If I buy an old house, how can I rebuild it into a totally new house?

Asked by Sylvia Tao, Weston, MA Fri Nov 16, 2012

This question was asked from this property: http://www.trulia.com/property/3073951231-490-Waltham-St-Lex…

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Heath Coker’s answer
Heath Coker, Agent, Falmouth, MA
Wed Nov 21, 2012
Is it in an historic area/district which has restrictions?
Is there a lot coverage which restricts what you can replace it with?
Are there conservation issues to look at?
Is what you are building reasonable for the neighborhood - style, cost, etc. ?
Does your lawyer see any other issues? association approval, health department (septic), easements, ...

(Please note: when you choose an answer as a Best Answer, or at least give a thumbs up, it helps those who answer questions here.)
0 votes
Manish Patwa…, Agent, burlington, MA
Thu Nov 14, 2013
Check what I did to my house on You tube and decide for yourself. I hope this helps. Do look into Zoning laws of your community/town. I hope this helps and motivates.

0 votes
Excellent Work.
Flag Thu Jan 16, 2014
Maria Cipoll…, Agent, Coral Springs, FL
Wed Jun 12, 2013
Hi Sylvia,

One of the first step will be going to the city office and found out exactly what are you permitted to do in your area before you even start making any kind of plans. This is the right place to make your mind if is a good idea to do a complete restoration or a complete demolition.

Best of Luck,

Maria Cipollone

0 votes
Louis Wolfs…, Agent, Needham, MA
Sat Nov 17, 2012
Depending on what your expectations are it may be cheaper to buy or build a new home.

I will assume that you are looking to keep the existing home and make the components new. New kitchen, new bath, new insulation, updated wiring, new roof, new windows, new heat and a/c, redo floors, paint and re-landscape.

None of these are a problem and easy to do. The more costly issue becomes if you want to change the size of rooms, room layouts, possible expansion etc and bring everything down to the studs.

Also what would be of importance is that the completed project is in keeping with the value of homes in the market for the location, unless you don't care.

I am happy to meet with you to discuss your expectations and options. I am presenlty building some homes in Newton and just completed one in Brookline.

0 votes
Zelda Kohn, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Fri Nov 16, 2012
Are you asking about the process of rebuilding, the process of obtaining permits and architectural drawings or the process of hiring and working with contractors?

Contractors can answer the question of rebuilding process and permits. Architects and Designers can answer question about permits and drawings. Realtors can help you navigate and stir in the right direction whatever path you will choose. When you ask clear and specific questions you'll get a lot of good responses.
0 votes
Kevin Vitali, Agent, Tewksbury, MA
Fri Nov 16, 2012
If you are looking for a new house with the same design appeal and style then you are probably looking at tearing it down and putting up a new home.

If you are talking about just rehabbing what is there, talk to a contractor and a designer to see what can be done to satisfy your wants and needs.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Fri Nov 16, 2012
Why not simply consult with any licensed contractors....
0 votes
Richard Shap…, , Framingham, MA
Fri Nov 16, 2012
Tear down or fix up? If buying a property to tear down, there is much research that should be done. You should be speaking to a local Realtor, Contractor and an attorney familiar with zoning rules in the particular town.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Buying in Lexington Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more