Before and after

adriennemb2(z3/4)January 5, 2012

Oh my. Would you have bought this house in the "before" condition for a little less than 200,000 pounds?

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Beautiful house, but it looks like roof, window and stucco(?) repairs will be necessary!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 1:41PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

wow! I'll bet it's now sunny inside.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 7:02AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I don't envy whoever had the job of getting rid of the ivy.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 10:00AM
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Somehow conjuring up Onslow and Daisy.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 10:34AM
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I like the look of it! With right choices & hard work it will be beautiful!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 3:23PM
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Ha @ duluth - Would need more than a bu-cket to clean this up. Apparently the ivy had permeated through the exterior walls and was winding around the stair bannisters. No hydro, no gas as the lines had been disrupted. Sounds like a teardown to me.

Mind you, Grey Gardens was in even worse shape when it was sold on condition that it not be demolished. It's been renovated beautifully but at a horrendous cost.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 4:12PM
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LOL! Trust me. The cost of the total rehab of Grey Gardens was little more than walking around money for Sally Quinn and her husband, Ben Bradlee, former editor of the Washington Post.

I don't know - are abandoned delapidated properties quick to be torn down in the UK? Aside from the grand old country houses which were often rased to build even grander country houses. (And/or any property owned by the Romneys here in the US, come to think of it.)

They might have pulled down all the ivy on this one, but the tendril remnants all still seem to be clinging in the stucco checking. All that rotten window trim. Would love to see the inside. On second thought...

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 5:21PM
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In estate agent speak "This charming three-bedroom property benefits from convenient access to ivy, delightful shrubbery and would be ideal for a gardening enthusiast."

Here is a link that might be useful: price drop

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 6:12PM
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Fabulous. Especially the "before" view (or non-view) of the back yard which was apparently too impossible a task to hack down before going on the market.

Does needing a little TLC mean making sure you don't step between the floor joists?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 7:00PM
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Wow, I hadn't seen that before. So that does mean that at the final sale of 190,900 pounds, the house sold for OVER asking price too? And I found a picture of the surrounding homes, just to show that there is really nothing unique or even especially desirable. I'm in the wrong line of work. There's a killing to be made here...

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 8:06PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Yes - I had a little Google too. The house is in a suburb of London and there are several identical ones in the same road. Although it seems to look rather cute to US eyes it is a standard pre-war pebbledash house over here of which millions were built. My Granny lived in an almost identical one. As for the question about whether we 'tear' down houses here. I believe it is very much rarer than in the states. Older homes such as this were often pretty solidly built and getting planning permission to knock it down would be very difficult. The price is pretty cheap for outer London for a detached house in any condition. Someone will probably be able to do it up for less than the price of buying a similar home in good condition.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 12:25PM
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From that latest picture it is easy to spot the complaining neighbour adrienne and why.

I used go to school with a friend who lived in a similar house with pebble dash on the walls I would knock on the door and while I was waiting I would pick the pebbles off, I made quite a bare patch after a while.

flora I don't think Chelmsford is a London suburb.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 12:47PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I looked it up, and Chelmsford is considered to be a commuter suburb of London, Tony. If the price was competitive for the market, I could see how this would still be a desirable property for someone willing to go through all the hoops to fix it back up.

As to whether tear downs are more common in the USA or England, it probably depends on the community involved. It is also very laborious to get planning approvals to completely demolish an existing residence in my hometown here in Berkeley. Not so much due to city planners objections, but the neighborhood reviews and comments required, which can cause a remodel to take up to 3 years to start if any one neighbor objects.

The work-around for most developers here is to leave the shell of the house so that technically it is not a "tear-down", limit the new square footage to preclude having to go through design review and direct neighborhood comment, and try to do this within a budget that allows for not exceeding current neighborhood prices. In this extended recessionary housing market on my side of the SF Bay, it isn't an attractive proposition currently. On the other hand, in wealthier neighborhoods with great public school districts, closer proximity to the hotter job markets of Silicon Valley in the South Bay/Lower Peninsula suburbs between San Francisco and San Jose, tear-downs are rampant, as is major remodeling and landscaping in general. The differences in construction activity from town to town are simply amazing.

I'm surprised that there wasn't some sort of council or neighborhood agitation to remediate that overgrown garden years earlier. It would seem that it would harbor rats, and present a fire hazard at the very least. Was someone actually living in it for the past 20 years, or was he an absentee owner?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 1:50PM
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But beyond historic or aesthetic considerations with any dilapidated property, surely the cost to renovate almost anything always exceeds the cost to build? Been there, done that, don't wanna do it again.

So, in this case then, the value is really in the land only. I'm just stunned that anyone can afford to live in centres such as London or San Francisco - there's no way that the final price for even a modest home there falls within the recommended (households annual income) x 2.5 for most people. Unless they're really, really rich (in which case I want to propose :)

This is such an incredible contrast from where I work on reserves where houses are failing within 3 years and are complete tear-downs in less than a decade. Different worlds...

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 9:27PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

If this house was located in southern Marin County ( just across the Golden Gate Bridge from S.F. ) it could easily sell for over a million dollars if in the 'right' neighborhood of Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere or Mill Valley.
Stupid , I know.

Adriennemb, I too am stunned that I live near S.F. It's a beautiful and a wonderfully diverse area but ridiculously expen$ive.

A 'remodel' can cost anywhere from 300 to 600 a square foot , depending on location, county fees, and architectural finishes.
New houses can cost about the same but then you have the cost of development and a simple water meter connection can cost ( if you can get one ) an additional $ 125 K ( some towns offer the water meter on a lottery system and only one or two can be allowed each year ) - we pay dearly for all this beautiful open space.
My partner is an architect and it is common to hear about a $ 75 - 150 K bathroom remodel.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 10:02PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Adrienneemb - 'surely the cost to renovate almost anything always exceeds the cost to build?' Not here it doesn't. This house would have been pretty solidly built originally. The walls, roof and foundations are probably still sound. Traditional UK homes have solid foundations and are built out of bricks and mortar. They are not timber framed or 'sided' and they have tile or slate rooves which will last decades. They obviously need maintenance but there is no reason why they won't last many years. Mine was first lived in in 1820 and still keeps us warm and dry. Rebuilding to the same standard is expensive and it is almost always cheaper to renovate/restore than rebuild - even if you could get permission - unless you can knock down a smaller property and fit a bigger one or more than one on the same plot. In which case you could sell it/them on at a profit.

When you say the final price for a house should be 2.5 x annual income that is around what it was in 1970 here. In the London area the average house price is nearly 7 x the average annual income. There is a great shortage of housing here and land is expensive. Many people struggle to get a home of their own.

Inkognito - Chelmsford is 28 miles from the City of London (ie the centre of London). There are 7 trains an hour which take just over 30 minutes. I think that probably counts as a suburb.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 1:19PM
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