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[Matrix Reader Writes] Teardowns Are No Phenomenon

Brian S. Hickey, President of Xchange Properties wrote to us, refuting the premise of a previous post of mine about his company [Teardowns.com](http://www.teardowns.com) called [Let’s Be Honest, Teardown Your Home](http://matrix.millersamuel.com/?p=707) where I conclude:

Teardowns.com seems to be yet another niche service created by the housing boom that might now be torn down.

Mr. Hickey provides support for his argument that there is long-term demand for his services:

The teardown phenomenon is not new. Houses have been demolished and replaced for as long as they have been built – just take a look at historic pictures of your community, chances are you will see the current “teardown” is a replacement for something even older.

We agree that new business models pop up to take advantage of current trends, but we will argue that offering a service to help facilitate the rebuilding of outdated and in some cases obsolete housing stock within established communities is shallow or temporary.

Please take a look at the [attached article from The Lincoln Institute (July 2006) by Daniel P. McMillen](http://www.lincolninst.edu/pubs/pub-detail.asp?id=1136). The Lincoln Institute is a non profit educational institution established in 1974 to study and teach land policy and taxation; you just may change your opinion on the longevity of this teardown “phenomenon”.

The paper makes some great points and I am not anti-teardown in most cases (except historic properties). I appreciate Mr. Hickey’s feedback and respect his eagerness to defend his business.

However, the point of my post was simply that there have been a seemingly endless array of niche brokerage services that arrived on the scene during the housing boom. With the market softened by rising inventory, it seems unlikely that teardowns will continue at the torrid pace of the past few years leaving even less room for a specialty business. Yet I do wish Teardowns.com success.

[Teardowns: Costs, Benefits, and Public Policy [Lincoln Institute]](http://www.lincolninst.edu/pubs/pub-detail.asp?id=1136)
[Lets Be Honest, Tear Down Your Home [Matrix]](http://matrix.millersamuel.com/?p=707)