It's the final countdown
Well, we got our final quote from Ichijo Komuten.
(you can see the previous installments of our house-building adventure here: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4)
We went into their new showroom in Sendai and had another long-winded presentation about their technology (my mother-in-law came with us, which made everything take three times as long).
Then we sat down and went over the terms and conditions, and the quote.
The final quote was for 46 million yen. It's amazing how seriously considering a number like that can change your perspective.
The first thing I realized is that I am not ready to commit to living with my in-laws for the rest of their lives. They are good people, but they drive me nuts already, and that's without being around them 24-7 ;)
So it is now clear to me that we need to keep our current manshon alongside whatever new arrangements we make.
That means that anything we do has to be drastically cheaper than the current plan, as we will still be paying for our current flat alongside the new mortgage.
On the other hand, the house no longer needs to be big enough for all four of us to live comfortably. Rather, it needs to be nice enough for us to consider living there in the future, and big enough for my wife and I to stay over when necessary (but we can leave all our stuff at home).
We also probably don't need a lot of optional things, like solar panels or wooden decks, etc. There is a big argument to be made for buying them with the bank's money while we can, but another one to reduce our loan and maybe buy them later when they are cheaper and we have more cash...
Just going through the quote yesterday makes me think we can chop about 10 million off the final cost without making any drastic sacrifices. This means we'd need to find some mixture of cash and mortgage to pay for about 20 million of the cost (my parents-in-law would cover the rest). Probably not impossible.
Another option is to get someone to renovate the existing structure. We're going to talk to a local company about that today and see how much that would cost.
For the record, I think Ichijo might be the best option if we were definitely going to build a house from scratch. If it were just my wife and I, and we were building our dream house with no compromises, I think I would go with them. The build quality/price is really convincing.
However in our current situation, which is full of compromises, we're going to have to be more pragmatic. Stay tuned for more developments. I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat ;)
What do you think? What should I do with this situation? How much is a full-on renovation of the house going to cost?