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.
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!