Thursday, August 25, 2011

And that's my life in a nutshell.

Many thanks to the people -- both of you -- who asked why my blog disappeared not long after I started.  Naturally, there is a story behind it.

After four years of discussion, nine months of planning, and six agonizing months of design revision, revision and more revision, The Rehab That Wouldn't Die is finally in construction drawings. Our architect, Saint Kim, has worked crazy hours to get the final drawings done in time to meet the village's September 22 deadline (after which our variance expires and it's back to square one).  Engineering reports are complete, tree removal is scheduled, and I'm feverishly tearing pictures out of shelter magazines to help me pick the perfect finishes.  I can see the finish line ...

we're almost there...

...and then Victor tells me he wants to buy the house down the street instead.

Are you kidding me? Are you F***ING KIDDING ME?!?!

There are times when violence is the only option.  This seems like one of those times. 

And to make matters far worse, there's a chance he may be right. 

The rest of the story:

It seems that construction costs have continued to climb, even as existing home prices have plummeted.  Cost estimates for our project are currently at 35-40% of what we paid for the house in 2007, and we expect it to climb.  At the same time, our favorite house in the neighborhood just went on the market at a discount price.  It has everything we were planning to construct, plus more: a master suite with rooftop deck.  Big bedrooms with big closets.  Professionally landscaped and lit grounds.  And  it's DONE.

That last point is a huge one.  The reality of what we are about to undertake is pretty overwhelming.  Demolition is slated to begin in October, so we are looking at six to nine months of plaster dust, plywood floors and microwave dinners.  December is not the best time to be missing the north face of your house.  What about Christmas? What will be the impact on the kid?  And where will we put the Canine Trash Compactor five days a week for all the months we have contractors in the house? 

So, we are pursuing *both* options.  At the same time.  This week we are hosting a parade of snotty realtors to get an idea of how bad a beating we'll take if we sell.  At the same time, Saint Kim is completing the plans so we will be ready to submit to the village if we decide to stay and build.  And beginning this weekend, we need to stage a massive Hoarders-esque decluttering to prepare for either scenario.

The next four weeks will determine whether we buy or build.  Either way, it's gonna suck.


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