Wednesday, March 21, 2012

House Plans

My eyes are going to be crossed by the end of the week. They're half-way there already, thanks to sleep depravation and too much time on the computer. You'd think that something would have to give to save me from such awful consequences, however my baby still refuses to sleep well at night and I... well, I refuse to give up my quest.
What quest might that be?
The quest of mapping out every single room, and potential room, of my house in a variety of ways on floorplan software.
What's the rush, you might ask? It's a 7 day free trial on this software and we're already 3 days in!

It all started a few days ago (3, actually) when Matt and I were discussing the house market. We had planned to finish updating the house we currently live in and moving into a house that would either afford us more space, or would have revenue potential, and we had planned to list our house by this coming fall.
Well, now that the market is picking up, we are rapidly losing our edge. The only houses that were going around town were the ones that were move-in ready and showed really well, which was what we were aiming to hop in on when we listed our house. When we got this place it was mostly original 1980's wallpaper, flooring and light fixtures. The day we took possession we painted over some peach walls, and within three months we had completely gutted and redone the main bathroom, replaced some flooring and painted most everything. Within a year we had painted all of the living areas, replaced the flooring in the living room and had all the light fixtures switched. Now, we're about 3 1/2 years in and we've got a bit of flooring left to do until the place looks fantastic; it would look like the kind of place that would have sold well on the market when everyone just wanted somewhere that was 'done'. However, we've been watching the market pretty closely lately and have noticed an alarming trend... the rest of the market is picking up to meet the fully finished houses. Mortgage laws in Canada have changed enough since we bought this place that we have a fairly fixed amount that we could afford to buy a new place for. Our plans had centered around selling a finished house high, and buying a place that needed some elbow grease for low, but that's looking less and less likely.
SO, all that to say, Matt and I started re-evaluating our options. One thing that became apparent was that we are in a position that within the next year we should be able to get approved for a rather hefty loan, or an expansion of our mortgage, that would allow us to do an addition on our existing house. I had long-time been a supporter of this idea. I love our house, I really do. I love the yard, I love the location, I love the neighbours... There are components of the house that I would change if I could, but with this renovation plan, I think we actually would change all of those areas.
The brunt of the reno would involve adding a garage and some rooms above it. What those rooms were and what they looked like were the subject of my scheming with the home design software. In the past 3 days I have made up 21 different floor plans for different rooms in our house. Plan 1 is to put a master bedroom with a large ensuite and a family room above the garage. Plan 2 is to put two smaller bedrooms and the family room above the garage and to commandeer our son's room, connect it with our current master bedroom and build the new ensuite in that space. Both of these plans involve renovations to our kitchen, relocating our laundry room into one of our upstairs bedrooms, and adding a bedroom in the basement. Big plans, I know. I'm personally rooting for Plan 2 right now, because while Plan 1's ensuite sits in the master bedroom and is only divided by a pony wall, which I quite like, Plan 2 has a walk-through closet to a larger ensuite and would actually cost less because the ensuite would back onto our existing bathroom (not running plumbing in the new garage addition? Priceless.)
This is all just preliminary planning. The reality is that until we pay off our debts and are sure that the revenue property plan isn't going to pan out, all of this is on the back burner. However, instead of waiting until we know that Plan A won't work for us, and then scrambling to get a proposal ready for the bank, I hope to have a plan, estimates and a detailed cost break-down ready for the bank, so that everything goes as smoothly as possible. And really, I call this Plan B, but it's really my Plan A ;)

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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