Annexation

Two years and three days ago, we purchased our condo.  It is 68 square meters (roughly 730 square feet) and “kind of” two bedrooms in that a portion of the main living space is partitioned off by a pair of pocket doors to create a separate salon in the fashion of the old San Francisco Victorian houses.  But even then we realized that 68 square meters isn’t a lot of space for two people, especially when one of them works from home.

While we were in the process of purchasing our condo, we engaged in some wishful thinking: wouldn’t it be nice if one of these days we had the opportunity to purchase the studio adjacent to our unit?  On some of the other floors in the building, owners had joined the corner and studio units to create very nice 100 square meter (1,076 square feet) proper two bedrooms with a larger living area.

In fact, just about three weeks ago we had once again said how nice it would be to have a little more space, after Tawn expressed his frustration upon getting home from a long day of work how we were tripping over each other as I continued with some calls to the US from my “office” – the small second bedroom that also serves as our TV room.  “I need space to just be,” he said.

It was an interesting coincidence, then, when a week later I was approached by the owner of the small convenience store downstairs who serves as rental manager for about 40 of the 200 or so units.  The tenant of the studio, a famous supermodel, had moved out and the owner was open to selling, provided it could be done quick and easy.

Yesterday, two weeks after the initial conversation with the rental manager, we were at the Land Department registering the sale.  We were able to agree to a price that was 10% lower than what we paid per square meter on our first condo, and I think the larger space will allow us to command a premium if we should choose to sell it in the future.

Home Expansion

The question, of course, is what to do with it.  After the horrendous six-month remodel we went through with the original space, I really don’t want to get into that again.  Tawn and I have agreed to a two-year moratorium on any significant changes to the new space.  We’ll freshen up the bathroom, where the vanity is badly water damaged, and put some new paint on the walls, but for now that is all.

We will also keep it as a separate unit for the time being, which will give us greater flexibility over the next few years until we have a clear sense that the timing is right to incorporate it into the original unit.  Then, we’ll install a wood floor to match, remodel the bathroom, build a door into the wall between the units and brick over the existing outside door of the new unit.

In the meantime, my office armoire, the TV and sofa are all moving into the new space.  It will truly become my office, leaving the original unit for living, cooking, sleeping and entertaining.

With this annexation, I hope the owner of the next unit over won’t get nervous.  Truly, no need to worry – this is enough!

 

0 thoughts on “Annexation

  1. I think the idea to purchase the unit next door and gradually annex it is a good plan. I think it’s great that you are able to move your office over there and keep the living quarters separate.

  2. Congrats on the purchase! I imagine it’ll be nice to have a separate space for work that’s truly separate from the living spaces. Now you can joke about your “commute” from one room to the other.

  3. Now you truly have an office….so when you leave and close the door behind you ….you can “go home” and just relax!!! Great move!!! Ruth Ann

  4. @alextebow – @Redlegsix – Yes, I think having a separate space will be beneficial to having more of a rigid “at work” or “at home” mentality.  Small practical problems like only wanting to have internet at one place so may have to walk back and forth to turn on/off the wireless modem.  Maybe I can put it on the timer?  Also, having the TV in the other unit will mean trudging back outdoors late at night after watching a movie in order to go to bed.@snowjunky8 – For me, working at home has worked out pretty good.  Sometimes I get distracted by blogging, but it allows me to break my work into chunks separated by other activities.  The type of work I do (creating and updating training materials) can involve a lot of intense computer work and if I don’t have breaks, I’ll go crazy or cross-eyed!@Norcani – I think Tawn will definitely enjoy having a little more space.@murisopsis – Long-term, I think it will be nice.  Years from now, once we’ve combined the units, we’ll still have a nice tropical city home even if we’re no longer living here full-time.

  5. Having a separate office from home is a great idea especially it’s located next door! No need to go through the crazy BKK commute. And you guys lucked out buying the unit less than the market price too! Now maybe a good time to start a B&B as well! Cheers!!

  6. Picture this — guest bedroom — and I am inviting myself Just kidding…wow…buying more and more real estate…I can’t even imagine owning one myself yet…

  7. @Wangium – A guest bedroom is what we’d eventually like to do with the space that is our current master bedroom.  Eventually, we’ll put in a wall parallel to the dashed line running above the first unit’s bathroom, creating a hallway to connect to the new unit.  The remaining space above that would be the second bedroom.Yes, owning property is a little scary.  The good news is, rates are good, per unit costs are low, and the monthly payments are well within our ability to cover.  I can’t imagine dealing with the kind of pressure people must have faced when they over-extended and bought these homes that were so far beyond their means.

  8. I am very happy for you both. I know how cramped you had to feel. Now you can have your own office; go to it in the morning or night for you, and come home when you are done with your work. Tawn shouldn’t complain any more.

  9. Very exciting! I’m with Jason on the real-estate trepidation; my brother, a few years older, is getting ready to buy his first condo, and it’s just weird to think about settling down somewhere so permanently.

  10. Exciting! G and I are also hoping to buy up the unit beside us!I think you should have us visit since we’ll be over that way in 2010 and get G’s opinion as an architect on what to do there.

  11. @christao408 –  I guess I don’t really know too much about the whole deal. I like the whole idea of it, though. Being able to have so much control over your living environment sounds wonderful.

  12. How wonderful!!! I never thought I would see the day when Construction Documents appeared on your blog. :o) All I do every day is sit in front of my screen and make these drawings, coordinate with contractors and owners and get these things to become real. :o) I love looking at residential units in particular because you start to think about spatial qualities, how your guests will feel, how your loved ones will feel, and how you will experience the space. :o) Hope you document the construction process!!! I’m sure you’ll make it beautiful!

  13. that is awesome Chris. Now you have roughly the same square footage that we have in our townhouse. Plenty of space. Even though you are waiting, it will give you the time to really plan out what the place will look like. That is exciting!

  14. @maxwebr – It seems like our space is still quite a bit smaller than yours.  You have a large garage, quite a good size kitchen, the separate room downstairs, three bathrooms and three bedrooms.  How many square feet is all that?  In any case, at least we’ll have a little more space.

  15. @christao408 – Is it tough to get permits for small renovations there? I’m sure NY would have been a nightmare considering the Condo Board and Co-ops, etc. Can’t wait to see photos during and after construction!!! I call it my architecture porn…hehe.

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