WE’RE MOVING!

Finally I am delighted to announce that: yes, we’re moving! Our house sold well (considering the impact of COVID-19 on house prices in our area) and we’re moving to a new part of town for us, one that I suspect I may never leave!

Here’s our new home:

Cute, huh! BTW, this is a screen shot of the house that I took from the real estate web site we found it on. I cannot wait to change those colours to something a little less drab. The paint job is in very good condition though so it might stay for a couple of years.

Here’s the floorplan. On the left is the downstairs (in QLD houses are often built under, so living quarters and the kitchen are on the top floor), and the right is the main living area and bedrooms:

I know there are four bedrooms when there are only 2 of us. But I use my study every day, and hubby needs a study too. So we’re making the first 2 upstairs bedrooms our studies, and the fourth bedroom downstairs is definitely our dumping room for the time being as we sort through our outdoor stuff. In our old house we had a great breezeway under the house, all 140sqm of it, in which we stored all the gardening equipment and spare items. In this house we don’t have that so we are making plans for a garden shed and workshop, to sit at the bottom of the driveway. It’s currently a turn-out for the under-house parking but, you guessed it, we’re not parking under the house! (except perhaps during hailstorms…)

We’d like to renovate this house (well der!) and the section under the deck and master bedroom is perfect for a new rumpus room (hubby calls it the pool room but I think he means the room with the grand piano ;)). We’ll take apart the old deck eventually and put in a new kitchen and deck that extends to the end of the master bedroom, and underneath we’ll lay some new concrete and enclose the space. We’re on 810sqm of land which is great for this part of town, and I don’t want to impact on the generous yard with more house, so we’re keeping our ideas modest (and in truth we won’t be able to afford much more than what we’re planning). We’ll upgrade the bathrooms and give the master bedroom an ensuite and walk-in-robe, by moving the kitchen to the new construction, and making it a galley kitchen, as seen below:

Soz about my terrible drawing – I did it on my computer that doubles as a tablet and my drawing is super shaky. We’ll add a small family bathroom upstairs where the kitchen currently sits.

So I’m a little concerned about the generally poor placement of the laundry – at the moment the downstairs bathroom is connected to the bedroom and I don’t love this – if we want to add a family room area I don’t want to add yet another bathroom. I think what I’ll do over time is to reduce the size of the bathroom to make it a family bathroom (not an ensuite), and then put a door in the ensuing corridor to the outside. At the moment the laundry door faces the hall to the rumpus and I don’t love the position, and I think if we rethink the laundry layout then we might get better flow. I’m loving playing with these ideas – it will be two years before we can pay for most of the new stuff so we will live with what we have in the meantime, and just do small things. I think the current rumpus will make a great 5th bedroom if we decide to add a downstairs family room at the rear, which will add great resale value to the home.

Do you have some great ideas to make this house even more amazing? I’d love to hear.

In the meantime, here are some interior shots of before. That is: before we moved in! 🙂

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.