Three Giveaways

Is the house you’re looking at online a tear-down?

Here’s a short-hand way to tell:

One.  The list price is upper six figures (or more), and there are only three photos — all exterior shots (MLS allows up to 18).

Two.  When you link to the county tax records, the land is worth more than the home (usually, land accounts for 25% to 33% of the total tax assessed value).

Three.  The listing agent tells you — either point-blank  (“the value is in the land”), or with somewhat gauzier language (“imagine the possibilities of this gorgeous lot . . . “).

For a more detailed analysis of whether something is a tear-down, seeTear-Down Economics.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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