The Value of Renovating v. Demolishing in Central Austin

We meet many homebuyers that are daunted by the prospect of renovating an older home, so they feel like its just easier to tear down the existing structure and build anew.  However, if you are looking in Central Austin, we have done some research that shows that’s a big mistake because buyers in close-in areas overwhelmingly prefer renovated vintage homes and are willing to pay a premium for them.

Based on City of Austin permitting statistics, in key single-family residential zip codes for Central Austin (78702, 78703, 78704, and 78751), the number of single-family demolition permits issued has increased each of the past two years– by 29% in 2014 and another 10% in 2015. Yet, the sales prices of older, renovated homes have consistently been higher than that of newly built homes in the same zip codes. For instance, a renovated home with over 2,000 square foot in 78751 originally built prior to 1950 lists for $320 per square foot, compared to a home over 2,000 square foot built after 2000, which has an average listing price of $280 per square foot.

Broker Lindsay Harris with Gottesman Residential told us that “The vast majority of homebuyers and homeowners who want to live in Central Austin prefer to buy an older house that has retained its charm. However, the number of these types of homes that have been sensitively enlarged and renovated is extremely small so the prices they demand are higher than average.”  That means that you can buy a small house, add-on, and have instant equity in your property.

While the City of Austin has a strict process for evaluating permits for homes that are more than 50 years old, that shouldn’t put an owner or buyer off renovating. Avenue B’s team of experts is adept at navigating the permitting process, making it as smooth, cost-effective, and serene as possible. We have completed more than 50 pre-World War II remodels, including three local City of Austin landmark properties and ten additional homes in local or national historic districts.  As a builder and general contractor with this level of expertise in working on older homes, Avenue B leads its clients deftly through every step of a renovation, including collaborating with architects during the pre-construction design phase, managing the entire permitting process with the City, and managing the full construction process.  We even work with buyers during their home search to help make sure the house they select is the right one to achieve their ultimate vision within their budget.

In the past week, we’ve been fortunate enough to work with 3 different media outlets to share this information, so check out our interviews below!

CultureMap Austin:

KEYE “We Are Austin”:

KXAN Morning News:

Moral of the Story: Don’t be scared off by a renovation – it may just bring you even more equity in the long run!

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