No Tricks: Farmers Branch Really Pays You to Tear Down a House and Rebuild

Did you know that Farmers Branch will actually pay you to tear down a home and rebuild?

When you are building a home, an extra $30,000 comes in handy, right? Very handy. That could cover carpet, extra landscaping, or your new decked-out refrigerator.

And $30,000 is about how much the City of Farmers Branch will pay — yes, I said PAY —  homeowners who buy the city’s aged housing stock, tear it down, and build anew through the city’s unique Demo/Rebuild program. The city offers a cash grant that is based on the value of the home you tear down; the grant edges higher for less expensive homes). Farmers Branch will also offer a discount on property taxes for a certain length of time, depending on how much the difference is between the two homes’ property tax appraisal. It’s really a taxpayer’s dream: an incentive program that actually puts taxpayer dollars back into the hands — and homes — of taxpayers.

In official parlance, the Farmers Branch Demo/Rebuild program is a residential incentive program that offers cash grants to both residents and home builders to demolish and rebuild homes in Farmers Branch. The program is designed to incentivize revitalization in a city with aging housing stock and little available land for new home developments. The Demo/Rebuild program generates significant increases in property values for each project. Original homes with lower property appraisals are replaced with new homes valued, in some cases, over $1 million. For example, the last fiscal quarter of July, August, and September reported $1.2 million in market values (home only, not land) of three new Farmer’s Branch home projects. The previous quarter gain was $1.8 million. Talk about an economic incentive that both taxpayers and the city can take to the bank!

“The increase in revenue helps us keep superior level of service for our parks, streets, and other city services,” says Allison Cook, Director of Economic Development & Tourism with the City of Farmers Branch.

Is this not like a dream come true for anyone looking to build a new home? And why haven’t more people heard about this? Well, for one, Farmers Branch is just coming into its own as a wonderful suburban community to call home that happens to be not so suburban: it is located adjacent to the City of Dallas. Though the name sounds rural, in reality, Farmers Branch is literally located in the center of the D/FW Metroplex. We all know that when we say “Dallas growth,” that is shorthand for “North Texas” growth. And Farmers Branch is smack dab in the center of that growth. The city is small (only 12 square miles) but has amenities galore with easy access to downtown Dallas on the DART green line, bordered by all the major highways for those who prefer to drive (I-35, I-635, Dallas North Tollway, and George Bush Turnpike). Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport and Love Field are minutes away.

And we are not talking lots surrounded by urban blight or in transitioning neighborhoods, nor are we talking postage stamp-sized lots. We are talking large, green, treed-and-leafy lots that can be matched up to many in Preston Hollow when it comes to lushness and size.

Only the prices are way less. As are city taxes!

Farmers Branch is also considered the perfect location for a great house with access to the top private schools in North Texas. If you are not utilizing Dallas schools, why live there? 

The Caldwell residence, completed in 2016, with stone and standing-seam metal roof.

There is also fabulous golf in Farmers Branch at Brookhaven Country Club, which was voted best family country club by Avid Golfer magazine. So you can build your new home near a golf course or in some cases, right on it. Which is exactly what Kevin Caldwell and Mary Katherine Kirk did on Tanglewood Drive. They tore down an older home on a cul-de-sac that backs right up to the meandering golf course. Their transitional, 3761-square-foot home they built in 2016 is now valued at just under $900,000.

“We just love this house, and the location is so peaceful!” Kevin told me. “We got about $30,000 from the city through the demo/rebuild program, and the cash came in very handy.”

As the program catches on, the neighborhood near Brookhaven Country Club is already showing the results of revitalization.

“Brookhaven Club is a hidden gem,” says Allison. “As is our Rawhide Creek, a linear park that runs through the city greenbelt along Golfing Green Drive. Homesites there are highly sought.”

Don’t golf? There is tennis and a really nice club for meals and other events at Brookhaven, plus a killer pool. The City of Farmers Branch has oodles of amenities, including beautifully maintained parks, state-of-the-art playgrounds, and a new master trail plan that will encourage walkability and connect the city trails to those surrounding. Soon you will be able to bicycle down to the Dallas Katy Trail and back!

Enjoy your dinner at night at one of the many fantastic eating establishments cropping up in Farmers Branch. The new restaurant park near the Dart Green Line will soon have Cedar Creek Brewhouse and Eatery along with Cox Farms Market. Other restaurants are in negotiations with the developer set to completely redevelop this area into a restaurant haven.

Oh and need we mention safety? You are north of LBJ, and Farmers Branch police take pride working with neighborhoods and residents to keep the city one of the safest in North Texas.

In fact, Farmers Branch offers some of the lowest response times in the area with an average emergency response time of under five minutes for police, fire, and EMS.

And if EMS services are needed, Dallas Medical Center is nearby on LBJ/I-635, with other major Dallas hospitals a quick ambulance ride away.

And theatre, too!

Farmers Branch Demo/Rebuild Incentive

Incentive levels are determined based on the Dallas Central Appraisal District (DCAD) listed improvement value of a home. DCAD improvement values can easily be accessed by visiting the DCAD website.

Improvement Value: $65,000 and under

  • $30,000 cash grant
  • 3 year city property tax rebate

Improvement Value: $65,001 – $100,000

  • $20,000 cash grant
  • year city property tax rebate

Improvement Value: $100,001 – $150,000

  • $10,000 cash grant
  • year city property tax rebate

Improvement Value: $150,001 and up

  • 7 year city property tax rebate

Cash Grant
Cash grants are issued in two payments: 50 percent following demolition of the old home and 50 percent when the certificate of occupancy is issued for the new home.

City Property Tax Rebate
The city property tax rebate is an economic development grant equal to 100 percent of the difference between the city property taxes assessed and paid on the new improvement value and the assessed value prior to the demolition. All valuations are based on structure only, does not include land value. For more information, contact the city of Farmers Branch.

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