consideration is that additiions/remodels of an existing structure will cost more than it would to buy what is already in place.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Yes, do your reseach/homework. Start by checking with your local zoning & planning, as permits may be needed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Thanks. Looking at a 2/1, 1100 sqft house on a 7500 sqft flat lot. The addition would be for a master bedroom/bath + family room. These are all very helpful suggestions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Reexamine how long you plan to live thereafter the expansion. If less than 3 years, it may be prudent to save the expansion costs and apply that money to a larger home in 2-3 years.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Make sure you have enough property to go out as well as up. Check with the town first.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Both of the responses below are correct, but the other suggestion is to do your homework up front with the city. Do not make any assumptions in regards to the set backs or what will be allowed. If you get an accepted offer make sure you contingency period is sufficient to complete your research. Other thoughts are if you are going up you will need to make sure the foundation can hold the load, if not it will need to be replaced. If in the Bay Area you will need to see if there is a view ordiance and if your plan is affected by that. Be prepared to develop a relationship with the neighbors. They will be affected by the noise and daily activity and if your area allows neighborhood feedback on the project you will need their support.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
The first question to answer the question, is how long do you plan on being there? If you will stay long enough to recoup most of the cost of the addition, then proceed to the next question. The next question you have to answer is what are the top values in the neighborhood? If the total cost of the purchase of the home plus improvements far exceeds the top value in the neighborhood it may not be a wise investment, and at that point you should consider buying something that is already larger, and priced in line with area values. Hope that helps. -Hans Neugebauer, Realtor, Toledo, OH
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Ssmith -

Most important consideration is if the home is large enough for your needs.

If it is - than there is no issue. If it is not - than don't buy the home....

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
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