Q: Have you heard of a practice in which properties are purchased as teardowns but rather than erecting a larger single house on the property, the new owner elected to build two semidetached units?

They sell one and living in the other to cut down their home-ownership costs. Is this a new trend?

A: Teardowns have become commonplace in many parts of the U.S. where the value of the land is worth more than the property that sits on it.

In my own community are several examples of teardowns where the builder has replaced one home with two. In fact, on the west side of town, a builder bought two properties, tore them down and built five huge houses, creating a mini-subdivision of homes all priced in excess of $1 million.

In the case of the subdivision, the developer actually moved into one of the homes while completing the other four. He is still living there (I think) but will soon move out once the other homes have sold out.

I think developers are looking for ways to maximize profit in in-fill communities. I think if they can build in value and find a way to pay their own living expenses, they’ll look for that as well.