When Life gets Hard

So this blog is a little different from the usual.

I just wanted to write a little update on the house. We had arranged for a buyer to move in on the 26th of February, we had sold the house! However, unfortunately the buyer pulled out. I know these are the kind of things you are supposed to expect when selling a house and it is unpredictable, you’ve just got to ride the wave yo.

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However, to be so close to completing something and literally be touching the goal and then to have it fall apart right at the finish line is a little bit crushing.

It has been a hard start to 2020. I went to Glasgow yesterday to see my bestie and we had a great time, so that lifted my spirits. We tried (failed) to make pancakes and drank a lot of alcohol before I crashed on the sofa.

Then the next day we visited George Square, the Lighthouse, Buchanan Street and Paesano’s Pizzeria! (was a good pizza 10/10)

 

View from the Lighthouse attraction, Glasgow

But anyways, I hope it sells soon, I want my new car 😦

 

 

House Renovation

Since May last year, my father and I have working hard renovating a £86,000 property.

This month, we completed the work, put it on the market and sold it.

It all happened so quickly…

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First thing we did was replace the windows with double glazing…

Next, we moved the door of the bathroom from the left to the right and we fitted the bathroom suite…

Then we started decorating the upstairs bedrooms…

Meanwhile, Dad knocked down the wall between the living room and kitchen…

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Before we designed and booked our blue kitchen design…

Dad built a small downstairs toilet…

 

The upstairs bedrooms were finished…

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pre_load_imgAnd the kitchen fitted…

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Carpets, flooring and bricking up the old porch…

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And then it was a case of finishing up the little jobs. I’ll attach some more photos into the Gallery of my website, feel free to have a browse.

 

Can’t believe it’s sold already, time to say goodbye. But hopefully another one will be on the agenda soon 🙂 🙂

Laura

Blog Challenge 2.2 – Budget and Cost

“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went”
For those who may not already know, I have been renovating a property for the past 6 months and at the beginning of the venture I challenged myself to write 4 blog posts on different topics. Now that the house is nearing completion, I have decided to review the process and redo the blog challenge!
I previously wrote a reflection piece just outlining our progress and this week I am going to be writing about the budget.

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So, rewind back to May 2019, I had written my blog post highlighting my expectations for the house and had just been given the keys. We purchased the property for £86,500 and I commented in my blog that we aimed to spend roughly £105,000 in total, so just shy of £20,000 for the restoration. I’ve been keeping good track on receipts and have tallied up nearly all of our expenditure right up to the end of October. However, I am missing receipts for a couple things that we purchased online like the oven, so I would say my record could be out by no more than £1,000, and adding to this, we still haven’t paid the plumber or electrician! But I aim to do another progress report once we have gathered all the costs up, I am not looking forward to scouring receipts and payments!!
Here is the chart I created at the start of the project:

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1st Estimate Finance Chart

I have changed the colours but kept the same numbers, so it is still the same chart.
And this is where we are at now:

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6 Month Rough Spend

I have a little note pad where I record every receipt, I write item bought, the price and the date, if there are multiple products on one receipt, I tend to just label it generically i.e. plumbing equipment, tools, etc. I wish I had been a bit more detailed though because when I came to make this chart it became really difficult to split some receipts into categories as there would have been items bought that went into different areas, so I excluded them from this chart. So, the chart above is just a ballpark figure currently.

According to my records we have spent £99,912 but considering that I haven’t recorded the boiler or cooker yet, we are probably about £100,912. All that we really have left to buy is flooring and of course pay the plumber and electrician so it wouldn’t be too shabby if we finished at around £107,000; £2,000 over our initial budget. In addition to this, we had a rough evaluation a couple of weeks ago to ensure we were not over-spending and the evaluator recommended putting it on the market at £145,000-150,000, so a £38,000 gross profit would be tiddddy.

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Just to quickly debrief my estimates, comparing both charts it’s clear to see that some areas were quite close to my guess, but some were way off the mark. The roof was a pleasant surprise, after gaining a couple of opinions it was confirmed that the roof was dandy and needed little repair work, the money we have spent on it was mostly on replacing the guttering.

