Michael Santana* and his wife Arlene* were new homebuyers looking to find the perfect house to start a family. When they finally found the house they wanted, they made the odd choice of tearing it down and rebuilding it when the purchase went through. While most new homeowners are just glad to have a roof over their heads that they have to pay to fix themselves, the Santanas* wanted to get things right from day one. Tearing the old house down and building a new one was the only way to do that in their minds.
“It was a hard call to make at first, since we had already paid a LOT for this house. With the housing market the way it is, we had to pay $50k more than the house was listed for to be sure we beat out all those developers swopping in and stealing houses from people who really need them. Really the decision came down to a couple can lights in the kitchen. We felt like they were just a few inches too far to the right, and we couldn’t live with it. We decided the only option was to tear the place down and start over. Then we could have those can lights exactly where they should be.”
When we asked them why they didn’t just remodel the kitchen and move the lights then, they responded in shock. “You can do that? I thought banks only covered complete re-dos!? Oh my gosh… What have we done!? I knew this was a bad idea. I should have listened to our friends. Our loan officer said something about going into immediate foreclosure if we weren’t able to pay for everything, but we just ignored him. I hope that doesn’t come back to bite us…”
UPDATE: When last we spoke to the Santanas*, they were living with their parents. Unable to afford the incredible costs of taking out a second mortgage to pay for the rebuild, they were forced to give the land back to the bank and file for bankruptcy. Their advice for new homebuyers: “Buy the house that’s lit the way you want it. Tearing it down and starting over is SUPER expensive.”
* Name changed for anonymity