Daily Demolition Report: Passing the Red Baton

Close your eyes and soon they’ll disappear.



Photo of 63 Tiel Way: HAR

15 Comment

  • Truly insane, and the height of waste, that the pictured River Oaks house is getting torn down.

  • Wow it was remodeled in 2010 too according to HCAD

  • The wealthy of today hold the view that if they’re going to spend millions on a house, they sure as hell aren’t going to be do it so that they can live in someone else’s ratty old digs.

  • It’s not a waste, someone who has the money to spend will build their dream home. In this case calling it waste sounds more like jealousy.

  • Nah, not jealousy either. More like someone that has more money than “commonsense”.

    It will be interesting to see who finally moves in. New money or old money?

  • This is what happens when you have no limit on the homestead exemption. People dump as much money as they can into their homes.
    It would be a waste if they just smash the house and haul it off to a landfill. For a few extra bucks, the owner could pay to have the building materials salvaged and donated to Habitat for Humanity.

  • PYE, so, it’s not common sense to buy an old house from the 50’s with no value to speak of on a great lot and to build a brand new house for your family that you will enjoy and will be worth several times more when it’s complete? Oh I forgot, some people preach trickle up poverty.

    Old School, not sure what Homestead Exemption has to do with wanting to dump more money into a house, it’s just a lousy 1% property tax break.
    Looking at the pictures, it doesn’t look that there’s anything worth salvaging. Most of the time it’s cheaper to buy brand new materials, lumber, etc. than to salvage, store, and transport old junk.

  • Commonsense: You must not have much experience in the world of the high rollers. I am not talking about the tax exemption. I am talking about the exemption from execution of a judgment. In Texas, your homestead is exempt from execution to satisfy a judgment against you. In most states, the exemption is usually capped by the value of the home. In Texas, there is no cap. Thus, people will put a lot of money into their homes as an asset of last resort if they lose their shirts and go bankrupt. The house will not be subject to creditors’ claims (except the taxman).

  • @commonsense No jealousy on my part, your reading comprehension is challenged. I mean the word “waste” in the literal sense: This 5000 square foot home, remodeled less than 2 years ago, is poised to become several tons of waste in a local landfill.

  • Old School, it was not clear from your post, but it’s true. Of course that only applies in cases of bankruptcy where all debts are discharged AND there was no fraud involved (Leigh, Skilling). If there are Non-dischargeable debts or debt judgements without bankruptcy, then they CAN put a lien on your homestead and will collect when the house sells (they can’t force you out).

  • commonsense,I see lots to be salvaged and given to Habitat for Humanity. All that wood flooring, everything in the kitchen, especially the stainless countertop and appliances, french doors, louvered closet doors, balcony railings inside and out, granite bar top and light fixture, bathroom cabinets and granite countertop, tub. Not sure if the tile flooring can be taken up, and the plate glass windows would be tough to pull without breaking.

    I would love to plan and build a house around items from Habitat. I have seen some very unique things there. For now, I just have a greenhouse with a door, leaded glass sidelight, and jalousie windows from Habitat. And some really neat ceramic tiles that I plan on putting on the potting bench. I’m going to go back and get reclaimed brick for the patio.

  • Commonsense: No, it doesn’t matter whether debts are discharged or not. Homestead is exempt. The only way you can get to a homestead is to claim a constructive trust and trace funds obtained by fraud/theft to the homestead. Otherwise, unless you have a mechanics/materialman’s lien, mortgage lien or are the taxman, you cannot get to someone’s homestead.
    Also, while anyone can record anything, a judgment lien against a homestead is not valid. Shyster debt collectors will do it in hopes that the homeowner will be under time pressure to close and will pay off the lien instead of litigating. But, if a homeowner stand their ground and goes to court to get a declaration that the lien is void, the judgment creditor could be liable for a lost sale, attorney’s fees and exemplary damages. Homestead protection is very powerful in Texas.

  • Old School: Serious question, why would it cost a few extra bucks to donate the materials? If they have value, wouldn’t their value exceed the cost of ‘taking’ the stuff?
    I ask as I am remodeling a new property I bought (and just listed it last night for sell. PLUG!) and the downstairs units had hardwoods under the carpet that were a bit too poor to save. Rather than rip them out, I put an ad on Craigslist for “free hardwdood floors” if someone would come and take them out. They were pulled up the same day. So I didn’t have to pay labor to pull them, pay to dispose them, or contribute to landfill. And the people that pulled them got 1000SF of hardwood flooring for a days work. win/win/win?
    Wouldn’t a similar situation exist in one of these older homes? Couldn’t you get someone to “demo” it via gutting it for free? There might be some left after the place is stripped but that’s less you end up having to demo and dump.
    Or am I missing something…

  • Cody: Sure, you can probably find people who are willing to do the labor in exchange for free stuff. But, you could be on the hook if someone gets hurt pulling out materials. I doubt the people who answer craigslist ads will have a certificate of insurance and carry worker’s comp.
    I am assuming the owner has piles of cash and am hoping they would think about donating the materials to Habitat for Humanity. HFH does have volunteers who on occasion will come and strip out a building for materials for free. But they also offer to do deconstruction for a fee. If you have piles of money, why not throw a few bucks at Habitat for Humanity to deconstruct the building and donate the materials instead of demo and haul it off to a landfill? I am sure the owner writes big checks to arts organizations, find a cure for ____ foundations, etc. Why not extend the charitable giving to HFH and have a green end to a building with lots of valuable materials?

  • Old School: I don’t disagree with you at all. I’d do the same thing. It’s sad that we’re such a litigious society that you have to worry about giving something to someone as they might get hurt in the process of getting it. Stuff like that has a way of contributing to landfill as not everyone wants to pay extra to avoid having their old stuff go to the dump.