House Reno Part 1/3 - Purchase and start of work

Earlier this year we decided that, seeing as investing in stock and farm land wasn't on our radar and after getting much advice in favour - we purchased our first investment property.

The property we ended up purchasing was just 20km from the farm and was a great price - keeping in mind that it is 105 years old! The old girl certainly needed some work but I had 'time', towing 2 kids along with me day in and day out for 2 months!

The impressively taken real estate agents photos

The impressively taken real estate agents photos

We both developed a crush on the property immediately but urged each other to not get our hopes up as we went through the rigmarole of a 'deadline sale' meaning that we had to put our best offer in straight off the bat - and we knew someone else had too.

In the end it came down to us offering more and the other party having less conditions. So we finally won - dependent on finance and a builders report. Both ended up pulling through (Although I don't think the builder was quite as thorough as he could have been). Settlement date was the 1st of May and I gave myself 2 months to repaint the entire interior, carpet 2 wooden floored (Very cold, un-insulated bedrooms), demolish and re-build the bathroom, rewire the entire house and do it all for a little money as possible. Easy, right?

The entrance way

The entrance way

The house has 2 living areas, 2 large bedrooms, a sun room/ 3rd bedroom, a bathroom with a rotten floor, a little kitchen and an OUT. SIDE. TOILET. Yup, that's how old this wee gem is!

With the outside of the house being grey and the living areas having new charcoal carpet (and the fact I love grey) I decided to keep that theme throughout the house.

Turns out there is MORE than 50 shades of grey! Who would have known? In the end we settled with a nice light grey called 'Quarter Silver Chalice'  and the dark grey is 'Caroline Bay'

The colour I had to work with...

The colour I had to work with...

As you can see in the photo above - the original colours were quite... pukey - and this was AFTER I had painted the skirting and scotia white, from floor to ceiling it was all this apricot colour!

Luckily I ended up having help with the initial painting and prep and taping process in form of a lovely farmstay/woofer who was meticulous (much more than me) and great with the kids which was a real life saver!

The master bedroom, carpeted, painted and finished.

The master bedroom, carpeted, painted and finished.

Slowly but surely each room got taped, the floors got covered in plastic, kids lectured on not to touch the paint, jolly jumper set up, paint trays and rollers set, edges painted and 2 coats of paint.

My little  child labourer , ahem,  helper

My little child labourer, ahem, helper

In regard to children and renovations - I think I got relatively lucky. Izzy had daycare from 9am-3pm just over the road, 2 days a week so that was the time I got most work done.

My tips here would be:

- Plenty of food! Mini meatballs, fruit, veggies, rice crackers (calciyum chokky milk for bribery)

- A portable DVD player and a range of DVDs to flick between (and the DVD cord/charger)

- A portacot, a jolly jumper and a bouncer for the wee guy who was only 5.5 months old when all this went down.

- Toys - the more musical the better.

- An imagination

- Let them help! When Izzy wanted to have a turn painting or plastering  - I let her! She would get sick of it in approximately 10.36 seconds and the fight is over and on to the next thing.

- Don't be too precious.  Explain the rules, cover the floors and cross your fingers,

- Keep an eye on ladders for more adventurous ones. It wasn't an issue with us but I'm sure it can be

- A heat source! We did this in the depths of winter in South Canterbury meaning frequent 0 degree temperatures. Thankfully the house had 2 heat pumps which we had one the entire time we worked there.

- Lots of clothes changes, nappies and butt wipes - and keep them at the house so you don't forget them day to day

- Take any offer of help and if someone wants to take the kids off your hands - let them! Things are SO much more productive when you aren't constantly replacing the dummy, retrieveing the rusk and digging out more food

The priceless JollyJumper

The priceless JollyJumper

It was quite a job so I will get part 2 up in the next day or two including that dreaded bathroom demolition! 

Please feel free to comment with any questions, thoughts or what you want to know more about as I wish I had known more of what to expect!


Hold that thought ;) x