When To Move On With Renovation Challenges

Carly moves out of what once was her 'forever home' and moves into a blank canvas – starting a new adventure of home renovations.

sunset on deck
COLUMN Carly Flynn

By the time this column is in print, I will be, all going well, happily ensconced and unpacked in my new home. But this week, as I write, I’m sitting surrounded by a gazillion half-packed boxes, an overloaded skip, a never ending list of TO DOs to be done in an unenviable amount of time. I am feeling just a little sad about saying goodbye to the place we’ve called home for the past nine years.

We bought this home when it came up for sale directly across the road from our old (first) home. We bought it on a whim really. Went through it once, but knew we already loved the street, the location, and the neighbours.

We celebrated an auction win, quickly sweet talked the bank into doubling our mortgage with the confidence only a twenty-something childless couple can have, planned to eat baked beans for the foreseeable future and planned our impending move into our “forever home”.

A two-storeyed, four-bedroom home with a view, a garden, and close proximity to the city. I remember an old boss coming round with a work contract and a bottle of wine one night asking us how we planned to fill it, with just the two of us rattling around inside.

This home has kept us warm and dry through many long wet Auckland winters, allowed us to feel safe and secure in a bustling, noisy super city, and has provided us with shelter and comfort required to raise two little babes.

We’ve had parties on it’s fabulous deck for adults and children alike (the best of which was probably a combined deck shout and child’s first birthday), watched the fireworks across the harbour for eight New Years celebrations, gazed at the Sky Tower across the shimmering water into the city, and watched countless cruise ships come and go.

But very quickly, of course, we have outgrown it. Our needs have changed. We have two pre-schoolers, one who’s about to start school and one who needs a bit more grass to run around on.

From our new home we can walk to school, and there’s ample room to run a little boy with boundless energy ragged.

But perhaps more telling about why we’re moving is, we’ve finished renovating it. And truth be known, I’m bored. We’ve improved it, we think, to within an inch of its life.

We expect a lot from a home don’t we. It’s not just a roof and shelter; it’s a place to house our nearest and dearest, people and objects. A place to experiment with our interior design skills and a place to fall sleep soundly at night.

Perhaps we expect too much from our homes. For some, I know, it’s hard just to get in the market. There’s never a great time.

We were that first home seeking couple just 13 years ago, burdened with a 100% mortgage, stressing about getting on the property ladder at the “peak” of the market.

But our “forever home” has quickly become one we’re ready to move on from.

Our new home is a blank canvas. I don’t know how much it cost to build the fence or put the kitchen in, so when it comes time to put my own stamp on it, I won’t feel like I’m re-spending the money.

The walls are white, the lights are all recessed, the bedrooms are bland and the bathroom needs to be bulldozed. It’s exciting.

I know who we are as a family now; where we’re at with life, what we need from this house – peace, comfort, warmth and space.

A good location, nice neighbours, a quiet street, and a separate laundry!

It’s exciting and an exciting time of life moving into a new chapter, and a new home.

So while I’ll shed a tear at leaving the old “forever home”, I look forward to beginning a new stage, and bringing you plenty more tales of renovations to come in the not so distant future, all in the name of research of course.

You may also be interested in renovating a student flat.

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This column by Carly Flynn featured on page 024 in Issue 015 of Renovate Magazine. Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page.

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*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.

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