From Trashed Old House to Pot of Gold
You did it!

You bought a development site, you've gone through the process of getting your development approved, and all that remains now is to demolish the trashed old house on the site and get going.

Or is it? That daggy old house and site might be able to put some extra cash in your pocket - you just have to look at it through a different pair of eyes.
First up, is it possible to sell the house? If it's on a concrete slab or it's a brick house, probably not. But if you have a weatherboard house on stumps, you might be sitting on a great opportunity. Depending on where you are, an old, relocatable house can sell for a nice chunk of change.

What if the house isn't going anywhere? Take a really good look at the existing house. Here are some items that people often successfully resell before demolition day:

  • Kitchen
  • Light fittings
  • Staircases
  • Flooring (particularly floorboards)
  • Joists
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Roof tiles
  • and the list goes on!
But don't just limit yourself to the inside of the house - what other structures are there on the site? How about selling or even just giving away these?

  • Shed
  • Garage
  • Carport
  • Cubby house
  • Water tank
  • Play equipment
  • Clothesline
  • Paving
  • Decking boards

Think that's all you can sell from outside the house? Think again! Do you have any significant landscaping features that might be worth money? Let's look at some examples.

Big, old trees - if you have permission to remove them, someone might be willing to cut them down in order to take them away as firewood. You "make" money saving yourself the cost of tree removalists.
Alternatively, are there any larger, significant trees that need to go? Sell them! Mature trees are ridiculously expensive from nurseries, but there are people who want instant trees in their garden and will dig them up and cart them away.

Does the house have a nice lawn? It's possible to remove the top layer of soil and grass so that it can be relaid somewhere else. Even big rocks can be worth something.

And once your site is empty, if it's going to be sitting idle for a while, consider what else it could be used for. Agisting animals can turn the property into a source of income while you're waiting for things to proceed.

If the ground is solid, it can also be used as a hard stand, which is a fancy term for parking. Someone with big machinery might be very glad to have a place to park it that's close to a job they're working on, instead of having the hassle of driving it back to the yard every night.
Now, I'm not going to lie - doing any or all of the things listed above is going to take some time and effort, so if you're busy, you might want to give it a miss. Alternatively, there are companies that specialise in recycling old houses, and contacting one could potentially be a whole lot easier than trying to do it all yourself.

And while making a little extra cash along the way is always a good idea to boost the viability of your project, remember, too, the old mantra - reduce, reuse, recycle. Anything you can't get rid of goes into landfill, so it's worth making an effort in order to be environmentally friendly.

So in the end, turning that trashed old house into a pot of gold can put cash in your pocket and help the environment as well. Win win!
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