The kitchen segments are similar, I set a price of £3,000 in total for the kitchen which we just about reached but not quite, #winning. The bathroom was supposed to be £500 for the main suite and £500 to construct and install a brand new ensuite but we decided to not go through with those plans and instead put a little WC downstairs in the utility cupboard, with just a sink and toilet it fits nicely in there and in budget too – even better!
Also, I have added fees into the updated chart as I didn’t think about the solicitor’s fees and taxes we would be paying. Luckily, we get a discount on council tax due to the property being empty but we haven’t included what we have paid in council tax on the chart yet as I haven’t gotten around to adding it up. The structural changes on the graph have mainly consisted of knocking down the dividing wall between the kitchen and dining room and replacing it with a steel beam and this cost roughly £600. I haven’t included the porch on the new graph because all that my dad did was remove the horrible wooden cladding and brick it up to the roof that it already had using the bricks that had been knocked out of the wall inside, love a bit of recycling ❤ also, we added a window and door to it but those are included in the doors and window category.

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All in all, it’s going well in terms of budget. Hopefully, the only categories to grow before we finish will be the decorating one, the fees (from the sale), the plumbing and electrics. So happy with the project so far and will be a little bit sad to see it go, but I’m sure the pay day will cheer me up… If all goes to plan after all!!

Blog Challenge 2.1 -Renovation Update

6 Month Renovation Update

In May, my family and I were given the keys to our new property in the South of Scotland. This was such a big opportunity, especially for me as it was something I had never done before. My mum and dad had renovated a couple of smaller properties in the past but this one was going to be a learning curve for us all.

We are now 6 months into the project and to follow on from my blog challenge that I did back in May, I am now doing another challenge to celebrate. I will upload this blog every Friday for the remaining 3 Fridays in November to mark our 6-month point!

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VICTORIA HOUSE PROJECT

This first blog is just a recap of what I had outlined in the beginning and comparing it to what we have actually achieved so far. Starting with…

The Bathroom

Here are some pictures of what I was aiming for in regard to the bathroom, I got a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest.

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After we moved the position of the door, I really stuck to the green and white colour palette, but I decided to keep the original wooden boards around the edge of the room after I found a picture with something similar and thought it looked really nice. We did tile a small part of the wall behind the shower, just for practicality really. I incorporated a small line of patterned tiles to break it up slightly, if you look closely you can see a little shiny blue tile that has a little swirl in the middle which was the main reason I chose those tiles because I thought it was fair cute.

The bath suite that we chose was a P-style bath, mum and dad wanted a free-standing bath, which I liked but I preferred the P-style because I just felt it fitted the room better and was cheaper! Win, win.

The Bedrooms

At first, we believed that the bedrooms were all going to be plain magnolia with the original skirting boards and doors painted white. We mostly have stuck to this, but we are going to wallpaper one wall now.

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The Chosen Wallpaper

Additionally, due to the actual struggle of stripping the really thick, embossed, floral wallpaper from the middle bedroom, we decided to leave one wall covered. After painting over it I am soooo glad we decided to leave it because it blends in so nicely with the room, it’s so subtle and just adds a bit of a feature to the room.

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Now most of the work upstairs is complete, bar a bit of painting and wallpapering to do, we moved to the downstairs…

The Kitchen

Whilst we were working upstairs, we were waiting on the plans coming through for the downstairs. If you have read my blog 6-months ago you will have seen the draft plan I made for the changes to the layout of the house, where we planned to knock the kitchen wall down to create a kitchen/diner, I also planned on creating an ensuite upstairs but we decided against it because it just took up too much space and made the bedroom sizes quite awkward. We have put an additional toilet room downstairs in the utility.

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Currently, we have had the planning permission accepted and the wall knocked down with a supporting beam in place. As well as this, we have bought the kitchen from Homebase, French Shaker style in an eggshell blue colour.

It’s going to look lush when it’s built, just waiting on the boiler to be installed before we assemble the units completely.

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The Utility/Lean-to

We settled on bricking up the porch and put in a back door and window, so it’s came together well. Next to the porch is the utility room and like I mentioned previously, we decided to use the space to install a small toilet and sink area. In the remaining space, we have a couple extra kitchen units to put in.

