Back to the drawing board
You may remember our 'building a house' series. Well, it is over for now. My wife and I had a good talk and have agreed to look at other alternatives.
I had a meeting with our Ichijo rep last Friday and told him we'd be putting the project on hold for now. I still think if it were just the two of us building a house for ourselves there's a good chance we'd go with Ichijo, but not this time. There are just too many compromises involved. The rep was a bit disappointed but was professional enough to hide it and give me some advice for the possible renovation project (he recommended not doing it, and going with the manshon alternative below).
So what next? Well, we're considering renovating my wife's parents' home to make it more comfortable and to create a guest suite we could stay in when we stay over.
Another alternative would be to rent or buy another manshon in our building for my wife's parents. This would work well apart from the fact that my father in law is very attached to his land and garden. He would probably be unhappy if he had to leave it.
Slightly positively for the land, a developer bought the house next door, knocked it down, and is now building five (!) houses on the plot. We'll see if they manage to sell them and who moves in.
So we'll be exploring the renovation option over the next few months. We found a local firm (Ishiguro Architectural Workshop) who we like so far. Went to see them a few months ago, had a meeting early in September, then they came to see the house last week.
Due to the cliff thing (the property is on a cliff which may limit what kind of new construction can be done) and the build (steel frame construction) we can't really change the house much. We're basically looking to improve the insulation (walls, roof, and windows) and redo the interior layout somewhat.
Not sure of costs yet, but if we could keep it to around 15 million we could probably pay our half (7.5m) without needing to take out a loan.
The company we're talking to is booked until next year, so no rush right now. We should probably find some other companies to talk to as well, just to make sure we understand our options and the range of prices.
I will keep you posted :)
What do you think? Any advice?