New York: The New American Teardown Capital

<p>Surpassing metropolitan Chicago, metro New York now hosts the highest amount of teardowns in the country.</p>
December 18, 2007, 6am PST | Mike Lydon
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"Have you ever lived near a teardown in progress? Has it ever been your daily fate to deal with noise, smells, dirt and construction crews right next door - only to behold, after endless months, a space-hogging "mansionization" in place of the petite Cape Cod you used to find so sweet?

If not, your turn may come sooner than you think. Despite the overall problems troubling the nation's real estate market, the New York metropolitan region has now surpassed Chicago, the former record holder, to become the teardown capital of the United States, according to a recent report by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which has been tracking the phenomenon since 2002.

Financially speaking, there are far worse fates for a homeowner than to be the neighbor of a "bash and build." Love them or hate them, teardowns generally bolster the resale prices of their neighbors. Although a lot of people do object initially, Mary Ann Laurita, a Realtor at William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty in Westport, Conn., said that that's only until they decide to put their own homes on the market.

'They come to like teardowns when their own house is up for sale,' she said, 'because rebuilds bring the price of their home up.'"

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Published on Sunday, December 16, 2007 in The New York Times
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