A Project Raise The Roof Update

On Thursdays, I usually talk about three things because Three and Thursday and Things makes alliteration and I’m a huge fan of alliteration. But these days, I’ve been thinking about just one thing.

What the heck are we doing with this house?

I don’t know.

Months ago, we shared with you our plans to raise the roof and add three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 600 square feet with a second floor addition. And then, I went silent about the whole thing. We were in the permitting process for a while. We submitted some plans to the city, had them send them back because they were missing things. Sent some more. In the meantime, we kept researching. We talked to some contractors, got quotes, eyed MLS for comparables and prices, contacted realtors and talked and talked and talked.

I’m going to apologize to all my readers who happen to be in real estate when I make this generalization: realtors are unreliable. At least, if you’re not immediately making them money, they’re unreliable. The first one we invited came, toured the house, gushed about the work we’ve done, promised she would drop off a package of estimates and comparables the next day, and then disappeared.

It was almost the same story with the second realtor. He plead family emergencies and disappeared, but only after the Husband spent numerous emails and time trying to get a number out of him, just an estimate.

The third realtor came through. She sat in our kitchen and talked plainly about our plans, about the numbers, about the real estate market. She gave us concrete information that we could use. When she left, we hemmed and hawed for a few more weeks. Then, we threw the plans out.

As much as our little bungalow is calling for a second storey it is just not worth it. The apartments behind us and the house’s small footprint are strikes against it that even the most beautiful renovation couldn’t make disappear. Unless we were willing to build out as well as up, the numbers just weren’t lining up.

So, now we’re left wondering what to do. We know this house is not sustainable for us in the long run. We’re already busting at the seams and, while we have no current, concrete plans to continue growing our family, the last time we added to it, it wasn’t exactly planned well in advance. A home office is still out of the question. We need more space – maybe not right now, but in the very near future.

So, what do we do? Sell and buy, make the move? Build anyway? Purge and reorganize?

We’re confused. We’re still talking. We’re figuring it out. One day, something will happen.

0 thoughts on “A Project Raise The Roof Update

  1. Oh im sorry it isnt working out 🙁 but i am glad that you made a decision on it!! I guess you have the option of building a small additions out the back (not sure how that works with the tenant entrance or your lot size). Another option might be to really pay down the ol mortgage and then reclaim the basement.

    or sell. but I find your house adorable so dont do that [or…sell to me ;)]

  2. Why don't you go out an look at some houses and see what your money can get you? Perhaps its one of those "know when you see it" kinda scenarios. Looking at other peoples houses will either make you love yours more and cement your reno plans, or convince you to spend your reno $ on an already larger home. I can recommend a great agent if you still are not satisfied with your current options.

  3. Hey Nette, what about your lower level? Aren't there tenants down there? Could you guys use that space for yourselves? You could use that space as office/bedroom/family room areas. (Or maybe I'm thinking of someone else who has a rental unit in their basement).
    If not, maybe go out and have a look at the homes in your price range and see if you can find something a little larger.

  4. Aww… I love your last comment! It made me smile. I love our house too – adorable is a good word! So leaving it would be difficult.

    We have thought about reclaiming the basement when our current tenants move out. (We love them, so no way would we make a decision that affects them without making sure things work out for them too.)

    We have a few months to figure it out. So, some more talking is ahead of us!

  5. We have thought about this! And financially, it may be a good decision – over moving to a larger, more expensive house – but we do love the extra income that comes in every month from it. We love our tenants though, so we won't be making any decision that affects them without considering their options and their plans.

  6. I feel your pain… I'd love to expand a few rooms in my house – I think if I could move the back wall out even another 5 feet, it would make all the difference – but at the end of the day, there's a cap on how much we'd ever be able to sell it for – it's a semi-detached that backs onto a Go train track – so spending the money is one thing, but I don't think we'd ever see that money back if we sold it.

    I'll echo the suggestions of seeing what else is out there in your price range – it's astounding how prices have increased in our area and what you can get for your budget, and the purging and reorganizing, which is my plan to get a bit more space.

    (Though, if you're looking and don't mind moving to the northern 'burbs, there's two under-priced houses on our street. 🙂 )

  7. That is a tough decision and a frustrating situation. I would say that if financially it will not pay off to do the reno then move unless you love love love your house and its location and are willing to just do the reno for yourselves to enjoy.

  8. Hmm very interesting to read this! Sounds like it's been quite the journey.We are still discussing our second story options, but it's not quite as rushed (we have about 800 square feet upstairs, so feel like we can live with that for a good while longer). I'll be interested to see what you guys decide to do! If you won't regain the cost of the reno in added value to your home, I would move. Hard decision, but I'm sure you'll find something else out there that suits you and presents a whole new adventure!

  9. How about applying to "Love It Or List It" … maybe they can help you solve the problem?

    If you would stay in the house forever IF it fit you better than spending money on renovating makes sense … even if you don't get the dollars back on re-sell. If, on the other hand, you still plan to move on in X years you might be better off selling sooner rather than later … if you can find something better.

    Real Estate is incredibly complex, eh?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *