Friday, October 3, 2008

Well, That Made It Easy

Looks like Oliver will be making Hoyne Avenue his home for awhile.

We've been struggling since Oliver was born to figure out our next move house-wise. We hope to bring another Weinstein into the world at some point and the 2BD/2BTH condo probably wouldn't cut it, so we are trying to anticipate what's next for us. For some reason this is an extremely difficult decision for us -- part laziness, part resistance to change, part an aversion to spending money.

So, anyway, one of the top contenders for the next move was converting a 3-flat rental we own into a single family home. It has a beautiful backyard, a three-car garage, a great neighborhood, and would yield 4,900 square feet of living space (including a sunlight adorned third floor for Eric's painting studio) -- quite a move up for us.

We engaged an architect to help us figure out if it could be done, if a 108-year-old home could be converted to modern luxury. We passed that test and worked with him to do a basic layout of the dream home -- 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, and a bonus two-bedroom apartment on the ground floor (to help subsidize the mortgage). Next step was to get a contractor to give a rough estimate based on the layout -- not a specific bid, but a rough estimate. That was three weeks ago and the numbers came back yesterday.


(not including lighting, plumbing fixtures, tile, cabinetry, which would run another $80K). Hold on, let me get my check book. And keep in mind this is an estimate -- we all know what that means, right? Oh, yeah, and let's not forget that we still owe hundreds of thousands on the 3-flat itself. What a mess!

Actually, it's not too much of a mess. It does well as a rental and we'll probably just hold on to it and let the rents pay down the mortgage. And things actually seem a little less messy as we eliminate the myriad options, which was the point of this whole exercise in architecture anyway... but we've still got the big question of WHAT'S NEXT? Could be a new house in this neighborhood, or a move to another hood closer to the highway for Eric's commute, or in a better school district, or gawd-forbid the suburbs.

For now, though, as with all things having to do with finances and economy these days, I think we'll just hold tight and enjoy the conveniences of not having to walk more than 15 steps to get a crying baby from his crib or more than 30 to carry the laundry from the hall stackables to the bedroom. It doesn't mean our dreams of a wrap-around front porch and plenty of room for entertaining and guests are dead, but we are grateful to be one step closer to knowing what the next step is -- or isn't, as the case may be.

1 comment:

Whitlatch Family said...

Hey, more rooms always attract more overnight guests. Be careful what you wish for. Our 5 hour drive always makes people reconsider their visit here.