After deliberating and living in this house, we have decided to toss it in and sell.
It has been a learning experience - the renovation planning process, and the whole architect thing. But at the end of the day, if we stayed, we wouldn't be able to renovate for years, and maybe even never. At least not the plans we have currently.
So we'll cut our losses and run. Find a place that doesn't need renovations.
So we are selling.
We are selling before Christmas.
It is now early November.
So our schedule:
Photoshoot for advertising: Monday 16th November
First open: Saturday 21st November
Auction day: 12 December
We don't have a lot of time. The countdown to the 16th has begun.
I spoke to an architect last week. Originally he was one of the ones we had arranged to meet about this project, but due to unforeseen circumstance, we did not meet up.
His said that our experience is not a unique one: have a budget, have a plan, go to tender, comes back over budget.
His advice in this current financial climate: if we see a house that has been renovated, and we love - buy it. He says that whatever it would cost would still be less than our own renovation project. He has a point, and we know we may well be over capitalising, but for 25+ years, it wouldn't be so bad.
Our neighbour on the north side (who is renting) believes his landlord is planning on renovating their house. Which means we may be getting new neighbours in the future and a new/renovated building next door.
Not sure if this is good news or not. We would miss our current neighbours.
But if we can time our renos with theirs then the issue of site access may be solved somewhat.
This mini renovation will see us through for a couple of years. It will just make life a bit more comfortable in this old house until the huge reno begins. Now we have a new fridge (with chilled, filtered water on tap and makes ice cubes!), and a fantastic cooker and a dishwasher that actually does its job properly.
We went to see the new renovated architect's office not far from our place. He has converted a three level, narrow building into a new retail space on the ground, his new office on the second and a one bed apartment on the top with a deck.
A lot of the features in the apartment were modeled on our own renovation as the plans were drawn up at the same time. So its was interesting to see the things that are planned for our big renovation.
Having discussed the fact that the budget is still an issue, we have agreed to re-visit the current plans later in the year and re-tender to a new builder to see how much the market as shifted. That would then be a one year difference between tenders.
If it is still ridiculously over budget, then we will then look at taking a few of the 'wow' factors out of the original plans: simplifying the rear roof design would make a huge difference as it is. But we will see how things go. The global economic crisis is affecting the building industry and it can either serve us well or make things a bit more complicated. We will see.