I never know where I will find interesting tidbits for the Voice. I was flying home from the East Coast last night on American Airlines and found a tidbit in the airline magazine! In an article titled "The Deconstruction Deduction" author Ken Wysocky writes
So, you're thinking about a home teardown to make way for larger, more modern digs? Fair enough, but before you hire a guy with a dump truck, here's a tax tip that may seem as improbable as a benevolent IRS man: It just might be more lucrative to have your abode painstakingly dismantled--stud by stud, floorboard by floorboard, brick by brick--than to flatten it with a bulldozer. And you will do the environment a huge favor in the process.
The piece goes on to list some real-life numbers about "donating salvageable materials (such as highly prized old-growth lumber or vintage oak floorboards)". There are lots of classic B'game bungalows that have lots of that stuff along with classic windows, doors, and fireplace mantles that bring big bucks at places like Omega Salvage, Urban Ore and Wholesale Building Supply in San Mateo. The piece goes on to note a case study from Palo Alto where
Demolishing the home would cost $10,000. Hiring a deconstruction contactor--in this case, Palo Alto-based Rebuild Green--would cost $21,000. A certified appraisal of the salvageable items (required for tax filings for deductions larger than $5,000) cost another $1,500. ... When the final figure (value) came in at $117,000--the resulting tax deduction more than covered the initial outlay.
Great stuff from an unexpected source. I've been talking to a lot of B'gamers lately while walking neighborhoods and it's amazing how often people want to talk about salvage out of the blue!