Growing number of Bay Area homeowners staying put and rebuilding

Greg Stein's Davis Islands home has sentimental value.

"This house was built in 1952," he said. "My grandfather built it. It's in real good shape."

He recently made the difficult decision to knock down and rebuild next year so his family would have more space and storage.

"Huge. Keeps me up at night sometimes. We want to be able to have our kids come and visit. We wanted to be able to spend more time and we have more stuff than previous generations had. It's the smart thing to do. It's not the emotional thing to do," he continued.

And there are a lot of homeowners like him taking this route.

"It's just happening everywhere. I'm doing quite a bit of this right now," said Mike Cogdill of Cogdill Builders.

He said Stein is one of many clients who want to keep the property and change the home.

"Ideally it's people who have lived in a certain location for quite some time; a couple of decades. The house is typically paid for. They love the location. They don't want to move anywhere else but they don't like the house," he explained.

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After several remodels, Dennis Drummond decided knocking down his home made sense.

"The house is about 50 years old and it was a wooden structure. We find it a lot easier just to take the entire house down and start from scratch. This way you get what you want in the first place versus what you're hoping you can actually patch," said Drummond.

"Land values have gone up across the board, so if you own property and say you don't like the house on it, then it doesn't make any sense to sell that and move to a bigger house when you already own the land. So they tear down the house and then they build what they want. It actually makes a lot of logical sense from a financial standpoint to hold onto that land and just build," offered realtor Melanie Atkinson.

And it could save money in the long run.

"He has some very unique things," Cogdill said of Drummond's home. "Specifically he had us do a super-insulated house. Not only is the roof assembly spray-foam insulated, this is a very energy-efficient house."

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"Anytime you're building a new house, then you're building with the newest construction standards, the newest efficiency standards. So everything is lower, the cost of the house is lower, your insurance costs are lower, electric costs are lower. So there is a value to building new," Atkinson said.

Cogdill points out that it's not just a wise investment for the homeowners, but their community too.

"I see a lot more of this happening in the future and it's really good for the neighborhoods also because it revitalizes the neighborhoods, gets rid of the marginal homes, the unsafe homes, and increases property value. So this is really a good route to take," he added.