Remodeling has become a way of life in White Oaks. It seems that everywhere you turn, there’s a home that’s undergoing some degree of reconstruction. This is definitely understandable — with the average White Oaks home nearing 60 years of age (or more,) homeowners are facing the challenges of owning a home that is becoming functionally obsolete. The old knob-and-tube wiring is hopelessly inadequate for today’s modern electronics. The galvanized piping that was used in the original plumbing often gets so blocked with rust and corrosion that the water pressure to the home is a fraction of what it should be. And let’s not forget how cold these old homes get in the middle of winter, with minimal insulation and single-pane windows.
Functional obsolescence isn’t the only reason for remodeling. The average White Oaks home probably averaged between 1,000 – 1,200 square feet when it was first built. It’s no great revelation that people today want bigger homes, so many of the remodels that you’re seeing in White Oaks involve a dramatic increase in square footage over the original home. If you recall from my previous post “Does Lot Size Matter?” the City of San Carlos Municipal Code allows owners to build a 3,000 square foot home (including garage) on virtually any lot in San Carlos, and even bigger if the lot size can accommodate a large home. Just take a drive up Eaton Avenue or Saint Francis Way if you want to see some large and very impressive remodels.
On top of all that, the recent economic instability has made many homeowners think twice about moving to a larger home in a different neighborhood. Not many people want to digest the larger mortgage and the significant increase in property tax that you get when you purchase a home. Remodeling just makes sense for many folks.
So… with all of the changes going on in White Oaks, these questions beg to be answered:
- What do you think of the remodel projects that you see in your neighborhood, or as you drive through White Oaks?
- Do you think these new, larger homes are aesthetically pleasing, or are they out of character for White Oaks?
- Do larger, newer homes add value to a neighborhood, or do they diminish the quality of life for those living in smaller, adjacent homes?
- If you have remodeled recently, how did your neighbors react to the changes?
I’d love to hear your opinion on this topic — just click the Comment link below and make your voice heard.
(For the purpose of full disclosure, we made the decision to remodel our home 8 years ago. With four of us crammed into a 2BR, 1,200 square foot home, and child #3 on the way, we clearly needed to either add on or move out. Since we liked our White Oaks neighborhood so much, the decision to stay and add-on was an easy one. But being one of the first on our street to modernize and add a second story didn’t come without its share of negative comments and raised eyebrows — C.G.)
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