I have some home updates for you on the home renovation we are planning and why we decided not to move!
I love a good and exciting home job!
It’s my favorite type of post to read from other bloggers. So here’s where we’re going.
Since the day Thomas moved into this house, we’ve been talking about the long-term home plan. If you didn’t know, Thomas and his father are general contractors in their company, sun structures They do custom home renovations and new buildings. Of course, it looks like Thomas will have to build his house someday, right?
Thomas has already purchased and renovated the upper portion of the stabilizer to be his first home. He did most of the work himself, including the new kitchen, ceiling, and several cosmetic changes. It was a nice two bedroom cottage which he improved a lot when he bought it.
The backstory of our current home
I bought this home in January 2015 from an out-of-state home heart investor. I bought it primarily for its location in the heart of the historic district of Charlottesville. But also because the eyes of the “average home buyer” have seen new paint, a new kitchen, new bathrooms, and it’s sold out. It also has plenty of space and storage. I loved living here!
When Thomas moved into the house, he pointed out some of the shortcomings of the renovation. A modest paint job, inexpensive windows, tiles and fixtures isn’t really our style. Needless to say, the house was renovated on a budget to maximize face and not someone’s forever home.
Here is the surface of our basic bedroom that we will never let any child use because it is so unsafe. It’s a wasted space that we never use. (This is an old hammock in the middle of it.) The roof was pulled because it was leaking from below, and the balustrades are crooked.
We’ve done a lot of small updates (and a few big ones)
Over the years, we have gradually updated some of the energy-saving things (Thomas . put Three new doors himself) and of course there The furnished balcony which he built to replace the “new” roof that was already warped and disintegrating. We have also added a file dog yardnew kids bathroom vanityAnd the gas stoveand it’s over fitness room In the bottom corner of our basement.
The circular conversation we’re having on the regular
For years, we’ve had the same conversation over and over:
- Let’s buy land and build
- Where will we do that?
- Cath: I don’t want to live in the country
- Thomas: This location / the view / the neighbors are great
- Both: Alright, we’ll stay here for now
Where will we build?
Someone just paid $700,000 for a house two blocks away and did their own country. Such is the demand for land in this city! If we wanted to build a house, we would have to drive for it. This had been under discussion for a while, until last summer when I had to take the two kids to camp. I spent 45 minutes in the car twice a day and I hate it. He. She.
I really hate driving. I really like to walk. Being in a walkable area is at the top of my priority list – even more than building our dream home. So as of last summer, construction in the country was off the table.
Well, let’s look for the upper stabilizer?
We started thinking about buying an upper stabilizer in town and refurbishing it. But then the housing market went crazy, and that idea fell off the list.
Although there may still be a chance that we will find the perfect holding top and move in that direction, it seems unlikely given the market. Especially when we think about selling our house and the costs involved (getting it to market, realtor’s fees), it seems logical that we should do something with this house to make it more our own.
Another reason we’re not crazy about buying a stabilizer top is because we love the look of our home. Although our backyard has a slope, the view is simply unbeatable. We love our privacy.
If we buy the top of the stabilizer with a yard at street level, we will not easily have a view as well as the neighbors looking at us. Thus, we will end up being really picky about setting up the installer, which makes finding the installer even more difficult.
We also love our neighbors!!! Again, this house has such a good location. Walkable from children’s schools, walkable to city center, 5 minutes from everything.
Well, let’s renovate this house
And this is where the conversation came to. We enlisted the assistance of an architect to help envision how we can reimagine our main floor to be more than we would like in the long run. Our plan is to go into the one car garage and expand the first floor and also add a dormer window to our bedroom.
In the basement wishlist:
- Larger custom kitchen with island
- Real mud room with lots of storage
- Supplies Room
- space setting
- Better flow from the kitchen to the living areas
- Possibly a small side balcony?
On the wish list upstairs:
- Add a canopy at the back to brighten up the basic bedroom
- Stretch the roof and add unfinished loft storage above the collapsed roof deck we never use (most importantly, this will protect and insulate the finished space underneath)
- Update our bathroom finishes and maybe add a dormer window there too
- We will probably change our cabinets to make them a little bigger and add a wall to our bed
The dark back wall of our bedroom
The view our bedroom could have if we had windows!
make this happen
We know that we are incredibly fortunate to be in a position to make this happen. First of all, we wouldn’t have done this if Thomas wasn’t the builder! This will save us money and also allow us to be as flexible as possible.
Second, if the housing market wasn’t crazy, we probably wouldn’t have to allocate this home.
Third, we hope to be able to donate and/or recycle as much as possible from your existing kitchen/bathroom cabinets, etc.
Knowing a reno or house swap was on the radar, before interest rates went up, we refinanced money from the equity that had been built into our home over time. I’m so glad we did when we did now that interest rates have almost doubled!
We figured we can always invest that money if we change our mind. We paid off quite a bit of the mortgage (from the proceeds of Thomas’ first house) so there was plenty of equity to play with. So the house is paying for its own renovation.
Our budget may determine what we can actually do on our wish list. Our architect first recommended a small addition to the front, in front of the garage, to make enough space for a true dining room.
We analyzed some numbers and realized that was probably off-budget to do, even with Thomas’ team doing the project. So we’re trying to work within our home footprint and “work smarter, not harder” inside.
Seeing how we felt about the dining room at this place. We decided to leave it attached to the living room to make room for a proper mudroom.
when and where?
The plan is to start a little less than a year from now. We will definitely have to leave for about 6 months.
There was a hot moment when we thought we could move downstairs, which would remain pretty much untouched, and we remembered we had two kids and no kitchen there and that was hard. What are we thinking!? (If it were just the two of us, we’d definitely consider that.)
We just found a rental house in the same neighborhood as us and booked it for March-August of next year. It is furnished so that it helps with all the shifts too. They are attractive but have the perfect space for us (3 bedrooms) and would be very nice to stay close to the boys’ schools.
As we move forward with this plan, things can definitely change! We can find a big dream or have a financial or architectural reason behind the failure of Renault. I will be sharing more as time gets closer. But as always, I wanted to bring you a glimpse into our lives!