Should we stay or should we go?

Oh my. A big decision indeed. DH and I are trying to decide whether to stay put at Chez Harry’s and fully renovate the old dear or whether to pull up stumps and move back a couple of streets to a quieter locale with a fully renovated house for a couple of $$ more. That would a couple of hundred THOUSAND more.

You see, it’s like this. We now have my adult daughter (formerly a he) living with us as she goes through her transition. She is unlikely to leave for a couple of years given her mental health issues and various needs. Cool. We also have 2 younger children who need their own spaces during the times they stay with us – they might also want to live with us in future while they are studying.  Also cool. Then, there might be grandchildren. And happy families visiting. I think we’ve got about 15 years where we will need to have a larger house for extended family, maybe longer.

The other thing is, our income has grown rather nicely in this time. So much so that we could actually afford to move back a few streets. We could also renovate. Given what we’ve seen around, the chance of doing either is pretty high. Unfortunately, we are on a busy street and the cost to renovate our home may not match the eventual value. Something about borrowing and liability and potential recouping of value etc etc. At one point I spoke to the bank and while they were happy to lend money for some small projects they weren’t quite as happy to extend a decent renovation budget to do all the things needed to bring the house up to date.

I’ve provided a pretty picture of our house plans for your edification with the West Wing showing sunroom, robe (Hah!) and bathroom and the front of the house showing the office and master bedroom. East Wing currently has a porch on it and the back of the house has the current toilet, bed 1, kitchen and dining rooms.

House plans 2014

Here’s the list, in no special order, of what we’d like to fix/add/update, in sections.

1. FRONT of house, and whole exterior

  • Add porch and stairs to front of house for central entry, shaped with original 20s features
  • Add open carport and electric garage door for under the house
  • Concrete the carport and entryways, create side path on low side
  • Replace louvre windows with laminated hopscotch windows, repair all wooden windows
  • Paint and fix exterior walls and replace window shades with new
  • Landscape garden to include hedge and new trees
  • Exterior lights on porch and round the side – timer activated

2. Office and misc rooms

  • Shell interior office and insulate all interior walls and ceilings; replaster and paint
  • New front door and entryway
  • Replace lights and powerpoints
  • Window shutter treatment

3. West Wing Sunroom

  • Shell and insulate all interior walls and ceilings; replaster and paint and insulate interior walls
  • Replace lights and powerpoints
  • Add permanent wall to create extra bedroom (or future study/ parental retreat/ walk-in-robe)
  • Replace aluminium windows with new wooden laminated windows
  • Exterior and interior window treatments – retractable awnings and interior shutters
  • Repaint
  • Carpet for sound insulation

4. West Wing Robe and Bathroom area

  • Repurpose the robe area to be a general utility area possibly with upstairs laundry OR open study zone
  • Replaster and insulate the room
  • Replace lights and powerpoints
  • Add built in desk area and bookcases
  • Repaint
  • Renovate the bathroom

5. Pantry

  • Built in storage including utility area
  • Add lights
  • Repaint
  • Add door
  • OR! Turn it into a stairwell…

6. Lounge

  • Built in bookcases, lights, repaint

7. Master bedroom

  • Shutter treatment for all windows and french doors
  • Repaint
  • Rewire powerpoints

8. REAR of house: all

  • EXTENSION!!!
  • Extend whole back of house by 4 metres. Reshape rooms and reorient living/kitchen areas to Western view.
  • New kitchen with butler’s pantry
  • Add new bathroom
  • Add powder room
  • Extend bedroom with ensuite and WIR (creating new master bedroom at rear of house)
  • Add 4m DECK!

9. Garden

  • Hard landscaping for water runoff
  • Remove old tree stumps
  • Re-lawn
  • Landscape in easy-care tropical style
  • Pool???
  • Poolhouse???

10. DOWNSTAIRS

  • Add rooms including rumpus, office, extra bedroom, laundry, bathroom

You see? There’s a LOT to consider. If we don’t go downstairs or add a poolroom we could probably do most of this, but even with the simplest jobs we need to replace all the electrics and pipes, as they are all on the fritz.

So, I guesstimate the front sections additions, relining, painting and West Wing revamp to cost about $70000 (that’s $1500 per square metre) which could easily be accommodated by the bank. It’s the back section that becomes interesting. And expensive. But now’s the time to think about it, because our plumbing is failing, our kitchen appliances are all dying simultaneously, and we have nowhere nice to sit of an evening (ie family room/back deck). And our garden is a den of weeds.

 

Do we stay or do we go? I love Harry’s place. But it’s groaning and sighing and telling us it needs some TLC and a pot of money thrown at it.

 

 

 

 

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