Tear Downs in Established Calgary Neighbourhoods

With the way Calgary was established and planned, many of the inner-city communities have older homes that are reflective of the technology and trends that characterized homes at that time: smaller units, energy inefficiencies, typical layouts such as bungalows with outdated kitchens and more. These neighbourhoods are old, with mature trees and close to many amenities, so to live there, the viable option is to tear down the home on the lot and build up again. Here are some things to consider when looking to either rebuild or simply renovate:
  1. Consider the value of the neighbourhood and the value of the home that will be built there. If by doing a teardown you think you can increase the value by two or three times of current value, then you’ve got a suitable candidate for such a project.
  2. Understand all the permits you will need to undertake such a project as well as all the laws regarding building an Infill in Calgary. Click on this link hereto become more familiar with all the important details. 
  3. You don’t have to knock the entire house down for your project and in fact, the amount of tear down you decide to pursue will affect your financing. This all depends on the quality of the house. Perhaps the house is more suitable for a renovation where you update the style, change the windows, etc. Or, if there are structural concerns, mold, foundation rot, etc., a complete restart on the lot makes more sense. 
  4. Financing is a huge concern on projects like this. If you decide to tear down a house entirely, you will need to technically ‘pay off’ the mortgage on the old home first before it can be bulldozed. Then, you will also need enough financing to build the new home, plus demolition expenses. As you can see, this quickly adds up and your real estate agent and the banks will work with you to ensure enough financing is in place for what you can afford and also what your expected return on such a project should be. 
Over fifteen years ago I embarked on such a project in South Calgary with a business partner, so, I am well-versed on the steps one must take. We opted to completely tear down an older home and built up in its place a four-unit structure. It was an exciting project, but one that came with several challenges. Feel free to get in touch if you have your ideas to pursue a tear down project.