Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What do you do?

Prior to moving to The Park, Mrs. T and I lived across the street from this house. (Best seen by clicking on the photo) It is owned by our favorite neighbors, a family of 4 who moved in a year or two before we moved out.

It is a lovely neighborhood, of basic suburban homes, on large lots, in a quiet suburb of Mayberry. Several days before Halloween, our friends had a fire.

My point today is not to dwell on a personal family tragedy, but to pose a morality tale, or more importantly an insurance dilemma.

The neighborhood isn't worth what it once was (we moved out). Our friends bought near the peak of housing prices and spent a boatload of cash customizing their home to their taste and lifestyle. Fire or no, financially they were going to get hurt if they had to move anytime soon.

Obviously, the land has value, but at current construction costs rebuilding this house to "before the fire" status would price it well beyond their neighbor's or even market value. Neighborhood indentures limit the minimium home size, and this was close, so they can't build smaller.

What do you do?



house things said...

How is 'smaller' defined? Is it square footage or number of bedrooms and baths? I think that lots of porches would meet the square footage and not require as much finishing as bedrooms and baths.

David said...

I can't tell from the photo, is the house is a total loss? If there were other houses/places I loved, and thought I could get a deal on, I might raze the house and sell the land.

But if I still loved the neighobrhood and it's still where I wanted to be I'd just go ahead and rebuild.

Toad said...

House things: I believe smaller in this case is livable sq footage. I do not believe porches count.

David, I am not certain I could move back into the house. I'm with you, I'd raze it and sell the land.

Turling said...

Punt. Go with what David said.

Kathleen said...

Okay. If you can't count porches, take the insurance money and sell the land.

EatPlayLove said...

rebuild, exactly how you wanted it and stay put until the market makes a comeback. Very sad!

Anonymous said...

I would build but in a very minimalist, bare bones construction, maybe in concrete no bells and whistles. A house that would survive almost anything would have a much lower insurance cost. Also I lived once in a house built of concrete blocks and it was lovely in many respects. Carefully designed it could be brought in for much less than a wood built house and if you keep costs down on the kitchen, no marble or granite, Cover it with a stucco look, you could bring it in under what you might expect to spend.