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Building a Home in an Established Neighborhood

May 28, 2016 11:11 am Published by Leave your thoughts

If asked to describe your dream home, you might initially focus on its size, features and appearance. But how about its location?

Chapel Hill Pool contractorMany believe that location is among the most important, if not, the most important characteristic of a home. Conveniently located homes – especially new homes with modern amenities – continue to be in high demand, as countless consumers dream of living in the ideal locale where they’d benefit from quick commutes, excellent schools and accessible shopping.

A study from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) on housing preferences found that 64 percent of all home buyers say that proximity to retail space is desirable, if not essential, and almost 40 percent want easy access to public transit.

However, finding the perfect home to buy in the perfect location can be quite challenging. Often times the existing homes built in these sought-after, typically urban locations are older and unlikely to meet the needs of modern homebuyers.

As the amount of developable land in urban areas dwindles, more consumers are choosing to buy older homes in desirable neighborhoods with the sole intent to tear them down and replace them with brand new construction.

Nationwide, an estimated 55,000 single-family homes were built on properties where a previous structure once stood, according to NAHB. Here in our region of the country, this “tear-down” construction accounted for approximately  7% of all single-family starts (of 28,600) in the South.

Durham Custom Home BuilderIf you’re seeking the amenities of a new home, but are drawn to the charm of an older and more established neighborhood, a tear-down project could be a very exciting and rewarding proposal. But once you’ve found that special property, there are some important aspects yet to consider.

To help ensure your new home enhances the character of the community, take into account the following tips:

  1. Be mindful of the architecture. Maintain an open dialogue with your builder and the architect. Discuss which elements of the surrounding community you like the most, and together, look for opportunities to integrate those features into the home’s design, while also maximizing its livability.
  2. Be neighborly. Meet your future neighbors before work begins. You don’t want their first impression of you to be the (unavoidable) noises associated with demolition and construction. Briefly introduce yourself and show them you are someone who is genuinely invested – emotionally and financially – in the community. Even sending them a brief, hand-written letter in the mail will go a long way to building positive relations from the very beginning.
  3. Be charitable. Before demolition starts on the original home, have it inspected and save anything that can be re-purposed in your new home to add to its character. Better yet, donate anything that might be of use to others. Non-profit donation centers accept all kinds of new or gently used furniture, appliances, housewares and building materials. Proceeds help families in your community, and you even get a tax credit for the donation while also cutting down on refuse.

The key to a successful tear-down project is to acknowledge the community’s homes, its history and – most of all – the people that make it great. Contact Hillsborough NC Home Builder Collins Design-Build today to learn more about home building opportunities in the Triangle area.


Fox Hill Farm REALTOR Emilee Collins and Fox Hill Farm Builder Chad Collins



Chad & Emilee Collins

An unlimited licensed general contractor as well as a licensed home inspector, custom home builder Chad Collins transforms clients’ dreams into elegant, fashionable, timeless homes while maintaining a reputation for skilled craftsmanship, superior quality, and incomparable client service. Collins Design-Build is consistently ranked by the Triangle Business Journal as one of the top custom home builders in the Triangle.

Chad’s commitment to excellence has earned Collins Design-Build numerous top industry awards, including the National Certified Green Professional Builder of the Year. The Durham, Orange & Chatham’s Builder of the Year, and twice awarded the coveted Triangle Sales and Marketing Council’s MAME Building Company of the Year. Chad is one of fewer than 50 Accredited Master Builders in the state of North Carolina.

From the outset of his career, Chad quickly impressed others with his professionalism, integrity, and astute operations management skills. While in high school and college, Chad worked part time with home improvement retailers and building material suppliers, which opened opportunities to work for regional and national home builders throughout much of the 1990s. Chad capitalized on these experiences with local and regional builders to acquire considerable industry knowledge and to forge strong relationships.

Earlier in his career, Chad served as a team leader to local and regional production home builders, distinguishing him by developing processes, tools, and quality-driven teams that improved ROI, cut annual costs, reduced project completion time, and decreased attrition. As a result, Chad advanced to increasingly through management positions. Evidence of his talent for coaching and leading teams is that some of the team members and craftsmen he developed over a decade ago continue to work with him to this day.

Following that success, Chad was recruited by a national builder opening operations in the Triangle, and he played an important role in helping the company establish operations with a market presence in the region. His efforts in closing just under $6,000,000 in custom homes in a single year earned Chad the 2001 Builder of the Year award.

Chad has earned the highest designations available, such as Accredited Master Builder, Master Certified Green Professional, and Aging-in-Place Specialist. Among other industry recognition’s, the company has received multiple Best Green Built Home STARS Awards, Major Renovation Awards and the coveted Parade of Homes GOLD Award.

Prior to being elected as the President of the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange & Chatham Counties, serving over 600 members, Chad was nominated to a five-year term with the North Carolina Home Builders Association as regional vice president; serving the largest territory region in the nation.

Throughout his career, he has served on various boards of directors and has earned numerous top awards for membership recruitment from the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties; the North Carolina Home Builders Association; the National Association of Home Builders; the Triangle Community Coalition; and the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce.

Chad is honored to be an approved speaker for the National Association of Home Builders Chad has written and taught several courses on green building as well as project management to fellow builders across the Southern United States. He is also an instructor for Duke University’s OLLI Continuing Education Program, serving as the Aging-in-Place Specialist.


For more information and how Collins Design-Build may serve you please connect with us through the following:

  • Home Building/Remodeling/Additions/ Consultations:

Collins Design-Build, Inc.   www.collinsdesignbuild.com

  • To find a lot or land / Buy or sell existing Real Estate:

Emilee Collins, REALTOR  www.collinsdesignrealty.com

  • To learn more about Aging In Place or how to make your existing home accessible:

Planning Tomorrow  www.planningtomorrow.com

  • Have your existing home painted by our award winning professionals:

Acento Painting, LLC  www.acentopainting.com

Chad direct line 919-422-2818  | Chad’s Email chad@collinsdesignbuild.com


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This post was written by Chad Collins


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