Thinking about a home renovation or possibly building a new house? Along with some key resources to help with this dilemma, here’s a story about a homeowner in the beach area of Fairfield Connecticut that changed their initial plans after weighing all their options.
Jen and Chris came to Fairfield in 2006 and settled into their new home, a cozy Cape in the beach area on Pratt Street. From day-one, they loved the location and the street. They figured down the road they would have a baby and then renovate, expand or even add another floor.
Fast forward to 2009 when their little boy wasn’t so small anymore, but their house still was, and it was time to expand. However, when they went to town hall and reviewed the beach area Zoning Regulations, they ran into an unanticipated glitch. They hadn’t realized that if the cost of their renovations exceeded fifty percent of the market value of their house structure, they would be required to fill in their basement, or stretch their project costs out over several years.
Their other major consideration was the cost of flood insurance in the beach area, especially for houses not compliant with Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA regulations, (FEMA FAQs). After reviewing all the variables and costs, they changed course. Instead of renovating, Chris and Jen determined that it would be more cost effective to tear down their house and rebuild. This way their home would be FEMA-compliant and brand new with the added space they needed plus an attached garage.
Upon solidifying their decision and hiring a builder, Chris and Jen enlisted my help to find a nearby rental to live in during the construction. They were not alone since many other families in the neighborhood were also raising their houses, renovating or rebuilding after superstorm Sandy. We began looking and found some good prospects. Eventually, we secured a great place a few blocks away that was perfect for keeping a handle on construction oversight.
The process of tearing down and rebuilding began. And one year later, the new home stood welcoming its owners back to the beloved place where their old Cape once sat.
There’s nothing like home sweet home!
Send me a note if you would like to build new, renovate, and find a rental to help with the plan!
Consider a custom-built or new construction home in Fairfield or Westport.