RENOVATION JOURNAL - PART 1

IMG_4562.jpg

Dear Diary.

November 2014.

I just sold my third business. How cool is that? I never want to own another business ever again. I'm done. And wow, I feel completely liberated! I've been in some form of business for myself since 1999, so this newfound sense of time and freedom is quite intriguing. I wonder what I will do with all my free time? I could finish off all these quarter finished projects around here, maybe plant that vege garden, do some cool art projects with the kids. Ooooh I could do some paintings, or even read some books! I think I'm going to bake every day too. Fill the tins and the freezer in case of emergency. Sitting around just doing nothing sounds amazing. I might try that too. I'll just go make myself another coffee, and have a geeze on Facebook, see what's the haps....

Oh Dad just called. Said there's a couple of good houses for sale at the mo, and doing up a house would be right up my alley. I think he's right. It's probably about time I put my interiors degree to some use. I'm pretty handy with a tool box, my husband used to be a builder so we have everything we need, and I definitely have all the know how from years of doing up our own homes. I took a look online and checked out every detail, from google earth to the district council files and researched the era of house I'm looking at, and I've already rung the agent for an appointment to view. Could be a fun project. Okay let's buy it. I totally have all the time in the world for this. Let's have a 10 day settlement, because why not. Sign where? Sweet. Done. I guess I should ring the accountant now....

{10 DAYS LATER}

Tada! Keys in hand for this beauty 1905 character house, which has both villa and bungalow features, so I'm not exactly sure how to classify it right now (time will tell, believe me). Looks good from the front! Looks shocking from the back. And inside....hang on, I just have to back up a bit, and tell you what's happened in the last ten days, and the crash course I had in the legal sphere of....PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT. Yes. According to the IRD, I am officially a property developer. There is no such thing as "hobby" when it comes to property. Here we go.

Ten days earlier, I rang my accountant. "Do you have twenty minutes or so to chat with me about something? We just bought a house to do up and sell" I said. I'm sure he choked on his coffee. Just a few weeks before I'd told him I was done with business for now, and was looking forward to a well deserved break. Well he told me to brace myself, and get ready for a big education in property development law. Three hours later....brain overload. Property law and tax is an absolute minefield! I won't go into it, but here's what I had to do within a week:

  • Form a new company. Sigh!!! So Lowe and Co quickly became Lowe and Co Limited. Here I go again! I had just started another company by 'accident'....for the fourth time! When you purchase a property with the intention of selling it, regardless of the time frame, it has to be in a company name. End of.

  • Register for GST.

  • Learn about "associated persons", and how they can affect property I own, and how property I own can affect them, even years down the track.

  • Realise that as an official "property developer" I would be under special scrutiny by the IRD, and any other property myself or an "associated person" owned would also be under scrutiny, with the exception of our primary residence. Any rental property, or even my parents rental properties, if sold within ten years of purchase, would then be classed as being part of property development (as opposed to property investment), and thus the sale would be taxed.

  • Discover what can and can't be claimed as a property development expense.

  • Find out that insurance on an unoccupied development property is hideous.

  • Work out a plan! Just as well I'm good at that. My mapping, planning and budgeting skills went into overdrive. Phew.

I won't tire you with the rest. All I will say is, don't go into anything like this blind, and always have a good accountant. Thankfully I excel at crash courses, and I do have a great accountant.

Onto the actual renovation!! The exciting stuff. This was my new 'job'. This house was my project. So I pretty much had free reign, design wise, to do whatever I wanted to, with very tight budget restraints of course. But I do love a challenge.

First up, I just spent a lot of time investigating the place, peeling back bits of carpet and wallpaper, poking a few holes in walls...to see what lay beneath. Figuring out how far I would actually go with this project. Trying to weight up the risk of fully stripping something back and discovering something amazing....or the total opposite, uncovering a can of worms. I decided to take the risk and go the full hog. So I spent weeks ripping, smashing, pulling, wrecking, lifting, demolishing. Dad helped whenever he had a chance. Hubby doesn't really have a lot of spare time, but I called upon his skills when required - and was glad when he could do something in 20 minutes which would probably have taken me an entire day. I simply don't have those muscles (and I'm still a little scared of the skill saw)!

First up, the hallway, lounge and bedrooms. It's a typical villa style layout, with a central hallway and lounge at the front, three generous sized bedrooms coming off the hallway, and a lean to kitchen, dining and bathroom at the back of the house. Some ceilings have been lowered, some haven't. But a peek through the man hole reveals perfect original ceilings, so the added ceiling will be coming down!

 IMG_4324 (1)

IMG_4324 (1)

 IMG_4320

IMG_4320

 IMG_4262

IMG_4262

 IMG_4263

IMG_4263

 IMG_4326

IMG_4326

 IMG_4328

IMG_4328

My team of mini's and I started ripping into the 'easiest' stuff. They the wallpaper, me the floor coverings. It was good at first, as the carpet was just tacked down, layer upon another layer. Revealing native timber tongue and groove flooring with no borer or rot, promising to come up beautifully with a sander. Until I got to the master bedroom and later the dining room, where every inch of the final layer of foam backed carpet was GLUED TO THE FLOOR. WHY did they do that?!!

Grrrrr. That glued down foam. That was a LOT of hard work with a shovel. Just to try and excite myself again I thought I'd check out what might lie beneath the dining room walls. I had a sneaky suspicion it might be the original match lining. I dug a little hole in the hardboard wall lining, and saw a little something that looked promising. A hint of my favourite colour, "granny green". So I ripped off a piece with my crowbar....and kept ripping....and was rewarded.

That's all for this round up! Stay tuned, there's a looooong way to go. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the very awesome.

Stay cool.

Christall x