From Yahoo Finance:
Rich millennials are spending millions to knock down beautiful houses in the NYC suburbs to build mansions as housing wars rage on
Just across the Hudson River from New York City, sit suburban communities like Ridgewood, New Jersey which are dotted with beautiful century-old Victorian and Tudor-style homes. Only many of these historic adobes won’t be around too much longer: Rich millennials are tearing them down in favor of bigger, modern homes.
Priscilla Reynolds, a New Jersey-based sales associate, represented a seller that sold their home in Ridgewood for $2 million to a millennial couple from New York City. She listed the center hall colonial home in March of last year and wasn’t all that shocked when she found out the couple wanted to tear it down. The couple, likely both in their mid-30s, Reynolds guessed, have since knocked it down and are in the process of rebuilding. They’ve even run into problems concerning lot coverage, likely because they wanted to build an enormous home in place of what was previously a property under 4,000 square feet, Reynolds told Fortune.
Christina Gibbons, a real estate broker with a team that’s based in Ridgewood, typically serves Bergen County, which is just outside of New York City. Following the pandemic, she noticed that buyers coming from New York City had more to spend, and they wanted to live in these so-called desirable locations with easy commutes. Sometimes that means buying a home just to knock it down. But it isn’t always going to cost $2 million for the original property purchase, instead it’s likely going to be close to a million dollars. That’s because the value of property and land has gone up, largely because of how tight inventory is and the lack of vacant land in these markets. Gibbons said a half acre of land on the west side of Ridgewood “is going to be close to a million dollars easily, no matter what’s on it, so people are having to spend more to tear them down.” Gibbons represented a buyer that closed on a property on West Ridgewood Avenue around two months ago for $900,000, and after tearing it down they’re building a more than 4,000 square-foot home, which is twice the size of the original “very old victorian” property that sat on the lot, Gibbons said. She added that once their home is done, it’ll likely be valued around $3 million.
On another occasion, Gibbons worked with a couple in their early 30s with kids that moved from New York City. They purchased a colonial-style home in Ridgewood, in the summer of 2020 for close to $1 million with “every intention of tearing it down,” Gibbons said. The couple even rented for around a year in the same neighborhood while their home was being built, so their kids could attend school and they could oversee the project. The couple just moved into their finished, very modern home last summer—in what Gibbons called “your very typical New York story.”