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Sitting Room

This room needs very little work, we have been using it as a bit of a storage room until we complete some more of the work downstairs.

Overall, we have completed most of the major work, except the boiler which should be done in the coming weeks, and then we just have painting and decorating left to do! On Friday I will be uploading my next blog which reviews our budget. Thank you for reading this update, there are more pictures in my website gallery and on my Instagram page: @huntersparkdesign

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My Experience – Buying a House at 19

Buying a House at 19

“Buying a house is kind of like catching a train, it’s probably going to get delayed.”

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At the beginning of 2019 I made the decision to invest in a renovation project, I was inspired by my parents who have bought and sold properties in the past. I had been feeling a bit useless and life was at a standstill working a full-time job just felt like I was living the same day repeatedly, I needed something to fulfil my goals and regain my energy. Although, I didn’t want to undertake this huge opportunity single-handed, so I came to an arrangement with my parents, this deal being that they would loan me the money to buy and renovate a property, with their help, they would get the entire loan back and any profit would be split between us dependent on different factors, such as:

  1. Time spent working on the house
  2. Work effort
  3. I contributed around 5% of the overall budget, therefore, my share of the profit will be considerably smaller

Fortunately, they were in the financial position to buy the house free of any kind of mortgage or loan for me which saved us a lot of time and hassle meaning that we could jump straight into house hunting. Regardless of my parents help, I made sure that the house was put in my name, I am so thankful for everything they’re doing it was such a big deal to me because it felt like the beginning of something positive in my life. We viewed multiple properties in our local area but none of them quite buttered our bread and we left most viewings feeling rather flat. This being said, it was a blessing in disguise as if it was not for these shortcomings, we never would have found this house

We went to view this house after seeing it online, it simply ticked all the boxes and going to view it was the icing on the cake. My dad in particular just loved everything about it, and so did I! We didn’t hang around, as soon as we finished, we were in the solicitor’s office putting in an offer. Sadly, this offer was at the top of our budget and got rejected, but it didn’t knock us, we wanted this house so badly that we dipped into the renovation budget to accommodate a slight rise in our offer which, thankfully, bagged us the house!

Since then, I have been in and out of the solicitor’s office. I honestly don’t like it, something about walking into a room of extremely wealthy, old people just feels daunting, like they’re totally judging me, and I can definitely feel it sitting in the waiting room. In the office isn’t much better either, I like my solicitor, she is friendly, of course she is (we are paying her…!) but she just talks with so many words that I have to pretend to understand, she could honestly be talking another language and I’d still sit and agree with her as if I was fluent! I’m glad to have my parents sat on either side of me, I hope they’re more clued up than me. One thing I did understand however, was that there was a discrepancy with the plans, which means we have a problem.

Whilst we waited for the sale to process, I decided to start up this blog. I thought that it could be a clever tool to track the progress we make, as I hope to do this again in the future, it would really benefit me to have something to look back on and help me to make better choices in the future. Adding to this, it’s a way to keep me entertained and most importantly, focused, while I haven’t got any jobs to do. It has been harder than I had thought it would be, keeping views and likes consistent and thinking of things to upload has been like a job in itself, not to mention that Instagram is a dog eat dog world, one minute I have 100 followers the next 90 and 80, and so it goes on! It’s hard to keep up sometimes, but overall, I enjoy it a lot. @huntersparkdesign

Hunter and Spark, Family Property Development since 2019

We were updated by the solicitor that they were resolving the issues with the plan and that it should not be much longer before the keys are in our hands, it’s annoying that we didn’t get them a week ago like we had first thought, I can tell my dad is eager to make a start, but as is life.

Aside from my blog, in the meantime I have been making budget plans, drawn some pictures, a spreadsheet timetable (currently with no jobs or times on it yet but I have the layout!) and looking at home inspo on Pinterest to get me prepared for the big day! I think that we will possibly be looking at another week before I can pick the keys up but that’s okay, good things come to those who wait, blah blah. As soon as those keys are in my hands, I’m going to be in there measuring it up and taking photos, I can’t bloody wait.

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Also, another thing I am buzzing about is that summer is almost here!!! 🙂

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