Jeff Foxworthy, the comedian, has a well-worn bit called “You know you’re a redneck when . . .”
I suppose the real estate equivalent would be, “you know it’s a tear-down when . . .”
In that spirit:
You know it’s a tear-down when . . . the mold in the home has advanced so far that the nails in the home’s framing are either missing or completely rusted out.
In fact, that describes the home I just took clients through this morning.
Once that has happened, even “gutting to the studs” is problematic — because the integrity of the studs is in doubt.
P.S.: whether the home is an “economic” tear-down vs. a “functional” tear-down are two separate questions.
An economic tear-down is typically an undersized home on a big lot, in an expensive location. There may be absolutely nothing wrong with the home itself. Rather, the location simply supports a much more expensive home.
A functional tear-down is when the home’s condition is so far gone that rehabbing is no longer an option.